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Saturday, 16 February 2019

Tutorial: (Quick Make) Purse Lanyard

Purse Lanyard by eSheep Designs
Instantly find your room key card...
Has the cold weather affecting most of North America made you book a vacay in warmer climes? Well, before you go, maybe you want to make this.

The picture you see here is of my customized beach tote bag. The inside of it is purposely devoid of any features, with the exception of a D ring.

I didn't want any interior pockets or divisions to mess with my ability to stuff it as full as possible. The bag has been well used for almost three years now, travelling to beach destinations of both lake and ocean varieties.

The day before leaving on my first trip with it, however, it occurred to me that I needed a place to store a room key card so that it could be easily retrieved.

The exterior zipped pocket was too big to be convenient. Since the interior D ring was originally meant as a place to clip an actual key, I focused on finding a solution around that, quickly deciding to use some matching ribbon to sew up a little "envelope" out of vinyl.

I had no time to spare on a more elegant solution at that late hour. I punched a tiny hole at the top, attached a small grommet, and then strung a length of paracord through it, tying it to the D ring. For what I needed it to do, it worked... for over two years.

Oddly enough, I didn't think to go back and make another attempt at turning it into an actual "thing"; i.e., a purse lanyard.

[Before anyone reminds me, of course you can probably go out and buy a cheap lanyard from the dollar store and turn it into something like this. Quite often, the stuff we choose to make can be bought for same or less, but where's the fun in that?]


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While I use this to keep my room key card on a literal leash, this lanyard can also be used by students and seniors to keep IDs and/or bus passes attached to their bags. Or make yourself a small pouch with a tab on the side and you can attach it to the end of the lanyard to keep whatever you need (maybe a cell phone?) within easy reach.

To make your own purse lanyard, you'll need:
  • two pieces of vinyl, one 3" x 3" and one 3" x 4"
  • one yard of 3/4" or 1" wide ribbon
  • a split key ring
  • a lobster clasp (type as shown)
  • small grommet or eyelet set
  • matching thread
  • clips, and other basic sewing tools

Here's the hardware that you need...

Cut two 3" and one 12" lengths of ribbon and fold them in half. (I use a paper folding tool to help.)

Purse Lanyard Tutorial by eSheep Designs
Fold ribbon in half...

Wrap one of the folded ribbons against the top edge of the 3" x 3" square of vinyl and sew in place.

Purse Lanyard Tutorial by eSheep Designs
Sew ribbon along top of 3" x 3" piece of vinyl...

Wrap the other folded ribbon against the top edge of the other piece of vinyl and clip in place; do not sew. Place the previously sewn piece of vinyl on top of this one, lining up the bottom edge.

Take the 12" length of ribbon and fold one end of it to the wrong side by about 1/4", to hide the raw edge.

Purse Lanyard Tutorial by eSheep Designs
Turn down the raw edge at the top end before wrapping around the entire perimeter...

Start at the top right corner of the larger piece of vinyl and wrap the ribbon all the way around — clipping as you go and mitering the two corners — until you get to the top left corner. (Check this post for a bit of instruction on how to mitre a corner if needed.)

Purse Lanyard Tutorial by eSheep Designs
Wrap and clip the ribbon in place all the way around...

Fold the end of the ribbon to the wrong side like you did at the start and clip in place. Sew all the way around.

Purse Lanyard Tutorial by eSheep Designs
Sew the ribbon down...

Take the remainder of your ribbon and fold one end to the wrong side by about 1/4"; sew.

Purse Lanyard Tutorial by eSheep Designs
Thread end of ribbon through base of lobster clasp... 

Thread the end of the ribbon through the base part of the lobster clasp and sew over the same stitching line to secure.

Purse Lanyard Tutorial by eSheep Designs
Sew as close to the end of the ring as you can get...

Sew as closely to the lobster clasp as you can get.

Take the other end of the ribbon and repeat the 1/4" seam. Fold it over again about 3/4" and sew across the same stitching line. (Don't attach the split ring yet.)

Purse Lanyard Tutorial by eSheep Designs
Do NOT thread the ribbon through the split ring when you sew this...

Fold the ribbon in half (and clip).

Purse Lanyard Tutorial by eSheep Designs
Fold the ribbon in half...

Sew as close to the edges of the ribbon as you can get, all the way from one end to the other.

Carefully attach the split ring when you're done sewing.

Purse Lanyard Tutorial by eSheep Designs
That wasn't hard, was it?

All that's left is to install the grommet to the top middle of the card envelope.

Purse Lanyard Tutorial by eSheep Designs
Mark the middle of the top edge and poke a hole with your seam ripper...

I won't be instructing you on how to put on a grommet. (But you'll need a setting tool, a hammer and a sturdy surface.)

Purse Lanyard by eSheep Designs
An easy solution to keep your room key card accessible!

Thread the split ring through the grommet and it's done.


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The lobster clasp and split ring are the most versatile hardware choices for this project. You can clip the lobster clasp to something (like the D ring that I have in my beach tote), or — as you can see in the photo at the top of this post — use it to corral the lanyard itself so that you can hang the whole thing around a purse strap.

Purse Lanyard by eSheep Designs
A handy accessory for your bag or purse...

Because the card envelope can be detached from the split ring, you can use the lanyard for another purpose when needed. (How about my shopping list and coupon holder shown below?)

Shopping List & Coupon Holder by eSheep Designs
My handy grocery store helper...
Also, many motels in small communities have not yet converted to high tech magnetic card entry systems. The split ring is a good place to keep an actual key, too.

Simple as this little item is, it has proved its worth to me over many holidays... even from its humble beginnings when it was mostly just paracord!

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