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Everything You Need to Know about Different Types of Custom Keychains

September 9, 2021

Everything You Need to Know about Different Types of Custom Keychains

They help you keep track of your valuables, show off your unique personality… and they make a great low-cost product with fabulous margins.

If you sell custom products in your online or in-person store, custom keychains are a no-brainer product to add.

They’re endlessly customizable, whether you make them with your company brand on them or with a cool pattern you know your customers would love.

Anyone can use them, making them a very popular product. (Our factories ship out over 5000 unique orders of them each month!)

And best of all, they’re surprisingly easy to create – even if you’re not an especially crafty person. Here at The/Studio, you can create custom keychains 100% online with our powerful product creation tool.

But when it comes to keychains, there’s a lot more to making them than you might realize! Beyond the design you’ve dreamed up for your keychains, different materials, key-rings, and other features can totally transform the entire product.

Here at The/Studio, we offer three main types of keychains: metal keychains, PVC keychains, and embroidered keychains. With no minimum order quantities, excellent quality, and fair pricing, large businesses and small-scale creators alike can create personalized keychains their customers would love. Learn more about the three main types of custom keychains and how you can create them yourself.

The Three Types of Custom Keychains

The three main types of custom keychains are categorized based on the materials used to create them. They are:

However, the materials used also affect the overall functionality and purpose of each keychain, as well as the customization possibilities available. It’s important to choose the right type of custom keychain for your intended design, target audience, and product budget. Learn more about these three types of custom keychains and what they’re best suited for.

custom metal keychains banner

1. Metal Keychains

Metal keychains are the most classic and traditional type of keychains. They beautifully complement important house keys and car keys with a shiny, sturdy construction. Customers love how they jingle and add a little weight to their keys, making them easier to keep track of in a purse.

Metal keychains are composed of a metal emblem attached to a metal keyring that’s large enough to fit plenty of other keys. They are traditionally made out of plated nickel. They can be made with an all-metallic finish or with enamel colors added to one or both sides of the keychain.

If you’ve ever made custom products with The/Studio before, creating a custom metal keychain is a lot like creating a custom pin, with many of the same customization options. If you’d like, you could even create a pin to go along with your keychain for a matching collection.

If you decide to make a metal keychain, you’ll be able to customize the following:

  • Size – Choose the height and width of your keychain, from .5 inches to 3 inches
  • Material color/finish – Choose from a shiny gold, shiny gunmetal, shiny silver, shiny nickel, antique nickel, antique brass, black paint, satin nickel, shiny rose gold, antique silver, antique gold, shiny brass, shiny chrome, brushed brass, satin brass, satin silver, shiny copper, satin gold, satin copper, or antique copper finish.
  • Number of material colors – Choose to add on a second metal color in the same finish to your keychain if you’d like. (You’ll have the chance to add on as many enamel colors as you’d like in a later step.)
  • Attachment material color/finish – Choose between a standard nickel or a standard brass finish for your keyring.
  • Number of colors in design – Choose anywhere from 0-10 enamel colors, or opt for a printed design for unlimited colors.
  • Design options – Choose how you’d like to bring your design to life. You’ll be able to choose between a soft enamel color fill (adding color with enamel that creates valleys between metal lines), hard enamel color fill (adding color with enamel that is polished flat across the design surface), or 3D mold (a textured, sculpted metal design). You can also add on extras such as custom engraving, glow-in-the-dark enamel, or glitter enamel.
  • Link and chain options – Choose the type of keyring or attachment material on your keychain. You’ll be able to choose between a split ring only with no link, a curb chain, a swivel 8-link chain, a C-link chain, a cable chain, or a non-swivel 8-link chain.
  • Upgrades – If you’d like, choose to add on a black faux-leather fob.
  • Packaging and branding – For easy gifting and retail sales, choose to add on extras like clear poly bags, velvet boxes, velvet pouches, or acrylic cases to distribute your keychains.

Metal keychains are the most expensive type of custom keychain, but they’re still rather affordable. They start at just $1.40 each, depending on how many you order and any extras selected.

To start creating metal keychains, click here. (More on the product creation process in a later section!)

personalize custom pvc keychains online

2. PVC keychains

PVC keychains are the most durable type of keychains. They’re flexible, lightweight, and vibrant, with unlimited color options. Unlike metal keychains, they don’t jingle with other keys, but they do provide a splash of color that makes them easy to spot and keep track.

PVC keychains are made of polyvinyl chloride, a sturdy synthetic thermoplastic material. They can be made in any shape or size.

If you’ve ever made custom products with The/Studio before, creating a custom PVC keychain is a lot like creating a custom PVC patch, with many of the same customization options. If you’d like, you could even create a patch to go along with your keychain for a matching collection.

If you decide to make a PVC keychain, you’ll be able to customize the following:

  • Size – Choose the height and width of your keychain, from .5 inches to 4 inches
  • Style – Choose whether you’d like to create a keychain with a design on one side, a repeated design on both sides, or a full three-dimensional design using a custom mold.
  • Design & colors – Choose to include anywhere from 1-12 colors in your design, or to go with a 3D mold.
  • Attachment type – Choose from a wider variety of attachment types, including a split ring with curb chain, split ring with link chain, split ring with metal jump link, split ring with swivel 8-link, split ring with plastic jump link, beaded metal cord, lobster claw with metal jump link, black cell phone string, lobster claw with curb chain, split ring with black rope, or round split ring + swivel lobster claw combo attachment.
  • Printing – Choose whether you’d like to bring your design to life with just PVC-colored material or with the help of photorealistic printing on the surface.
  • PVC thickness – Choose from 3mm thick to 12mm thick, or request a custom thickness.

