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

Reported by Susan Reidy

I’m not usually a jewelry maker, but lookie what I made.

Ohh, ahh. It’s so pretty, sparkly and girly. I love it! And, it was pretty easy to make, even for this novice.

My beautiful results were all thanks to the WaterLily Necklace Kit by Alacarte Clasps. It had all the materials I needed to make the necklace, and super simple, easy-to-follow directions.

One of the stars of this necklace–the ingredient that gives it the airy, ethereal feel — is the WireLace. WireLace is ribbon woven with very fine wires of brass, copper and/or aluminum that is bonded with an enamel coating in a rainbow of colors.

A unique aspect of WireLace is its ability to expand to about three times its width. Here it is straight from the package all shiny and silky.

Now, I grabbed it on either side and pulled gently to make these awesome waves of ribbony goodness.

And if you don’t like how your waves look, you can smooth it back out and try again, and again. It’s also a tube, so you can gently open one end and put things inside, like beads. I had tons of fun stretching it out, making different shapes, and then smoothing it back out. It’s really addictive.

My example here is the 6 mm (about 1/4 inch before expanding), but it’s also available in 1 mm ( about 1/32 inch, which doesn’t expand); 2.5 mm (1/8 inch); 12 mm (1/2 inch); and 20 mm (7/8 inch). WireLace is available in 31 colors.


It’s nickel-free, which is good for people with allergies to nickel, it’s waterproof so you can use it in items that might get wet or need to be hand washed and it’s heat resistant (although some colors will change slightly when heated).

Don’t the delicate, airy appearance fool you. I stretched the you-know-what out of a small piece, as you can see below.

I was still able to smooth it back out into its original shape. It did fray slightly at the end, as you can see above, and some of the fibers started unraveling, but I did handle this piece quite a bit as I was testing it out. When my testing was done, the piece was still usable; I just snipped off the fraying end.

With all WireLace can do, it’s no wonder that it’s famous. It’s been featured twice by the Queen of Craft, Martha Stewart. During her March 2 Crafts Hour, Martha and Kristin St. Clair showed how to make this awesome mesh ombre necklace, putting the tube properties of WireLace to good use.

On Martha’s Eggcellent Easter Special, this Egg Garland with WireLace was featured.

You can buy WireLace by the yard, in 10-yard spools or in complete kits for making lots of awesome jewelry pieces. I decided to start my actual WireLace crafting (I did do lots of playing first) with the WaterLily kit.

Here are all the goodies included in the kit, which retails for $69. It includes Swarovski crystals in teal, green and violet; Italian glass silver seedbeads, wire, turquoise WireLace, crimp beads, end caps and a teardrop shaped clasp. All I had to add was G-5 Hypo Cement, a two-part epoxy and needle nose pliers.

First off, I had to twist the ends of the WireLace into a point, and add some of the Hypo Cement. This makes it into a nice point to make threading the center beads easier. You can see the nice step-by-step directions, with full-color photos. Even if I didn’t fully understand a step, I just had to look at the photo, and it all made sense.

I had some trouble at first getting my beads through, but I just kept twisting the WireLace until the point was thin enough.

This is the first bead to go on, right to the center of the WireLace.


Next, you have to strong the wire through, being careful not to snag the WireLace on the way. This was a little tricky, but I found if I pulled down on the WireLace, there was plenty of room to sneak the wire through.

I added the rest of the beads for the center piece, and strung the wire through twice to make a circle.


I pulled on the wire to pull the beads into a circle and added the crimp beads to keep it in shape. It’s a tight squeeze; needle nose pliers are a must.

Here’s the center piece all finished, looking just like the directions!


Next, it was time to string on the violet crystals, every inch and a half.

After the crystals are all strung, separate the WireLace that is between each group of crystals. This was a fun step.

Then it was time to string the seedbeads. I’m not sure why I don’t have a photo of this step; maybe it’s because I was going cross eyed from stringing a bazillion teeny tiny beads. Ok, I exaggerate, but it was a lot of beads, and was probably the most time consuming part (but it wasn’t difficult). The beaded wire weaves in and out of the WireLace poofs. I love that look.

Once that’s done, I added the crimp beads to the ends and trimmed down the extra wire and WireLace.

I mixed up my two-part epoxy and filled up my end caps before adding them to each end.

I added the clasp and it was all done. Alacarte Clasps has all kinds of kits available for necklaces, bracelets and earrings.

