How To Make a Handcrafted Beaded Lanyard

The fine art of lanyard making, or Scoubidou in its native French, originated in France and was traditionally something to keep the children’s hands occupied during those long, hot French summer months. It became all the rage in the 1950s and since fashion is cyclical in nature, it’s pretty popular nowadays as well. Beaded lanyards are quite the fashion statement among the bohemians and are used as a fashionable jewelry type worn around the neck or as decorative straps for a lot of everyday things like identification cards, keys, whistles, and what have you. Generally worn around the neck or as bracelets and anklets, the fun in making a beaded lanyard is that you can customize it to your personal fashion style and lifestyle.

To make handcrafted beaded lanyards, you’ll need the following materials: beading wire, beads, crimp beads, a lanyard hook, crimping tool, wire cutters, key ring and closed metal clasp.

With those materials in hand, proceed to the steps below:

  • Lay out everything you need to make a lanyard. Have the pattern you’re thinking of already in mind before you start as it will help save a lot of time when you’re making beaded lanyards.
  • Take your beading wire and divide it into two equal pieces. Making sure that they’re of equal length, insert one through the key ring.
  • Next, take one strand of the wire and pull its two ends together to form one side of the lanyard.
  • Take a bead then thread it through the wire form one side of the lanyard. A rule of thumb is to set the bead a fourth of an inch away from the key ring. This will be your crimp bead so you need to secure it in place using your pliers. You can cover the crimp bead or customize it according to your chosen pattern.
  • You can now use the rest of your beads to create a pattern of your choice along the beading wire when you’re done with the beads, you’ll need to create another crimp bead. String the wire at the end to the other end of the clasp.
  • The number of crimp beads aren’t limited to one; you’re free to put in as many as you like but usually 2 is enough.
  • After doing this, take the beading wire then string it through the crimp bead again and then pull it tightly. Crimp this bead with the pliers.
  • Repeat steps 5 to 7 with the second piece of beading wire that you have threaded through the key ring.
  • Create a pattern using the second beading wire and beads then attach the end to the clasp to finish up.

Here’s a fun fact about Scoubidou, the famous talking cartoon dog Scooby Doo is named after it.

Practice religiously and you’ll get better as time goes on. You’ll be able to thread and create crimp beads without much effort and you’ll begin to get more creative and intricate with your bead designs. The important thing is that for you to have fun creating handmade beaded lanyards.


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