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.
- 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
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.
“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!
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.
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.
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!).
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.
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.
- 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.
- 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
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.