I have a lot of Diamond Painting drills left over from all the paintings I made and I don’t want to throw them away. So I’m trying to figure out things I can do with them. Last week, I stumbled upon empty key chains and immediately thought that I should be able to do something with them. That said, my creative spirit took over, and here you can read how I did.

What I bought

I found the key chains on AliExpress, and couldn’t help but buy them. They have an outer size of 36 x 55mm (1,4 x 2,1 inches) and the size you can put drills on is about 28 x 41 mm (1,1 x 1,6 inches). If you want to try this, you can find the key rings here: empty key chains.

key chains
An empty key chain that you can use for Diamond Painting drills.

Calculate how many drills can fit

I started by making a quick count on how many drills would fit in a key chain. A square drill is approximately 2.5 mm x 2.5 mm (0,098 x 0,098 inches). The size of where you can put drills on the key chain is 28 mm wide (1,1 inches) and 41 mm high (1,6 inches). Which means that we can easily calculate how many drills can fit. We simply take 28 divided by 2.5 which becomes 11.2 and 41 divided by 2.5 and it becomes 16.4. Since we can’t split a drill, I simply rounded down. Then it should fit 11 drills in width and 16 in height. Before I started, I actually tried that it was correct. I didn’t want to end up finding a lot of patterns that I couldn’t use.

Find a pattern

Once I found out how many drills fit into the key chain, I Googled for “mini cross stitch”. Since I am doing cross stitch, I thought it should be easiest to find such patterns and use them. The first thing I realized is that I can’t make backstitches in any way with the drills, so only designs with whole cross stitch would work. So my hunt started and I found some that I liked. I found most pictures of designs, and not finished designs per se. Since I make my own cross stitch patterns, I have programs to create that, and I turned the images into patterns. I use KG-Chart and PC Stitch to make my own designs, both cost money but there are test versions. If you want to try, you can find them here: KG-Chart and PC Stitch. My pattern with the hearts is here: DP hearts. The colors can easily be swapped out with the ones you have at home.

Key chains
The pattern with hearts that I made.

Get the drills to stick

When you have your pattern, just put the drills in the part that you remove, the one that is a little smaller than the other. I didn’t use anything to make the drills stick when I first made them. Which means you have to be very careful when you put the drills in, but also when you put it together. I had to do it three times with the heart one. I managed to drop the tweezers on the key chain, among other things. So it can be done without using glue however, it is very tricky and you have to be very careful. I tried to make one where I glued the drills, and it went well. However, I have noticed that the glue I used does not become translucent when dried, which make it not look good. I also managed to assemble it before the glue was dry which made one side turn white. I will try to use some sort of varnish, and try to find a glue that will become transparent when it dries. Then they should be really nice when they are done, plus they are easier to assemble.

key chains
The white you can see is the glue that has dried.

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