Back to School: How to Sew a Lanyard

Back to School: How to Sew a Lanyard, Image by Marci Debetaz

Ready for the kiddos to go back to school? Maybe they have started already (mine have!) Are you a teacher and could use a pretty new lanyard? Here is an easy, fast tutorial to make a new lanyard that will get you or your kiddos ready for the new year.

Supplies Needed:

Back to School: How to Sew a Lanyard, Image by Marci Debetaz
  • 1/4 Yard of 42″ – 44″ fabric or a fabric scrap that is at least 3″ x 42″ long.
  • Swivel clasp or clasp from existing lanyard (shown here.)
  • Matching thread.
  • Break-Away Hardware (optional- assembly will vary slightly depending on which hardware you purchase. A good selection is available here)

How to Sew a Lanyard:

Using 1/4 yard of fabric or fabric scrap, cut it into a long straight strip measuring 3″ wide x 38″ long. If you have a rotary cutter and ruler, use it to create an accurate cut. If not, you can use scissors, take your time and cut as straight as possible.

Once your long strip is cut, iron it in half, wrong sides together.

Back to School: How to Sew a Lanyard, Image by Marci Debetaz

Open up the ironed fabric and fold in the raw edges toward the middle. Iron. Fold the strip closed, press again. You should now have a long strip that measures roughly 3/4″ by 38″ long.

Back to School: How to Sew a Lanyard, Image by Marci Debetaz

Now is the time to thread your clasp onto the fabric. Place it somewhere in the middle of the folded fabric.

Back to School: How to Sew a Lanyard, Image by Marci Debetaz

Take the two short unfinished ends and open them up. Pin them together, right sides together, matching fold lines and edges as shown above. OR at this point add a break-away clasp.

Back to School: How to Sew a Lanyard, Image by Marci Debetaz

Sew the seam using a 1/4″ seam allowance. Press seam open.

Back to School: How to Sew a Lanyard, Image by Marci Debetaz

Fold the strap back into place and press again if needed. You will now have a fabric loop with a clasp on it. Using pins or clips, clip every 6″ – 8″ around the strap, holding the open edge closed.

Back to School: How to Sew a Lanyard, Image by Marci Debetaz

Using a 2.5 stitch length and matching thread sew the open edge closed. Sew as close to the edge as you can or 1/8″ away from the edge. You are sewing in a circle so when you get to the clasp, move the clip or pin and push the clasp out of the way. Sew all the way around until you meet back up with the beginning stitches.

Now sew on the other side (the folded edge) sewing close to the edge or about 1/8″ from the edge. Sew all the way around until you meet back up with the beginning stitches. This line of stitches is done purely for decoration and can be skipped if you choose.

Back to School: How to Sew a Lanyard, Image by Marci Debetaz

It is now time to sew the lanyard together and keep the clasp from moving around. I like to find the seam (where the shorts ends were joined) and move the clasp right next to that seam. You can see that seam in the photo above, to the right of the red clip. Sandwich the clasp between the strap and pin or clip the two sides of the strap together.

Back to School: How to Sew a Lanyard, Image by Marci Debetaz

Place the presser foot right next to the clasp bottom (not on top of the clasp.) You may have to move your pin or clip. Sew the strap together, making sure to back-stitch at each end, reinforcing the seam. Trim threads. Sew another seam 1/8″ – 1/4″ away from original seam (moving clasp further from the presser foot.) Back-stitch at each end. This second line of stitching helps to reinforce the lanyard. Trim threads.

Congratulations! You have finished your brand new lanyard. Clip on your credentials or keys, slide it on your neck and have a great school year!

Back to School: How to Sew a Lanyard, Photo by Marci Debetaz, Image created with Canva.

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