I love how simple it was to follow these directions, and come up with such a professional looking necklace. The materials are a wonderful, top-of-the-line quality.


Since I thoroughly enjoyed my jewelry making experience, I wanted to see what I could on my own. I also wanted to incorporate it into my first love, papercrafting. I decided to make a free form flower. I made two sets of petals, twisting them in the middle, and then securing them with wire. I added some pearls to the middle, again with some wire.

Here are the leaves I added after the flower was assembled. I decided to wire a pin to the back.

Here it is all finished. I just shaped my flower from the WireLace, but you could also put a wire inside the WireLace, and shape it that way.

I took another piece of WireLace, stretched it out, and added some pearls to the inside, working them down the length with my fingers.

I thought it made a nice border for my Mother’s Day card, which also includes my flower pin. It’s a card and gift in one!

I enjoyed the WireLace shaping so much, I wanted to try making a butterfly. I made one poof, twisted it in the middle, and made another poof.

I made two of these.

And wired them to my butterfly’s body, which I also made from wire. I’m thinking this little guy will be perfect for some home decor, or a scrapbook page. I keep thinking of more custom embellishments I could make for all my papercrafting.

I really enjoyed working with this product. It’s unlike anything I’ve have ever used before. I can’t wait to make some more jewelry, and incorporate it into some scrapbooking.

Pros:
  • Unique product that can be stretched to three times its width, and then smoothed back into its original shape.
  • Tube-like shape, so can add beads inside the WireLace.
  • Super versatile. Great for jewelry making, papercrafting, polymer clay, even sewing projects.
  • Complete kits are available, with quality components and step-by-step, easy to follow instructions.

Cons

  • On the pricier side at about $5 per yard for the 6 mm size, and $50 and up for complete kits.
  • You’re going to love playing with it so much, you’re going to want lots and lots.

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

Have you tried WireLace? Which of their kits do you like the most?


One comment per person, per day (this is day 2 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!

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

  1. Avatar
    Denise ~ Paper Ponderings May 10, 2011 at 7:17 am #

    I have not tried it. I did see it featured on MS and was in awe of it then. Your post has only made me want to try it more!!! Absolutely gorgeous creations.

  2. Avatar
    Carole RB May 10, 2011 at 7:23 am #

    I haven’t tried it and I really don’t know if I’ll ever be able to find it around here. My favorite kit is 1mm WireLace Sampler Kit because it has all those beautiful colors but at this price ooooohhh!

    Thanks for giving us the opportunity to win.

  3. Avatar
    Donna VW May 10, 2011 at 7:30 am #

    This looks so cool. I love the butterfly and the flower the you made. Your “con” was right, they are pricey.

  4. Avatar
    Tambo May 10, 2011 at 8:12 am #

    I have not tried it, but it looks gorgeous. My favorite kit is I Makin’ Waves Necklace & Pendant Kit. The pendant is absolutely gorgeous. tfs Tami
    tambo1010atcomcastdotnet

    Tambo’s Creations

  5. Avatar
    Caranam May 10, 2011 at 8:14 am #

    I have not tried it, but now I really want to. Especially their autumn leaves bracelet kit

  6. Avatar
    Cathy May 10, 2011 at 8:25 am #

    No I have never tried this, but it looks like it would be a lot of fun and I will definitely look for it and try it. Would love to win it. I love to try anything new and I do make jewelry.

  7. Avatar
    Irene Lenihan May 10, 2011 at 8:30 am #

    I bought some and then didn’t know what to do with it. Love all the ideas you showed. Thanks for letting us have a chance to win some.

  8. Avatar
    Amy May 10, 2011 at 9:24 am #

    Another thing that I now feel like I need after reading these articles…all of the flowers and butterflies that could be made…I would LOVE to try it

  9. Avatar
    Krisa May 10, 2011 at 9:30 am #

    For jewelry I’d love to try the making waves set. But overall the samplers look amazing and I’d love to try the dogwood or butterflies you made on altered canvas art!

  10. Avatar
    Kristy Tyra May 10, 2011 at 9:31 am #

    I have not used any yet, but I would love to try a necklace or bracelet.

  11. Avatar
    Genevieve May 10, 2011 at 9:35 am #

    I haven’t used wire lace, but the sampler kits look very yummy!

  12. Avatar
    Melissa M May 10, 2011 at 10:10 am #

    What a cool product. I have never even seen it before but I love what you did with it today. And as for the price – there is a lot in our hobby that is pricey so if it is worth it it will get used. Thanks for all the product info you share on this site.

