Learn More About Lanyards


The clothes and accessories you wear should be stylish and have personality. That sentiment holds true even for something as basic as custom lanyards. They may not be the most glamorous things in the world, but the right color and a good print can take these cloth necklaces from drab to fab!

You know what to look for when buying a new tie or pair of shoes. However, you might not have a clue where to start when it comes to customizing lanyards. This buying guide is here to make your life easier!

Why Do You Need Custom Lanyards?

Lanyards are special since you probably don’t have a drawer full of them at home. If you’re ordering them in bulk, it’s likely for a very specific event, business, or purpose.

Custom lanyards are particularly useful giveaways or gifts for the following:


Nurses and doctors need to move quickly from one hospital floor to the next. Retractable lanyards can be used for quick access to not only ID badges, but also face masks and hand sanitizer.


In this day and age, it doesn’t hurt to have extra security at your school. The teachers and students should wear their photo IDs around their necks. Look for personalized lanyards in your school colors, and hand them out on orientation day.

Live Events

Are you offering VIP passes for your concert, play, or celebrity meet and greet? Maybe you’re hosting an epic video game competition and need an easy way to identify the players. Either way, put everyone’s passes on custom lanyards, and mail them out ahead of time.

Trade Shows & Conventions

You’re not going to be able to personally talk to every single person at a trade show or convention. Pass out name tags and lanyards at registration, so it’s easy to tell who’s who during the event.

Job Fairs

At a job fair, potential hires are meeting a ton of different people. It will be easier for them to take notes and keep track of career opportunities if recruiters wear professional lanyards with attached name badges.


It’s possible to buy memberships at gyms, country clubs, and even big-box stores like Costco and Sam’s Club. Help your customers keep track of their membership cards by attaching them to complimentary lanyards.

IT Professionals

We have IT to thank for making work go smoothly, whether you’re commuting every day to the office or logging in at home. These tech savvy folks can use lanyards to hold keys to computer rooms, flash drives full of important files, and so much more!


Whether you work at a dealership, offer valet services at a restaurant, or drive an Uber, you can get a ton of use from a personalized lanyard. Attach your keys to the end and hit the road!

New Employee Gifts

The last thing a new employee wants is to get locked out of the office! Put together a welcome basket full of little gifts like a coffee mug, pens, and their access badge attached to a lanyard. Print your company logo on the lanyards so they can take pride in their new workplace.

Libraries & Bookstores

According to The Vision Council, 32.6 million Americans wear reading glasses. It will be hard to lose their favorite pair if they keep them attached to lanyards. As a bonus, the lanyards can also be used as makeshift bookmarks!

Outdoor Venues

Lanyards are insanely useful in the great outdoors. You can attach flashlights for nighttime hikes through a forest preserve, or hook on whistles for a referee to use during a soccer match. Get custom lanyards in bulk for your campground, trail, or league!


Make sure your volunteers are easy to spot in the crowd. Lanyards separate them from the pack, especially if you choose a reflective, neon color. Pair these gifts with baseball caps and t-shirts, and your volunteers will be ready to rock your fundraiser!

Lanyards are great promotional items for professionals, especially if they work in tech or have to drive a company vehicle. However, they’re also wonderful for students, outdoorsy folks, event attendees, and volunteers.

Overall, almost everyone can use a lanyard. They’re extremely cheap to order in bulk and are sure to be useful no matter what the situation.

Tips for Customizing Lanyards

You don’t want to just randomly choose lanyards and call it a day! Think about how you want them to look, and maybe jot down a few notes before you place an order.

It’s also a good idea to follow these design tips:

  1. Choose a good material.
  2. Be strategic about the attachment.
  3. Decorate colorful lanyards.
  4. Consider the cost of a bulk order.

Tip #1: Choose a Good Material

What Are Lanyards Made Of?

99.9% of the time, lanyards are made using polyester, which is a strong type of fabric that retains its shape over time. However, lanyards can also be made from other materials like nylon, cotton, and polypropylene.

Polyester Lanyards

You can’t go wrong with polyester lanyards. This material is the most commonly used since it’s durable and doesn’t wrinkle or tear over time. While polyester can sometimes feel coarse, it’s also able to hold heavy items like keys and flashlights.

