Top

Vendor Spotlight & Giveaway!: WireLace and Alacarte Clasps (day 1 of 2)

Reported by Erika Martin

When you hear the words, “wire” and “lace,” you probably wouldn’t think that they go together. After all, wire conjures up thoughts of hard metal, coldness, and rigidity. Lace conjures up thoughts of something soft, frilly, dainty and intricate. Put those two words together, though, and you get a unique, versatile and extraordinary product that can take your crafting in new direction.

I recently had the opportunity to review some items from the WireLace line from Alacarte Clasps. If you’ve never heard of WireLace before and have no idea what it is, I recorded a quick video that shows some of the product line that was sent to me and what this wire lace can do.

WireLace is a wire mesh ribbon perfect for jewelry, crafts, textiles and embellishments and comes in 5 versatile widths and 31 colors (with the 1 mm size coming in all but one color and the 6 mm size coming in all 31 colors). All of the sizes (except the 1 mm) are tubular and expand about 3 times its width. The wider you stretch the WireLace, the shorter the length becomes, so make sure you plan for extra in projects (1/2 to 1 times the final length).
WireLace is also nickel-free, waterproof and heat resistant. It can be used in low heat projects (under 275 degrees).
According to the website, there are quite a few uses for WireLace, including:
  • Expand it to create lacy waves about 3 times its width (not the 1 mm wire lace)
  • Use it flat like ribbon
  • Insert beads, string or wire inside (1 mm not tubular)
  • Knot it
  • Thread it through beads
  • Bake polymer clay on it
  • Knit, crochet, weave or sew with it
…and much more!
The WireLace website provides a Tip Sheet on different ways to use the product: stringing, supporting and finishing. There are full-color photos included along with directions.
I created 4 projects with WireLace and must say that I am quite impressed with the product. I’ll walk you through the 4 projects I made (a bracelet using a kit, a mixed-media canvas, a bracelet/necklace and earrings).
My first project was the Swirls of Pearls bracelet that came in kit form. The kit includes: step-by-step illustrated instructions, template, collapsible eye needle, WireLace, bell end caps, ‘Starry Night’ Alacarte Clasp, and all Swarovski elements.

There are a few tools that you’ll need to complete your project (as noted on the product page) but I found that I could substitute on some of those, as I didn’t have some of the items listed.
I was a bit apprehensive about creating something that looked so intricate and complicated but the kit comes with fantastic directions that were very easy to follow and I was surprised at how quickly I had the bracelet put together.

Following the directions and diagrams on the instruction sheet, I sorted the beads in the order that they needed to be strung.

I threaded the collapsible needle that came with the kit (which is something I used in my other projects later on and made sure that I put it away safely to use for other future projects – it’s a valuable tool) and strung the beads according to the diagram. Our newly adopted rescue kitty, Ozzy, saw me working and decided he wanted to help.


One of the issues that I found here was that three of the largest pearl beads only had one hole in them so the needle couldn’t go completely through them. Because the kit gives you the exact count of beads that you’ll need, that meant that I was short three large pearl beads. Fortunately, there were three pearl beads close to the size that I needed in my grandmother’s old button/bead tin so I was able to complete the necklace. The pearl beads from the tin, though, were a bit yellowed with age, so they didn’t completely match the other pearl beads, but it’s something I can look past. This could pose a problem for other crafters that may not have supplies at home as a back-up.

The next step was to wrap the wire lace and beads around the template that came in the kit. This is where the scotch tape comes in handy and I used it on the edges each time I folded the Wire Lace around the template to hold them in place. The template makes it easy to have strands that are all the same length and tells you which beads go where so that you have an even distribution of them.
Once I got all of my strands wrapped around the card and the beads sorted on each strand, I started gluing them into place according to the template. The directions call for using G-S Hypo Cement but this wasn’t something I had so I used Brush-On Super Glue and that worked perfectly as a substitute.
***UPDATE: I got an email from one of the execs at WireLace with some very useful info to share with you. Here’s what Linda Hartung had to say:

“Super Glue is a great fast and quick hold and on crafts project but when it comes to jewelry it can produce very unsatisfactory results. Not only do we not recommend it – neither does SWAROVSKI or any of our manufacturers that make our jewelry components. The reason is because cyanoacrylate typically shrinks (2% to 11%) and becomes brittle. So in the short term this glue can appear to work – but over time as it shrinks and becomes brittle it can be very disappointing.

