How to Make a Fabric Lanyard in No Time!

Disclaimer: Some of the links this post may be affiliate and Amazon Associate links where I will earn a small commission at no extra cost to you.

how to sew a lanyard - 4 photos of the sewing process

How to Sew a Fabric Lanyard in 15 minutes or less

There are so many ways to use lanyards and they are so easy to make! You can use fabric and fusible fleece scraps and as long as you keep some lobster claw clasps with 1″ D-rings on hand, they are easy to whip up at a moments notice.

I like to make lanyards with my own fabric designs when I go to trade shows and events. The night before heading to the H+H Americas show in Chicago I decided I HAD to make one with a print from my Spring Barn Quilts fabric collection from Riley Blake Designs. Not only would it show off my newest fabric but it also matched both outfits I planned to wear – how lucky is that!

I got a lot of compliments and questions about how I made the lanyards so I decided to do a written and video tutorial – we all like to learn differently, right? Let’s get into it.

lanyard tutorial - teacher appreciation gift idea



00:00 introduction
00:55 Supplies
01:50 Prepare your fabric
02:47 Add fusible fleece

06:33 Sew lanyard together
09:55 Add the clasp
10:38 Sew ends to form the loop
14:59 Who needs lanyards

FABRIC: 3″ x 36″ You can use a single piece of fabric, like I do in the video tutorial, or you can piece fabric scraps together. As long as you cut it to 3″ x 36″ go crazy and get creative!

FUSIBLE FLEECE: ¾” x 35½” Just like with fabric, you can use a long strip (that’s the easiest way) or you can use scraps. If you have random pieces of fusible fleece lying around, cut strips that are ¾” wide and simply put them end-to-end when ironing the fleece onto your fabric.

Lanyards are all about ironing and straight stitching. You can watch the following steps in the video above.

  • Place your fabric face down on your ironing board.
  • Fold in half along the long side and press.
  • Open the fabric back up and press one long edge to the center fold you just created, being careful not to press the first fold.
  • Place your fleece strip(s) on the un-ironed side of the fabric, up against the fold. Start ¼” from the short raw edge of the fabric.
  • Once you have the fleece placed the entire length of the fabric (leaving ¼” without fleece on both short ends), fold the remaining fabric over the fleece and press.
  • Fold on the original crease and press again. Use a Quilter’s Clapper if you have one to help flatten all of the folds.
  • Sew down the long side that has the two folds meeting, leaving 4″ open on each end.
  • Put the fabric through the D-ring on the lobster claw clasp. DON’T FORGET THIS PART. I can’t tell you how easy it is to get on a roll sewing – I’ve forgotten this step, sewn the ends together and had to grab my seam ripper more times than I’d care to share.
sew folded fabric together to make a lanyard
when sewing a lanyard, don't forget clasp or you will need your seam ripper
  • Fold the lanyard fabric in half, making sure it isn’t twisted, and match the short raw edges of the fabric.
  • Open the folds, clip and sew with ¼” seam.
  • Press the seam open, fold the fabric and press to match the rest of the lanyard and sew the opening closed.
  • Sew all the way around the other side of the lanyard, moving the lobster clasp out of the way as you go.
  • Finish by folding the lanyard in half with the stitched seam at one end and the lobster clasp at the other. Sew back and forth 2-3 times to secure the clasp in place.
match ends to make a fabric lanyard
sewing ends of fabric lanyard together
sew by clasp to make a DIY lanyard

If you want to make a lot of lanyards at once there are a few ways to make the work go faster. Maybe the PTA or PTO want to make lanyards for the school teachers and staff or maybe you have a group trip coming up where people will wear name tags or id badges – matching lanyards will make the group easier to find and be a fun extra. Or maybe you wear id badges at work and want an easy and thoughtful gift for co-workers.

A common myth is that Henry Ford invented the automobile, which isn’t true. While he may not have invented the automobile, he did offer a new way of manufacturing a large number of vehicles by inventing the moving assembly line.

You can use this idea when making lanyards – or any other project you are mass producing. You can do this yourself or if you have a group of people willing to help you can divide and conquer. Give each person different tasks to make things go even faster. You can have one or more in charge of ironing, another placing fusible fleece and another working the sewing machine.

Here’s how I broke up the tasks when I made 15 lanyards at once:

  • Cut all the fabric and fleece to size. If you are making a lot, using single pieces of fabric instead of piecing multiple fabrics together will save a lot of time and effort.
  • Press all the fabric in half.
  • Press the long side into the center crease on all the fabrics.
  • Add fleece and press all the lanyards.
  • Sew the first side of all the lanyards, leaving 4″ open on each end.
  • Add the lobster claw clasps and sew the ends together on all.
  • Press the seam open then fold and press the fabric in place.
  • Sew the open sections and sew down the other side of each lanyard.
  • Sew to secure the clasps.

If you do the tasks in bulk, instead of doing each step one lanyard at a time, you’ll save lots of time! Give some steps to others and you’ll be done even faster.

Be sure to save it to Pinterest and follow me for more ideas and resources for sewing, crafting and creative living.

If you make this or other projects and post on Instagram, be sure to tag me (@artisttarareed). Follow my YouTube channel for new sewing projects and tips every week.

🧵 Tara Reed

P.S. Is there a sewing tutorial you’d love to see? Leave me a comment and I’ll add it to my idea list!

How to sew a lanyard with a breakaway safety clasp >

How to sew key fobs / wristlets >

Teacher appreciation gift ideas >


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.