Making Beaded Lanyards with Handmade Polymer Clay Beads [Vote]

Beaded Lanyard by Polymer Clay Tutor “When I first
taught myself
to make jewelry, a new
lanyard for my work badge
was at the top of my list …
my co-workers all wanted
one too.” ~Phaedrakat

Last month I posted an article showing one of my custom beaded lanyards made with a heart shaped focal bead (a different project from the one shown in today’s photo). As a result, several of you requested that I film a lanyard tutorial for the members library.

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? ~Elizabeth-S

I love it, so colorful but not overwhelming. I’d love a tut on putting it all together. ~Joyce-M

This would make a good tutorial. ~Jill-V

Yes, I’d like to see a tutorial on lanyards also. ~Lisa-W

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. ~DJ

What a beautiful lanyard. A friend of mine recently bought a lanyard and suggested I make some. I was thinking about doing some 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. ~Cheryl-H

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-U

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.) What a smart idea to coordinate the lanyard colors with workout clothes. 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 polymer clay beads, I could have sold even more!). People love being able to dress up their ‘badge’ or whatever it is they have to wear. This kind of item is 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! ~Phaedrakat

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

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. ~Arlene-H

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. ~Peggy-B

Beaded Lanyard by Cindy Lietz Beaded lanyards are fairly simple to make. But there are several things to keep in mind when creating a lanyard that is not only good looking, but also durable, well functioning and comfortable to wear.

The 4 part photo spread to the left, is of a lanyard I recently made using zebra print, polymer clay tube beads.

I use it for hanging my YMCA membership card around my neck when I go to the gym to spend some time on the elliptical trainer.

So anyways… as long as the general consensus is still positive from you guys (please let me know in the comment section below), the Beaded Lanyard tutorial will be included next month (May, 2010) in the Vol-024 video line up at the Polymer Clay Members Library.

Updated Schedule for the 4-part, May-2010, Volume-024 series:

(1) Cane Making: Leopard Print Cane [confirmed]
(2) Bead Shapes: Ivy Leaf Charm [confirmed]
(3) Clay Techniques: UV Resin Technique [confirmed]
(4) Special Projects: Beaded Lanyard [proposed]

** Did You Know… Members with current subscriptions to the weekly tutorial videos are always entitled to a 10% discount when purchasing 6 or more back issue packages in a single transaction. If you are interested, let me know which back issues you would like and I will send further instructions on how to complete your order.

Cindy Lietz SignaturePolymer Clay Tutor

  1. Joyce M, 22 April, 2010

    Still sounds great to me, Cindy. As always looking forward…

  2. Anna Sabina, 22 April, 2010

    I vote no on a Tut. I prefer Cindy teach how to make really cool beads and canes that we can use in a lanyard. These creative techniques are where her talent lies. There are so many tut out there already on how to make name badge and eye glass lanyard. I did a quick Google search on how to name badge lanyards and there were 20 excellent free tuts that came up. Plus I have seen direction in many craft magazines and books.
    I have several name badge lanyards, two made with PC beads.
    Although they are long enough to not need a closure, mine have a magnetic closure due to safety concerns where I work; you can get these at Hobby Lobby, have not seen them at Michaels.


  3. Phaedrakat, 22 April, 2010

    I have to agree with Anna on this one. There are many ways to learn to make a lanyard. It’s basically a necklace, with different findings. If everyone votes to have it, of course, I’ll enjoy it, since I love Cindy’s videos. But I’d prefer Cindy’s special brand of videos be used for cool polymer beads/techniques and once-a-month awesome metal/wire ideas!

    But wait! Duh, I just realized — headpins were supposed to be up this month as the “metal” video. Cindy, you mentioned to me on the “Spoon Pendant video” page that you would do the head pin tutorial in May…so I went out and got my micro torch in anticipation! It was in this post: Silver Spoon Bails

    I’m sorry to disagree with a lanyard tutorial, but I LOVE the zebra beads in this lanyard! I’ve been begging for zebra for months! I adore these beads, especially with purple cores. Really cute! The lanyard is gorgeous, as well, especially with purple-core’d ZEBRA beads!