Nylon Lanyards

Think of nylon like polyester’s more flexible cousin. This material is just as tough and long-lasting, but it’s also elastic which is great when it comes to retractable lanyards. Plus, nylon is very easy to dye, so you can get a wider range of bright, eye-catching colors!

Cotton Lanyards

Slip a cotton lanyard around your neck! This soft, breathable fabric is comfortable to wear for an extended period of time. If you have a long day at a networking event or convention ahead of you, this would be a good material to choose.

Polypropylene Lanyards

Polypropylene is a type of plastic that is used to make everything from yogurt containers to disposable plates. It’s able to withstand high temperatures, which makes polypropylene lanyards a must-have for events that take place in the summer like 5Ks and community fairs.

Satin Lanyards

Do you want lanyards that are silky smooth? You can’t go wrong with satin! This fashionable material looks sleek and is also extremely lightweight. You’ll barely notice you’re wearing it.

PVC Lanyards

Even though PVC is typically used in construction, it’s also a great plastic for lanyards. This material isn’t as heavy as polypropylene, making it a great choice if you need to hold lightweight items like IDs and access badges.

Silicone Lanyards

If you want thin lanyards with a little bit of bounce, you should go with silicone! These personalized lanyards typically come with an attached wallet at the bottom, which can comfortably hold most smartphones or 1 to 2 credit cards.

Neoprene Lanyards

Do you plan on wearing a lanyard while swimming? Look for options made from neoprene. This water-resistant material is very similar to rubber and is also used to make wetsuits for scuba divers and surfers.

There are many types of lanyards for you to choose from, so take your time and weigh the pros and cons of every option. You don’t want to just impulsively spend a bunch of money on custom lanyards, only to realize they don’t work quite right.

Tip #2: Be Strategic About the Attachment

What Are the Different Lanyard Attachments?

The lanyard would only be a necklace without the clip, hook, or keyring at the bottom. You’re going to hook something onto this attachment, whether it’s an ID, keys, or yummy lip balm!

Your custom lanyards will come with one of these attachment types:

  • Bulldog clip
  • Crocodile clip
  • Swivel clip
  • O-shaped keyring
  • D-shaped keyring
  • J-hook
  • Oval clip
  • Lobster clip
  • Snap button

Bulldog Clip

Crocodile Clip

Swivel Clip

O-Shaped Ring

D-Shaped Ring


Oval Clip

Lobster Clip

Snap Button

Each of these attachments is a little different, so look at the item you plan on hooking on to the end. Does it have a keyring? You’ll probably want to hook it to a lobster claw or another keyring. Does your item have a die cut hole at the top? In that case, it’s better to go with a bulldog clip or snap button.

When in doubt, remember you can always ask an expert for more information. They can help recommend the right lanyard clip for your needs!

Tip #3: Decorate Colorful Lanyards

What Are Cool Lanyards to Try?

Now it’s time for the fun part – choosing your lanyards. Choose cool lanyards that people will be genuinely excited to receive. The goal is for the lanyards to be worn over and over, long after the event is over!

Try any of these looks!

Solid Colored Lanyards

You’re not about the frills. Order lanyards in one solid color like navy, black, dark green, violet, gray, or burgundy. Your logo or text can then be screen printed in a single ink color that pops around the entire lanyard.

Dye Sublimated Lanyards

Dye sublimated lanyards are awesome since you can use as many ink colors as you want. Print either one giant image, or small, colorful logos that are repeated over and over again.

Heathered Lanyards

Heather gray is an excellent choice if you want a high-end, textured look. It’s a very professional option for job fairs, trade shows, and formal industries like law and medicine.

Tie-Dye Lanyards

Unleash your inner wild child by ordering tie-dye lanyards! This is a vibrant, youthful look that will be a big hit at schools and music festivals.

Camouflage Lanyards

Do you plan on ordering custom lanyards for the military? Every soldier will love a camouflage print! In this case you want the camo to be easy to see, so keep the rest of your design simple.

Two-Tone Lanyards

If you can’t choose between two colors, why not go with both? Two-tone lanyards have one shade on the outside and another lighter or darker shade on the inside.

Reflective Lanyards

Be bright and bold with reflective lanyards! They come in neon colors like hot pink, lime green, orange, or yellow. These lanyards are particularly great for safety, whether it’s for a nighttime bike ride or volunteers who are directing parking at an event.

