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How to Design Rubber Keychains Using Photoshop

How to Design Rubber Keychains Using Photoshop

So, you’ve decided to make rubber keychains for one reason or another. Maybe you’re an independent artist wanting to add some variety to your merchandise. Perhaps you’re a marketing professional getting ready for a big showcase, trade show, or event. Whatever your reasons are, you've decided that rubber keychains are just the investment your business needs.

Now, you’re wondering where to begin with designing your rubber keychains. Well, we’ve got you covered with this step-by-step guide on how to make your rubber keychain design in Photoshop.


Not using Photoshop? Check out our other design guides here:

How to Design Rubber Keychains in Adobe Illustrator
Step 1: Open a New Canvas

When you open Photoshop, the first thing you'll want to do is go to File>New to open a new canvas. Set the width and height of the canvas to 75 millimeters, and make sure the unit of measurement is in millimeters and not pixels. It's also important to switch over to CMYK color mode. Once you've set these parameters, click create to open your canvas.

Step 2: Trace the Image

Now that your canvas is prepared it’s time to prepare your brush and start tracing your preliminary design. After opening the canvas, select the brush tool and make sure the settings are correct. The brush size should be set to at least 3 px, with a hardness of 100%, and the hard round style.

Then, go to file>place embedded, and select your image. Adjust the image to the canvas so that everything fits within the 70 millimeter frame. After this, change the opacity to 50% and add a new transparent layer.

In this new layer, select the pen tool and make a path by placing dots along the major lines and adjusting the curvature between each point. After each section, right-click, go to stroke path, and make sure “simulate pressure” is checked, and press okay. This will create the thick line path that we want for the line art. If you are using a tablet to create your design it is especially important to make sure the “simulate pressure” setting is selected since we want all lines to be even. Repeat this process for the rest of the image, making sure to trace all lines and details. Once all details have been traced, go through and check for any corrections you'd like to make, such as overlapping lines or missed details. You can do this by toggling the visibility of the original image.

Step 3: Add Color

After you've traced the image, it's time to move on to color. Create an additional layer for your color palette. It's important to make a new layer so that you can hide the color palette before exporting your image. Once you've got your color palette, you can easily use it to fill in the sections using the paint bucket and eyedropper tools. Switch back to your design layer and select the paint bucket tool from the left sidebar. Hover over one of your colors, and push and hold Alt to use the eyedropper tool. To go back to the paint bucket tool, simply let go of the Alt key. Then, go through and fill each section that needs that color. Repeat the process for each color until the design is completely filled in.

Step 4: Create the Attachment Hole

The last step in the design process is to create and place the attachment hole. Select the ellipse tool to create a circle. Once your circle is created, go to the properties and adjust the width and height to 7.5 millimeters each. Change the stroke heaviness to 26 pixels, and make sure the other settings match those on the screen. Then, move the hole to the placement you're happy with. The hole can be placed anywhere along the border, as long as it's not in a small space that would compromise its strength.

Step 5: Export Your Design

Once you've finished designing your rubber keychain, it's time to export it. Select File>Export>Export as. When naming your creation please name it after the email address you will be using to order your keychains. Once your design is named you can export using the default settings.


Designing rubber keychains in Photoshop is a straightforward process that requires attention to detail and a bit of creativity. By following this guide you will be well on your way to perfecting your rubber keychain design.

The design process can be time-consuming and tedious, but the results will be well worth it in order to get your ideal rubber keychain design. The design process can be frustrating at times, but if you follow these easy steps the process will be a lot smoother and the custom keychains of your dreams will be realized. If you need any help along the way you can always contact us by email at or by phone at (214)699-0541. If you’re not really a design wizard and don’t want to risk anything then you can always opt for the Illustration Assistance option while placing your order so that we can take care of the whole process for you. Good luck, and happy designing!