Lanyards are a summer camp mainstay — remember making them back in the day? But like so many things from our own childhoods, these knotted summer crafts have only gotten way cooler.
Lanyards (also called scoubidous, scoobies, boondoggles, scooby doggles, gimps, and rexlaces, among other things, which makes for an interesting Googling experience) are made with strips of flexible, colorful plastic, resulting in neat designs.
After poking around and trying some out — see the ones at the very top, I did those with zero experience; cool, right? — I settled on these tutorials for the coolest lanyard patterns to seriously impress everyone at summer camp.
Top image: © Lexi Petronis for Cool Mom Picks
This post has been updated for 2022
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Lanyard-making supplies you’ll need
First, you need some basics. Starting with lanyard cord, right? Here’s a quick list from the more highly rated supplies on Amazon, but of course check your local craft store!
If you’re just getting started, or shopping for a kid who may not stick with lanyard crafting (ahem), we suggest this very affordable 20-color lanyard kit (above) that has everything you need to make 20 different lanyards — for just around $11.
If you want to go crazy with the cord though, there are lots of options:
– colorful lanyard cord, also called plastic lacing cord, in a 10-color pack that’s perfect for the basics
– neon colored lanyard cord if you really want to go bold
– reflective lanyard cord kit or metallic lanyard cord kit to make those key chains easier to find. The kit also comes with clips, or you can buy those separately
– classic lanyard snap clip hooks in stainless steel
– lobster snap hooks if you prefer this style. They’re available in a chrome color, brass, or a “rose gold” (no, not really gold).
– swivel lobster snap hook with key ring, if you want to have a little more versatility or make a wider lanyard.
Some of the coolest lanyard patterns
1. Box (or Square) lanyard patterns
It may not be the most glamorous of stitches, but this is the number one building-block lanyard stitch that you need now to get fancier later. So I Make Stuff has tons of good advice and cool lanyard patterns, and her video tutorial for this beginning stitch is clear and easy to follow, which is critical when you have a pile of craft lace in front of you and no idea what to do with it.
2. Six-string lanyard patterns
Once you have the basic box pattern down, you can let loose with patterns that use more strands Let’s get wild, people! This 2 x1 double sided stitch lanyard pattern tutorial only looks hard, with those 6 different colors. But follow the instructions from the LanYarD YouTube Channel and you’ll see it’s as easy as a box stitch. But if you get confused, he offers lots of links to other tutorials for a refresher on the basics.
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3. Swirl lanyard pattern
The site Laneyards has a lot of videos on YouTube for cool lanyard patterns, and he talks you through every weave, real time, as it happens. Even if you’re not normally into instructional videos, they can be super helpful with lanyards that are more complicated than others. (Like the Swirl, above). What they lack in high quality video production, they definitely make up for in clear, easy-to-follow directions.
4. Fun shape lanyard patterns
If you were studious enough to learn the box stitch before all else (ahem), then this heart lanyard pattern — and other shapes too — really isn’t as hard as it might look. Mr. McRafty (get it?) offers lanyard video tutorials that are silent, with only written instructions, but to-the-point enough that you’ll be making fun lanyard patterns like interlocking hearts and dollar signs in no time. Cool!
5. Alphabet lanyard patterns
Making a lanyard for someone named Anna, Alysha, Albert or Aaron? You’re in luck — Mr. McRafty has a tutorial for a letter A lanyard on YouTube — along with 16 other letters of the alphabet. So you Xaviers are out of luck, but go to town on the other letters.
Also, if you get stressed, he’s included some very calming piano music in the background. You’ve got this!
6. Cartoon character lanyard patterns
This Pikachu scoobie, again by the YouTuber LanYarD is no easy feat — hence the “part one” in the video name. Let’s just say this one will take time. And patience. There are three entire video tutorials to watch before you can craft the little guy, but we believe in you.
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7. Animal lanyard patterns
If you want to get really fancy, you also have to get a little French. The art of scoubidou began in France, so there are lots of tutorials that will require some working knowledge of the language, or at least some help from Google Translate. And that seems to be what lanyard pro Violetita did, in order to make her turtle and jellyfish lanyards from the now defunct Les Fous de Scoubidous. Know that this is a complex, 5-video series that requires mastering a sphere stitch. But with her guidance, you should be able to get there.
And hey, if you get stuck, be sure to download this comprehensive PDF lanyard guide from 29th Dublin — they’re a scout troop in Ireland so you know they’re here to help.
where to buy the strips
Amazon or any craft store. Look for “lanyard string” or sometimes it’s called gimp. – Eds
A few years ago, I was lucky enough to find the better part of 6 Rexlace in a local thrift store for $1.99. It brought back happy memories from my time at summer camp. However, I couldn’t for the life of me remember how to actually make a lanyard.
I just came across it in a box of stuff, and decided to research. I am happy that I have found a number of easy, beginner instructions to get me started.
However, I remember making a lanyard for a whistle. Something that when the box cord got long enough to go around a neck and then some, was woven somehow inside more weaving. Hopefully, someone will remember this, or understand what I’m trying to describe.
Does anyone have any information on how to do this?
And at what point does one connect a D-ring, Key Split ring, or some other appliance for whistles, keys, etc?
Thanks ever so much!
Hi Barb, if I’m understanding correctly….you just start the lanyard with the first stitches under and through the ring itself, so when they tie, they connect the ring to the cords. Then you just keep weaving, and the ring will be at the bottom permanently. Hope that helps! -Eds
I want to gift a friend with a boondoggle but not into hand crafts … but I cannot locate a place to buy one! Any ideas? Thanks.
Etsy would be your best bet