- To make your lanyard, you'll need a handful of beads. You will also need medium-gauge craft wire. Make sure that at least four strands of wire can fit through a single bead at the same time. Another important element is a crimping bead, which is a flexible bead that can be flattened. To flatten the crimping bead, you'll need a pair of crimping pliers. Flat-nosed pliers can also work if needed. Naturally, you'll need a key ring, and you may want to also add a badge clip or swivel hook to the key ring to make it easier to attach items to the lanyard.
- Taking the time to prepare beforehand will ensure you make a successful lanyard. Lay down a cloth or piece of felt on your working surface so your beads don't roll away from you. Next, you must cut a length of craft wire for the lanyard, but first you need to determine how long it should be. Decide how long you want your lanyard to hang down from your neck. Double that length and add a couple of inches to get the correct length of craft wire needed, and cut the wire. It's helpful to fold a piece of tape around one end of the wire so that the beads don't fall off as you're stringing them.
- You can now begin beading your lanyard. For a bold, eye-catching lanyard, use large chunky beads. If you prefer a lightweight lanyard, use seed beads. Or you can use a combination of both. For a simple design, choose two types of beads and alternate them. Add colors for more complex alternating patterns. Try using alphabet beads to incorporate your name or initials somewhere in the pattern in case your lanyard gets lost. Decide which color combinations are best depending on what colors you wear most often. Simple black-and-white or tan-and-brown patterns will match most clothing.
- As you bead the lanyard, make sure to leave at least four inches free on either side of the wire. Bring the two unfinished ends of the wire together. Ensure the lanyard is as strong as possible by stringing one or several beads onto both ends. This is a great place for a large decorative bead. Then string a crimping bead and a key ring onto both wire ends. Loop the two wire ends back around and string them through the crimping bead and several of the other adjacent beads. Pull tight, but leave a little room so the key ring has room to open and close. Flatten the crimping bead, trim the excess wire, and your lanyard is ready to wear.