The SWAROVSKI senior product manager Nick Regine teaches classes specifically on the properties of glues just to bring about some helpful education. In his class he teaches about how cyanocrylate is so strong it can actually pull the foil backing off the crystals as it shrinks. When used on WireLace it can cause the wire fibers to snap and break because it becomes brittle – that is why we recommend GS Hypo-cement. GS Hypo-cement provides a medium bond with pinpoint precision for easy application while staying flexible with no shrinkage. I’ve also written an article on glues to use on jewelry in case you’re interested http://www.alacarteclasps.com/pdf/gluing-instructions.pdf

We recommend 2-part epoxy for glue in the end caps because it again does not shrink and provides a permanent, strong bond. Here again, shrinkage could be a problem.”

Following the directions and diagrams, I tied of the strands of my bracelet and slid them off the template. To finish off the bracelet, I pushed the knots on the sides of my strands into bell end clasps with some Super Glue and a toothpick. The directions call for 2-part epoxy, but the Super Glue seems to have done a wonderful job as a substitute and those knots aren’t going anywhere.

The Starry Night Clasp comes in the kit and is a beautiful finishing touch for this bracelet. TheWireLace website offers this clasp separately (scroll to bottom of page in link) if you want to purchase it for other projects and custom sets the crystals of your choice (34 crystals to choose from) in your choice of clasp (2 metals to choose from).


The bracelet length can be changed depending on how many times you rotate the strands before clasping. At the longest, the bracelet measures 8 inches (with no twists) and at its shortest, it measures 7 1/4 inches (with 3 twists). The twist is what creates the “swirls of pearls” look.

I love the sparkling and “bubbles” look of the finished bracelet. It reminds me of something you’d see a mermaid wearing. The pearls look like perfectly place bubbles. My daughter is already begging me to wear it!
My next project was a mixed-media canvas. I wanted to try using the WireLace as an embellishment on something other than jewelry.

I used acrylic paints to paint a 12″ x 12″ inch canvas with sand, seaweed, water and added some paper fishes that I cut using paper from the Garden Party Collection from Imaginisce. I also added some distressing spray that I wiped over the canvas to mute the bright colors a bit.


On the “sand” that I painted, I applied some Super Glue in the area that I wanted to add some Cocoa 6 mm WireLace.


When I had the WireLace secure, I pulled at the lace a bit to help expand it and give more texture.

The Seafoam green WireLace was a great addition to the painted seaweed.


I used some of the 1 mm Turquoise WireLace to create some wave texture and dimension.

I added some extra dimension with other embellishments (seed beads, Sharpie marker, googly eyes, sea glass and Imaginisce flowers and brads) to finish off my canvas.


We have a fun ocean and nautical theme going on in our bathroom (yes, I know that’s so cliche) and this is going to look great in there, though my daughter is begging for it to go in her room (notice a pattern here with my daughter? haha!).

My third project was a bracelet/necklace.

I cut four strands each of Turquoise and Chocolate 1 mm WireLace and used those as 1 bunch each to braid with a third strand of 6 mm Aqua WireLace. Before I started braiding, I strung a bunch of beads on the 6 mm Aqua WireLace. Along the way, I moved the beads up and braided in between them.


I tied the ends in two square knots to complete the bracelet/necklace. I pulled a bit too tight and broke the strands of WireLace. I’m not sure if this would happen with the 12 mm and 20 mm width, but both the 1 mm and 6 mm broke when I pulled too tightly.
This strand of beads and WireLace can be worn as a necklace…

…and it can be wrapped around the wrist a few times to be worn as a bracelet.

My fourth project was to create a pair of earrings that complement the bracelet/necklace.

I used two strands each of the 1 mm Chocolate and Turquoise WireLace and strung a red bead onto them. I added knots along the way for interest and used Super Glue to secure the top knot. I added a jump ring right below the top knot and then an earring wire.

