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Lanyards!  Lanyards! Lanyards!
By Juliann Wasisco (AKA Valobra)

 Gallery of Swap Lanyards
Gallery of Juliann's Lanyards

Juliann played in my lanyards swap and really got obsessed! Be sure to check out the gallery of Juliann's lanyards and those from the swap. -- Christine

Lanyards?  What are lanyards you ask?  They are straps that go around your neck to hold various items: whistles, special hunting or fishing tools, even ID badges.  Glasses straps are sometimes referred to as lanyards.  Lanyards are becoming increasingly popular, especially with women.  Lanyards are often printed with company logos or advertisements.  Now that more and more businesses require identification badges, creative people are personalizing them with beads, precious gems, and fibers.  Some wearers have also added pins (both corporate and whimsical), charms, and other embellishments.

My sister recently purchased two glasses straps from a mail order catalog at $80.00 apiece!  They were gorgeous!  Grey pearls and black seed beads, blue seed beads and lamp-worked beads, gemstones like malachite, lapis, carnelian and many more. I was amazed at the workmanship and the price!  Now we can wear ID badges that are both practical and decorative.

When my mother and two sisters recently visited, we decided to make lanyards one night.  They were so easy, a lot of fun, and very, very inexpensive. Here are some pictures of the lanyards and glasses straps that my mother, two sisters and myself made.  You will be more astounded to learn that my mother has never beaded before this project.  The last time my sister crafted was a needlework project in the seventies.

When beading and trying them on with different beads I discovered a few tips that will enhance your completed project.  Big beads at the wrong place can be very annoying.  It is really important to consider several things. The weight on your neck,  the weight of the strap from the glasses frame to the shoulder which could cause uncomfortable pressure on the bridge of your nose, and reflected light from beads at eye level.  Another consideration is
the length of the lanyard or glasses strap. A glasses strap that is too short can pull your eyewear down causing stress and even headaches. Too short a lanyard can place your ID too high on your chest, but a length that is too long can get it caught in the wrong place and be annoying as well.

You should measure yourself to determine the best length for your project. When I made a lanyard of pearls and carnelian,  it was so beautiful I made a matching glasses strap as well.  When I tried both of them on I realized that they looked too busy and overpowering.  So I created a design with one strap but two attachments, one for the ID badge and one for glasses.  It actually looks great!  I have also created a way to use one strap for either glasses or ID badges.

I have also listed here links to various places with lanyards and glasses
straps. Most of them are printed with logos and advertisements.  I was
unable to find a site displaying beaded lanyards or glasses straps.

http://www.evolution-1.com/lanyards.htm
http://mannysonline.com/IBS/SimpleCat/Shelf/ASP/Hierarchy=0105.html
http://knotsmith.com/
http://www.coilersplus.com/