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