Custom keychains are a slick, nuanced way to promote your brand or business. Here’s how to make personalized keychains in bulk… or just a single keychain!
By Owen Clarke
Like custom stickers, custom keychains are an excellent way to naturally and affordably promote your brand or business. Designing high-quality custom keychains to sell or give away is the epitome of slick and nuanced advertising.
Here at The/Studio, we craft personalized embroidered keychains, PVC keychains, or metal keychains with no minimum. Order custom keychains in bulk for your sports team, restaurant, or fashion brand, or design and order a single one-of-a-kind keychain just for you!
Don’t DIY Your Custom Keychains
It might seem easy to make your own keychains, but the real problem with DIYing custom keychains is that it’s extremely hard to match professional keychain quality when you DIY keychains, both in terms of aesthetic appearance and durability.
A keychain is only an effective promotional tool if it looks good and holds up well in the long run. We’ve all seen those cheap, dull keychains from banks, real estate offices, and other businesses that look like garbage. You want your keychain to be visually appealing and durable, something your customers will WANT to attach to their backpack, purse, or keys and that will last for years to come.
Here at The/Studio, you get the best of both worlds. We won’t tell you how to design your keychain. You’re the master of your vision. We’re just experts in making that vision come to life.
You design the keychain. We make it for you. It’s that simple.
Do Your Research
As we said above, keychain quality can vary widely. Don’t just go with any old brand that offers you bulk keychains custom-made. Consider factors like:
Hands-On Customer Service
Here at The/Studio, we offer you a slew of customization options to truly make your keychains unique, beyond simply copying your design. You can choose from embroidered keychains, PVC keychains, or metal keychains. You can pick from custom sizes, materials, shapes, colors, and more. When you use The/Studio, your personalized keychain will truly be one-of-a-kind.
At The/Studio, you’re only limited by your imagination.
Decide Which Type of Keychain you Want
We offer three different types of customized keychains, and each has its own unique appeal. Read on to learn a bit more about the different types of keychains you can design here at The/Studio.
Metal keychains are our most popular custom keychains. They’re made with a metal emblem attached to a metal keyring and are both sturdy and durable. You can pick from a large array of enamel colors, metal finishes, and sizes to make these classic, affordable keychains one-of-a-kind. They’re ideal for promotional giveaways, brand awareness, and online sellers.
PVC keychains offer both durable and colorful designs. These are the ultimate choice for vibrant, high-detail designs. Made from polyvinyl chloride, custom PVC keychains can be crafted into any shape, size, or color imaginable. These flexible, lightweight, and practical keychains are great for outdoor brands, keychains in odd shapes or sizes, sportswear brands, or any intricate, colorful design.
Embroidered keychains are constructed from fabric and thread, with a plethora of material, color, and thread options. Soft and lightweight, custom embroidered keychains will add color and texture to a set of keys without weighing them down like a metal or PVC keychain. These keychains work well for less detailed designs, lightweight keychains, artists, and universities.
How Keychains are Made (Behind the Scenes)
TECHNICAL DRAWING: All metal production starts with technical drawing. This lets us re-create customer designs and ensure all details follow limitations. (For example, the narrowest line for color fill should be at least 0.2 mm wide.) The finished file is then transferred to the mold building system.
CNC MOLD BUILDING: The technical file in AI format is then imported to a CNC system and adjusted for mold building, and mold building starts. The steel workpiece is put on the lathe, where the cutter mechanically cuts away, forming the workpiece into the desired shape.
DIE-CASTING: Now, we inject melted alloy into the mold, which is mounted onto a die-casting machine. We use zinc alloy, which is completely environmentally friendly. After the melted metal is injected firmly into the mold, it cools, and the robot arm removes the solidified piece from the mold and puts it on a conveyor for peeling.
POLISHING: Each piece is ground and polished manually to remove residues or spikes so that the surface and edges are flat and smooth.
ELECTROPLATING: This is where we apply another metal coating to the surface of each keychain, for better protection against oxidation, and to produce different metal finishes. The keychains are mounted to a “rack” and then immersed in a plating solution bath. This process is also called “hanger plating,” since all pieces are hung on the rack to achieve uniform thickness.
ENAMEL FILLING: the process of filling in soft enamel or hard enamel into the right area piece by piece. This is done by machine, or manually for very small batches.
ENAMEL BAKING: the filled-in pieces are placed on layers of “rack,” then put inside an 80~90 degree Celcius oven to bake so the enamel can solidify. This process takes 10 to 30 minutes per color, per batch.
The process for PVC keychains is quite similar. We’ll perform technical drawing to convert your design, build a mold, color fill the mold, and then bake it to solidify the fill. After it’s done baking, the mold is cooled, and the design is peeled from the mold and then trimmed. Finally, attachments are added to make a finished PVC keychain!
Embroidered keychains are quite different. First, after technical drawing is performed to convert your design to an embroidery-friendly format, we’ll use an embroidering machine to create the embroidered aspect of the keychain, then cut the embroidered piece out of the fabric. The front and the back layers of the design are joined, and the merrowed border to the keychain is sewn on. Finally, you attach the metal accessories to the embroidered piece, making it a fully-finished custom-embroidered keychain!
The Custom Keychain Ordering Process
When you craft personalized keychains with us, you have two choices. You can use the CREATE TOOL to design your keychains all by yourself, or you can chat directly with one of our Creative Specialists to get a bit of guidance and free designs before you start.
Regardless, here are the steps you’ll take!
- Choose the type of keychain (see the options above).
- Choose your preferred style.
- Choose the attachment type.
- Choose a key ring size.
- Customize special features to make your keychain truly unique.
- Submit your design. If you have a design already drawn up, you can submit that. If not, you can have one of our artists create a FREE keychain design for you.
- Once you submit your design and it’s digitized, you’ll receive a digital mock-up of your keychain, and you can approve it or make edits.
- That approved design will be turned into a prototype keychain. You’ll receive a picture of your physical prototype and you can approve it, or make edits.
- Finally, your feedback will be used to craft your very own custom keychains. Soon, you’ll receive your keychains by mail!
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
If you’re unsure of anything about the process, take time to read through frequently asked questions from other custom keychain creators who’ve crafted their keychains with us. Chances are, whatever questions you may be pondering have probably been asked and answered already!