In the 1970s, every trendy home had to have at least one beaded curtain. This decorative accent could go in a window but was more often found draped across a doorway. The trend faded for a couple of decades but is now back as people discover the beautiful possibility of decorating with beads. The variety of sizes, shapes, materials, and colors makes beads the perfect custom accessory for anyone that wants a focal point that is unique and vibrant. Beaded curtains can be purchased but making one will allow for the most custom design possible.
Step One: Plan the Curtain
Decide where the curtain will hang and measure the height of the doorway or window and draw a simple diagram. Lay out beads in the pattern desired. Measure the width of the bead strand and determine how many will be needed to fill the doorway sufficiently. The beads should be close enough to avoid gaps, but not close enough to look crowded and jumbled.
Step Two: Assemble the Materials
- One sturdy wooden rod or dowel, measured to extend just past the width of the opening.
- Hardware to mount rod to wall, door or window frame.
- A spool of fishing line. Determine how much is needed by taking the height of the doorway, multiplying how many rows are needed and adding six inches more for every row of beads to allow extra line for attaching the beads.
- A handful of screw eyes or split rings (keychain rings) that are large enough to slide over the wooden dowel.
- Large selection of beads in the preferred style and colors
- Tools needed include a handsaw to cut the dowel, a drill to mount the hardware and scissors to trim the fishing line.
Step Three: Stringing the Beads
- Separate the beads into small bowls on the workstation so they are easier to find. Have the diagram or example strand available for reference.
- Cut a strand of fishing line that is double the length of the opening height with an additional 12-inches added.
- Tie the fishing line to the hook or hoop so that there are two equal lengths for stringing.
- Take the first bead and pull both lines through the bead pushing until it reaches the hook or hoop.
- Continue adding beads until they are several inches from the bottom. Make certain to leave enough space to tie a knot at the end of the fishing line. A small drop of hot glue at the end of the bottom bead will provide a little more stability.
- Slide the ring or attach the hook to the dowel and start the next strand.
Consider putting all hooks and hoops into place on the dowel and then tying the line and stringing beads in assembly line fashion. Always work left to right when using this method to avoid missing a row or a bead.
Beaded curtains require more beads than people often realize. This is why it is important to do a sample string first to make it easier to estimate the amount needed. Always purchase extra in case some are flawed, broken, or dropped and lost during the project. Save money by buying bulk wholesale beads from retailers like Mayer Import Co Inc Imitation Stones.