Beaded Lanyard Patterns

Dana Hinders
tin of pretty beads

Beaded lanyard patterns make it easy to create handmade jewelry that is both attractive and functional.

About Lanyards

Lanyards, sometimes called badge necklaces, are used for holding keys, identification badges, or eyeglasses. Some beaded lanyards are even made to keep your cell phone close at hand.

Lanyards are most often worn around the neck, but sometimes can be attached to a purse or backpack. The most common length for a lanyard is 36 inches, but this can be customized to suit your own preferences. Purchased lanyards run anywhere from 30 inches to 44 inches in length.

Because of the long length, a beaded lanyard generally doesn't have a clasp to wear around the neck. You simply pull the lanyard over your head to put it on. However, you can easily add a clasp to your lanyard design if this is what you prefer.

How to Make a Beaded Lanyard

Making a beaded lanyard is not much different than making a beaded necklace. The length is a bit longer, and you need a clip or hook to hold the item of your choice. However, the basic design process is the same. Use a bead board to lay out the pattern of your lanyard so you'll be able to see flaws in the design before you go through the trouble of stringing a long length of beads. The lanyard clip can be a snap hook, badge clip, cell phone strap, or retractable reel, depending upon your needs.

Here are a few tips for designing your beaded lanyard:

  • Seed beads and bugle beads are a good choice for the part of the lanyard that will rest against the back of the neck, since these small beads won't pinch the skin.
  • Most people think of round beads when they picture beaded jewelry, but a lanyard can be a good project for experimenting with various shapes. Oval or cube-shaped beads can add interest to an otherwise simple design.
  • A lanyard can be made with gold or silver beads to complement other jewelry you wear often, such as your wedding ring or a favorite pair of earrings.
  • If the lanyard will be used to hold an employee ID badge, it might be a good idea to choose colors that complement your company uniform.
  • Using clear seed beads between colorful focal point beads gives the impression that the larger beads are "floating" on your neck.
  • Glass pearls give a lanyard a very feminine look, while translucent seed beads add a touch of shimmer.
  • While they might not be appropriate for every type of environment, holiday lampwork beads with fun designs like Halloween pumpkins, snowmen, stockings, Christmas trees, or Easter eggs can be a fun way to add a seasonal touch to your project.

Sample Beaded Lanyard Patterns

If you're looking for beaded lanyard patterns to help your get started with your project, LoveToKnow Crafts suggests visiting the following links:

  • Making Beaded Jewelry has instructions for a sophisticated black and white beaded lanyard.
  • Craft Elf has instructions for a very basic lanyard made with nylon loops and beads.
  • About Jewelry Making has instructions for a polyester chain and bead lanyard necklace.
  • Creative Jewish Mom shows you how to make a lanyard keychain and scissors holder.

When searching for inspiration, it can also be helpful to check some websites that sell beaded lanyards. Although you don't want to copy another artist's design exactly, you may find just the inspiration you need to create your own uniquely stylish beaded lanyard patterns.

  • Medalye Designs sells a number of beautiful beaded lanyards that are surprisingly elegant.
  • Etsy features a variety of crafters who create lovely lanyards.
  • Dabble Doos sells colorful and whimsical beaded lanyards that are sure to bring a smile to your workday.
Beaded Lanyard Patterns