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Badge Style Secret Pocket with Lanyard

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For the next several Fridays, we've collected some S4H classic gift ideas for you. Each one is especially fast and fun, and can easily be made with fabric from your stash. So when you hear yourself screaming, "I gotta getta gift!!!" We're here to help. This handy little carrying case is modeled after the lanyards you often get at conferences or other events. In fact, you could certainly use it for that or to hold small travel documents and ID. It's also a perfect size for credit cards, cash, even your keys... all on a removable lanyard. Use it without the lanyard as a mini wallet inside a larger handbag or tote. The secret back pocket is held together with Velcro® so nothing will tumble out. This is a great ScrapBusters project; you can mix and match the three fabrics needed to create just the right look. Choose a fabric combo that highlights the recipient's hobby or just his/her favorite colors. 

If you have an embroidery machine, add a special design or a monogram on the outside. Quick, easy and fun! 

The pocket finishes at approximately 3½" wide x 5" high. 

If you love this, we bet you'd also like our Belt Pocket, Grocery List Lanyard, Gift Card Case, and Clear-View Zippered Pouch. For even more ideas, visit our full Project Index.

Sewing Tools You Need

Fabric and Other Supplies

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  • Scraps or THREE coordinating ¼ yard cuts of quilting weight fabric: we dove into our scrap stash and picked out three pieces from the Woodland Delight collection by Paula Prass for Michael Miller Fabrics: Bloom in Brown (inside), Pebble Stone in Brown (Exterior) and Brick Path in Brown (lanyard)
  • Scrap or ¼ yard of mid-weight fusible interfacing; we suggest Pellon Décor Bond
  • ⅓ yard of ½" or wider ribbon to coordinate with exterior fabric; we used hot pink bias tape because we had some on hand, but would recommend you choose a thinner ribbon to make the final stitching easier; a satin ribbon would be good.
  • One large metal grommet; we used nickel
  • One ½" swivel hook in a finish to match the grommet; we used nickel
  • Scrap of sew-in Velcro®
  • All purpose thread to coordinate with fabric and ribbon; we used chocolate brown and hot pink
  • See-through ruler
  • Seam gauge
  • Seam ripper
  • Fabric pen or pencil
  • Iron and ironing board
  • Scissors or rotary cutter and mat
  • Straight pins
  • Fabric glue or fusible seam tape to hold Velcro® (optional)

Getting Started

  1. Download and print the Lanyard Template. Print TWO copies.
    IMPORTANT: This pattern consists of ONE 8½" x 11" sheet. You must print the PDF file at 100%. DO NOT SCALE to fit the page
  2. Butt together each pair of pattern pieces to make one pattern piece. Do NOT overlap. Tape in place.
  3. Cut out one pattern along the solid line; this will be the pattern for your fabric.
  4. Cut out the second pattern along the dotted line; this will be the pattern for your interfacing.
  5. From the exterior and lining fabrics, use the assembled full pattern to cut ONE exterior piece and ONE lining piece.
  6. From the fabric for the lanyard, cut ONE 2" x 44" strip
  7. From the interfacing, cut the following:
    Using the assembled trimmed pattern, cut ONE piece
    ONE 2" x 44" strip for the lanyard
    NOTE: In can be hard to find such a long narrow strip of interfacing as a scrap. If you need to cut this piece as two pieces that is okay. You will simply butt together the pieces end to end when fusing in place.

At Your Sewing Machine & Ironing Board


  1. Following manufacturer's directions, fuse the interfacing strip to the wrong side of the lanyard fabric strip, making sure all the edges are flush.
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    NOTE: If you had to cut your interfacing as two pieces, make sure you butt them together; do not overlap as that will create a bump.
  2. Fold the lanyard in half, wrong sides together, and press to form a center crease.
  3. Fold in each raw edge ½" so they meet in the middle along the crease. Press well.
  4. Fold in half again along the original crease line, encasing the raw edges within this final fold. Your lanyard is now ½" wide. Press well.
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  5. Edgestitch along both sides approximately ⅛" from each edge.
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    NOTE: With it's seven-piece fed dog system, our Janome machine is great at edgestitching, going along each edge of this narrow lanyard was no problem. If your machine has trouble with edgestitching, you can get away with just one seam, up to ¼" from the edge. That is enough to close and secure the lanyard as one piece.
  6. Slip the swivel hook onto the finished lanyard. Let it slide to the middle, then align both the raw ends.
  7. Using a ½" seam allowance, stitch the raw ends together. Go back and forth several times to strengthen this seam. Trim back the seam allowance as close to the stitching as possible.
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  8. Flip strap right side out. The little seam you just made should now be pointing inwards.
  9. Slide the swivel clip from the folded end to the seam end - so the clip's ring is sitting right against the seam
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  10. Make a seam across the strap, getting as close to the clip as you can. You are 'locking' the swivel clip into place. Again, go back and forth along the seam line several times to make sure the seam is secure. 
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    NOTE: You could attach your Zipper foot to get in super close. We used our regular presser foot and were able to get within ½".
  11. Trim your thread tails right up against the seam and set the finished lanyard aside.


