Lanyards: A Crafty Way to Keep Hands and Minds Busy

Arts and crafts sometimes get a bad rap for being messy, or requiring a lot of tools or supplies to complete a project. Lanyards – a great craft for girls and boys – is generally fuss-free!

I recognize the craft as “lanyards,” but there are many more names. Its primary moniker is “Scoubidou,” a popular French song; as the craft became a fad in the late 1950′s in France. The strands area also called craftlace, boondoggle or gimp. (See more information and history at Wikipedia!

To help you and your kids get started, we have a helpful book by Klutz, Scoubidou Lanyard & Lacing Book. (I previously highlighted Klutz for its Cat’s Cradle book.) I don’t think I would be the craft-lover I am today without the Klutz books of instructions and supplies I enjoyed as a child!

Now, the most standard of lanyards starts with two laces and the square knot (or box knot). It’s better if these are contrasting, or at least different colors; along with making it more fun to look at, it makes it easier to “tie” each of the knots. You can make a lanyard with solid sides, add a “twist” with spiral knots, or even try a zig-zag pattern. And this is just with two strands!

One strand on one side and three on the other make a neat, say ruler sized lanyard. You can also make it 2×2 or even 3×3 lanyard that is quite, for lack of a better word, “meaty.”

I’ve included here some various lanyards in my collection from the past several years. Though it’s relatively simple, one of my favorites is the long purple twisted one with the white and pink on the inside. (It is one purple strand by two white and one pink on the other side, resulting in the neat pink middle.) You can also see some pretty crazy experiments with several more strands!

For all lanyards, you do have to do a little bit of planning ahead. A whole lot of lace is going to be “tied” up (literally!) in the design, especially when you get into the larger varieties. When you start a new lanyard, it may help to bundle up the loose strands with a small rubberband or zip tie to keep it all from getting tangled. Another note, pull each knot tight before you go to the next one for a nice and even design.

The most practical applications for lanyards include keychains and of course, “lanyards” to keep a nametag or other item around your neck. Many years ago a friend and I made lanyards for all the YMCA lifeguards, and each had a little fish on it.

For some more examples, very helpful videos, and some really crazy designs, visit Laneyards.

Our very broad Arts & Crafts section is fun to browse for new crafty ideas! Also be sure to keep visiting our blog for more crafty fun posts.

(Awesome elephant photo above is from Mum’s Friends.)

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  1. Loving Arts and Crafts – in March and Beyond - March 9, 2011

    [...] childhood favorite is on display in this post – Lanyards Maybe you know these knotted, summer camp standbys as “Scoubidou” or [...]

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