Sewing tutorial

DIY Breakaway Lanyard Tutorial

Students of all ages will be returning to class in a few weeks. Many adults will be resuming their work after a summer break. People are vacationing and travelling for work related reasons. All of these groups may need access passes and/or keys. Breakaway lanyards are a convenient way to carry them. This is a diy breakaway lanyard tutorial.


Lanyards are an easy way to carry your security pass, keys, and other small items. Lanyards are often worn around the neck. Breakaway lanyards have three vital advantages over regular lanyards: 1) protecting the wearer from snags, 2) protecting the wearer from others and 3) protecting the lanyard from breakage. Cotton lanyards are more breathable than nylon and polyester ones. Wider lanyards are less likely to cause discomfort than narrower ones if the items the lanyard is attached to are heavy.

This Sewn By Tanya project is for personal use.

This tutorial shows you how to make a 3/4” wide by 20.5” long breakaway lanyard.

  • 44” x 3” quilting weight cotton
  • 44” x 3” light weight fusible interfacing
  • 1” x 3/4” hook and loop tape
  • 3/4” d-ring with split ring or 3/4” d-ring with swivel hook
  • fabric marking pens/chalks
  • scissors or rotary cutter
  • ruler
  • iron & ironing board
  • sewing machine
Seam allowance 1/8” (0.3 cm)
Step 1 Gather Materials

For this project you will need a scrap of cotton fabric, some light weight or medium weight fusible interfacing, a small piece of 3/4” hook and look tape and, a 3/4” d-ring or d-ring with swivel hook. You may wish to add a split ring to your d-ring if you’re not using a d-ring with swivel hook.

Cut the following:

  • 44” x 3” quilting weight cotton
  • 44” x 3” light weight fusible interfacing
  • 1” x 3/4” hook and loop tape
Cotton, interfacing, velco & a swivel hook on a d-ring
Quilting weight cotton, interfacing & hardware
Step 2 Fuse

Apply the fusible interfacing to the back of your cotton strip, according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Interfacing fused to wrong side of cotton
Step 3 Fold & Press

Fold each of the short ends of your strip over by 1/2” and press.

Fold short ends 1/2″ & press

Fold the strip in half lengthwise, pin it and press.

Fold strip in half lengthwise

Remove the pins and open your strip.

Open strip

Fold the raw edges to the centre crease. Pin them in place than press.

Fold raw edges to centre crease

Remove the pins then fold the strip in half lengthwise. Secure it with pins. You now have a sturdy fabric strip that is 3/4” wide by 43” long.

3/4″ wide strip
Step 4 Sew

Sew along the perimeter of your 3/4” wide by 43” long strip starting with the open edge. Use a 1/8” seam allowance.

Sew with a 1/8″ seam allowance
Step 5 Attach Hardware

Sew one half of the hook and look tape to one end of your strip, roughly 1/2” from the finished end.

Sew hook and loop tape

Sew the other half of the hook and loop take to the other end of the strip and position it roughly 1/2” away from the finished end. One piece of hook and loop must be on the inner side and the other must be on the outer side.

Thread the lanyard through your d-ring (or the d-ring of your swivel hook). Attach the two ends of your lanyard together using the hook and loop tape. Slide the d-ring to the middle of the lanyard and fold the lanyard in half around it. Stitch your lanyard closed ~1/3” from the d-ring.

Attach d-ring

Here’s a photo of my finished breakaway lanyard.

Finished breakaway lanyard

This diy breakaway lanyard is quick and easy to sew. It’s a practical gift for yourself or your loved ones. Use them for work, school, travel, conferences, and many other activities when you need to keep small items secure. Breakaway lanyards are safer than regular lanyards and may be required if your workplace allows lanyards.

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Sewn By Tanya Sewing Tutorial | DIY Breakaway Lanyard

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