Three-String Lanyard Instructions

Lanyards are ideal projects for summer camp crafts.
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A lanyard -- a string of craft lace woven or knotted together into different designs -- hangs around your neck to hold keys, cell phones or photo ID access cards, among other items. Most lanyards are made with plastic lacing composed of flat, flexible polyvinyl chloride. This gives the lanyard its elasticity and makes the colorful PVC laces an ideal choice for weaving through tight spots.

Items Needed

  • Scissors
  • 1 yard plastic craft lace each in multiple colors
  • Key ring (optional)

Lanyards by Another Name

Sailors -- skilled knot makers and line weavers -- first created lanyards as cords to hang tools around their necks as they climbed masts to repair rigging. This caught on in the 1950s, as an ideal crafts project for kids. Around the world, lanyards are known by a variety of names, including:

  • Boondoggle
  • Scoubidou -- or scoobie
  • Gimp
  • Jelly String

The Zipper Stitch

  1. Cut three strings: two that are twice the desired ending length of the lanyard, and one that is three times the size of one of the shorter strings.

  2. Tie all three strings in a knot by folding the strings so that there is a loop and pulling the end of the strings through the loop. Pull tightly to secure the knot.

  3. Turn the lanyard so that the knot is at the top and move the shorter strings to the left and the longer string to the right.

  4. Take the longer string and move it over the right short string and under the left short string, weaving the long string horizontally and perpendicular to the shorter strings.

  5. Move the same long string in the opposite direction. Push it over the left short string and under the right short string. Continue this process until you've reached the desired length.

  6. End the lanyard by tying the final strings in a knot.. To attach this lanyard to a key ring, create a loose knot instead of a tightened one and pass the key ring or hook hole through the loop of the knot before tightening.

Weaving the Triangle Stitch

  1. Cut three strings of lace that are twice the size of the desired length.

  2. Tie a knot in the three strings by making a loop and pulling the strings through the center of the loop. Pull tightly to secure the knot.

  3. Choose one string that will always be the first string to weave and spread the three strings out face-up in three directions. This is easier when you have three strings of different colors.

  4. Take the first string and fold it over the left string -- second string -- to create a loop.

  5. Move the second string over this first string's loop and on top of the third string that is still hanging.

  6. Wrap the third string over the second loop and then across the back and under the first loop, forming a triangle of loops. Pull all three strings until a tight triangle has formed.

  7. Take the first string and wrap a loop over the third string this time, then pull the third string over the first string loop and onto the second string. Wrap the second string around the back, going over the third string and under the first loop. Pull tight.

  8. Continue this process, switching back and forth between which string the first strand loops over, either the second or third, until the desired length has been reached.

  9. End the lanyard by tying a knot with all three strings. To add a key ring or hook, create only a loose knot and then attach the key ring through the loop in the knot before pulling tightly.

Tips and Warnings

Choose strings in different colors to make it easy to follow along with the steps. Once you've mastered a specific stitch, you make lanyards of the same color or multiple colors, as desired.

Don't pull too tight when weaving because you can break the craft lace.

You can make other items besides lanyards using these various stitches.