Sewing Tips,  Tutorials

Mask Lanyards DIY

How many times have you run out the door, only to realize that you forgot your mask? You can avoid that by securing your mask to a simple lanyard, and your mask will always be at the ready. You can make a mask lanyard in a few minutes! The most time-consuming part is gathering the materials. You will need:

  • a yard of strapping (1/2″ to 7/8″ wide)…choices include grosgrain ribbon, twill tape, fold-over-elastic, bias-tape or fabric straps, even cotton cluny lace
  • measure tape
  • scissors
  • matches or lighter if using synthetic ribbon (to seal ends)
  • thread and needle (sewing machine optional)
  • notions to secure the ends: snaps, buttons, lobster clasps

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Length: aim for these finished lengths:

  • kids: 18″
  • adult: 24″

Depending on the notions/hardware used to secure the ends, your original cut length will be a few inches longer. I’ll show you how to make a lanyards using a variety of materials, and give the cutting lengths for each.

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1. My favorite lanyard material is grosgrain ribbon, because it is strong, washable and quick-drying, and it’s simple to work with since the ends can be sealed with a flame (match or lighter) to avoid unravelling. Here’s how to make a lanyard using 1/2″ wide grosgrain ribbon, finished with plastic snaps.

Cutting length:

  • kids: 24″
  • adult: 30″

Seal the ends with a flame (takes a split second):

Choose 2 sets of plastic snaps:

Turn an end under 1″ and attach a male plastic snap (I use a tabletop press from Goldstar Tools but you can find handheld presses in the notions aisle at any fabric store):

Measure down 2″ from the male snap, and attach a female snap:

The lanyard ends will loop around the mask elastics:

Repeat on the other end:

You’re ready to attach your lanyard to your mask:

Here’s how your kids can keep their masks clean and safe during lunch break:

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2. Next I’ll make a grosgrain ribbon lanyard with a lobster clasp. You can buy swivel lobster clasps in many sizes…..the ones I find most useful are these:

  • .47 cm clasp for 1/2″ to 5/8″ ribbon
  • .62 cm clasp for 5/8″ to 3/4″ ribbon
  • .78 cm clasp for 7/8″ to 1″ ribbon

There’s a bit of leeway here due to densities of ribbon, tape, etc.

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I’m making a lanyard using 1/2″ wide grosgrain ribbon, finished with two .47 cm lobster clasps.

Cutting length:

  • kids: 20″
  • adult: 26″

Start by searing the ends with a flame to prevent unravelling:

Thread the ribbon through about 1″ :

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and straight-stitch to secure:

Repeat for other end. If you need to make multiples of lanyards, then ribbon and clasps are the way to go!

This simple lanyard lets you keep your mask at hand while driving, having a cup of coffee, etc:

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3. Twill tape is used much the same as grosgrain ribbon except that the ends can’t be seared/melted with a flame since twill-tape is made of cotton. Instead, the raw ends will be tucked under…so the original length should be a bit longer:

Cutting length:

  • kids: 21″
  • adult: 27″

To attach the lobster clasps to the twill tape ends, pull the tape through and fold the end under about 3/8″:

Then fold under again, enclosing the clasp:

And zig-zag, covering the raw edge:

Repeat on other end:

A neutral twill-tape lanyard works with so many masks!

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4. You can make a charming mask lanyard using sturdy cotton crochet lace and the same lobster clasps:

Cutting length:

  • kids: 20″
  • adult: 26″

This trim is 1″ at the narrowest part so that is where I’ll fold the ends under:

I’m using the largest clasp:

Zigzag over the raw ends securely to keep from unravelling:

Repeat for the other end:

I think this has sort of a vintage-y feel:

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5. Fabric is great for making lanyards! You can match your mask, or use a fun contrast. You can cut straight-grain fabric strips, or use bias tape. You can attach your lanyard ends using snaps or clasps as before, or you can use buttons and buttonholes.

My favorite fabric for bias tape is gingham check. Here I’m cutting lengths at 3″ width:

Since I don’t need the stretch of the bias (I just like the look!) I’m interfacing the fabric….then folding in the raw edges to press:

Then fold in half and press:

Tuck in the raw ends before a final pressing:

Next you edgestitch the ends and entire length:

Add buttonholes near the ends and buttons about an inch inwards:

Tres chic, non?

I’m sure there are many other materials and sources for lanyard-making! Might as well be creative and have some fun.

Happy sewing! Janet

One Comment

  • Luann

    Thank you so much for posting this, Janet, and just in time for my Christmas mask making for family and friends! I never would’ve thought to burn the edges of the grosgrain ribbon! You teach me something new with each post!

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