How to Cover a Ring with Right-angle Weave
Does anyone else remember making crocheted potholders with those little plastic rings for hangers? My mother and my grandmother used to make dozens of those every year, and I discovered that those little plastic rings are great for beaded toggles when you cover them with right-angle weave.
While I was browsing at the local craft store for some more of those little round plastic rings, I discovered some much larger Cabone (wood) rings. Because, you know, bigger is always better when it comes to beading, so I grabbed a few packages of them and started playing around with right-angle weave.
When finished, these beaded rings make the perfect centerpiece for bold beaded necklaces. You can embellish them with more seed beads, hang spike beads off the bottom, or just attach them to a beaded rope and enjoy them.But best of all, when you use size 8 seed beads to cover them with right-angle weave, they only take a few hours to stitch, so you can create several of them in a weekend. Enjoy!
- 2 inch (50mm) diameter wood Cabone ring
- 15 grams size 8 seed beads
- Acrylic paint (optional)
- 6 lb. test Fireline beading thread
- Size 12 beading needle
- Scissors or thread cutter
- Paint brushes (optional)
- Chain nose pliers (optional, but helpful)
- Thread burner (optional, but helpful)
A couple of tips before you get started with your right-angle weave rings:
- Working with shorter lengths of beading thread are helpful for this project. Yes, you may have a few more thread ends to finish at the end of your project, but working with a shorter thread will help you maintain an even tension.
- When finishing your threads in this project, knots and glue are essential to keeping the beadwork from pulling apart along the outside of the ring. Finish each thread with two or three half-hitch knots, and add a drop of your favorite glue. Make sure you leave enough of a thread tail to weave into the beadwork when adding new thread.
|Step 1: Paint the ring, if you’d like. I prefer to put a couple of coats of inexpensive acrylic paint on my rings before I start beading over them. Use a color that matches your seed beads, or choose a color that matches one of the secondary colors in your finished design. If you’re using neutral tones, you can also leave the ring as it is.If you’re using paints, you can take the extra time to cover the ring in a layer of clear varnish or acrylic sealant, too.|
|Step 2: Make the first row of right-angle weave. Your base row should contain enough units to wrap around the ring, leaving a slight gap that you will use to join the row into a tube. Because this first row can be a little wobbly (which makes working in tubular right-angle weave a little more difficult for the first few rounds), go back through all the units once or twice to reinforce and firm up the beadwork.|
|Step 3: Wrap the base row around the Cabone ring. To close it into a tube, pick up one bead, and pass through the corresponding bead on the opposite side of the join, entering it through the same side as the bead you were exiting on the opposite side. Pick up one seed bead, and pass through the bead you exited at the beginning of this step, from the opposite side.|
|Step 4: Weave through all the beads in the right-angle weave unit you just created. This will reinforce the join, and make it harder for the beads to pull apart when you begin each round of tubular right-angle weave.
Pick up 3 beads and stitch your first unit of tubular right-angle weave. Continue around, adding just one bead for the last unit of each round. Reinforce the last unit of each round by weaving through all the beads at least once more before beginning the new round.
|Step 5: Continue to stitch in tubular right-angle weave, turning the beadwork around the Cabone ring as you go. Notice that the inside of the ring is much smaller than the outside. This means that the inside will fill up with beadwork before you have finished covering the outside. As you stitch, keep a moderately loose tension, and turn the beadwork around the Cabone ring so that you’re creating an even tube of beadwork. If you hold the beadwork tight against the ring without turning it, you’ll end up with a finished inside before you finish the outside.
It gets more difficult to turn the tube of beadwork around the ring as you progress, but a couple of gentle turns with your fingertips should be enough to move it. Try to keep your rounds lined up as you turn the tube of right-angle weave so that your beadwork does not become twisted.
|Step 6: To close the ring, make a join like you did in Step 3. For the rest of the round, you’ll add just one bead to each unit until the last unit. For the last unit, it is not necessary to add a bead — just pass through the four beads left, reinforce the unit, and finish your thread.|
You’ll have to pardon the work-in-progress picture, but once I set this right-angle weave ring down on my beading table, it landed among some bead stitched flowers that I had created for a different project. This is the part of the design process that really gets me excited — I think these flowers want to live on my right-angle weave ring! Maybe with some green vines woven in between them? With these vibrant colors, I may have just found the perfect antidote for the colder, dark days of December here in the mountains!
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When you stitch with tubular right-angle weave, do you like to use a form to shape your beadwork? What tips would you have for someone covering a form with tubular right-angle weave? Leave a comment here on the Beading Daily blog and share your questions and tips with us!