Lacing in making French beaded flowers is basically sewing the rows together with wire so that the petals are reinforced and also for a neater look. Don’t be afraid to lace! It is more work but it takes your flowers to the next level. It’ll turn good beaded flowers into great flowers.
The general rule is that you should lace a petal if you have 13 rows or more.
You may want to lace if there are:
- 13 rows or more
- Long petals/leaves
- An accessory that is worn and may be misshaped easily
- Continuous petals if they are larger
I’ll show you a few ways to lace. Generally, lacing wire is 30 to 32 gauge.
1. Lacing across the middle: Cut a piece of lacing wire that is 2 to 3 times the length of the petal you are lacing. The majority of the time, you will lace across the middle. Have the back of the petal facing you. Place the lacing wire over the outer row. Weave the wire under the row to the left and then back up to the right. Continue doing this with each row until all rows are laced. Cut off the ends and tuck in.
2. Start from the center: The 2nd method is to place the lacing wire in the center of the petal. Bend the wire in half and insert in the front of the petal with one wire on each side of the center row. Flip the petal and cross the two wires. Now, pick one of the wires and lace across to one side. Then do the same for the other wire.
3. Diagonal lacing– you may have large petal that you want to lace. You can use diagonal lacing with this. Bend the lacing wire in half and insert it through the front of the petal with one wire on either side of the leaf. Flip the petal and cross the two wires so that it is at la diagonal. Lace up diagonally with one wire. And lace down diagonally with the other wire.
4. Lace as you go– This is exactly what it sounds like. Make the first 11 rows then lace using method 2. Then continue making rows and lace as you make the rows. I like to make at least two rows before I continue lacing. You can lace-as-you-go by going across the petal as well as diagonally. You can even have several lacing wires going in all directions if you wish.
5. Lacing several petals together: Generally, when I make larger continuous petals, I like to lace them together. As they are shaped, the petals will stay in good shape.
6. Bonus Tip. Skip-a-row: Now, it is better to lace than not to lace. It is best to lace every row but if you are absolutely pressed for time or if the thought of lacing really appalls you, you can lace every other row. This will still look neater than if you didn’t lace.
I demonstrate on how to do all these in this video.