How to Do the Cubic Right-Angle Weave Like a Pro
Cubic right-angle weave differs from tubular right-angle weave in that it is a solid piece of beadwork with little “walls” between each unit. Tubular right-angle weave is just that: A hollow piece of right-angle weave that you can wrap around a cord or other armature to give it structure. Cubic right-angle weave doesn’t need an armature to give it a sound structure.
In writing up and photographing this little tutorial, I realized that the best way to learn something is to teach it to someone else! I’ve always done my right-angle weave projects by what feels like pure instinct, so sitting down to write these steps out was a real eye-opener for me. I hope you enjoy learning cubic right-angle weave as much as I did!
Expert Tips on How to Get Started with the Cubic Right-Angle Weave Beading Stitch:
- To get started, pick out a tube of your favorite large seed beads—size 6 or size 8 will work the best so that you can see what you're doing.
- Until you get the thread path down, you might want to use four different colors of seed beads so that you can track each unit as you add it to the base.
- Choose a color of beading thread that contrasts with your seed beads so that you can see your thread path, and use a heavier weight (6lb or 10 lb) Fireline beading thread so that your work doesn't fall apart as you go.
- Brush up on your basic right-angle weave skills, and off you go!
Easy, Step-by-Step Cubic Right-Angle Weave Tutorial
Pick up 4 beads, leaving a 6-inch tail. Pass through all 4 beads a second time, and then through the first bead picked up.
Pick up 3 beads, and pass through the bead you exited at the beginning of this step, and through the first bead of the second unit.
Pick up 2 beads, pass through the next empty bead in the base, the side bead from the second unit, and the 2 (brown) beads just added. Pass through the next empty bead in the base.
Pick up 2 beads and pass through the nearest (brown) bead from the previous unit, the bead in the base that you exited at the beginning of this step, and the first (blue) bead that you added in this step.
You’re ready to close up that last side unit of cubic right-angle weave! Pick up 1 bead, pass through the third (grey) bead from the second unit, the last empty bead in the base unit, and the (blue) bead that you exited at the beginning of this step. Give your beading thread a little tug, and your right-angle weave will zip together in a neat little cube.
Work your thread up to the top of the unit, and pass through the four beads at the top, connecting them. You can make more than one thread pass if you'd like to strengthen the cube, or leave it with just one pass for a more supple piece of cubic right-angle weave.
You can start to add another unit by picking up 3 beads, and starting all over, adding 2 beads for each additional unit, and then closing the side with a single bead.
Once you get the hang of the thread path and work a couple of inches of cubic right-angle weave, you can experiment with shaping it by adding beads between units using stitch-in-the-ditch, or try layering your cubic right-angle weave by using different types of beads in each new unit. The benefit of using cubic right-angle weave is that it creates a very solid structure with a lot of flexibility for shaping beadwork.
If you’re eager to try some more cubic right-angle weave, check out Carol Huber Cypher’s Pentagon Pendant beading project in Favorite Bead Stitches 2011. You’ll learn how to create this stunning beaded necklace using crystal bicones with step-by-step instructions and illustrations. Plus, you’ll get 40 more of your favorite beading projects using peyote stitch, herringbone stitch, and spiral rope. For a limited time, you can order your copy of Favorite Bead Stitches 2011 for less than $2! Get 41 favorite beading projects when you order your copy of Favorite Bead Stitches 2011, and take your beadweaving skills in new directions with this versatile bead-weaving technique.
Do you have any favorite tips or tutorials for working cubic right-angle weave? Leave a comment here on the Interweave beading blog, and share them with us!