Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Tutorial: A Place for the Spare Keys!

My parents are in their eighties and sometimes muddle things up.  We were a little worried about them getting out of their apartment if there was an emergency - Dad had Alzheimer's and can never find anything at all (sometimes he hides things and sometimes he packs bags with all manner of things, just to complicate matters) and Mum takes forever finding her keys in her handbag.

So I stepped in with a couple of quick projects which I hope will help.  This is the first - somewhere for the spare door keys to go.  This will hang on a hook on the back of the bedroom door, ready to access and very quick to find in an emergency.

It takes very little fabric to make: you'll need a few scraps (could be recycled from old clothes or other projects) a small piece of felt (optional), approx 20cm of binding or ribbon for the top loop and some heavy interfacing.  A button or perhaps a few beads will finish it off nicely.

This is how to make your own spare key holder:

Cut out a piece of fabric measuring approx 30cm x 6cm (accuracy isn't that important - longer, wider, shorter, narrower are all OK!).

Fold in both long edges and press; then fold both folded edges in again.  Press.  Stitch to secure.

Press like this, then stitch

Cut out two squares of fabric and a piece of heavyweight interfacing each measuring approx 10cm x 10cm.

you could leave out the second layer of fabric, it will still work

I drew a flower shape on mine - to make life easier, you can cut a template from paper first and trace around that.  You could use any shape though - a heart would be good, or you could leave it as a square.

Fold the stitched strap in half and place the two raw edges into the squares, inside where your stitching lines for your flower (or whatever) will be.

Sew around the drawn image, three times to produce the sketchy outline, and enclosing the raw edges of the strap.  I got a bit carried away and sewed a few more details onto my flower, which were less than perfect, but worked out OK in the end!

  Trim carefully around your stitching.

Sew a piece of bias binding, tape or fabric to make a hanging loop (you could even use string or ribbon). Stitch onto the back of the flower - in the centre, as this will be covered at the front with a button.

it's  a bit messy at the back but we will cover it

Sew a button or some beads into the centre.  My button (or is it a bead?  I'm not sure, but it has a shank like a button at the back, so I think it's a button!) came from a pack kindly supplied by Wholeport.  They are not really my style, but as soon as I saw them I thought of my mum - I knew she'd love them.

the button adds a bit of interest

Finish off by sewing a piece of felt to the back.  This is optional, but it does serve to neaten up the back, as well as providing a bit more design detail and a bit of contrast colour.

Trim the felt after sewing

Attach your keys by slipping the large loop onto the split ring on your key fob.

Not only ideal for older people, I think this spare key holder might be a good idea for all of us.  A set of door and window keys hanging on the back of the bedroom door might make it quicker for any of us to exit safely should there be an emergency.

It turned out there was another bonus to this.  Because it was made by me (and Mum was touched by the effort I made) and because she thought it was pretty (she loved that little flower button!!) I think she's more likely to remember it's there.


Gertie said...

What a great idea. I'm sure your parents will find it really useful.

Even though you're not keen on the button, it does works really well.

Natalie Jones said...

Another great idea!Thanks for sharing x

Louise@ElsieMayandBertha said...

This is such a good idea, especially placing them in the bedroom (we have a spare set but they're downstairs). A lovely idea for the key ring too.

Jan Gartlan said...

Such an innovative and pretty idea.

Kitsch Stitch said...


I will definitely be having a go at this.

Sarah - The Lilac Dragonfly said...

Really love this idea....If I sewed I'd definitely give this a go!! ;)