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How To Make a Survival Lanyard

Usually, the easiest to use tools are the ones that have the most use in your survival kit. Today we want to explore the exciting word of lanyards, the smallest of but, oh so important, things that you can use in your survival kit.

Survival lanyards are created to help you with easy access to essential items (neck lanyards) or to keep you safe during your work (knife lanyards).

In this piece, we will discover what lanyards are, what their purpose is, and how to make them in the comfort of your home. So grab your paracord, and let’s make some fantastic survival lanyards together!

What are lanyards?

This versatile accessory was once made strictly for decorative purposes, to keep your keys on a beautiful cord that would be easy to add to your dress or outfit, helping you to still look great.

Nowadays, you can make and use lanyards for an astonishingly huge variety of materials and fabrics, and the ways to use them have expanded too.

Further in the article, we will see how you can create your own survival lanyard for any purpose.

What will you need to make a lanyard?

Before we start discussing different kinds of survival lanyards and how you can use them, we need to provide you with a simple list of all the things you will need to make any kind of lanyard.

  • You need a lot of it because we will be making different kinds of lanyards.
  • Sharp scissors to cut the cords
  • A lighter for cord’s ends
  • A variety of different lanyard larks to make specific kinds of lanyard.

And that’s all! As you can see, lanyards are a craft process that requires minimum tools, medium skills but gives you a maximum outcome! 

Two main survival lanyards and where you can use them

You can use your lanyards in a number of ways, depending on the kind you have and on its purpose.

Usually, if you have to deal with lanyards created for survival reasons, your main purpose for having it at all is for safety and for convenience. They help you keep your tools close to you and, most importantly, to make the experience with them better.

As for survival lanyards, they usually are made from paracords. It is a durable and heavy-duty cord that will not let you down on your trips, and that’s why people use it.

Making lanyards is another way to have a compact supply of paracord with you during your travels, to use it in case of an emergency (the paracord was created to be sturdy, but easy to untie if you need, and it is useful to have it in this compact form for easy access).

The first kind of survival lanyards we will talk about today is the paracord knife lanyard. It is one of the two basic ways to use your lanyard. Did you see that little hole on the end of some knives?

This is the place for putting your knife lanyard to make it even more useful. If you wonder why you even need to attach some piece of cord to your expensive survival knife, we will now tell you a couple of reasons:

It is needed for more confident use of your knife. When you are out in the wilderness, you need to be extra careful not to injure yourself.

That’s why using a paracord lanyard around your wrist is a great way to prevent it from slipping and causing harm to you.

  • To find it easy and very quickly. Your knife is one of the most important tools in your survival kit. You need it for hunting, preparing food, making fire, creating weapons, and a lot more reasons, so you need to have the chance to find it very easily even in your camp. You can achieve that by using a lanyard made from bright colors like red, neon green, or yellow and using a fluorescent cord to make it easier for you to find your knife even in the dark.
  • You can carry around your knife on your wrist with a paracord lanyard, which frees your hand, but once you need your knife, it is always there. Always use a protective case on your knife if you carry It on your wrist.
  • To use it in hand-to-hand combats — it is a lot easier to control your fight if you have your paracord lanyard placed around your wrist. You can also be sure that your enemy will not knock the knife out of your hand, and you can win the fight.

There’s a number of other ways you can use this lanyard, but now we want to share with you one of our favorite schemes for the knife lanyard from paracord. It is the most basic but effective way. 

WALNEW 25-Inch Fashion Strong Survival Paracord Lanyard Necklace with Carabiner, Alloy Ring and Clip for Keys, Flashlights, ID Cards, Whistles, USB Drives, Knives etc, Orange

The basic knife lanyard

First, take a piece of cord, paracord, or a simple rope about two and a half feet in length. Take your lighter and burn the ends of your cord to prevent them from fraying over time.

It is an easy and quick way to make them good and sturdy. Next, you need to feed the cord through the lanyard hole on your knife and leave about the third of your cord behind the hole.

Now take the longer cord and make a loop with it about three inches lower from the lanyard hole. Now, grab your loop and a shorter end of the cord, and tie it around with the longer side of the cord.

You need to continue the process until you reach the end of the big loop, leaving it about half an inch in diameter.

Now take your long cord (now very short) and put it inside the loop. Your next step is to pull the ends gently while pushing all the little loops around the cord to finish the lanyard. And it is done!

You can also easily adjust the length of the loop around the knife’s lanyard hole. For this, you will need to pull the longer cord, tying the loop, and make it a lot smaller.