  4. Linda K., 22 April, 2010

    Cindy, I can go either way on the lanyard. I agree with Kat…I AM looking forward to the headpin tutorial and would like to learn how to make the zebra beads.

  5. Freda K, 22 April, 2010

    I agree with Anna and Phaedrakat. I’m not the least bit interested in a lanyard tutorial.

  6. Lisa Whitham, 22 April, 2010

    I have to admit, I don’t have much use for a lanyard… So I vote no.

    ~Lisa :)

  7. Ritzs, 22 April, 2010

    I don’t no of anyone in my family that would use a lanyard so no sorry Cindy I would rather a cane tut

  8. Hobokenmary, 22 April, 2010

    Hi Cindy, I agree with Linda Kay, I wouldn’t mind learning the “zebra” bead technique. I work for a law firm and have the option of using a lanyard with my pass key but I opt not to!

  9. Claycass, 26 April, 2010

    I agree with Mary – “option of using a lanyard”. Would be nice to learn how to make a lanyard featuring our polymer clay beads. Right everyone?

    By the way Mary I have your spoon. :)

  10. Sue F, 26 April, 2010

    @Claycass: Not everyone. ;p

  11. Phaedrakat, 27 April, 2010

    @Claycass: I agree that lanyards are an awesome way to show off your beads. If you do not know how to make them, you should get Cindy’s tute when it’s available. These lanyards are big sellers — I know, since I used to sell them at my old job. People love a personalized lanyard, so it’s definitely a good idea!

    I have changed my mind about Cindy’s tute, but the vote has already happened. Looks like the tute will be sold separately (or something like that.) In the future though, I will not be so selfish! I think once everyone gives Cindy the idea they want a tute from her, we need to embrace it! Cindy doesn’t have time in her schedule to mess around with changing opinions about who wants which tute. It’s not like we’re paying big bucks for these tutorials. We are getting such an incredible value. 4 awesome new videos every month for less than $1 each. And they’re so helpful/inspirational! Cindy does so much for us, yet we pay such a small amount. In fact, the price we pay for 3 months of vids is about the same other artists charge for just one written tute. I am thrilled about the low membership fee, but I think we should be grateful for the videos we get, instead of voting out something Cindy already put time & effort into getting ready for us. I’ll be more careful how I ‘vote’ in the future! And as long as I get 3 PC tutes & 1 “other” video per month, I’ll be a happy camper! My Polymer Clay Tutor hasn’t disappointed me yet, so I doubt she will… If she wants to teach me something, I’m ready to listen~

  12. Silverleaf, 27 April, 2010

    @Phaedrakat: While I agree with you in principle, I also think that if you ask people to vote yes/no to something, you have to be prepared that occasionally people will say no. Cindy asked for our opinions, and she got them – it wasn’t the response she wanted, but isn’t it better for her to know now rather than feel disappointed at the resounding silence if she published the video that a lot of us aren’t really interested in?

    Now personally I don’t mind if a tute comes up that I don’t care for. There are a few vids I can think of that I watched but will probably never actually use (just not to my taste), but other people obviously do like them, and I’m definitely getting my money’s worth from the majority of projects that I do like.

    And I won’t be engaging in “tactical voting” next time round, or ever – Cindy’s asking for MY opinion, not my opinion of whether other people will like it or not. They can speak for themselves!

    And I mean all this in the nicest possible way, just to be clear! :) It’s fine if we don’t all 100% agree all the time as long as we play nice!

  13. Sue F, 27 April, 2010

    @Silverleaf: Well said (and much more nicely than I would have managed too! ;D). I agree 100%.

