Lanyards are made from cord, rope or plastic craft lace, and are most commonly used for necklaces, ID tag holders, key chains and zipper pulls. The length of the lanyard really depends on its intended use. If you plan on making your own, there are some handy rules of thumb that can prevent you from coming up short.
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Woven neck lanyards used for ID tags are generally longer than regular-sized necklaces. The ID tag holder lanyards hang about mid-chest. In adults, this is about 22 to 25 inches, depending on a person's height and build. You will need about 5 yards of plastic lace to weave a lanyard this size. Neck lanyards are also used to hang an accessory around the neck, such as a whistle, pendant, charm or keys. Neck lanyards for children should typically be 12 to 15 inches. About 3 yards are needed to weave a neck lanyard for a child.
Key chain lanyards are smaller versions of neck lanyards -- used for keys or small charms -- and are about 4 or 5 inches in length. You will need about 2 or 3 feet of plastic lace to weave a key chain that is 4 inches long. Key chain-sized lanyards work well to add personal style to your key ring and make simple gifts. Extend the length of a woven key chain lanyard by leaving the end strands long and adding beads with a knot at the ends to hold them on the strands.
Zipper pull lanyards are a smaller version of the key chains, and are typically attached to zippers on coats, purses or bags. Small zipper pulls work well for children's jackets because it helps them grip the zipper and makes it easier to unzip their jackets themselves. About a foot of plastic lace is needed to make a 1-inch zipper pull. They are just big enough to grab with the thumb and pointer finger. Zipper pull lanyards also add nice accents to coats and jackets, and can be made to match colors.
Weave necklaces and bracelets out of plastic lace to fit adults and children. You will need around 4-1/2 feet of plastic lace for an adult bracelet, while 3-1/2 feet is suitable for a child's. You need around 3 yards for a child's necklace, and about 5 yards for an adult.
The length of the material can vary slightly depending on your weaving technique, the pattern and the thickness of the material. However, the difference is usually negligible and will not greatly alter the lengths mentioned here. Try experimenting with different weaving techniques and see which one yields the best result for the item you plan to make. The most efficient method is usually a traditional over/under weave. If you plan on weaving two different colors together, take the total amount of material needed and split it in half to get the length you need of each color.