Learning how to make a beaded lanyard is not difficult if you plan out your project and keep your first lanyard simple. You can find free beaded lanyard patterns online, or you might choose to design your own. A beaded lanyard is similar to a beaded necklace, except it is long enough to slip over your head. The front center of the lanyard traditionally holds a dangling clasp from which to hang an ID badge.
Plan Your Design
Decide what your lanyard will be used for before choosing your supplies, and plan your lanyard cord colors to coordinate with the color of your beads. Think about what clothing the lanyard will be worn with, and consider the color of the item that will be hung from its clasp.
Standard lanyards are usually about 36 inches, which is long enough to easily pull over the head. Because of the length, you will not need to add a clasp to fasten the back of your lanyard.
Beaded Lanyard Supplies
- Bead design board for easier measuring and layout (optional) or other clean, smooth surface
- Small pliers
- Wire cutters
- Metal or plastic circle key ring
- 40-inch length of beading wire
- Two metal crimping beads
Basic Instructions: How to Make a Beaded Lanyard
- Wrap one end of the beading wire with a rubber band or piece of tape to keep the beads from sliding off.
- Slide enough beads over your wire to leave at least one inch of un-beaded wire at each end of your lanyard. Save your prettiest beads for the two ends of the wire, since this will be the front of your lanyard.
- The last bead on your wire should be a crimping bead. Slide the crimping bead on last, then loop the un-taped end of your wire around the large metal ring and back up through the crimping bead again.
- Squeeze the crimping bead with pliers just hard enough so the wire won't come loose. If you crush the bead, you may break it.
- Hold the crimping bead so that the loop around the large metal ring has just a small amount of slack and feed the end of the wire up through four or five more beads before cutting the end with your wire cutters. Try to make sure that the very tip of the wire is hidden under a bead.
- Take the unfinished end of the beaded wire and remove the tape or rubber band while holding the last bead securely with your fingers.
- Add a crimping bead to this end of the wire, loop it around the metal ring as you did with the other end, and feed the wire back up through the crimping bead and three or four of the lanyard beads.
- This time, be sure that there is just the right amount of tension in the wire before crimping the bead and cutting the wire. You do not want to end up with un-beaded wire showing, nor do you want your lanyard to be so tightly strung that it hangs stiffly.
- Now you can simply clamp your ID holder to the metal ring of your lanyard, and you're ready to go.
Those are all the steps for how to make a beaded lanyard. If you are already a beader, you can substitute your own beading techniques.
Alternative Uses for Your Beaded Lanyard
Lanyards can serve other purposes besides holding badges:
- Hang eyeglasses or sunglasses from the ring on your lanyard.
- Add charms to your lanyard ring, with or without your ID badge.
- Wrap your lanyard around your wrist as a bracelet.
- Use a lanyard to hold an ink pen, a key, or another frequently misplaced object.
- Use small seed beads for the top (or back) portion of your lanyard. Seed beads are inexpensive, and you can spend your savings on handmade glass beads for the front.
- Practice squeezing a couple of spare crimping beads, and buy the best ones you can find. It's no fun to finish your project and have the entire lanyard come unstrung because of broken crimping beads.
- When your lanyard is complete, add a dot of clear epoxy to your crimping beads for extra security.
After you have made a simple beaded lanyard, try more elaborate designs for fun. Make one to match every outfit in your wardrobe, or make extras for friends. Teach a friend or child how to make a beaded lanyard and share your new crafting skills. This is both a fun and practical project that is perfect for making affordable holiday and birthday gifts, so use your imagination and enjoy your new craft!