  13. Avatar
    Sylvia/LittleTreasures May 10, 2011 at 10:11 am #

    Beautiful post. No I have not tried wire lace,but I like it. I really like the Cardmaking Flower kit thanks for all the inso

  14. Avatar
    Do Be Do Bead Do May 10, 2011 at 10:44 am #

    I LOVE the fern necklace kit. Who am I kidding, I love it all!

  15. Avatar
    Patchi May 10, 2011 at 10:55 am #

    What a gorgeous necklace! And my favorite colors too!

  16. Avatar
    Phyllis Houser May 10, 2011 at 11:00 am #

    Love this necklace! My favorite colors.

  17. Avatar
    LisaAnn May 10, 2011 at 12:38 pm #

    Haven’t tried it yet but I LOVE this Water Lily necklace!!!

  18. Avatar
    {VICKI} May 10, 2011 at 12:44 pm #

    No, I haven’t but really looks like something I would like.

    Love the butterfly

  19. Avatar
    Leisa May 10, 2011 at 12:53 pm #

    I’d never seen or heard of it before – but it looks cool! I LOVE the colors of the waterlily necklace kit that you made. Thanks for sharing 🙂

  20. Avatar
    Ellie Sew Sweet May 10, 2011 at 12:59 pm #

    Rock Candy Bracelet Kit looks beautiful and fun!

  21. Avatar
    BarbW. May 10, 2011 at 1:02 pm #

    I have not tried WireLace but it looks like a fabulous product to play with. I especially like the wonderful colors & all the things that can be created.

  22. Avatar
    Ronile May 10, 2011 at 1:40 pm #

    This is new to me. I’d love to try it for making jewelry and book embellishments.

  23. Avatar
    Lynda May 10, 2011 at 1:40 pm #

    The Crystal Rhythms or the Orbit necklace kits. Wow! But the sampler would also be neat.
    I’ve never used it but could put it to good use.

  24. Avatar
    Lynda May 10, 2011 at 1:41 pm #

    The Crystal Rhythms or the Orbit necklace kits. Wow! But the sampler would also be neat.
    I’ve never used it but could put it to good use.

  25. Avatar
    McStamper May 10, 2011 at 1:43 pm #

    I have not seen this before but the kits are great. Love the dragonfly.

  26. Avatar
    Karen (TLgirl353) May 10, 2011 at 1:55 pm #

    I haven’t tried these yet, and would love to win any of them. I have been intrigued from the first time I saw them on MS.

  27. Avatar
    Deb May 10, 2011 at 2:23 pm #

    I really like the kit you have today. you have a true talent.
    I need to live next doorto you.
    LOL

  28. Avatar
    KRT May 10, 2011 at 2:29 pm #

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  29. Avatar
    KRT May 10, 2011 at 2:31 pm #

    I have been wanting to try the Wire Lace for some time now, so when I saw the review it renewed my interest!
    I love the Golden Pearls kit but would be happy with any one of them. They are all so beautiful!!

  30. Avatar
    Artful Hands May 10, 2011 at 2:34 pm #

    I have never tried it, or seen it; this is a first for me. I love the waterlily kit as I really like the lace look of the wire stretched and ribbon like.

  31. Avatar
    Elaine May 10, 2011 at 2:39 pm #

    I haven’t tried this product. How I would love to. The Water Lilly kit is beautiful. Elaine

  32. Avatar
    Caroline May 10, 2011 at 2:45 pm #

    The flower pin is gorgeous! I had not ever seen or heard of wire lace until yesterday from the other review. I’d like to try some so maybe I’ll be lucky and win the give away! I looked at all the kits on their website and all look great, but if I had to choose just one, it would be the Swirls of Pearls bracelet.

  33. Avatar
    Anita May 10, 2011 at 2:52 pm #

    I have not tried it. I would love the Ruffles Bracelet.

  34. Avatar
    rudie2shoes May 10, 2011 at 2:58 pm #

    Oh my, your flower is gorgeous! The cascading earring kit looks fun!

  35. Avatar
    Gretchen Wilson May 10, 2011 at 3:40 pm #

    I haven’t tried this product yet, but I certainly would like to try. It look amazing and that it can be used in Mulit media project. I would love a chance to win.

