Ways to Recycle and Repurpose Old Lanyards

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Many of us have a stash of lanyards from past schools, conventions, and various corporate giveaways. If you’re like most people however, you don’t really have a use for more than a couple of nice custom lanyards, so these surprisingly useful items just sit somewhere, languishing and unused.

If this has ever happened to you, you’re in luck. Lanyards are among the most useful items you might have lying around your house for all sorts of DIY projects. Here are just some of the craftiest things we’ve seen people make out of old lanyards.


1.) Handbag and tote handles

Lanyards are usually made from extremely strong synthetic materials that are often much tougher than what you’d find on many cloth tote bags. When one of your cloth handles goes bust, consider replacing them with a cut-up lanyard. You can even leave the metal bits in so you have a key holder in your tote.

2.) Weaves

You can weave together multiple lanyards into all kinds of mats and similar materials. You can use them under planters and furniture on to protect flooring, as drink coasters, drawer liners, and basically any application where a mat could be useful.  If you have a lot of lanyards and a sewing machine, you can even make bags out of separate pieces of “lanyard mats”, including tote bags and laptop sleeves.

3.) Straps for cyclists, hikers, and other athletes

One popular use for lanyards that a lot of people don’t really think about is as straps for all kinds of athletic activities. Lanyard materials are sweat resistant and durable, making them perfect for arm and leg straps for a variety of activities. They could be used to replace broken straps or even to create all kinds of holders for bikes and other kinds of equipment.

4.) Cheerleader’s pompoms

Not sure what to do with a big stash of lanyards you have lying around? Cut out the metal bits and you have the makings of some very high-quality pompoms. If you have enough spare lanyards of the right color, you can use them at all kinds of sporting events to help you lead your team on to victory.

5.) Pet leashes

The material used in most lanyards is strong enough to withstand the rough and tumble of most small and medium-sized dogs. Lanyards can be used to make quick repairs to leashes and harnesses, or they can be recycled and braided into exceptionally strong leashes.  Using basic braiding and splicing techniques, you can use several lanyards to create exceptionally strong ropes of any length, good enough for custom collars, harnesses, and leashes that can hold back some of the most rambunctious pets.

6.) Key holders

This isn’t really repurposing so much as pointing out one lesser-known function of lanyards. Attaching your keys to a lanyard will make them exceptionally hard to lose. You can even use separate lanyards of different colors to easily organize keys for your house, keys for your workplace, and wherever else you need keys for.  This can make it so much faster to find the right key, especially for infrequently used locks.

7.) Bookmarks

Lanyards also make good bookmarks, especially if you cut out the metal bits. You can even glue them to the inside spine of thick reference books such as atlases and dictionaries to make them even harder to lose.

8.) Give them away to charitable institutions

There are always a number of charitable institutions that appreciate donated lanyards, particularly schools. If you do plan on donating lanyards however, make sure they are unused, as used lanyards do have the potential to transmit skin diseases.

Be sure to check our previous post: The Most Popular Uses of Lanyards

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