I pulled apart the wire at the ends for a little bit of flare, even though the product sheet says that the 1 mm WireLace does not expand.
So, guess who wants the new jewelry I made? Yup, you guessed it! My daughter. She’s getting her ears pierced this week and wants to confiscate this set to put in her jewelry box.
You can browse the WireLace Gallery for ideas and inspiration. There’s also a complete Kit listing. WireLace currently offers 29 jewelry kits along with WireLace sampler kits and pattern/templates kits. You can find a listing of retailers that offer all colors and widths and retailers offering all styles of clasps.
Pros:
  • 5 versatile widths
  • 31 colors
  • 1 mm WireLace comes in all but one color
  • 6 mm WireLace comes in ALL 31 colors
  • 4 largest sizes expand to about 3 times their width
  • Kits come complete with every component except tools and glue
  • Heat resistant, waterproof and nickel-free
  • Enamel coating creates stunningly shiny finish
  • Collapsible needle in Kit is handy in other projects outside of the kit
  • Mutiple uses: weaving, crocheting, knitting, beading, knotting, bake it, insert things into the larger sizes, use it as embellishments, etc.
Cons:
  • 1 mm and 2.5 mm WireLace breaks if pulled too hard
  • Not all beads in Kit were usable and I had to improvise with beads I had on hand
  • Not easily found in most craft stores, so most will need to look online for products
  • Price point can be a bit high for some crafters for both kits and WireLace
I personally enjoyed using the WireLace in spite of the few cons that I discovered and would love to try it with a crochet hook next. Another way that I plan to use it next is on an art quilt. I think the texture of the larger size WireLace would be a great addition to art quilting. Now I just need to go make sure my daughter didn’t confiscate everything I made!

GIVEAWAY!
Our friends at WireLace and Alacarte Clasps have given us a kit to give away. Just leave a comment answering the following question to be entered to win.


What kind of crafts would you use WireLace for? Which color of WireLace is your favorite?

One comment per person, per day (this is day 1 of 2), please. Winner will be selected on Saturday, May 14, 2011.

    Click on the link at the top of the page to visit Craft Critique for comments, giveaways and more!

    , , , , , , , ,

    74 Responses to Vendor Spotlight & Giveaway!: WireLace and Alacarte Clasps (day 1 of 2)

    1. Amy May 9, 2011 at 7:11 am #

      This is so cool! I would use this on cards and scrapbook pages.

    2. JoAnnG May 9, 2011 at 7:49 am #

      Being a paper crafter and a woman who dabbles in creating jewelry, I would most certainly use the WireLace in my cards and also to make a bracelet. Since lime green is my favorite color, the choice is easy! Thanks for the opportunity to win.

    3. JoAnnG May 9, 2011 at 7:50 am #

      One additional comment. The picture with the kitty “helping” is sooo true. My two furry boys are always on top of whatever project I am working on.

    4. Melanie May 9, 2011 at 8:00 am #

      It looks so versatile! I would use it on a canvas piece, but also dabble in jewelry making! And the turquoise is my most favorite color!

    5. Krisa May 9, 2011 at 8:21 am #

      I would use it in mixed media canvas work and other projects, I loved the example with the painting.

    6. Jamie May 9, 2011 at 8:27 am #

      This is awesome! I like all the colors and they would be great for just about any craft!

    7. Kelly Massman May 9, 2011 at 8:32 am #

      Knowing me, I’d probably find a way to use it in scrapbooking!

      thanks also for a chance to win!
      kmassmanATgmailDOTcom

    8. Elaine A May 9, 2011 at 8:33 am #

      Wow, something new I just HAVE to HAVE! I love all the colors, but I think I’m partial to the Seafoam Green. I would use this in mixed media art and most definitely to make jewelry.

      Elaine Allen

    9. Clever Creations May 9, 2011 at 8:40 am #

      Now that is cool. I would use it on my canvases. Thanks for sharing I have ever seen this before.

    10. kathhawk1 May 9, 2011 at 9:22 am #

      I love the bracelet! Would love to use it with other jewelry. Have seen pieces with the bead inside the wirelace, and they were beautiful. Would love to ‘play’ with it!

    11. Caranam May 9, 2011 at 9:27 am #

      I absolutely love the look of this stuff. The copper and merlot wires look like they are just dying to be used together. I can see doing jewelery with this or even adding it to some of my altered art shrines. So much fun!

