Blue metallic tasselled keyring with key next to open blue purse

How to make a classic tassel keyring

For years I had a ‘Remove before flight’ tag as my key fob, much like the ones they use on planes. Unfortunately, this red tag broke some time ago and I needed a new one. So why not use it as an excuse to get my ScanNCut out?

Gather your materials

The base material for this tassel is ‘washable paper’, otherwise known as vegan leather or leather paper. There are plenty of colours available to buy – whites, blacks, naturals, bright colours and even metallics. However, for my projects, I often choose white washable paper because I can then colour it however I like.
hand holding vegan leather in front of Brother ScanNCut machine
The washable paper can be used as it comes, but it’s a bit stiff. For this project, it is better to wash it in the washing machine beforehand (max. 40°C) and then dry it. It gets a little bit crumpled, but it is also easier to work with because it becomes softer.

Materials needed:

  • ScanNCut DX with a Standard Cutting Mat and an Auto Blade
  • Washable paper*
  • Fabric dye in powder form
  • A paper cup or a container you don’t mind putting fabric dye in
  • A wooden stick to stir
  • Tweezers
  • Liquid glue
  • Clothes pin
  • Hot glue
  • Washi tape
  • Keyrings and a metal cap (optional)**
  • Stapler (optional)***
  • Flat pliers


*For this project you can also use synthetic leather that is no thicker than 3 mm if you can’t get washable paper.

**You can find the metal caps in the jewellery crafting department in the craft shop or online. I ordered mine here, they are relatively large with a diameter of 12 mm and fit one of my tassels. The pattern I have created can be made into a simple version without the metal cap if you prefer.

***Only needed if you’re making the simple version of the keyring.

Materials needed to create tassel keyring - glue, pliers, vegan leather

General instructions relating to ScanNCut:

  1. Always choose the correct mat for your material. The material should stick to your mat securely. Test a small piece on a corner of your mat to make sure you can remove it again without damaging the material. You can find our handy mat and blade guide for ScanNCut DX models here, and the ScanNCut CM models mat and blade guide here.
  2. We recommend that you do a test cut before you cut your design.
  3. Patterns can be transferred to your ScanNCut via USB or WiFi, depending on your model.

Time to get cutting

These instructions and the free cutting files provided allow you to make two versions of the tassel keyring. One is a simple keyring version, the other is a more elegant version utilising a metal cap.
a silver and a blue tasselled key ring next to each other
Place the washable paper on the cutting mat and fix it with some washi tape so that it does not slip. Alternatively, you can also use a high tack adhesive support film, so that the washable paper stays in place.
Stick down leather to Brother ScanNCut cutting mat with Washi tape

Download the cutting file and transfer it to your ScanNCut. Increase the cutting pressure to 5 to make sure the thick, washable paper is cut correctly.

close up of Brother ScanNCut screen with cutting pressure selected
Once you have cut your washable paper take it off the mat extremely gently, as there are lots of fine tassels. In addition to the fringe piece, there is a small rectangle that you only need for the simple keyring version.
hands hold up a tasselled rectangle of white vegan leather
If you want to colour your keyring, now is the time to dye your cut pieces of washable paper. Put some fabric dye in hot water in the paper cup and stir with the wooden stick. Roll up the frayed tassel piece a little and dip it into the dye with the tweezers. The tweezers prevent you from dying your fingers.
hand dipping tasselled vegan leather into cup of dark textile dye
For darker tones, let the tassel soak longer in the dye. Alternatively keep dipping in after each short drying phase. By doing this, you can also achieve beautiful colour gradients. At the end, hold the tassel under running water to remove excess dye and then let it dry.

The metal cap version

For the metal cap version, open the last eyelet of the small chain on the key ring, fasten the metal cap with it and close the eyelet with the pliers.

Opening eyelet with pliers, white leather rectangle in background
Put some liquid glue at the beginning of the fringed piece and roll up the tassel. Gradually add more glue until the tassel has been rolled to the end.
Yellow tube of liquid glue being squeezed onto blue tassel
Now put some hot glue in the metal cap and insert the rolled-up tassel. Hold in place for a minute while it starts to dry and then gently place to one side to continue drying.

The simple key ring version

For the simple key ring version, fold the rectangle around the ring and hold it together at the end of the fringed piece and staple. Roll up the tassel with liquid glue as above. Hold on to the end with a clothespin until the glue is completely dry.
Blue metallic tassel being stapled to silver metal keyring
Now the tassels are finished! Use them as key fobs or as decoration for a pen case or for your handbag.

I hope you liked my project? Enjoy crafting and see you next time! I can’t wait to see what you make! Remember to tag in Brother on Instagram and Facebook, and myself too!
woman in red and white striped top standing behind Brother ScanNcut
"The base material for this tassel is ‘washable paper’, otherwise known as vegan leather or leather paper."

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