You can stop there and cut off the excess part of the longer cord, or you can leave it as it is.

To loosen a loop, start pulling the side of the loop that resembles the longer end of the cord, and you will slowly make the loop as big as you need.

Our next lanyard for survival is a simple neck strap.

Neck Strap Lanyard

Heavy Duty Braided 550 Paracord Neck Lanyard Keychain for Men Women Outdoor Survival, Parachute Rope Necklace Keychains with HK Clip Key Ring for ID Card Badge Holder, Camera, Wallet and Keys (Black)

This survival accessory is the one we see more frequently than the others because it is right there on our necks.

It is a great lanyard to put your keys, your phone, or any other important things on you, to have immediate access to them.

It is quite a cute accessory, to begin with, but the main feature that makes these lanyards different from any other kinds of lanyards is its size — in contrast with any other neck chains or cords for keys, you make this one fit your neck perfectly.

That means that you will make your neck lanyard not too long to get in your way and not too short of making it hard to take it off. A good way to regulate the length of your lanyard is with a special release mechanism.

So with this feature in mind, you will make your neck paracord to last and to secure your essential items on your neck.

Now we move on to the easy scheme on how to create a neck lanyard. Of course, we recommend you make it from a good and sturdy paracord, but you can surely use an ordinary cord.

However, keep in mind that it can be a lot harder to make it as functional as it can be with an ordinary cord.

So, to make a neck paracord lanyard, you need to take one of those lanyard larks we have discussed before and two long pieces of different colored paracord.

Measure it about ten feet long, but do consider the size of your neck in this case — maybe you need it to be a little bigger or smaller. Now take the paracords and fold them in half together.

Pass the cords through the big keychain ring, and place it in the middle part of the cords. This will be your place where you will attach all your stuff.

Military Grade Heavy Duty Paracord Lanyard Necklace Keychain Whistles Wrist Strap Parachute Rope Badge Cellphone Waterproof Holder Metal HK Clip Hook Outdoor Survival Men (Black)

Then take the first piece of paracord (we will call it the first cord further) and create a cross with the second cord, using your middle finger as a hook.

As a result, you now have a piece of the first cord behind your finger, on the other half in front of you, and two ends of the second cord underneath the first facing left and right from your finger.

Now grab the part of the cord that is in front of you and make the loop around the second cord, rearranging the ends of the first cord.

Next, you need to take the right piece of the second cord and put it underneath the lower end of the first cord but over the left part of the second cord. Now just repeat the process until you will have a lanyard long enough to put on your neck.

When you finish making your lanyard, \ grab a lark and attach it to the loose ends of the lanyard,  simply by tying it to the lark. Now you will have an excellent hook to attach your ring to.

If you want to make your neck lanyard with a release mechanism, you need to make some adjustments to your process.

First, make the knot part of the lanyard about ten inches long (add a lark on the end of this part, not a ring), attach the regulating mechanism (you can buy it in any store for dressmakers), and continue making the knot on the end of the cords.

This way, you will have a long knot part, a loop with a regulating mechanism, and a short knot part to attach the ends of the lanyard together. And here you have it! A perfect neck paracord.

There is also a way to make a neck lanyard from a simple piece of fabric, just folding and stitching it.

You can, of course, use it during your camping trips or hiking adventures but it is not as useful or reliable as a paracord one. The fabric one can be easily ripped, and the paracord one can handle a lot more than that!

Final thoughts on making a survival lanyard

Making a survival lanyard is an easy and fun thing to do — you can even involve your kids in this fascinating thing and create a lot of decorative, nice, and beautiful lanyards for all your family.

They are great for survival purposes, and we can guarantee that once you use them, you will always wonder, why didn’t you make them earlier!

In this article, we discussed the two most popular and thus usable lanyards that you can make for yourself, but there is so much more to this world.

You can use techniques we used to make lanyards for survival bracelets, key chains, bottle holders, handles for your appliances, and so on.

We hope you enjoyed our brief journey to the world of lanyards and how that you will make it on your own. Good luck!

About Tom Bell

Hi - I'm Tom, the owner and founder of TheSurvivalSpirit.com! I'm a passionate outdoors enthusiast and am dedicated to bringing you the hottest online survival advice.  


The Survival Spirit is an independent review business. I am not affiliated with any manufacturers and do not accept paid reviews. When you buy through my links, I may earn a commission which helps me to invest in this website and keep producing great content!

About The Survival Spirit

TheSurvivalSpirit.com is run by survival enthusiast, Tom Bell! This website features all of the latest hints and tips on survival, prepping and the great outdoors.

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