Butterfly Stitch Lanyard – Gimp Bracelet * Moms and Crafters

ByJohnie Turber

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Butterfly stitch lanyard (or boondoggle) is a flat and flexible stitch that is fabulous for gimp bracelets too! This post contains affiliate links.


how to make butterfly stitch lanyard

As a child, I loved making lanyard key fobs in the summer, in day camp, and at home. The standard was the box stitch – a thick, clumsy, but super fun stitch.

As I grew older and gained an appreciation for stacking colorful bracelets on my wrists (mostly these friendship bracelet patterns for beginners – with zig zag friendship bracelets ranking tops for me) I wanted to make these as bracelets too.

But the box stitch is a bit much to wear on the wrist, which is why I started migrating to other stitches. I’ve shared in the past how to make a zipper stitch lanyard – perhaps one of the easiest ones ever. Today, I’m sharing another very easy one: the butterfly stitch lanyard.

Butterfly stitch lanyard bracelets are made by simply creating small loops right where you’re working and slipping the other color through it, and pulling it tight. It’s a series of super easy slipknots. The hardest part is getting started.

Just like the zipper stitch, this one is super easy and a flat stitch that’s great for gimp bracelets. It’s also fabulous for actual lanyard chains and for key fobs. Make one or make a dozen! This one has a slight learning curve to get the feel for it, but a little bit of practice will get you super quick results. And it’s easy to get the hang of!

Tips for making butterfly stitch lanyard be neat and consistent

One of the challenges you might face when making butterfly stitch lanyard is making it look like that neat, flat wave. Since classic flat plastic cording used in lanyard can twist, you’ll want to make sure you keep things flat and even.

To do this, just hold it flat, and place each loop into the other one keeping the same color on the same side. It definitely helps to do it in one sitting, and since this is a quickie, you definitely can!

Make sure each loop sits flat within the other as you go along. Loosen the previous one and straighten it out if it isn’t. And if you’re working with younger kids who won’t get it, it’s fine if it’s not perfect! Check out my purple and white bracelet – your tween would be so proud having made that, no?

The first few stitches until you get the bracelet really going won’t necessarily come out so good – but you can remove them at the end. The weave will hold and settle into itself. I did that on the pink and black bracelet.

A final tip: using hollow plastic tubing – Gimp – allows it to lay flat in any direction.

How much lacing to measure for butterfly stitch lanyard bracelets

One of my favorite things about butterfly stitch lanyard is that there’s no need to measure in advance. You can work right off the spool. Since you’re simply pulling small loops through each other, and not the whole string, it won’t be annoying if it’s too long.

If you want a formula to know if you have enough, I’d say to make sure you have four times the size you want the bracelet to be. This is not a hard and fast formula. It allows for extra so that you can remove your first few stitches if you don’t like them.

Butterfly stitch lanyard also has stretch, so you can make it a close fit. I recommend that you make a permanent knot (glue it shut rather than melt as it burns) and just stretch it over your hand onto your wrist.

Fun fact: a boondoggle is a useless task, a project that is a waste of time and money. Usually it’s used that way in a political/policy making context. When someone posted on one of my lanyard posts “that is pointless” I understood why it’s called this.

However, there are benefits to doing this! First of all, if you’re using it as a functional craft (key fob, bracelet, zipper pull) – which we rarely did as kids – you already have a purpose. Also, if you’re having fun with it, that’s really the point. And finally, kids can build fine motor skills and coordination while making these, so that’s a win!

What you need to make these bracelets

How to butterfly stitch lanyard

1. Knot your strings together, leaving plenty of space for tying your bracelet at the end.

2. Form a loop with your first color.

3. Slip your second color through the first. If you’re having trouble, you can try bringing the second loop around the first loop and then sliding it through.

4. Pull loop one tight around loop two.

5. You now have a loop in your second color. Take the first, make a loop, and put it through the second.

6. Pull the second color tight.

7. Repeat this simple process, alternating colors. As you begin to see the pattern form, you’ll find it easier to hold it flat and work with it.

8. Keep going until you’re satisfied with the length! If your first few stitches seem to be messing up the whole aesthetic, juts remove them and knot a little extra of the good stuff. You don’t need to knot the end – just trim the last loop and pull it through all the way instead of leaving it looped. You can also do this with your first knot – remove it and pull through. Then, knot the ends together, glue, and trim.

I hope you enjoyed learning how to make butterfly stitch lanyard bracelets! Which is your favorite boondoggle to make? Comment below!

Instructions

    1. Knot your strings together, leaving plenty of space for tying your bracelet at the end.

    2. Form a loop with your first color.

    3. Slip your second color through the first. If you’re having trouble, you can try bringing the second loop around the first loop and then sliding it through.

    4. Pull loop one tight around loop two.

    5. You now have a loop in your second color. Take the first, make a loop, and put it through the second.

    6. Pull the second color tight.

    7. Repeat this simple process, alternating colors. As you begin to see the pattern form, you’ll find it easier to hold it flat and work with it.

    8. Keep going until you’re satisfied with the length! If your first few stitches seem to be messing up the whole aesthetic, juts remove them and knot a little extra of the good stuff. You don’t need to knot the end – just trim the last loop and pull it through all the way instead of leaving it looped. You can also do this with your first knot – remove it and pull through. Then, knot the ends together, glue, and trim.

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