Lacing always looks pretty fancy and most applicable to a Western look. I would not discourage you from using it. I like it and use it often. However, it has it's weak points. Eventually, Leather lacing will dry wear out in one section or another and you will have to re-lace that section. If you use glue, it will be a latex based glue and even after you punch your holes, it will drag on your lacing. It also depends on what stitch you use and lacing.
Now, on the subject of cheap practice leather, what is it that you want to practice, tooling, lacing or both? ...
I always keep and eye out, for old quality leather belts and have made many knife sheaths using this old belts. You can't get much cheaper than old, wide leather belts. ...
If you "Bing" Leather Craft
, you will come up with a bunch of sources.
Good luck and;
Be Safe !!!