Lacing Crafts

Written by Shirley Parker
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By the time children get to preschool, they’ve probably had lacing toys to play with at home. Oversize toy boots and lacing board designs teach hand and eye coordination, eliciting their share of frustration along the way. But the sheer delight on a child’s face when he or she finally gets the toy all laced up, even a little crookedly, is worth it. Wooden lacing beads also help children learn to string necklaces, but they’re intended for children old enough not to put them in their mouths, where they might choke. So, probably age three and up is recommended on the packaging.

Some lacing crafts are perplexing for adults, since we seem to run out of cord with eyelets left over. Now, how did that happen? Unlike embroidery, lacing crafts are quite easily pulled back out, so we can start over, and hopefully find the right route the next time. Embroidery can be pulled out, too, but it isn’t fun.

Lacing skills are good for boys and girls. Sooner or later, they’ll wear shoes with laces. Or they’ll be working with leather crafts and need to lace a coin purse together or oversew a book cover. Lacing crafts also include items that need to be braided or woven, so a feel for the material is useful, as one lace is passed under another and back out, in often-intricate designs.

Types of Lacing

Along with traditional laces of cord or leather, both of which can be used to make lanyards, today’s crafts use vinyl lacing a great deal. Suede laces are used a lot in Western Wear and Native American crafts. Vinyl lacing can be purchased in hanks, mini-spools, 100-yard spools, or multiple mini-spool cases. Plastic lacing comes in flat and round varieties and can be used in many crafts projects. These include necklaces, woven bracelets, key chains, hair accessories, tassels, and zipper pulls.

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