  14. Phaedrakat, 27 April, 2010

    @Silverleaf: I agree with you, as well. I wrote some other gobbledy-gook on the other thread, too. I’ve worded what I’ve wanted to say several ways, and can’t seem to get it right. Everything you said is true. But it’s also true that Cindy doesn’t have time for a major schedule-change like this.

    Like I said (probably on the other page,) I don’t think these are meant to be votes, anyway. She had already received an indication that we are interested in this. It probably doesn’t matter now, anyway. I’ll bet things change after this. If I’m right about the “vote” being more a formality than an actual vote, then people saying “No” has turned everything on its ear, and Cindy will be forced to change the way she does things. She can’t have last minute changes happening (like what happened here) and throwing off her entire schedule.

    @Sue. F. Thanks for letting Silverleaf do the saying, then… :D

  15. Cindy Lietz, 27 April, 2010

    @Silverleaf: You said…

    “…if you ask people to vote yes/no to something, you have to be prepared that occasionally people will say no. Cindy asked for our opinions, and she got them.”

    This is true. I take full responsibility for having to scramble at the last minute to make scheduling changes. Doing a Yes/No vote right before deadline… what was I thinking… LOL.

    I’m still fine with having everyone sharing their honest opinions. But as Phaedrakat has correctly surmised, there will be some changes to the “voting” process starting in May.

    Scheduling, prepping, coordinating, filming, editing and publishing all of these tutorials on a weekly basis, is quite a large undertaking. For everyone’s sake, Doug and I will be setting up better production controls so that we don’t have to worry about having to contend with last minute changes.

    All part of the learning curve. So… are we having fun yet?

  16. Lupe Meter, 22 April, 2010

    A definite YES, Cindy. I am actually making some lanyards for our Guild retreat this year…it would be fabulous to get some pointers from you…especially since I haven’t started them yet!

  17. Maria, 22 April, 2010

    Lanyard tute? mheeh… but definitely the UV resin one! I also vote for headpins, thanks…

  18. Ken H, 22 April, 2010

    I can see both sides of this, but I too think the headpins would be of more benefit. Isn’t a lanyard just a long necklace (not quite opera length) with a split ring and something to hold a badge holder. Whatever you decide on this one will be great. (sorry I’m not much help this time I guess)

  19. pollyanna, 22 April, 2010

    Love the beads…..don’t need a lanyard.

  20. Lisa Whitham, 22 April, 2010

    I would vote yes on learning the zebra cane…very sharp looking!

    ~Lisa :)

  21. DJ, 22 April, 2010

    I vote yes on the lanyard, especially if any adaptations for eye glasses are shown. I agree with the comments on the zebra bead, very cool. Headpins are another technique that would be great to learn sometime as well. Thanks Cindy!

  22. Sue F, 22 April, 2010

    “No” to the lanyard…

    and I’d be a “no” to the suggested alternative of headpins too because that’s dead simple…

    But I think Phaedrakat had a great idea about the zebra cane! They’re fun and can easily be adapted to tiger canes, so that’s what I’d vote for too.

  23. Ken H, 22 April, 2010

    @Sue F: Well I for one am a little leery of using fire without a demo. [ugh, fire gud!] :)

  24. Sue F, 22 April, 2010

    @Ken H: I know what you mean — that’s one of the reasons why I haven’t tried lampworking yet! — but I found headpins really easy to make. Much easier (and less hazardous to my house :D) than using the torch for making creme brulee, which is what I actually bought it for way back when.

  25. Jill, 22 April, 2010

    I vote yes. I guess I’m in the minority.

  26. Carole Holt, 22 April, 2010

    i also vote no as i would not have any use for one but as usual i am happy with anything you teach

  27. Niki, 22 April, 2010

    I am going to have to agree with many of the others – the lanyard part, not so much, but would definitely be neat to see something on those Zebra beads!

  28. Koolbraider, 22 April, 2010

    Okay on the lanyard if the main focus of the tutorial is on the zebra bead. Perhaps use the lanyard as an example of how the zebra beads might be used? I think lanyards might go well at the only show I do but the zebra beads could be used on anything, any time, any where. Any other suggestions? (Had to get another “any” in there, any one mind??)

