Keychains or Pack Pals–tutorial?

pack pals for Alastair and his friends

“Pack Pals” for our  grandson and his friends made entirely in the hoop of my Brother Dream Machine


It seems that children everywhere are dangling little characters and ornaments from their backpacks.  The description on one site tells it all:

“Want to dress up your backpack for school?  Keychains are a great way to make a statement about who you are…..Show your hobbies, express your beliefs, or tell who you are with one of our keychains today.”

Just see how many are for sale on one site alone.  Would you like a tutorial on how these can be made on any embroidery machine?

After embroidering 43 Pokemon Ninja headbands for our 6 year old grandson Alastair I made him a hanging embroidery with the text Pokemon.  It hung from his backpack and was admired by his friends.

When I offered to make more, he requested several to share with his Pokemon passionate pals.  Eleven were made, some to keep and some to share.  He is a kind-hearted, generous little guy who thinks of others far more often than I would expect from a kindergartner.

His sweet classmate  Maddie loves Frozen so he asked  if I would make some for her.  Laurel, his 11 yo cousin,  has dubbed them Pack Pals.



The Disney characters above and a matching backpack were embroidered on my Brother Quattro for a friend before Alastair’s were made.  A special feature on that machine as well as on The Dream Machine outlines any embroidery design with a straight stitch. and then adds a satin stitch.

After the embroidery and the outline stitch is finished, the piece is removed from the hoop and trimmed very close to the outline stitching.  A backing piece is then hooped and the outline stitch is repeated .  Excess outside that outline on the backing piece is trimmed away and the trimmed embroidery design is placed over it with a glue stick.  The satin stitch covers the raw edges and joins the two pieces together.  A ribbon is slipped between the two layers before the satin stitching.

I’d like to make  one with the name of grandson Robert’s flag football  team.  He could hang it from his athletic bag.  A ballerina could hang one from her dance bag.  An embroidery to match the nursery them would be cute hanging from a diaper bag, especially if it is made of materials that could be gnawed by a fussy baby.  These could be made for any child–or adult!

With a little more effort, a simpler version of the Pack Pals can be made on any  machine with hoop embroidery. If you would like a tutorial on this process, leave a comment.   After making so many keychains/pack pals, I have learned a few tricks that make the process easier.   I would like to share them with you if there is any interest.

You could make a child very happy with one or two Pack Pals.



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