    12. silvermelanie May 9, 2011 at 9:42 am #

      hi,
      i love the copper and so many of the other colors add a richness to jewelry design. these are things i would love to use more in my jewelry making.
      melanie silver

    13. Anita May 9, 2011 at 9:46 am #

      The jewelery would be fun to make.

    14. Patchi May 9, 2011 at 10:28 am #

      I would use it to make card embellishments – like ribbon flowers! This is so cool! And I love the teal color!

    15. Diane S. May 9, 2011 at 10:43 am #

      This looks to be a great idea-have not used anything like this so it would be terrific to try!

    16. Do Be Do Bead Do May 9, 2011 at 11:18 am #

      I’ve seen this product at jewelry/bead shows, but never picked any up and would love to try it. I love the copper and the aqua colors!

    17. Tona May 9, 2011 at 11:25 am #

      This stuff looks amazing! I love the 1st bracelet that you made & would like to try that, but i could laos see myself using it on cards & layouts quite a bit.

    18. Irene Lenihan May 9, 2011 at 11:43 am #

      I would enjoy playing with this product. I think I could use it in a lot of different ways.

    19. huntla1 May 9, 2011 at 11:51 am #

      I love this stuff. I have actually used it once when I made a necklace and really liked it. It was a class that I was in so I did not really know what it was that I was using. I would definitely use it in more jewelry and I loved how it looked on your mixed media piece, so might give that a crack. Thanks for the opportunity to win a kit. I may just have to visit their site and add it to my favorites!

    20. Cari D. Cruse May 9, 2011 at 11:59 am #

      This is really beautiful and I love all the verstile ways you’ve shown to use it. I would love to use some on some greeting cards. Of all the beautiful colors, I think chocolate would be my favorite. 🙂

    21. Rhea May 9, 2011 at 12:11 pm #

      Great product! I would use this both for jewelry and for mixed media applications.

    22. Jingle May 9, 2011 at 12:38 pm #

      This is really neat! I would love to use this for my art dolls and mixed media projects!

    23. bernietom47 May 9, 2011 at 12:42 pm #

      This is an amazing new product! They are all so lovely picking a favorite color would be difficult. I would definitely use this on my cards.
      Blessings Bernie

    24. CLK May 9, 2011 at 1:15 pm #

      I have a 6 year old that asks to do “projecs” everyday This looks so easy to use, I love it. im sure me and her could whip up some fab bracelets together…. fun! fun!

    25. Ann May 9, 2011 at 1:38 pm #

      I would love to try incorporating WireLace into my quilled paper jewelry designs.

    26. vicky May 9, 2011 at 1:38 pm #

      You’ve got my attention. I think making florettes for various projects would be my first attempt. I like the looks of this ribbon for sure.

    27. Gretchen Wilson May 9, 2011 at 1:41 pm #

      Wow, this is something I would really like to try. It seems like it could be use in multi media projects.

    28. Anne Temple May 9, 2011 at 1:44 pm #

      I would really like to try this out. Tanzanite is my favorite color. Thanks for the chance to win some.

    29. Dragonlady May 9, 2011 at 1:49 pm #

      I love the seafoam green, and would love to use this in some of my paper crafts….
      Brenda

    30. Gail May 9, 2011 at 1:50 pm #

      I’d use it on cards to start, then branch out, making jewelry.
      Wish I had a cat to help, like you do!
      My cats are all outside!
      I like all the colors

    31. Michelle May 9, 2011 at 1:51 pm #

      Oh I love that bracelet! I would be making the swirls of pearls bracelet right now if I had the goodies!

    32. Aznewmom May 9, 2011 at 2:02 pm #

      Fun looking item. Thanks for a chance to win some. I would use it on cards, for sure. Is it able to withstand weather? If so, I might integrate it into some outdoor mosaic work. Could be fun to add texture.

    33. Candy May 9, 2011 at 2:04 pm #

      I LOVE the pearl bracelet. I would like to make some just like it but in other colors, turquoise, purple, lime, etc.

    34. rush May 9, 2011 at 2:05 pm #

      i would use this product for making bracelets or for using on mixed media pieces, and i love the aqua color.

