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Tips & Techniques

Get tips and techniques to become a better beader at Lima Beads.


Working with WireLace

WireLace is a ribbon woven with very fine wires of brass, copper and/or aluminum. It’s bonded with an enamel coating to create a variety of stunning colors. It’s flexible and forgiving, so it’s a great way to work a new texture into your designs. Below you’ll find some facts & fun ways to get started with WireLace.

Shop for WireLace >


Facts about WireLace

Nickel-free: ideal for persons with nickel-allergies or for creating jewelry for countries with a ban on certain products containing nickel.

Waterproof: great for fiber crafts, jewelry and sewing where items may get wet or need to be gently hand washed.

Heat resistant: a great embellishment for use in low heat projects (under 275 degrees). Bake directly into polymer clay; adorn lampshades, hot-glue into scrapbooks. Note: certain colors (primarily copper) can change slightly when heated so advance testing is always recommended.

What can you do with WireLace?

  • Expand it to create lacy waves up to 3 times its width (except for the 1mm WireLace, which doesn’t expand)
  • Use it like a flat ribbon
  • Knot it or braid it
  • Insert beads, string or wire inside (except for the 1mm WireLace, which is not tubular)
  • Thread it through beads and charms
  • Bake it directly into polymer clay
  • Knit, crochet, weave or sew with it

Stringing with WireLace

You can use WireLace to string beads like you would use any other stringing material. If you don’t want to use crimp beads to keep your adornments in place on the ribbon, use G-S Hypo Cement to create a floating look.

Threading WireLace 

Create a “needle” by twisting the end of the WireLace and adding a dab of G-S Hypo Cement to the tip. Trim the tip at an angle, and string it through beads.

Cement beads on WireLace 

To hold your beads in place on the WireLace, apply cement to the ribbon and slide the bead over the adhesive.

Stringing WireLace 

Wrap it, knot it, and twist it! WireLace can add stunning color and texture to any of your stringing projects.

Expanding WireLace

WireLace can expand from its flat shape into 3-dimensional forms (except for the 1mm width, which is not tubular). You can create wavy shapes, and thread other items through the ribbon to create a layered look.

Expanding WireLace 

Use a large blunt-ended needle (like a yarn needle) to open up the end of the ribbon, then insert thread, wire, cord or beads inside the tube. It will help keep the lacy waves from stretching out if you thread a wire through the tube first, and string on the beads second.

Creating Shapes with WireLace 

Insert a wire or other object into the WireLace to create shapes. Watch out for sharp ends, though! It’s easy to get caught in the tiny mesh.

Finishing the Ends

The ends of the ribbon can be finished off using cones or special clamshell clasps.

Finishing WireLace with Clamshells 

For a fast & easy way to finish off WireLace, use a clamshell endcap and squeeze it closed. Multiple strands of WireLace ribbon fit easily into one of the clamshells.

Finishing WireLace with Cones 

Another approach is to tie the WireLace on an eyepin, and thread it through a cone end. Curl the end of the eyepin to make a hook.

Collage of WireLace images

Shop for WireLace >

Read the comments (or add your own)

  1. No Photo
    cluny says:

    I can’t wait to use this! I’ve only used this once before, and then couldn’t find what I wanted. Great choice here.

  2. No Photo
    D Killian says:

    I can’t wait to try this. I have all kinds of ideas just from seeing this!!

  3. No Photo
    B Cook says:

    looks cool. I’ve seen it used in magazines and books but at this time I think I’m a bit scared to try it just yet–maybe in the future if I feel like trying something new.

  4. trinkets
    trinkets says:

    I have been using it for a few years now, but was called “wire mesh”

    It is easy to work with & makes stunning pieces of jewelry.

  5. Steph
    Steph says:

    I love you for getting this, LB is the best.

  6. No Photo
    Karen aka kidsauthor says:

    Wow, this looks really neat to use, I must order some in time for the hoildays. You guys are awesome for all the different types of fun things to use in our jewelry creations!

  7. No Photo
    H Boyd says:

    This looks like fun to use. I’d seen it in magazines but couldn’t find any on websites. I think I’ll be trying my hand at this.

  8. g Fenton
    g Fenton says:

    Just received my wirelace, can’t wait to try it:)

  9. No Photo
    VotreSante says:

    Looks Great. I will be ordering some soon!!

  10. No Photo
    Morene k says:

    looks great. I will be ordering some soon. I am always looking for someething new to add to my favorite pastime.

  11. No Photo
    Lynnreedy40 says:

    I seen this on the Martha Stewart Show and have been searching forever for this wire mesh !! I can’t wait to put my order in !!

  12. Chickie Nonnie T
    Chickie Nonnie T says:


  13. Clayre T
    Clayre T says:

    My sister just sent me some of this wire and I was not sure how to use it. Thanks for having this tip. I cant wait to try this.

  14. No Photo
    Frances H says:

    I have seen pieces done with wire lace but did not know where to get it…

  15. No Photo
    dotea says:

    Just found you, hope we have a good relationship.

  16. Batticat
    Batticat says:

    I’m excited about this too! I would like to try the 1mm to thread beads . Does anyone know if crystal bicones will fit on it, 6 or 8 mm? Also, I wonder if the 1mm can be squeezed through a 1mm or smaller bead hole, or does it keep a 1mm width even if pressure is applied?

  17. Kate
    Kate says:

    Batticat, I think with a little patience, you’d be able to get that 1mm wire lace through a 1mm drill hole.

  18. No Photo
    Mona J says:

    Just got my order of the wire lace and can hardly wait to work with it!!

  19. barbies baubbles and bea
    barbies baubbles and bea says:

    I have never tried this before, but saw a beautiful necklace with this strung around it in a book I had borrowed from the libuary.i will have to get the book back and see what it calls for.thank you ,your the best.barbies baubbles and beads

  20. No Photo
    C Hatch says:

    I’m trying to find out what size bead, regular or large hole, the 3mm wire lace will fit through. Also will the 1mm fit throughmost regular sized bead holes? I’m dying to try this, but have found it hard to find much info on on the size of bead it will go through. Thanks forany info you can give me.

  21. No Photo
    Moogie says:

    I just used the 1mm, strung with 6/0 seed beads, with my knitting tool. Worked great! I made an ankle bracelet. I love wirelace and am so glad it has been on sale here at Lima. I haven’t had much luck with the larger sizes, stuffing beads inside. It seems to stretch too much and gap. I’m probably being too rough? But you know what they say about practice…:)

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