Make: Projects

DIY Lanyard for USB Flash Drives

Why buy this hard-to-find item when you can easily make one from things around the house?

Steps

Step #1: Got an Old Shoelace?

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DIY Lanyard for USB Flash DrivesDIY Lanyard for USB Flash DrivesDIY Lanyard for USB Flash Drives
  • I used one from an old ice skate. A 36" length works well for a lanyard to wear around the neck, but the length is up to you.
  • Mine was black, but any color will do. For high-visibility, use a neon-colored lace.

Step #2: Prep the Shoelace

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DIY Lanyard for USB Flash DrivesDIY Lanyard for USB Flash DrivesDIY Lanyard for USB Flash DrivesDIY Lanyard for USB Flash Drives
  • Cut off one end of the shoelace with a pair of scissors.
  • Measure 36" from the end and and cut the shoelace again so you have a 3-foot length.
  • Using a lighter gently singe both cut ends of the shoelace. This will prevent the ends from unraveling.

Step #3: Glue the Ends Together

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DIY Lanyard for USB Flash Drives

Fold the shoelace in half so that both ends are flush, and apply a few drops of liquid stitch to the inside about 1/2" in length from the ends. Clamp the ends together with a clothespin or vise and let dry.

Step #4: Prep the Line

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DIY Lanyard for USB Flash Drives

Cut a 10" length of of 20 lb. fishing line or heavy-duty thread. Fold it in half so that both ends meet. Tie a double knot 2" from the loop end. Trim the loose ends about 1/8" from the knot.

Step #5: Attach Line to Lace

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DIY Lanyard for USB Flash DrivesDIY Lanyard for USB Flash DrivesDIY Lanyard for USB Flash Drives
  • Use an awl or large needle to poke 2 small holes, 1/4" and 1/8" in from the glued ends of the shoelace. Push the loop end of the fishing line through the first (1/4-inch-in) hole and then double it back through the second (1/8-inch-in) hole. Pull the loop until the knot is flush with the hole.
  • Put a dab of hot glue on the knot and on the backside where the line goes through. This will help secure the line to the shoelace.

Step #6: Shore up the End

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DIY Lanyard for USB Flash Drives
  • Push a 3/4" length of heat-shrink tubing onto the shoelace and position it over the hot-glued knot, flush with the end. Use a heat gun to carefully shrink the tubing. Don't apply too much heat or the fishing line will melt.
  • If you don't have heat-shrink tubing, another method is to wrap the knot with a small piece of duct tape, preferably the same color as the shoelace.

Step #7: Attach the USB Flash Drive

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DIY Lanyard for USB Flash Drives
  • Push the loop end of the fishing line through the USB drive lanyard hoop and then the shoelace back through the loop.
  • The lanyard is now ready to keep the flash drive from getting lost!