Beautify Your I.D. Badge: Bead a Lanyard

Jean Campbell is a
contributing editor to Beading Daily


I was just looking over the lineup for the next season of Beads, Baubles, and Jewels TV, which has a great set of DVDs that covers the gamut of beading and jewelry-making how-to: beadweaving, wireworking, metalworking, and more. It’s filled with helpful instruction, inspirational interviews, and there are even a couple segments that include Yours Truly, Nervous Nellie Campbell.

As I was surfing through the episodes, I noticed that one features Katie Hacker sharing a technique for making lanyards. It got me thinking about the ever-annoying office badge. They’re necessary apparel for teachers, nurses, and rocket scientists, but they can be oh, so unsightly!

Maybe I’m goofy, but I actually notice when someone’s taken the time to put together a fantastic outfit, but then they plop on one of those woven polyester lanyards that say “Go Vikings” or “I ♥ NBC Tuesdays” on them. It totally ruins the look! Oh, I know it’s easier to just buy one of those printed ones. But as a beader, you really have no excuse not to bead your own. So please, do yourself a favor and use your creative powers to make a fantastic lanyard that speaks to your own style.

Leslie Rogalski has a great idea for a beaded badge holder.

Three ways to attach your badge

It’s easiest to design a lanyard if you think of it as a long necklace rather than a functional object. Granted, you’ve got a big utilitarian badge as the focal piece. But don’t worry about that—just concentrate on making the beaded portion beautiful. As with necklaces, you can go with any design, but the challenge will always be how to connect it to the badge. Here are three ideas for attaching your badge to your necklace:



There are a variety of findings you can use for attaching a badge to your lanyard. Most bead shops offer findings that can be attached with beading wire and crimps in a simply strung design. Depending on the position of your badge hole, you could also simply use a big lobster clasp or clip just as you would in making a regular necklace.


Key ring

Here’s an old-school idea: Why not just connect a key ring to your badge? Then you could put just about any rope necklace you have through it, and you could wear a different lanyard almost every day (depending on how many changes of identity you require).


Lark’s head knot

There are ways to connect to your badge other than with findings. How about tying a piece of fiber to the badge using a lark’s head knot? I’ve used pleather cording for this simple lanyard. You simply fold the cord or ribbon in half, pass it through the badge hole, then pass the bulk of the cording through the loop created by the fold. String beads on either side and crimp or knot the cord ends together to finish the piece.

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