How to Make a Beaded Animal Keychain

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This dog is an example of a beaded animal keychain.
This dog is an example of a beaded animal keychain. (Image: P.J. Molinario)

A beaded animal keychain adds a nice personal touch to any set of car keys. It also makes a playful decoration for a child's backpack. Follow these steps to make your own.

Things You'll Need

  • Pony beads
  • Cord (26-gauge wire or string will also work)
  • Keychain ring
  • Scissors

Select the pattern and colors to be used for your animal keychain. Get creative and design your own pattern or choose one from a craft book or Internet site.

Lay out your supplies on a flat workspace, such as a table or tray. Cover the area with a towel or cloth to prevent the beads from rolling.

Arrange the pony beads on the towel in the desired pattern. This will make stringing the beads go much more quickly.

Fold the cord in half to find the midpoint. Insert the folded end into the center of the keychain ring. Pull the ends of the cord over the ring and through the loop. Tug both ends until the cord is tightly fastened. For extra security, tie the cord into a double knot.

Weave the beads for the top row of your design onto one end of the cord. Bring the other end of the string through the row of beads coming from the opposite direction. Pull both ends of the cord to adjust the tension.

Follow this basic technique for each of the remaining rows of the pattern. Depending on the complexity of the design, there may be one or two additional threading methods required. For instance, if you're making an animal's ear you will need to thread the pony beads onto only one end of the string. To attach the ear to the side of the animal's head, string the cord back through the beads from the opposite direction. The other ear can be created by using the string on the opposite side and following the same procedure. Then, simply return to the basic technique to finish the rest of the beaded animal.

Tie off the cord in a double knot at the bottom of the completed beaded animal. Trim the ends of the string and tuck them to the backside of the keychain.

Tips & Warnings

  • To add an extra finishing touch to the keychain, try stringing three beads onto the end of the knotted cords.
  • Never leave loose pony beads unattended around small children. They are a choking hazard.

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