  29. Sue F, 22 April, 2010

    @Koolbraider: For “any other suggestions”, I’d like to see Pandora-style (metal-lined, big-hole) beads. I haven’t actually made any, and while I can think of two specific approaches I’d try if I did, it would be great to see how Cindy would tackle them.

  30. Joyce M, 22 April, 2010

    @Sue F: I’d also vote for the Pandora style bead….

  31. Cheryl Hodges, 22 April, 2010

    I agree with Koolbraider, I would love the tute on zebra beads – anything that will get us learning new techniques for the beads and wire working . I know there maybe many instructions out there but any teaching you do is very simple and clear so I would love some tips and ideas, if not a whole tutorial, on making a lanyard and adapting it to eyeglasses.

  32. Silverleaf, 22 April, 2010

    It’s a no from me as well – I only tend to make jewellery that I’d wear myself (so my artistic “voice” is a reflection of my own taste), and I have no use for lanyards. And like others have said, they look pretty easy to make anyway…

    And glasses cords? Yuk! Feel free to disagree, but that sounds way too “old lady” for me. And I wear my glasses all the time so I never lose them anyway, lol!

  33. Phaedrakat, 22 April, 2010

    @Silverleaf: Ouch! (I’m starting to resemble that remark!) You obviously haven’t reached “that age” where your Rx changes. If you have to wear glasses for reading only, a strap is a nice thing to have, ‘old lady’ or not. LOL I don’t need them yet, but I can tell my eyes are starting to change…

    For everyone who doesn’t want to make themselves a lanyard or glasses cord, don’t you know anyone who would use them as a gift? Do you not make things to sell occasionally? So many gyms, office & medical buildings, etc. have cards or badges that have to be worn in plain sight, so lanyards are a necessity. People who work in these buildings have to wear a lanyard daily. I agree that they’re fairly easy to make, and I voted no for the tutorial. But if you make and sell jewelry, you shouldn’t neglect this item, as it can be quite a big seller. When I had to wear one every day, I liked a bit of variety. People who can’t make their own, have to buy them from someone…

  34. Silverleaf, 24 April, 2010

    @Phaedrakat: I didn’t mean to be rude, so I apologise if anyone’s offended! I’m short-sighted and have been for 22+ years, my eyesight is bad enough that I have to wear my glasses all the time! I guess when I get older I’ll have to have two different pair, or bifocals or something… I’d love to have eye surgery but it would take me a long time and a whole lot of jewellery sales to be able to afford that!

    Actually everyone that the office my boyfriend works at has to wear a lanyard with an ID card, but no-one’s ever asked me about a beaded lanyard…

    That said, of course I’m not going to complain if everyone else wants a tute on this. I don’t expect everything to be tailored to me the whole time! ;) But I’d definitely rather learn to make headpins or the zebra beads.

  35. Phaedrakat, 24 April, 2010

    @Silverleaf: I wasn’t offended, I was just joking. I’ve worn glasses since age 7 (near-sighted/short-sighted, also.) Too “proud” to wear my glasses at school, though; I actually preferred to sit up front by the teacher! (Weird, huh?) Luckily, I got contacts when I hit my teens, but my eyes were much worse by then (should’ve been wearing my glasses!) I don’t even get out of bed without glasses or contacts now, my eyes are bad! I’ve got issues with most up-close projects these days,too, so I’m getting bi-focals next exam. I just use OTC reading glasses (but no strap!) or a magnif. glass for now.

    @Anna S.: Sorry about your TRI-focals! Just one pair of glasses that works for all 3—I didn’t realize that was even “do-able”!

    My little nephew is 7, & we just discovered he’s near-sighted. I feel bad for him; his reaction’s like mine was (about wearing glasses.) He’s much cooler than I though, so I think we’ll be able to talk him into wearing them. Plus—he really doesn’t want to be that close to the teacher!

