Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Vera Bradley-Inspired Chain Lanyard


The second I saw my friend's Vera Bradley lanyard, I was in love. I'd never seen one like it before, and knew I could make it myself, so I set out to do just that!

I haven't seen any other brand selling these, nor have I come across a tutorial for them. So here you go--maybe I'm first! Hope you all enjoy.

You'll need:

  • Fabric (roughly twice the length of your chain, to be safe) - I bought a quilting square at Jo-Ann Fabrics for $1 and had to cut it diagonally and double THAT up.
  • Chain (I bought mine at Michael's for $3.99) - The length is purely personal preference; I made mine 24" because I'm short and don't want a lanyard hanging down to my knees if I have it in my pocket!
  • Wire cutters - This is only if you'll need to cut off excess chain. I bought mine at 48" and knew I only wanted my lanyard to be 24".
  • Scissors
  • Swivel latch(es)/clip(s) - I chose to use 2, simply because I was copying the Vera Bradley model, but you could use 1 and sew both ends of the lanyard to 1 latch to make it easier on yourself. These can be found in the purse-making section of a craft store.
  • Key Ring
  • Needle & thread OR Sewing machine
  • It also helps to have a large sewing needle (yarn size) to thread the fabric through the chain.
  • Jump rings (if you don't want to sew the fabric to the latches)

Start by cutting the chain to the desired length, if it needs to be cut. If you have a heavy duty chain like I did, you might have to bend the chain a little while you cut to loosen it. 
Then cut the fabric as long as needed (better too long than too short!), about 1" to 1 1/2" wide. If you, like me, have to double up fabric, sew the two strips together at the ends, right sides facing together. Then, fold the strip in half, with right sides facing together again, and sew down the length of the entire fabric strip. This part is MUCH easier with a sewing machine. Now you're going to turn the strip inside-out so it's like a tube. Unless you're a beast at this, I'd recommend using a small safety pin or something, and hooking it to the edge of the fabric and threading it through the inside, thus turning the fabric right side out. Be patient and gentle, it does take a little time, and you wouldn't want to rip it.

Once you have the pretty side facing out, thread it through your big sewing needle (if you have one), and begin to thread the fabric through the chain as shown.

After you've threaded it through a few links, take the fabric at the beginning of the chain and thread it through the same link it's currently in again to secure it. That'll make it so if you're pulling, your previous work won't come undone.



Continue threading the rest of the chain, then secure the end just as you did for the beginning. Cut off any excess fabric, leaving yourself about 1" to 1 1/2" to put the swivel latch on. Thread this fabric through the ring on the latch, and double over before sewing (using either the sewing machine or needle & thread) to secure to the latch. 


Repeat for the other side, and then attach your key ring!


TA-DA! So pretty! Now go put all your cute little keychains on it (and your keys, of course...and maybe a school ID?). I couldn't resist adding my favorite keychain that I got when I was in Africa last summer!

Share (with credit, please!), comment, etc., and enjoy!

xo

22 comments:

  1. Very pretty! I'm anxious to give it a try. :-) Found you on pinterest!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Awesome, thanks Christy! :) Post a pic when you're finished, I'd love to see how it turns out!!

      Delete
  2. This looks really cool and easy! We have to wear badges every day at my office, so this would be a cool Christmas idea for my friends...

    Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're welcome, Lora! :) It is super easy! And that's a great idea! I wish I could wear mine to work, but we all have to wear the same one, unfortunately. But I hope it works out!

      Delete
  3. This is beautiful! I've pinned for later (or tonight..!) I love it, thanks for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much! :) Have fun with it! And you're very welcome, I just couldn't keep it to myself :D

      Delete
  4. This would make a really pretty strap for a clutch or purse! Thanks for the tutorial.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, it would! My little sister is looking for some kind of strap for an adorable clutch she got, so I might fix her up one of these! Thanks for viewing/commenting; and you're welcome! :)

      Delete
  5. So cute! Re-pinning for later reference. Will definitely try! Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Awesome, thanks Renee! And you're welcome :)

      Delete
  6. good idea to make a lanyard.. i usually make ribbon chain bracelet. https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=489536254408380&set=a.489535947741744.124485.316545305040810&type=3&theater
    thanks for ur idea :)

    ReplyDelete
  7. Thanks for sharing this blog which provides us lot of information about Printed Lanyards.
    Lanyard

    ReplyDelete
  8. Would you able to share what type of chain you bought? Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm sorry, I wish I knew! I got it from Michael's...I know that doesn't help a whole lot, but they had so many choices, I'm sure you'd be able to find something similar!

      Delete
  9. Thanks for the idea. Going to make one this weekend to keep my office key on. :-)

    ReplyDelete
  10. If you don't have a needle to thread the fabric, use a bobby pin!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Thanks, this would be awesome for my daughter's dog. You have the strength of the chain and the lovely fabric too.
    Thank you
    Newenglndr

    ReplyDelete
  12. Thank you. I love it when I saw very Bradley chain lanyards in the store but never imagine I can do such a complex thing. Your tutorial is great. I will try it. I I succeed, this will make good Christmas gifts for my friends. Thank you so much for sharing it.

    ReplyDelete
  13. This looks amazing! I got all the materials already and I'm going to make one for myself tonight!

    ReplyDelete