Beaded Lanyards Around the World – From India to Your Local YMCA

Beaded Lanyard with Polymer Clay Heart Focal Bead“In Nepal… the kids, nuns and monks all loved them.” ~Betsy-B

A while back I talked about selling my Pirate Bead Lanyard at the YMCA just by wearing it to hold my pass card. Well that sale led to several more since then. And now one of the Y staffers is taking 5 at a time so she can re-sell them for me.

Phew! I might have to teach my daughter Willow to start making them, since I barely have enough time anymore. I’ve had to put them together while watching TV in the evening, just to keep up. Which also means I haven’t been working out at the YMCA that much lately. Can we say Muffin Top?!

Beaded Lanyard with Polymer Clay Heart Focal Bead Close upAny ways… the picture shows one of my more popular lanyard deigns. It is made with a Polymer Clay Heart Bead like the ones I teach in the Vol-020-2 Library Video Tutorial. And it is covered with Gerbera Flower Cane slices form Video-015-4. Isn’t it pretty? Perfect for hanging your YMCA ID card on.

Willow and I have been checking out the workout wear that is most popular in the gym to see which colored lanyards would compliment them best. Looks like I’m going to have to make some Hot Pink, Black, Lime Green, Purple and Red focal beads (not all on the same lanyard of course), since they seem to be the most popular colors these days.

And now here is another tale of how 13 polymer clay beaded lanyards brought smiles to the faces of some monks and nuns caring for children over in India…

I found your web site when I started making polymer clay canes, to put the slices on a flat piece draped over an upside down bowl to make candle holders. Now you’ve gotten me interested in making beads. I made a beautiful badge lanyard for work. And when my best friend just spent 2 weeks in Nepal with Acupuncturists Without Borders. She took 13 necklaces I’d made from my beads. The kids, nuns and monks all loved them – it’s so much fun creating new things. It’s interesting how different every cane is, using the same technique. I’d love to see what other people are doing with your new ideas, and to share what I come up with. ~Betsy-B

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  1. Phaedrakat, 21 March, 2010

    Muffin Top? hahahaha! That term always cracks me up. I really need to be sleeping now, but I just thought I’d take a quick look at todays topic…

    Very pretty lanyard, and of course these are so useful. Nearly everyone needs one for something. If not a long necklace length, then perhaps a shorter length attached to one of those extendable key rings (like janitors have their keys on, just smaller.)

  2. Jill, 21 March, 2010

    This would make a good tutorial.

  3. Cara, 21 March, 2010

    Lovely lanyard. I like the idea of checking out the work out gear to work out the best colours – good thinking!

  4. Joyce M, 21 March, 2010

    I love it, so colorful but not overwhelming. I’d love a tut on putting it all together. Maybe that could be a “two-parter”? Most important, take time for you at the Y, keeping healthy. We all love you too much to want you to give up that time for material things. Off to my clay and sewing area where things are needing to be put back in place so I have space to play. Have a wonderful day everyone!

    Joyce M

  5. Elizabeth S., 21 March, 2010

    How lovely is this!!! I’ve recently taken on a tiny part time job at our local medical school (to support my Hobby Lobby habit). I’m thinkin’ that every employee there needs a lanyard for their ID and now I’m thinkin’ that I could make one for myself and maybe if it were pretty enough someone would want one, too. Hmmm. Cindy, would you consider a tut?

  6. Lisa Whitham, 21 March, 2010

    Yes, I’d like to see a tutorial on lanyards also…

    ~Lisa :)

  7. DJ, 21 March, 2010

    I remember thinking this was really clever in one of your earlier blogs Cindy… if this becomes another tutorial, I’d be happy. Another possible adaption could be made for eyeglasses. I’m constantly taking mine off and on for distance/close-ups, there are probably a few more out there who’d love something stylish or fun to help with that.

  8. Mary, 21 March, 2010

    Now where did I put my glasses? Definitely, Cindy, as DJ and others suggest, this would be a great tutorial. The lanyard with a thousand uses – and incidentally happens to be gorgeous, to boot! Original too; I’ve never seen one like yours, they’re all very utilitarian. You’re so clever, and a seeker (and finder) of beauty too. Thank you. XX Mary

  9. Lupe Meter, 21 March, 2010

    Love the lanyard, Cindy! I am planning on making some this summer. Will post them when I get done with them (I am still trying to locate the swivel ones…Michael’s or JoAnn’s have been out of them).

