Lanyard Weaves




Lanyards are great. They can be woven into many shapes, sizes, and colors. They can be used as keychains, ID badge holders, lamp pull-cords, bracelets, replacement zipper pulls, and just about anything else. So much can be done with lanyards, I'm surprised more people don't love them.

To weave or tie lanyards, you need three things:
1. Lanyard string. This comes in a variety of colors, usually in 100-yard spools. Any brand will work. I use Rexlace, which is around $7-$9. one spool can make a lot of lanyards though!
2. A ring. Any sort will do. You can make a lanyard without one without any problem, but if you omit one at the beginning, you will NEVER be able to get it on at the end if you change your mind.
3. Patience. Lanyards sometimes take awhile. Shorter ones can be done in an hour, while longer ones could take several. Start with a short one till you get the hang of it and are sure you wont give up halfway through.

Step 1: Getting Started

The first knot is unquestionably the hardest one. All of the other knots could be done in your sleep compared to this one. It is very hard to describe, so please look at the pictures as I walk you through it.

I know there are other Instructables on 'lanyards,' but all of them that I have seen use paracord, which is woven differently. It is neither better nor worse than Rexlace, just different.

First, you have to lay out your string. I recommend about a foot or two of each color (or do both the same color) on the first lanyard. This will make a keychain-sized lanyard. Cut one string, then measure it against the other for length. Lay them out in an X fashion.

Now imagine they are coming not from a common center but from the four sides of a square. Look at my edited picture. Take the one on the top right and move it down.

Follow with the one on the right bottom. Now the bottom left.

Finally, take the string on the left top and pass it over the first string, but under the second. You should now have four strings, each going over one string and under the second. Pull this tight against the ring.

Step 2: Building the Base

Now that the first knot is done, you truly have a (warped) square. It should be much easier to put the knots together. Simply do the same thing over again, laying each string down to form the same pattern. Make sure to bring each string straight across or it won't look right. The first two or three knots will probably look bad, but ignore it.

One notice: Beware of twists! I cannot stress this enough. If the string is twisted, it will interrupt the symmetry and the lanyard will look odd. Even the most experienced people sometimes find themselves backing up a few knots to straighten out a twist. The best way to avoid this is to make sure you never have them.

Continue making knots until there are 8-10 of them.

Step 3: The Fun Part

Now that you have a few knots, you should be able to hold your lanyard easily. This is the fun part of lanyards. Depending on the length of string you cut in the beginning, you can spend as little as twenty minutes or many many hours putting knots together. It is a great way to pass the time, completely safe, and the results are very impressive. As you become more experienced, you can do many tricks and twists to make a more interesting lanyard, and I might make another Instructable about these later. For now, keep working until you have only about 2-3 inches of lace left.

Step 4: The Turk's Head

Finally, we finish off the lanyard to keep it from untying. This is done with something called a Turk's Head knot. Again, this is a complicated step, so refer to the pictures. To tie it, first complete one more lanyard knot, but do not pull it tight. Make sure the string is on the left-hand side. If not, tie one more knot.

Take any one of the strings and run it counterclockwise past one string. Then put it under the string of the same color on the other side and  bring it up through the middle. Take the string that you just went around and do the same thing. Then once more.

Finally, the last string is (again) different to make it symmetrical. Imagine when using the last string that the first string had not been tied. Where would it go? If you do this right, the entire lanyard will look the same from every side.

Cut the strings to whatever length you like. They can be really long or practically in the knot. It doesn't matter, just your personal aesthetics.

Step 5: Fin, and Contest Questions

Congratulations! You have completed your very own lanyard! Now go show your parents, kids, co-workers, partners, etc.

I hope you enjoyed this project, and please vote for me in the contest!

Remember, changing the lanyard very slightly and repeating it will give you a whole new look. Experiment!

Contest questions.

What did you make?

I made a lanyard, which seems to me a very useful alternative to string in many applications. Many things can be repaired by weaving a lanyard around them. They are very common at camps,especially with the Boy Scouts, who love knots. I like to make these for fun, and people seem to love them, especially my little cousins and my girlfriend.
How did you make it?
 I originally started doing these at camp, and i thought of them when I was looking for something to post that hadn't been done already. It isn't very difficult, just a little lime-consuming. I picked up all of the materials at a craft store for under $10, and I have enough to make more than a dozen lanyards with it.

Where did you make it?
I spent some time i would usually have spent playing video games or bored in class making this lanyard instead. The small ones I can do in a couple class periods, while I remember dragging some enormous ones around for a week. This one took about 15 minutes, including the pictures. Home is a great place to do these as well, but I make most of mine on long car trips where there is nothing else to do for hours at a time.

What did you learn?
In doing this project, I learned to make a useful tool for many things. Since I do these quite often, I have some experience and didn't learn much from this basic one. I have also taught several people to do them, but it is definitely much harder when I cannot help them face-to-face. 

Make-to-Learn Youth Contest

Participated in the
Make-to-Learn Youth Contest



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    8 Discussions


    5 years ago on Introduction

    EXCELLENT instructions and pictures. I have tried doing the square weave following (or trying to) instructions from several other places and have always failed. I had no trouble with yours - awwww sweet success. Thank you.


    12 months ago

    This was so easy!!! Thx for teaching us!!! :)


    I am using your square as above have 4 lines out and same length and same diameters.I'm ending up with 2 same color lines 2-3 feet longer lanyards. Help I've done this pattern for Avery long time and now this making me,waste cord.

    1 reply

    Is the problem with the starting knot or the subsequent ties as you go through? Are you using the most basic 2-string weave, or attempting to replicate one of the designs only pictured in the last picture?


    5 years ago

    You should make more the look cool


    5 years ago

    I find it at hobby lobby for 2.27 a 100 yd roll


    5 years ago on Introduction

    The title implies more than one. I see bracelets and belt in the last photos and would like to know how to make them. Please add them or do some more instructables on how to make them.


    5 years ago

    You should put more weaves on here. I only know the one you have here an s circle weave.