Some pattern shops offer acrylic templates for their patterns. Acrylic templates are pieces of clear plastic that are laser-cut in the same shape as the pattern pieces, and are engraved with the appropriate markings. These tools are helpful if you make the same project many times, as folks with handmade shops typically do. The plastic holds up to rotary cutting better than a paper or cardstock pattern would.
With the availability of laser cutting on demand, it’s now even easier to get acrylic templates made for your own projects. Since I make a lot of fabric strap keychains for my shop, I thought it might be cool to design and order my own acrylic template for making keychains. Here’s how it works:
The template is clear, so it’s hard to photograph! But it’s basically a rectangle that is 11 inches wide and 4 inches tall, which is the size I cut for my keychains. There is one vertical line engraved in the center, and three horizontal lines engraved 1″ apart. The vertical line shows me where the fold will be in the keychain, and the horizontal lines show me what part of the fabric will be visible once the keychain is created.
Here’s an edited photo of the template on some fabric. The red lines are the edges of the template, which will guide my rotary blade. The black lines show the engraved lines on the template. The top and bottom sections of the template will be folded inside of the keychain and won’t show at all. The two center sections will be on the inside and outside of the strap, both visible. With the clear template, I can line it up so that the line of swords is in the center of the top center section so the keychain will be perfect when it is done.
I have uploaded the SVG to my Gumroad shop, where it is available to download for free. Feel free to use it for laser cutting (with your own machine or with a service like Ponoko) and have your own keychain template made! Happy sewing!