    35. Deb May 9, 2011 at 2:06 pm #

      I would use it on scrapbook layouts.
      I think the white would be my fav. color.
      For:
      snowflakes
      snow
      on trees

      the posibalities are endless

    36. Char May 9, 2011 at 2:11 pm #

      This is just gorgeous. I saw it on Martha Stewart and it is fantastic. My favorite is the Shimmering Gold with the pearls. I love all the colors. I’d use it on Cards and make some jewelry. Please enter me in the Giveaway.

    37. wings love'n crafts May 9, 2011 at 2:26 pm #

      All colors are very pretty…. if I have to choose, UMMMM?! I will say the rust. I will use the WireLace in card making and Scrapbooking!!
      :o)

    38. Irit Shalom May 9, 2011 at 2:37 pm #

      Look fantastic!! Need to try this one!I think I would be back to my jewelry making with those ones

    39. Sandy #1781 May 9, 2011 at 2:49 pm #

      Without a doubt, I love this wire lace! I can’t possibly pick a favorite color, so I will say the Aqua, Turquoise, Emerald, Seafoam, and Tangerine will top my list! I would love to use this not only in my card making and layouts, but in all my altered canvases and art. Thanks for the chance to win!

    40. Rebecca Ednie May 9, 2011 at 2:51 pm #

      I’d love to make the first bracelet in the article! Or something similar! And it could be fun on ATCs as well!

    41. Queen Mary May 9, 2011 at 2:54 pm #

      Great review Erika! You provided lots of information in a readable style! This product is new to me also, I checked the colors — I love the deeper tones, the burgundy and tanzanite – which looks very purple to me! I think my daughter Sarah would use this for jewelry and mixed media, I like that it comes in kits so the jewelry impaired (like me) could make something, but all the different colors make me think of special holiday centerpieces, altered items – not necessarily paper crafting! It just looks like so much fun!

    42. Elaine May 9, 2011 at 3:13 pm #

      This is fantastic!! I can think of a million uses. I would like to try it with my acrylic paintings where I use various found objects interjected in my paintings. Elaine

    43. Anita May 9, 2011 at 3:47 pm #

      I would make Jewelry. or using it for scrapbooking. I first saw it on Martha stewart show and they were making Jewelry. My favorit color is Purple I loved the wirelace and have been trying to find it. Thanks for a chance to win. I would love to win. Anita

    44. Caroline May 9, 2011 at 3:55 pm #

      This wire lace looks fantabulous and very fun! I’ve never seen it before so I thank you for the review. I’d use it to embellish my cards in place of ribbons. All the colors look very pretty… hard to pick just one I think since their website says 31 colors, but the seafoam, turquoise, rose gold, rust and copper top off my wish list.

    45. Lindsey May 9, 2011 at 3:57 pm #

      I like the look of the pale gold and brass colours to use on cards. Looks like fun!

    46. Rebecca Ednie May 9, 2011 at 4:05 pm #

      I’d love to make the first bracelet in the article! Or something similar! And it could be fun on ATCs as well!

    47. Wendy Foster May 9, 2011 at 4:06 pm #

      I would use it when beading. My favorite color is copper.

    48. Kathy May 9, 2011 at 4:14 pm #

      Whis is one of the most novel new craft products to come down the pike, and I really like what can be done with it! I don’t make jewelry (or wear it), but I can definitely see myself using it on my pages, pulled apart and shaped, or with gems and pearls and buttons interspersed with it. It’s really hard to pick colors, but I do love the tanzanite and the orange!

    49. LisaAnn May 9, 2011 at 4:21 pm #

      Right now I love the turquoise and aqua but it is hard not to list them all! I want to make the dragonfly pins asap!

    50. Lynda May 9, 2011 at 4:41 pm #

      The dusty rose – so pretty. I’d make some jewelry for sure. Thanks for the giveaway.

    51. Barbara Burgess May 9, 2011 at 5:22 pm #

      I think the WireLace is very cool and different. A great new idea! I would have a hard time deciding on a color, but I like the tanzanite, aqua and seafoam the most. I could do a lot of fun things on my cards with this product.

    52. Jan May 9, 2011 at 5:54 pm #

      I would be making cards with the wire lace…I like the aqua color.
      This really looks to be versatile and could be applied in various ways.

    53. Donna May 9, 2011 at 6:47 pm #

      I love how you can pull it apart and use it in place of ribbon. I’m sure I would be using it on my cards. Very cool product! I was amazed at the number of different colors available. They are all gorgeous but I’d love to work with lilac.

