I’m not the craftiest individual. I’m great with the ideas, not so great with the execution. Which is why I’m extra proud to tell you that I made my own ID lanyards! That’s lanyards plural. As in 2 of them.
Needless to say, this is something that even those of us with limited abilities in the DIY department can accomplish and feel good about.
With holiday season fast approaching, these can make great inexpensive gifts for coworkers and friends in the healthcare industry! And of course, you can always just make a plain ol’ necklace to enjoy.
Turns out beading is an excellent activity all around because …
- It’s easy.
- It’s cheap.
- It’s easy.
But what I didn’t know about beading was how incredibly soothing it was. Making art is an effective therapeutic tool. When working in a high-stress environment, every nurse can use an effective anxiolytic (non-pharmacologic, that is).
As I neared the completion of my first lanyard, I got stuck on trying to figure out how to finish the ends. So I sought the help of a beading expert. Carol, at The Bead Shop in Framingham, Mass., set me up with the right supplies and even showed me how to use a few tools to finish my lanyard so it looks professionally made.
What you need to get started
- Beads: There’s a wide array of choices out there in varying colors, textures and shapes. Lanyards are fairly long, so when choosing beads, keep the weight of the bead in mind. One might not seem so heavy, but 30 might not hang so comfortably around your neck. Most major craft supply stores have an aisle or two dedicated to beading and jewelry making. There are also small shops around the country that furnish all things bead related!
- Beading wire: Don’t get the stretchy stuff — that’s more for stretch style bracelets. I went with a medium-gauge soft wire, which had a nice combination of flexibility and stability. If you want to learn more about how to choose different types of wire, check out this informational site.
- Crimping beads: These are small metal beads used in the finishing process.
- Jewelry Pliers: A small pair run you about $8-$15. These are essential to finishing off the ends of your lanyard.
- Clasp: You can make an over-the-head necklace without a clasp. But it’s usually recommended in the healthcare environment to have a clasp that will detach easily if pulled, so I recommend a magnetic one.
- Badge clip: You can buy them in bulk on the Web or in an office supply store. Or you can fashion your own with wire.
And here they are. My two beauties:
If you’re wondering how I used those crimping beads to finish the necklaces off, here’s an easy 1-2-3 pictorial:1. Thread the end of the wire through the crimping bead. 2. Loop the wire back around and thread the end through again. 3. Squeeze the bead with small jewelry pliers to tighten.