  36. Silverleaf, 25 April, 2010

    @Phaedrakat: I never liked my glasses at school, but I always wore them because I just couldn’t see the blackboard or the teacher without them. I’ve worn contacts, but as I’m not currently working I really can’t afford them, unfortunately.

    But my glasses are part of me and putting them on is the first thing i do when I wake up. I only take them off in the shower, in bed and when I’m having my photo taken, lol!

  37. Phaedrakat, 26 April, 2010

    @Silverleaf: Yeah, I can’t afford contacts anymore, myself. I still have some disposables left though; I really stocked-up the last time I had an exam. But then I had the surgeries and now I rarely go anywhere, so I mostly just wear my glasses. The big box of contacts has lasted much longer than expected. But when they’re gone, I’ll be strictly a glasses girl. Funny about taking your glasses off for photos — I do the same! LOL (When I allow myself to be photographed, that is. Very camera-shy!) 8~D

  38. Cheryl V., 22 April, 2010

    I already make lanyards so I would not really benefit from a tut on that. I would love to learn how to make the zebra beads/cane. That technique would be a perfect tut for me.

  39. Melinda Herron, 22 April, 2010

    Well, I make lanyards but Cindy has always shown me a new twist, short cut, or improvement between her version and my version of any technique she has been so kind as to show us. I work in a profession in which these are in high demand and I’m always looking for a way to improve mine so the tut would be a plus for me! But I’ll bow to the prevailing wind…. which ever way it blows.

  40. Elizabeth K, 22 April, 2010

    I’m all for the tuts on Lanyards and Glasses cords as I am one of those “old Lady types” whose always losing the glasses due to always taking them off and puttig them down “somewhere” so I am always buying new cords.
    I can make them, but would like a tut of Cindys for my reportoire or hers so to speak. Yes those Zebra Beads sound great too.
    So let Cindy do her thing or some one else will get in here and take over.
    Anything Cindy proposes is AOK with me.
    BTW that was a lovely Lanyard pictured.

  41. Phaedrakat, 23 April, 2010

    @Elizabeth K: I agree, Elizabeth! The lanyard is extra gorgeous. And you’re right, we don’t want Cindy running off on us! LOL

    When is your eye procedure scheduled? I want to be able to say an ‘extra’ prayer for you that day… ;~D

  42. Peggy Barnes, 23 April, 2010

    I still say yes to the lanyard. I also agree with Melinda H. for those of you who have seen a free tute or already know how, Cindy always has a unique way of making something easier. I could never say NO to one of Cindy’s tutes. By the way, I would also sometime love to see the Zebra bead done as well. I love the Zebra pattern…
    Uuuuuuuuuuuuggggggss, Peggy

  43. Bette L, 23 April, 2010

    I’m with Cheryl V. I have made lanyards for years, but now I don’t have anyone to sell them to. I still get occasional requests for them or eye glass leashes, but sincse retiring, I don’t see to many ‘working’ girls anymore. The Zebra gets my vote though.

  44. Peggy Barnes, 23 April, 2010

    I did mention that I would be interested in the zebra cane but I think we all forgot that this tute is for a special projects tute not a cane and I’m putting a yes still on the lanyard. As I said earlier you always learn something new when it is done Cindy’s way. But the next vote for cane yes Zebra cane for me or a butterfly cane. I love any and all your tutes Cindy. Thanks for all the past, present and future ones to come.
    Uuuuuugggs, Peggy

  45. Anna Sabina, 24 April, 2010

    I am glad to hear you all can function without your glassess. I have only worn eye glass for 12 years and have…TRI focal; for close up, far away and computer. Yikes…does that make me feel OLD. The only time i take off my specs is when I go to bed.

  46. Cindy Lietz, 25 April, 2010

    Thanks so much for all of your responses and for the “always engaging” conversations that happen here at the blog. I’ve responded to the beaded lanyard comments in a new post. The link by my name will take you there.

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