Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Elephant Keychains - upcycled from denim jeans

The more things I'm making from old clothes for this year's school carnival, the more fabric scraps I'm accumulating. So I wanted to find something to make using those scraps and decided on these cute little elephant keychains.

They are so easy to make and all you need is fabric scraps, a couple of buttons and a keyring.

Here's how.

First decide which fabric you want to use. I'm using left over colour denim from jeans, some co-ordinating scraps for the ears, a couple of buttons, 
a crochet wool chain for the tail (I have lots of these as my daughter loves making them, but you could just use a piece of wool or even just a thin strip of fabric with maybe a knot tied in the end.)

 a strip of jeans seam for the tag to hold the keyring, and the keyring itself.

I made a template for the main elephant body and ears.
You can download that here.

So first print out the template and cut the shapes out.
Pin and cut out 2 of the main elephant body from your main fabric; plus 4 ears from your 
co-ordinating fabric.

Pin each pair of ears, right sides together and stitch them together around the edges leaving a small gap to turn them out. Leave the gap on the straighter side of the ear as this is where you will stitch the ear to the main body and close the gap in doing so.

Turn both ears right side out and tuck in the raw edges into the gap.

Place each ear on the side of the elephant and pin into place. I just placed the button eyes on here too to judge where to pin the ears.

Also pin on the tail and the keychain to the right side of one of the main elephant pieces.
Machine stitch these into place.
Then hand stitch the button eyes on.

Now your elephants are ready to put together.
Place them right sides facing and pin around the edges, leaving a 4 cm (1.5") gap in the back of the elephant.

Machine stitch securely around the edges. I used the triple stitch setting on my machine.

Then turn the whole thing right sides out through the gap in the back.

Then stuff the elephant with either fibre fill or, as I've done, with small fabric scraps from other sewing projects. Just cut them small and make sure to push the stuffing right into the trunk and feet.

Then slip-stitch the opening closed securely.

And you're all done - now you have a finished elephant keychain.

Now you can start making it some friends!

I think these will be a great scrapbuster for left over pieces from the clothes upcycles I'm doing. And as a bonus they are so simple to make, my girls can help out with them too!

For the Free Downloadable PDF version of this tutorial, click here.

To see what other clothes upcycling projects I've made for the school carnvial go here.

You can also follow me on Facebook for more updates and plenty of upcycling ideas and inspiration.

If you liked this tutorial, there are over 100 other free sewing tutorials on my tutorials pages here.


  1. Adorable! I love your sweet elephants! Thank you for sharing this great refashion!
    Hope you have a wonderful day!
    Hugs and love from Portugal,
    Ana Love Craft

  2. Awe so cute love these thanks for sharing. ...Linda

  3. These elephants are adorable! Thanks for sharing the tutorial , is an excellent idea, I love to use scraps and this is a great project ! I've uploaded your cute elephants to Pinterest for future reference. Thanks for the inspiration !!!

    1. Thank you Marisa. Me too with the scraps. I hate to throw anything away that might be useful - so these elephants are great for using up everything!

  4. Aww these are lovely, sweet elephants :)

    Thanks for sharing at Creative Mondays..

  5. You always have awesome tutorials. This is so cute! Pinning and sharing. Thanks for sharing at Totally Terrific Tuesday last week! Can't wait to see what you have lined up tonight!


  6. Hi Jill! I saw these pop up in my Facebook feed and thought they were adorable. I want one in every colour and pattern! They are so cute. Thanks so much for linking them up to Thriving on Thursdays. I don't know when you get time to make all these things, with all your fitness commitments. You're an inspiration. I'm featuring this at tomorrow's party. Have a great weekend!

    Anne xx

    1. Thanks so much Anne! Hope your weekend is good too!


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