Making beaded curtains

Written by denise nyland
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Making beaded curtains
Thousands of beads go into making one curtain. (Wooden Beads image by Rob Hill from Fotolia.com)

Beaded curtains hanging in doorways and windows or used as room dividers are sensuously appealing design elements. Beaded curtains rustle or make a tinkling sound when touched. No special tools or supplies are required to make beaded curtains.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • Measuring tape
  • Pencil
  • 1 x 2-inch lumber
  • Saw
  • Awl
  • Small cup hooks
  • Scissors
  • Monofilament fishing line, 40-pound test
  • Decorative beads
  • Crimp beads
  • Needle-nose pliers

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Measure the height and width of the door or area where you plan to hang the beaded curtain. Cut a piece of 1 by 2-inch lumber to the desired width of the curtain. This will serve as a header to support the beads. With a measuring tape and pencil, mark the header for the positions of the strung beads, 1/2 inch to one inch apart. Use an awl to make evenly-spaced holes, approximately 1/4-inch deep, down the length of the header.

  2. 2

    Screw a cup hook into each hole in the header. Use pliers to close the hooks so the openings are 1/8-inch wide. Count the cup hooks to determine how many strings of beads you must make. Set the header aside.

  3. 3

    Cut a piece of fishing line 10 to 12 inches longer than the curtain length. String a crimp bead, then a terminal (end) bead on the line, leaving a 2-inch tag end. Bend the tag end over and thread it back through the crimp bead. Slide the crimp bead and terminal bead to the bottom of the loop formed at the end of the line. Use pliers to flatten the crimp bead. The hole in the terminal bead will be oriented transversely. Do not clip the tag end. As you add more beads to the line, the first few will hide the tag end.

  4. 4

    Continue stringing beads until the bead string reaches the curtain length. After the last decorative bead is placed, add a crimp bead. Loop the tag end over a pencil, then thread the line back through the crimp bead and 4 or 5 decorative beads. Firmly pull the tag end to tighten the line and secure the positions of the beads. Flatten the crimp bead with pliers. Remove the pencil. The pencil serves as a place-holder, ensuring that the loops on all of the bead strings are uniform in length. Trim the tag end. In this fashion, make one bead string for each cup hook.

  5. 5

    Place the loop of one bead string on each of the cup hooks of the header.

Tips and warnings

  • Lightweight plastic, wood, or bamboo beads are typically used for beaded curtains.
  • Any time you take a break from stringing beads, place a piece of tape on the line where the next bead will go. This will prevent the frustration of having to pick up and restring beads that have unintentionally come off the line.
  • Make two pencil marks on a wall in a vertical line, the length of the curtain. As you are stringing beads and approach the end of a string, hold the strung beads up to the marks for a relative measurement. This is an easy method to ensure that all of the bead strings are the same length.
  • An easy way to hang the bead curtain in a doorway is to put screw hooks into the overhead portion of the door frame and in corresponding positions of the top of the curtain bead header.

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