PVC keychains are the most affordable type of custom keychain, starting at just $0.28 each depending on how many you order and any extras selected.

To start creating PVC keychains, click here. (More on the product creation process in a later section!)

custom embroidered keychain logo

3. Embroidered keychains

Embroidered keychains are a little bit retro, a little bit eclectic, and all the way cool. Made out of fabric and textured thread, they’re flexible, very lightweight, and available in just about any color. Unlike metal keychains, they don’t jingle with other keys, but they do provide a splash of color that makes them easy to spot and keep track of.

If you’ve ever made custom products with The/Studio before, creating a custom embroidered keychain is a lot like creating a custom embroidered patch, with many of the same customization options. If you’d like, you could even create a patch to go along with your keychain for a matching collection.

If you decide to make an embroidered keychain, you’ll be able to customize the following:

  • Size – Choose the height and width of your keychain, from 1.5 inches to 4 inches
  • Style – Choose whether you’d like one or both sides of your keychain embroidered.
  • Embroidery coverage – Choose whether you’d like your design to take up all or only part of the keychain’s surface.
  • Attachment type – Choose from a limited selection of attachment types, including a key ring with a metal grommet, a key ring with a full-coverage bolt, or a twill-wrap keyring for fob-style keychains.
  • Keyring size – Choose from a 1-inch, 1.18-inch, or 1.38-inch keyring.
  • Border – Choose whether you’d like a contrasting embroidered border or a more subtle merrowed border.
  • Upgrades – If you’d like, add on metallic thread, glow-in-the-dark thread, or puff embroidery.

Embroidered keychains are another very affordable type of custom keychain, starting at just $0.35 each depending on how many you order and any extras selected.

To start creating embroidered keychains, click here. (More on the product creation process in a later section!)

Which Type of Custom Keychain is Best for You?

The truth is, there isn’t one best type of custom keychain. Any of these three types of keychains can sell well and help your customers keep track of their keys! But the best choice of custom keychain for your business will depend on a few factors.

A metal keychain might be best for you if you’re looking for a traditional, classic keychain option and you have the budget for them.

A PVC keychain might be the way to go if you’re looking for the most affordable type of keychain that’s still durable and easy to spot.

An embroidered keychain might be the best choice if you’re looking for a lightweight, flexible, old-school type of keychain that’s also very inexpensive.

If you’re not sure which type of keychain would be most appealing to your employees or customers, you could always send out a quick survey asking what they look for in a keychain or asking them to pick their favorite from a few photos. 

How to Create Any Type of Custom Keychain

Now that you have a better idea of the different types of custom keychains and which one is best for your business, you’re ready to start making your very own custom keychain! While customization options vary depending on the type of keychain you want to make, the overall product creation process is mostly the same. We’ll walk you through how to create any type of custom keychain.

1. Find a manufacturer

The right keychain manufacturer will make it simple for you to design and customize high-quality metal, PVC, or embroidered keychains at a fair price, with satisfaction guaranteed. Look for a keychain manufacturer that also offers multiple keychain types, many customization options, great customer service, no minimum order quantities, great reviews, fast turnaround times, free design services, and free shipping. 

The/Studio is a reputable, industry-leading manufacturing company that checks all of those boxes. It’s a great place to start, especially if you’ve never created a custom product before and feel a little intimidated by the entire process.

2. Choose your keychain type

Now, it’s time to finally nail down with type of keychain you’d like to create. Remember, the type you choose will affect the appearance, functionality, and overall cost of your keychain as well as the customization options available to you, so choose carefully! 

If you need to, read up on each of these keychain types in more detail earlier on in this article, then click the corresponding link below to kick the whole product creation process off.

Start creating a custom metal keychain here. 

Start creating a custom PVC keychain here. 

Start creating a custom embroidered keychain here.

3. Customize your keychain

Next up, select how many pieces you’d like to order (anywhere from 1 to 10,000+) and start making your custom keychain your own! Exact customization options will vary depending on the type of keychain you’ve already selected, but you’ll likely be able to personalize the size, style, colors, attachment type, and beyond.

Note that some customization options may come at an additional cost.

4. Design your keychain

Next up, iron out your keychain design! If you’ve already done most of the design work, simply submit your sketch files in the creator portal. You can also add additional notes clarifying your artwork and what you’d like to see in the final product if you’d like. 

If you’re not much of an artist, that’s okay! Submit whatever sketches you have (even if they’re scribbled on a napkin!) with detailed notes about your vision. Our expert design team will take whatever you give them and turn it into a fabulous keychain. Design services are included free with every order!

5. Approve a mockup

Our in-house design team will take it from there to create a mockup of your keychain, which you’ll receive as a physical or photographed prototype. If all looks perfect, respond with your approval and we’ll continue with production! If not, respond with detailed feedback of what you’d like to see changed and we’ll revise your design as many times as it takes. (All revisions are free, too!)

6. Sell or give away your keychains

After you’ve sent your final approval, you’ll have your keychains with free domestic U.S. shipping within your quoted timeline. Then, it’s up to you how you’d like to use them – whether to make a profit in your online store or to spread the word about your company at events!

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