How to Make a Braided Neck Lanyard

Written by virginia grant
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How to Make a Braided Neck Lanyard
A lanyard can be used to keep your eyeglasses close at hand. (keybord with glasses image by Nellie Vin from Fotolia.com)

Lanyards are used to keep items like ID cards in easy reach and are generally between 24 and 36 inches in length. They can be made from a variety of materials, from silk to leather. They can also utilise a clasp or no clasp at all. The process can be broken down into two or three steps: braiding, attaching the ring and adding decorative elements and a clasp, if desired.

Skill level:
Moderate

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Things you need

  • Leather or cord for braiding
  • Ring
  • Glue
  • Clasp
  • Wire
  • Thread
  • Elastic
  • Crochet hook
  • Needle

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Instructions

    How to Braid

  1. 1

    Secure the ends of three lengths of cord together. Fasten the ends to something stable to make braiding easier.

  2. 2

    Take the far right cord and cross it over the centre cord. The right cord is now in the centre, and the centre cord is on the right.

  3. 3

    Take the far left cord and cross it over the centre cord. The three cords should be twisted together so the original right cord is on the left, the centre is on the right and the left is in the centre.

  4. 4

    Repeat the last two steps. Cross the right cord over the centre cord, then the left cord over the centre cord. Now the original right cord is in the centre, the original left is on the right and the original centre is on the left.

  5. 5

    Repeat the two steps to continue making the braid. Right over centre, left over centre.

    Adding the Ring

  1. 1

    Secure the ring in one of several ways. Start the braid by folding 1 to 2 inches of the ends over the ring and braid them all together if the lanyard is long enough to pass over your head and you don't want to use a clasp. Use a crochet hook or needle to weave the ends back into the braid when you reach the other end.

  2. 2

    Secure the ring in the lanyard by folding the braid in half and pulling the middle through the rings to form a loop. Pass the ends through the loop. This leaves the ends free to attach to a clasp.

  3. 3

    Incorporate the ring into the braid by slipping one cord through the ring when you get halfway through. This is the least practical method as it will pull down on the cord looped through it, distorting and weakening the braid.

Tips and warnings

  • When learning to braid, start with three different coloured cords. It makes it much easier to see what you are doing. Firm, round cord is easier to braid than soft or flat strips of leather or ribbons.
  • Consider adding decorative elements once you have mastered the basics, such as clasps, beads, eyeglass loops and decorative cords. Slide beads onto the cords before you start braiding. Slide one or more beads onto each loop as you braid.
  • Add a clasp or eyeglass elastics by braiding the end rings onto the ends of the braid as described for the centre ring in Section 2, Step 1. Slide two wide bole beads over the braid before you attach the second side of the clasp. Once the clasp is in place, slide the beads over the double-braided section and secure with a drop of glue. This will add strength.
  • Use multiple cords to combine strength and colour into your creations. Consider incorporating different colours and textures.
  • A braid will always come out shorter than the original cord, sometimes losing one-third the length in the braiding process. Estimate the length of cord you need to produce the length of braid you desire before cutting. If you use cord from three different spools, you do not have to calculate estimated length before you start braiding. The softer and finer the cord, and the tighter the braid, the more length you will lose.

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