A handmade beaded curtain fits your personality and the dimensions of any doorway.

How to Create a 1960s Beaded Curtain

by Jessica Westover

Just like lava lamps and bell bottoms, beaded curtains hearken back to the 1960's. Whether you want a reminder of this era or you want to show your children some funky, vintage flair, you can make your own beaded curtain for display in your home. A beaded curtain creates a casual room divider, door or window covering, creating a decorative and functional piece of handmade decor. This project utilizes basic materials and techniques, making it a project for beginning and expert crafters alike.

1 Cut a 1/2- to 1-inch thick dowel with a hand saw, making it equal in length to the width of the inside top of the door jam or windowsill where you wish to hang the beaded curtain.

2 Spray the dowel's surface completely with spray paint. Leave the dowel to dry.

3 Lay the dowel on a flat work surface. Stretch the tape measure along the length of the dowel. Make a mark on the dowel every 1/2 to 1 inch.

4 Screw a 5/8-inch screw eye hook into the dowel on the first mark. End with the hook's eye sitting perpendicular to the running length of the dowel. Repeat this process to install one hook at each mark.

5 Measure the distance from the top of the door jam or windowsill down to the point where you wish the bottom of the curtain to hang. Cut one piece of clear beading thread with scissors the length of the door jam or windowsill plus 2 inches. Repeat this process to create one length of thread for each of the eye hooks on the dowel.

6 Select one thread and push one crimp bead and one regular bead onto one of its ends. Position the crimp bead 1 inch from the thread's end. Push the regular bead against the crimp bead.

7 Bend the end of the thread around the regular bead and thread it up through the bottom of the crimp bead's center hole. Pull on the thread's end until the resulting loop wraps tightly around the regular bead. Clasp the crimp bead with a pair of needle-nose pliers. Squeeze the pliers to crimp the bead around the thread, securing its end in place.

8 Thread regular beads one by one to create the desired pattern. Stop adding beads once the top one sits 1 to 1 1/2 inches below the thread's end.

9 Thread one crimping bead onto the thread. Push the bead down the thread until it touches the topmost bead. Squeeze the crimping bead with the needle-nose pliers to secure it in place. Repeat the entire beading process to create one string of beads for each eye hook on the dowel.

10 Select one string of beads. Insert the thread's tail end located at the top of the bead string through the hole in the first eye hook on the dowel. Tie the thread in a knot around itself to secure the string of beads to the rod. Dab a drop of hot glue from a hot glue gun onto the knot to secure it in place. Repeat this process to tie one string of beads to each eye hook.

Items you will need

  • Tape measure
  • 1/2-to-1-inch dowel
  • Hand saw
  • Spray paint
  • Pencil
  • 5/8-inch screw eye hooks
  • Clear beading thread
  • Scissors
  • Crimp beads
  • Beads
  • Needle-nose pliers
  • Hot glue gun

Tip

  • Install one cup hook on the inside of each side of the door jam or windowsill. Push one end of the dowel down into each of the hook cups to hang the beaded curtain.

Photo Credits

  • Thinkstock/Comstock/Getty Images