  1. Following manufacturer's instructions, fuse the interfacing to the wrong side of the lining piece, centering the interfacing. There should be ¼" of fabric extending beyond the interfacing on all sides.
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  2. Place the exterior and the interfaced lining right sides together. Pin in place. Leave a 3" opening along one side.
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  3. If necessary, re-thread your machine with thread to match your fabric. Using a ¼" seam allowance, stitch the exterior and lining together, remembering to leave that opening. Trim the corners at a diagonal and clip the top curve, being careful in both cases to not cut into the seam.
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  4. Turn the pocket right side out. Gently push out the bottom corners and the top curves with your finger or a long tool with a blunt end, such as a large knitting needle or chop stick.
  5. Press flat, making sure the raw edges of the opening are pressed flush with the sewn seam.
  6. Find the scrap of Velcro®. You need just a tiny piece. We cut ours from packaged 1" Velcro® squares, cutting one square in half.
  7. Refer to your template for placement help, but don't rely on that alone. Fold and test prior to stitching the Velcro® in place. The Velcro® should be positioned on the lining side of the pocket. The top Velcro® piece should be centered side-to-side; the its top edge should be 1⅜" down from the top of the pocket. The bottom edge should be 3¾" up from the fold. The bottom piece of Velcro® should also be centered side-to-side; the bottom edge of this piece should be ⅜" up from the bottom of the pocket, the topedge should be 3¾" down from the fold. When folded, the pocket depth is 4⅝" measured from the fold to the top of the pocket, leaving a 1" 'tab' at the top where the grommet will go.
    Click to Enlarge
    NOTE: The marks on the template and our measurements should be used for placement HELP only. You should still fold and test your piece to be 100% sure everything will line up just right. This is because your seam might be slightly larger or smaller, and your combined fabric and batting might be a slightly different thickness than ours. Also, we've found when working with little pieces of Velcro® like these, it's best to adhere them with a drop of fabric glue or a tiny piece of fusible seam tape to hold them in position to test that they match, as well as to hold them in place while you stitch.
  8. Stitch each piece of Velcro® in place with a box stitch.
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  9. Flip the pocket over to the exterior side. You can see the little box of stitching holding each Velcro piece in place. You will cover this stitching with your ribbon.
    NOTE: Why didn't we stitch the Velcro® to just the lining prior to sewing the lining and the exterior together thus hiding the stitching? Because we wanted the strength of all three layers sewn together at the Velcro® points. If you only stitched the Velcro® to the lining, then every time you opened and closed the pocket, you would be likely to pull the layers apart and could eventually rip out the Velcro®.
  10. Cut the ribbon into TWO 4½" lengths. Place one length of ribbon over each box of stitching so it covers up the stitching evenly. The ribbon should extend beyond the pocket by about ½" on each side and be nice and straight across the pocket. Lightly pin in place.
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  11. Re-thread your machine with thread in the top and bobbin to match the ribbon.
  12. Topstitch the ribbon along both sides, staying as close as possible to the edge of the ribbon.
    NOTE: You'll find it easier to start and stop if you do not lock your stitch and you begin and end your stitching at the end of the ribbon rather than the edge of pocket. This way, you run up and over the pocket with a nice, clean seam across the front. The ends of the ribbon get tucked in, so no worries about the seam coming un-sewn.
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  13. Fold the pocket along the fold line.
  14. Tuck the ends of the ribbon to the inside. Carefully align the sides of the pocket. Pin in place.
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  15. Be especially careful that your ribbon ends match front to back.
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  16. Edgestitch through all the layers, from the bottom fold up to what is now the top edge of the pocket. This closes the original opening you'd made for turning as well as creates the actual pocket.
    NOTE: At the point of the ribbon, you are sewing through a lot of layers. As usual, our Janome powered right through. But if your machine stutters, stop with your needle in the down position at the bottom of the ribbon and, using the handwheel, handcrank across the ribbon. Stop on the opposite side of the ribbon, and engage the foot pedal to finish the seam.
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  17. Mark the placement for the grommet at the center of the top curved 'tab'. The open center of the grommet should be approximately ⅜" from the top finished edge.
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  18. Following manufacturer's directions or our handy step-by-step tutorial, insert the grommet. We consider the official front of our lanyard to be the plain side and the pocket opening to be the back. Therefore, we inserted the long part of the grommet from the front to the back, popped on the top, and hammered it in place.
    Click to Enlarge
  19. Clip the swivel hook in place to attach the lanyard.


    Project Design: Alicia Thommas     
    Sample Creation: Liz Johnson


    Comments (8)

    Theresa Mcghee Johnson said:
    Theresa Mcghee Johnson's picture

    Thanks for the tutorial, great for the senior program craft class.

    Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
    Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture

    @ Theresa - you're so welcome. This will be a great project for them!

    Momo said:
    Momo's picture

    I would greatly enjoy grocery/fabric store shopping sans  the Big Purse.  Not only is it cumbersome when it is time to load/unload the car, but vulnerable to theft.  I am often immersed in reading labels or looking over some mechandise and not paying enough attention to the Big Bag.   This would fit the bill perfectly!  I am headed to the scrap pile......thank you!

    Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
    Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture

    @ Momo - that sounds like an excellent use for this little pouch!

    Rosemary Bolton said:
    Rosemary Bolton's picture

    This is going to be a favorite. What a useful piece of hand crafted cuteness, and we can make it manly too -

    :-D Thanks for everything you share. I am looking forward to getting some great ideas for gifts.

    Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
    Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture

    @ Rosemary - thanks! lots more great ideas are on the way.

    Coastal Sewist said:
    Coastal Sewist's picture

    Great project, thank you! A suggestion to avoid scratching your machine's throat plate (and bed, for those of us who sew on vintage metal machines): I often sew with hardware as shown in this project, and put "painters tape" (blue masking tape) on the bottom of the hardware while I have it on the machine for stitching. Alternatively, I've slipped a thin piece of cardboard under the hardware (and resting on the machine bed) for the same purpose. Thanks again, love Sew4Home and recommend it very often!

    Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
    Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture

    @ Coastal Sewist - we haven't had a problem with scratching, but what a clever idea this is. Thank you. 

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