  36. Avatar
    Anita May 10, 2011 at 4:04 pm #

    I would love to win. I can find lots of ways to use the wirelace scrapbooking and cards. please pick me thanks for a chance to win.
    Anita abbraddock@msn.com

  37. Avatar
    Lori May 10, 2011 at 4:26 pm #

    I haven’t tried them, but Orbit Necklace or Makin Waves are my favorites.
    lkziegler[at]gmail[dot]com

  38. Avatar
    Ann Martin May 10, 2011 at 4:50 pm #

    I haven’t tried any of the kits yet, but would love to. The orbit necklace kit looks great, as do the sampler kits.

  39. Avatar
    Anonymous May 10, 2011 at 5:18 pm #

    I have never tried WireLace, but I am intrigued by it. The 2 Craft Critiques were great and really got my creative juices flowing. I would like to start with either the 2.5mm or the 6.0mm sampler kits. I am not sure what Susan Reidy used for the butterfly and flower, but that would be a great size to start with. I too, am into paper crafts.

  40. Avatar
    Barbara Burgess May 10, 2011 at 5:19 pm #

    I forgot to leave my name on the above post…

  41. Avatar
    Sue D May 10, 2011 at 5:21 pm #

    I have not tried it or ever seen it before. My favorite kit is the Dragonfly Pin kit.

  42. Avatar
    Tamara May 10, 2011 at 5:26 pm #

    Love this wire lace! The lack of availability to see it in person, and the cost has kept me away, but I think I might try it out after reading the reviews.

  43. Avatar
    Michelle May 10, 2011 at 5:29 pm #

    I have not tried it, but I would love to! All these projects being share make me want to try it out. Beautiful!

  44. Avatar
    Heather May 10, 2011 at 5:37 pm #

    I would love to try this in jewelry or ???haven’t decided!

    heatherd@hcabothell.org

  45. Avatar
    Susan May 10, 2011 at 6:42 pm #

    The butterfly and flower you made are beautiful!! I’ve tried the wire lace before and I really like it. I just might have to pick up the swirls of pearls kit.

  46. Avatar
    Cottagerca May 10, 2011 at 7:36 pm #

    Water \lily is a beautiful kit. I have not tired this wire lace yet, although i have taken some bead classes at the bi-annual craft festival.
    ava

  47. Avatar
    bernietom47 May 10, 2011 at 8:46 pm #

    Sadly I will never be able buy this unless I win the lottery. WAY beyond of my meager budget. BUT it is ever so beautiful and versatile IF I could I would get one of, if not all of the sampler kits. Beautiful colors to die for. Thanks for the chance to win.
    Blessings Bernie

  48. Avatar
    huntla1 May 10, 2011 at 8:53 pm #

    I have used this once for a necklace that I made some time ago. I did not at the time realize all the different ways that it can be used. This waterlily necklace is gorgeous. I just love the colors — purple and aqua and green — gorgeous!

  49. Avatar
    Judy May 10, 2011 at 9:52 pm #

    Haven´t tried it but the WireLace is gorgeous – I would love to try to make that necklace and the flower on the Mother´s Day card!

  50. Avatar
    Jan May 10, 2011 at 10:37 pm #

    Looks lovely…think I would try the sampler first!

  51. Avatar
    Tona May 10, 2011 at 10:51 pm #

    I have never tried this or ever heard of it before. My favorite kit is swirl of pearls.

  52. Avatar
    debpaint16 May 11, 2011 at 12:14 am #

    I have not tried this yet, but I did see it on the MS Show, & thought it was one of the coolest things I’d ever seen!! My favorite kit is the Swirls of Crystal Pearls Bracelet!! It is just beautiful!! Thanks so much for the chance to win!!
    debpaint16@aol.com

  53. Avatar
    Jodi May 11, 2011 at 12:58 am #

    I have never tried this before…actually this is the first I’ve seen of it. It really looks like a lot of fun and very versatile. I love what you did with it…the flower and butterfly are gorgeous. My favorite kits are the Waterlily, the Crystal Sonnet 3 Strand and Crystal Sonnet Y necklace (need both for layering) and of course the matching earrings! I also love the sampler ribbon kits…but tose are too expensive for me!

  54. Avatar
    rush May 11, 2011 at 2:19 am #

    i have not tried this product, but if i could, i would love to make the cascade necklace.

  55. Avatar
    Anonymous May 11, 2011 at 6:20 am #

    I am really loving the look of the wire lace. Would sure be fun to create with this product. But as in the cons section–pretty pricey! Oh how I’d love to win some though!!
    kcmanifoldatqdotcom
    Karen M.

