Recycled Lanyard Purse

Recycled Lanyard Purse

Here are some simple, easy to follow instructions to turn those old lanyards into a cute and fun purse that will definitely be a topic of conversation!

What you need

Fabric Tape
Sewing Needle and Thread


Lanyards are long cords that are used to hold keys, identification badges and other sundry items together. They became very popular in the mid 1990’s. Today, they are mostly given out at conferences and trade shows as promotional gift items for marketing purposes. Almost everyone has piles of them lying around, and finally there’s a way to actually use them!

Step 1

Start by gathering all the lanyards you have. Since this will end up being a woven purse, you have the option of separating the lanyards out by color or keeping them in a random configuration. Grouping colors together will result in a patchwork design, while a random layout will result in a more rainbow colored purse. It is your choice.

Step 2

Examine each lanyard and see if there is a way to remove the metal clip on the end without compromising the lanyard itself. If there is a way, remove the clip. If not, it’s okay too. Put aside four lanyards. Split the remaining amount of lanyards you have into four.

Step 3

Lay a quarter of the lanyards in long, flat rows side by side with about an inch in between rows.

Step 4

Taking one of the remaining lanyards, weave it through the lanyards laid out already. Go over one, and under the next one until you reach the end.

Step 5

Using a few pieces of fabric tape, secure both ends of the lanyard loosely. This will help it stay in place as you continue weaving. Finish weaving the rest of the lanyards through in the same way. Put this square aside; this will make up one half of your lanyard bag.

Step 6

Repeat steps 3-5 with the remaining lanyards until you have two lanyard squares, equal in size.

Step 7

Sew the lanyard squares together along one side. Make sure the metal hooks, if any remain, are on the outside of the seam, so as to not damage the future contents inside what will become the lanyard purse. Repeat sewing down the two adjacent sides of the first sewn seam. Use a sturdy thread so the purse will be able to carry everyday things, like phones and makeup, as well as heavier things, like books or keys. Now you should have what looks like a lanyard pouch with an opening on one end.

Step 8

Using the four lanyards you initially set aside, sew them together. Then, sew this long lanyard piece onto the top, open end of the purse for a strap. You can make this strap as long as you like. There’s your lanyard bag!

Original image by Lenore M. Edman, Dunya Carter is a marketing specialist who enjoys making crafts in her free time. She is currently working for Custom Lanyards.

What do you think of this project? Let us know!