DIY Leather Lanyard - Tutorial

See how easy it is to make a simple leather lanyard!  They make great gifts and you can make one in 10 minutes or less!  My easy-to-follow tutorial with photos will show how to do it.

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If you're looking for a quick gift to make, how about a leather lanyard?  It would make a great last-minute teacher gift!  The simple lines make them perfect to give to guys. And they're quick enough to make that you can make them in multiples to give to your own co-workers and friends. You can even use a custom lanyard printing service to add a little more personality to your gift, making it truly unique.

DIY Leather Lanyard - tutorial

The leather lanyard looks so much nicer than the standard work-issued lanyards.  I made one for myself the other day and I was surprised at how fast and easy they were.  All you need is some leather and some basic hardware.  I've got a tutorial for you below.  There's no sewing required, and just a few easy steps. 

If you want to make the gift even more special, add in a coordinating monogram key fob!

Leather can be expensive, but you don't need that much. Several years ago I picked up some leather scraps from my local Habitat for Humanity ReStore.  They were large scraps and I think they were remnants from car upholstery jobs.  I could make, like, a million lanyards from the leather I scored that day!

DIY Leather Lanyard - Tutorial

Keep in mind when selecting your leather that the back side of the leather will be next to your skin, so choose leather that has a soft back.  My ReStore leather is super soft so it was perfect for this project!

You'll need a long narrow strip of leather. If you don't have a strip that long, you can easily piece it from two shorter strips. Just lap one end over the end of the other and stitch a little box to secure.

DIY Leather Lanyard - Tutorial

I actually had plenty of leather, but I was feeling stingy.  One long strip would have cut pretty far into my piece, while two shorter ones were easily cut off of a short edge.


Strip of soft leather  ½" x 38 – 42" long.  (If you don't have a piece of leather this long, you can piece together two shorter strips.)

½"swivel hook

1/4" rivet & rivet setting tools


How to make a leather lanyard

Lay your leather strip out in a big U with the right side facing up, while making sure not to twist the strip.

DIY Leather Lanyard - Tutorial

Place one side of the U over the other, with the strip on top extending 1.5" past the strip on the bottom.

DIY Leather Lanyard - Tutorial

Thread a swivel hook through the end of the top strip.

DIY Leather Lanyard - Tutorial

Then wrap the end of the top strip around the back, overlapping by ½".

DIY Leather Lanyard - Tutorial

This is a good time to check to make sure you didn't inadvertently put a twist in your lanyard.  Use a fabric clip to hold all the pieces together at the end, and place the lanyard around your neck.  If it lays flat all the way around, you're good.  If there's a twist, just take it all apart and do it again.

Use an awl to make a hole through all three layers just above the swivel hook.

DIY Leather Lanyard - Tutorial

Use the rivet setting tools to set a rivet through the hole.  (Follow manufacturer's directions.)

DIY Leather Lanyard - Tutorial

Your lanyard is done! 

I told you it was easy!

DIY Leather Lanyard - Tutorial
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