  56. Avatar
    Sue in CT May 11, 2011 at 6:47 am #

    I have not tried it. It looks really neat to use. I love the way it stays in shape plus you can put the pearls in it and they stay. It really looks fantastic on the card too. I can see lots of dragon flies and butterflies made with this. Have you seen the grey kit? That looks so stunning. If I had to pick a kit I would pick that one but to be truthful I would be happy with any kit including the sampler kit.

  57. Avatar
    kurlygirl May 11, 2011 at 7:10 am #

    This is the first I’ve heard of this amazing product! I couldn’t narrow it down to one kit, but I really think Orbit and Amazing Greys are both beautiful!

  58. Avatar
    Sherrie Jo May 11, 2011 at 9:08 am #

    I have seen this but never saw what was made with it .. now I have to try it! Thank you for the great blog on it

  59. Avatar
    AShu93 May 11, 2011 at 12:43 pm #

    I’ve never heard of this & it looks really great! I like the swirls & drop earring kit the best.

  60. Avatar
    Gail May 11, 2011 at 12:46 pm #

    I’ve not even seen this in stores!
    I’d love the dragonfly kits, or the Autumn leaves bracelet kit!
    They’re all gorgeous!

  61. Avatar
    Miranda's Critters May 11, 2011 at 1:21 pm #

    I have never tried Wirelace but after seeing it, I have to get some to try out for mermaid tails with my polymer clay sculptures. I would also be interested in trying the Dragonfly pin kit.

    Miranda Farrand
    http://www.mirandascritters.blogspot.com
    http://www.mirandascritters.etsy.com
    http://www.facebook.com/MirandasCritters

    mrszfarrand@yahoo.com

  62. Avatar
    Kelly Sas May 11, 2011 at 3:46 pm #

    I have not even heard of Wirelace until now – that is another reason why I like this blog. I certainly want to try it now though after this post – it looks amazing what it makes!

  63. Avatar
    Iris May 11, 2011 at 3:53 pm #

    Have not tried it yet but it looks like fun. Iris
    isoscia at aol dot com

  64. Avatar
    realmofthebluerosedragon May 11, 2011 at 4:31 pm #

    Be still my heart! Have not tried it have done something similar with pot scrubbers. I would be happy with any of the kits and or pieces to try.
    thanks for a great give away.. faerie wings, pixies, mermaids…

  65. Avatar
    Irit Shalom May 11, 2011 at 4:53 pm #

    Autumn leaves bracelet is my fave.. Also everything is very nice.. Would like to try some, really

  66. Avatar
    Donna May 11, 2011 at 5:49 pm #

    This is the first time I’ve seen this product but it really peaks my interest! I love all the kits but I think I’d really like to try out the Waterlily necklace kit. Gorgeous!

  67. Avatar
    Rebecca Ednie May 11, 2011 at 6:59 pm #

    I love the kit from the first article. So pretty!

  68. Avatar
    karensartspace May 11, 2011 at 8:24 pm #

    I got several but haven’t yet tried them, they seem too precious to play with! I like the 12mm wire lace kit best.

  69. Avatar
    Clever Creations May 12, 2011 at 11:06 am #

    So cool. I love the flowers.

  70. Avatar
    BunnyFreak May 12, 2011 at 12:42 pm #

    This is so unique. I love the results you got. I have not used it but would love to try it. My favorite is the ferns and vine necklace kit.

  71. Avatar
    Anne Temple May 12, 2011 at 1:44 pm #

    This looks so cool. Love the projects created and would love the chance to try this product.

  72. Avatar
    Bev May 14, 2011 at 9:58 am #

    beautiful stuff! I am going to look for it. First I was thinking how much my grand daughter would love jewelry with this. But then since I am a scrapbooker, I began to think how I could use it for Lay outs and cards. I will be looking for some of this!

  73. Avatar
    Nedlnut May 14, 2011 at 5:20 pm #

    I have never even seen this. I love the butterfly!

  74. Avatar
    wrs May 6, 2012 at 4:18 pm #

    I’ve seen some pieces made from a product called wireknitz, which is actually what I was looking for when I came across your post. The wirelace line looks as though it comes in a wider variety of colors. I’d love to try it!

  75. Avatar
    wrs May 6, 2012 at 4:27 pm #

    I came across this when looking for a similar product called wireknitz, but I think wirelace comes in more colors. I’ll definitely be trying the wirelace soon.