How to Braid a Lanyard

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Lanyards are specially braided lengths of plastic string used as decorative ways to avoid losing a particular object or to aid its handling. When created long enough to wear in necklace-style, lanyards have been used as a way of securing ID badges or nametags. They can be secured into a loop to be used as anklets or friendship bracelets. Lanyards have also been used to add bulk to easily lost items such as keys, whistles and miniature electronic devices. Making a lanyard requires little time to learn the basic box stitch and to actually make it, depending on the length you want.

Things You'll Need

  • Vinyl craft lacing in two colors
  • Safety pin or lanyard hook
  • Lighter
  • Scissors
  • Cut at least 3 feet of each color of your vinyl craft lacing with scissors. Allow for longer length if you plan on creating a long bracelet, necklace or boondoggle.

  • Hold the ends of the two lengths of colored lacing perpendicular to each other. Lay one color (String A) over the other (String B) at the middle, in the shape of a cross.

  • Secure the safety pin around the crossed portion of the laces. This will create natural space if you need to connect one end of the lanyard to the other when you have finished.

  • Create two loops with String B. Pull the string from under String A and over it again on each respective side. Make sure to pull String B into two "U"-shaped loops either side of the safety pin, with one looping up and the other looping down to form a soft "N" shape.

  • Interlace String A through the loops you created with String B. Take the right end of String A and lace it to the left over String B's first loop and under the second one. Take the left end of String A and lace it to the right, over the first String B loop it encounters, and under the second one.

  • Pull both ends of both String A and String B to tighten your first box stitch and create a square knot.

  • Continue lacing the pattern. Loop the ends of String B across the lanyard in arcs that end on the opposite side they start from. Interlace one end of String A over the first loop and under the second in an approach to the opposite side, repeating the same opposite-driven over-under lacing motion with String A's other end. Keep repeating this pattern until you reach the desired length.

  • Finish your lanyard. Lanyard hooks can be attached at the end of your lanyard by simply knotting the remaining lace length around the lanyard hook's base and removing the original loop's safety pin. To create a bracelet, add clasps to both ends, by knotting one on the finished end and replacing the safety pin on the starting end with a clasp. To create a seamless look on an anklet, bracelet or necklace, simply remove the safety pin and lace the remaining end through the first loop, tie and burn with a lighter gently to seal.

Tips & Warnings

  • Make sure that any lanyard jewelry you wear leaves enough room between the piece and your skin for proper circulation.
  • Do not let children use or handle a lighter.

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