    54. Lori May 9, 2011 at 9:26 pm #

      I like the aqua color the most–my daughter and I would have a ton of fun making bracelets.
      lkziegler[at]gmail[dot]com

    55. debpaint16 May 10, 2011 at 3:48 am #

      I saw this on the MS show, & fell in love with it!! I’ve never seen anything like this!! My favorite colors are ALL of them…lol But really, I love the Rose Gold, Azure, Navy, Silver Blue & Copper!! I would love to try to make a bracelet & use it on some of my cards!!! Thanks for the chance to win this awesome give away!!
      debpaint16@aol.com

    56. Denise ~ Paper Ponderings May 10, 2011 at 7:18 am #

      Oh my. Love all of the creations, but the seaweed is what really caught my eye. That is incredible. I would probably use it for cards and I love the blue!

    57. Carole RB May 10, 2011 at 7:26 am #

      I would use WireLace for cardmaking and surely a few necklaces. Thanks for giving us the opportunity to win.

    58. Donna VW May 10, 2011 at 7:41 am #

      I like the copper color. This product is so versitile. I would like to try to use it on a canvas.

    59. Mrs Ham May 10, 2011 at 9:58 am #

      I would use it for card making and scrapbooking. I love the chocolate.

    60. Phyllis Houser May 10, 2011 at 10:59 am #

      This is the first time I have seen this product. Absolutely love it and see many uses for it!

    61. juicyfruits May 10, 2011 at 11:20 am #

      Oh, I like the aqua and purple wire lace. I would make floweres out of this craft medium and put them on headbands for my grand daughter!

    62. kreationzbyzabrina May 10, 2011 at 11:38 am #

      Wow this is so cool. The possibilities you can make with this. Cards pictures Scrapbooks. The list goes on and on.

    63. Artful Hands May 10, 2011 at 1:11 pm #

      I adore this…cant wait to order some. If I had to pick just one it’d be black. Id make necklaces. The lacy stretched look is gorgeous!

    64. McStamper May 10, 2011 at 1:38 pm #

      Beautiful for so many things. On cards, collages, etc. I love it.

    65. Chris Wooten May 10, 2011 at 2:42 pm #

      this stuff is awesome..thanks for the ideas.

      chris
      mcwooten1999@carolina.rr.com

    66. rudie2shoes May 10, 2011 at 2:57 pm #

      I think the bracelet came out beautifully. I think I would try to make some jewerly out of it. And either the gold or silver is my fav so far.

    67. Sue D May 10, 2011 at 5:18 pm #

      My favorite color is rose gold and I would make bracelets with it.

    68. Jodi May 11, 2011 at 12:45 am #

      How fun is this stuff?!? I would definitely use it on paper crafting projects, but we recently bought some canvases to try our hand at that and I like how it looks on yours, so why not that too….My daughter wants to start making hair accessories and jewelry, so there’s another use. There are so many pretty colors, but my favorites are Aqua and Pink.

    69. Anonymous May 11, 2011 at 6:30 am #

      Oh my–how fun! Love all the colors. It would be hard to pick. It would be fun to make jewelry or even embellies for cards. Thanks for the chance to win some since it is kinda pricey.
      kcmanifoldatqdotcom
      Karen M.

    70. AShu93 May 11, 2011 at 12:53 pm #

      I like the papercraft embellies that you made on the part 2 of this article. The flower is wonderful.

      My fav color is the aqua.

    71. Iris May 11, 2011 at 3:55 pm #

      I would use it on my cards but would like to make a bracelet too. Iris
      isoscia at aol dot com

    72. BunnyFreak May 12, 2011 at 2:03 pm #

      I would love to make jewelry with this. My favorite color is the turquoise.

    73. Superfan May 13, 2011 at 12:45 pm #

      Fabulous for embellishing paper carafts! I would love to try it, thanks for the review and chance to win.

    74. Linda May 13, 2011 at 2:28 pm #

      This product looks fabulous!!! I’d use it primarily on cards, collages, canvas,fabric or paper but of course I’d also try my hand at jewelry art! My fave color would be the gold because I know I could find a way to alter the color if I needed to! 🙂