    I took my little treasure chest (the beads I won from the contest) of beads to my guild meeting this past Saturday for show and tell and people were just amazed at all the beads! We had some newbies there this past Saturday, so don’t be surprised if you get a few new members to your website!

  10. Kat, 21 March, 2010

    @Cindy: Your lanyard is gorgeous! It’s no wonder, you’ve had lots of practice making these by now. (With people snatching ’em right off your neck at the gym!) What a smart idea to coordinate the lanyard colors with workout clothes. (Hmmm… Why DO we wear bright colors to the gym, anyway? Are they supposed to “perk us up” somehow, so we’ll get moving? Cuz it doesn’t work for me. Maybe I need some neon…)

    When I first taught myself to make jewelry, a new lanyard for my work badge was at the top of my list. I’d been wearing an ugly ball-chain thing, so my new beaded lanyard was an immediate hit. My co-workers all wanted one, too. I started making them, and they got snatched up right away. (This was before I learned to clay; with special PC beads, I could have sold even more!)

    People love being able to dress up their “badge” or whatever it is they have to wear. Luckily it’s easy to do, and they’re quick to make. It’s basically a long necklace, you just need to use the right finding so you can attach a badge. Making eyeglass holders is a good idea, too. They’re also easy to string, and they just need their own special findings. This kind of item’s great to make, because customers NEED these things. If they can find cool-looking, customized, stylish ones, they’ll buy them from you! Great idea, Cindy! (Now if we could only make lanyards like your pirate one… :-)

    @Lupe Meter: Nice to see you around, Lupe! It’s been awhile; I thought you’d “made off with the beads” and were having too much fun to come back! lol Glad to see you!

  11. Peggy Barnes, 21 March, 2010

    I always seem to be a day late on my comments anymore. Better late than never as they say. I would also like to say Yes please consider a tute on the lanyard. It would really open up some creativity with all the wonderful talent running around here.

    Lupe I would have to try it myself but I wonder if you wouldn’t be able to sneak into your husbands fishing tackle if he has one and use a swivel and a snap swivel to make your own. Show your husband what you need and he can probably show you what to use. I will try to ask my husband if it would work for you and let you know more later. I use different fishing tackle in my jewelry making. The fishing tackle boxes are also great for storing PC and jewelry findings in. Just and idea if you can’t find what you need by this summer.

    Uuuuuuggggggggs to all, Peggy

  12. Cheryl Hodges, 22 March, 2010

    What a beautiful lanyard. A friend of mine recently bought a lanyard and suggested I make some. I was thinking about doing osme and now you’ve opened up so many more interesting possibilities with clay beads. yes, i would definitely love a tutorial and also how to adapt it for eyeglasses. i use glasses to read; I specially need them when taking music lessons and I take them off and can never find them. My whole family keep on at me to get a cord but they’re not good looking at all.

  13. Arlene Harrison, 22 March, 2010

    Speaking of lanyards, about a year ago the law firm I work for moved into a secured building where we have to have a scan card to get anywhere. They issued nylon straps with a hook on the end. It didn’t take me long to start looking for a better solution. I now have Reel Jewelry lanyards to match just about every outfit I wear to work – along with earrings to match. Here’s a link to some that I have on my flickr site:

  14. Phaedrakat, 24 March, 2010

    @Arlene Harrison: Hi Arlene, wow, you have quite the variety of lanyards! What finding is that you have in them? Does it swivel? Or is it some kind of retractable finding…?

  15. Cindy Lietz, 24 March, 2010

    Thank you everyone for the kind comments!

    @Lupe Meter: A BIG Thank You for sending your Guild members our way. I really appreciate that! Have you decided what you’re going to do with the beads yet?

    @Arlene Harrison: Are you baking the covers for your retractable lanyards separate or on the device? I’ve heard that the plastic coating on the wire melts if you bake it in the oven.

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