147: Compass Keychains

Some of my favorite things about running in creative maker circles is the sheer amount of talent people have, and that the barter system is alive and well. April Duda is one of those talented people – she’s a photographer. We worked out a creative trade: I got jewelry photography sessions in exchange for April getting time on the laser cutter. (You can see some photos she took for me here, here and here.)

Photo by April Duda Photography

As a photographer, April’s style is more documentary or photo-journalistic, – check out her Instagram and Facebook pages! She’s offering new “Adventure Session” photo packages that really encourage people be in environments they love and to never stop exploring. The compass keychains she came up to make with her laser time have a dual purpose – to promote her new sessions and to promote adventure!

A whole lot of keychains! Photo by April Duda Photography.

The keychains were given away at the Kiwanis Kids Tent at the Batavia Farmer’s market last weekend. April paired them with rock painting for the Kindness Rocks Project (which is tagged #BataviaRocks locally). After they are sealed, the rocks will be placed around Batavia, IL. The kids can use their new compasses as they explore the town and the look for the rocks they painted! (I have been lucky enough to discover some #BataviaRocks in the past, around the Riverwalk and they never fail to make me smile.)

How great did those rock turn out? Can’t wait to see them around Batavia. Photo by April Duda Photography.

The keychain construction was pretty straight forward, using the same methodology as Project 28: Hexagon Frame Pendants. April had sourced some adorable little 20mm compasses, so we made the hole in the center big enough so it would fit snugly. Because they were keychains for kids, we thickened up the loop attachment point quite a bit, giving it a bit more of an egg-shape. The back layer was 1/16th inch plastic, and the top was deeper, at 1/8th of an inch thick. The whole thing was glued up with my favorite glue Loctite Ultra Gel Superglue (not a paid promo, I just love it). The front features the essence of the project – “Never stop exploring” and the back has April’s website info.

Look at the lovely variety!

I think my favorite part of this was that we got to mix up the back colors. Normally, I just trade laser time, not materials when trading. April needed about 150-200 compass keychains, and if she had wanted a particular color, we would have had to order materials. Because she wasn’t set on certain colors, I dug through my scraps and thought we came up with some pretty pleasing combinations! I really like the pink ones, with the wood-colored ones coming a close second!

Looks like a fun time was had by all. Photo by April Duda Photography.

Moral of this blog post – share your talents; fun things will come of it 🙂 Thanks April for a great project!

2 thoughts on “147: Compass Keychains

  1. Alain Bally says:

    Cool project. Curious if you’ve had any issues with Loctite Ultra Gel Superglue crazing the acrylic. I’ve used different superglues and had them craze/fog the acrylic. Since your lamination was not visible I suppose it doesn’t matter.

    Thanks for all you do and for sharing so generously.

  2. Jen says:

    Hello Alain! So, I have definitely had more issues with the fogging with the Loctite Ultra Gel lately (like the past year or so). I’m not sure if it’s that they have changed the composition, or if my workroom airflow is different. Some bottles are worse than others. Overall the fog hasn’t affected the front look of my jewelry (or in this case, keychains). I just really like it for it’s holding power, especially important for mixed metals, such as adhering posts to the back of stud earrings.


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