Pocket Lanyards

Some people don’t like to wear lanyards around their necks. Pocket lanyards are a good alternative, hooking through belt loops or on bags with an attached carabiner.

Lanyard Wallets

Nobody likes that friend who always forgets their wallet at restaurants! Be sure you always have your cash and cards handy by wearing a lanyard wallet around your neck.

Tip #4: Consider the Cost of a Bulk Order

How Much Do Custom Lanyards Cost?

Custom lanyards typically start at under $1 each. However, the quantity you order, the number of ink colors you use, setup costs, and your shipping location are all going to affect the final cost.

It’s recommended that you order promotional lanyards in bulk whenever possible. If you host a lot of trade shows or job fairs, or work in an industry like education or healthcare, it doesn’t hurt to always have personalized lanyards ready to use. Lanyards aren’t like the milk in your refrigerator – there’s no expiration date. Order more now if you have it in your budget, and you’ll save down the road!

What Can You Do With Leftover Lanyards?

Let’s say you ordered way too many promotional lanyards for your event, and now you have a bunch left over. Don’t just throw them in the garbage! There are plenty of ways to get the most from your leftover lanyards.

You can do any of the following with leftover lanyards:

  1. Keep them in your stockroom to use later.
  2. Sell them for cheap to make a little extra money at your event.
  3. Repurpose the lanyards around your office, whether it’s to hold keys or as office décor.
  4. Host a craft night and use the lanyards to make keychains or necklaces.
  5. Donate the lanyards to Goodwill or Salvation Army.

While you shouldn’t go crazy and order too many lanyards, you can still find creative solutions if you have a bit too many for your needs. It can be another marketing opportunity just waiting to happen!

Other Considerations When Buying Custom Lanyards

Wait – don’t place your order for promotional lanyards just yet! Here are a few other things to think about when buying:


Some lanyards lay still, while others are stretchy. Go with elastic lanyards if you need to put your ID badge in front of a scanner without removing it from your neck. It also doesn’t hurt to use retractable badge holders if you need even more flexibility.


The fabric can be thick enough where you can attach a few lapel pins, or super thin as is the case with tube or cord lanyards. Thick lanyards are typically stronger, so keep that in mind if you need to attach heavier items on the end.


The average male adult is 5’9” according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Females adults, on the other hand, stand at an estimated 5’4”. Your lanyards should sit on their torso a little above the belly button, so opt for a length that works for almost everyone.

Made in the USA

It’s always a good idea to support the American economy. If you narrowed down your selection to a few different custom lanyards, try to buy some that are made in the U.S.A.

Recycled Materials

U.S. landfills contain an estimated 139.6 million tons of waste! Do your part for a greener planet by shopping for eco-friendly lanyards made from recycled materials.

Shipping Time

Oh no! You waited until the last minute, and your trade show is less than a week away. Shop for quick ship lanyards so you can get them before the event!


It’s easy to reuse leftover lanyards, but maybe you don’t want to deal with the fuss. If that sounds like you, be on the hunt for low minimum options, so you can get exactly what you need.


As mentioned, lanyards typically cost under $1 each. They’re very cheap promotional items, so you can splurge on more stylish options and still stay right within your budget!

Why Are Lanyards Popular?

Lanyards are popular because they attach to two items we carry with us every day – our ID and car keys.

Plus, lanyards can be cool accessories if they’re a nice color or are printed with our favorite company logos. With a lanyard, you don’t have to dig around in your bag for the items you need, which in this fast-paced world, can make all the difference!

The Bottom Line

Lanyards are kind of like suspenders, taped eyeglasses, and Star Wars t-shirts. People think they’re kind of nerdy, but that doesn’t always have to be the case! It’s up to you to decorate cool custom lanyards that make everyone feel stylish when they wear one.


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Marcin, A. (2019, February 23). What’s the Average Height for Women and How Does That Affect Weight? Retrieved from,

McDonald, J. (2020, April 29). Curbing America’s Trash Production: Statistics and Solutions. Retrieved from,

About the author

Alyssa Mertes

Alyssa is a promo expert with over four years of experience in the industry. She is the Lead Copywriter at Quality Logo Products and has had work published for the Promotional Products Association International and the Advertising Specialty Institute.