Cubic RAW is a three dimensional variation of right angle weave that transforms the the flat bead work into gorgeous forms and shapes. It can be used in any number of ways from creating rope necklaces, interesting shapes to stunning bezels for crystals and gemstones.

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There are two ways to stitch cubic right angle weave. 

  1. Create one or more layers on top of a flat RAW surface. 
  2. Create a base cube and add more cubic units to form the bead work.

We have already reviewed how to create the flat surface in Part 1 and Part 2 of RAW Basics.  
Over the next few posts, I will be teaching both methods of this technique.  But before we get into the meat and potatoes of CRAW, first we will need to understand the properties of a cube and how to create that structure using beads, thread and a needle. 
Today I will show you how to create a basic cube, first using bugle beads and then using seed beads. 
Let’s take a look at the materials used in this lesson before we get started. 

Tools and Materials

  • 2 colors of seed beads in the same size
  • 1 or 2 colors of bugle beads in the same size
  • 3 feet beading thread
  • 1 beading needle

For this lesson, you can use any color or size seed beads that you have. But they do need to be the same size. The same holds true for the bugle beads. 
When you design using this technique, you can vary the sizes of the beads to add variety, contrast and shape to your bead work. 

Now that we have our materials gathered, lets talk about the the structure we are going to make. 

The Cube

A cube is a six sided, three dimensional shape. A cube has four equal sides around the form, plus the top and bottom sides, also of equal size. 

Each of the six sides of the cube has four walls. These walls of each side of the cube are shared with four other sides of the cube.

For example, the bottom side of the cube has four walls. Each of these walls constitute the bottom wall of the four sides going around the cube. 

The four walls of the top side of the cube also constitute the top walls of the four sides going around the cube. 

Each side of the cube going around the form, shares one wall with the top side of the cube, one wall with the bottom side of the cube, and one wall each with the next units to the right and left.

Now that we understand to properties of the cube, let’s take look at how to create a cube using beads. 

The Technique

Since all sides of a cube are identical, the names for each are completely interchangeable, simply by turning the shape. But for purposes of this tutorial, we will begin by naming the first side, the bottom of our cube. 

Pick up four bugle beads. Sew back through all four beads, plus one more to form a closed unit.

Reinforce the unit and move into position by passing through the next 4 beads.

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Now we have the bottom side created. As I said earlier, each wall of this side shares a beads or wall with the four sides going around the form. So for the next unit we only need three walls or beads.

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Pick up three bugle beads and pass back through the same bead again. 

Reinforce the unit by sewing through all four beads again. 

Move into the next bugle bead on the base unit.

Remember that each side of the form shares a wall with the four sides it touches. So for the next unit, we already have two walls in place. 

Pick up two beads and sew down through the bead on the side of the previous unit. 

Reinforce the unit by passing through all four beads again.

Move into the next bugle bead on the base.

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The same holds true for the next unit. 
Repeat the same steps above once more. 

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Pick up two beads and sew down through the bead on the side of the previous unit. 

Reinforce the unit by passing through all four beads again.

Move into the last bugle bead on the base.

Now we have three sides going around the form and the bottom. 
The last side has three walls or beads already in place and only needs the top bead to finish complete it.
Get into position by sewing up through the side bead as shown.

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Pick up one bead and sew down the bead on the opposite side. 
To reinforce the unit by sewing through all four beads again.
Move through the bugle bead on the base and back up into the bead on the other side.

At this point, since our four new sides all share a bead with the top side of the cube, we are done adding beads. 

All that remains it to connect the four beads on the top together to form the top side. 

We are currently exiting the top of the side bead of our last unit.

Sew through all four beads on the top side of the cube plus one more bead to close the unit. 

For the best results, move through one bead at a time. 

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And there you have created a cube. 

This technique is used to create the first unit of a CRAW project, using the second method I mentioned above. The top of this unit, becomes the bottom of the next unit. 

But I will get into that more in a later post. 

A cube can be made using a single seed bead per wall of each side or with multiple seed beads per wall. 

You can substitute any small bead such as cubes, rounds or even bicone crystals. 

Take a look at the video below to see this technique demoed using bugle beads first and then with seed beads in multiples of two. 

I hope you have learned a lot from this tutorial and that you will check back in for the next lessons in cubic right angle weave. 

First we will tackle method one for creating a piece of CRAW bead work by creating a flat surface and then building up the dimensional walls above the base. 

Thank you for stopping by... see you next time.