How To Make Beaded Curtains (Quickly & Easily!)

Ossiana Tepfenhart
by Ossiana Tepfenhart

Beaded curtains are the ultimate bohemian curtain style. Along with being an iconic part of the 1960s, beaded curtains offer a stylish way to separate rooms. They’re artsy, neat, and fun. And, they’re also some of the easiest types of curtains to make. If you don’t find beaded curtains you like in the store, it’s absolutely possible to make your own. We’ve got the inside scoop to show you how.

If you want to make beaded curtains, you’re in luck. It’s an easy project to do. These steps below show you how to make a beaded curtain in under an hour:

  • Tie fishing line to split rings. 
  • String beads through the fishing line. 
  • Add a two-hole bead to the end.
  • Place the rings on a curtain rod.

Making your own beaded curtains is a hippie-friendly activity that can improve the way your home looks. So, let’s talk about how you can make this happen, step by step.

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Beaded curtains are one of those projects that are great to do if you want to spend a day with arts and crafts goodies. However, you will need a lot of supplies and time. You will need:

  • Fishing line
  • Split rings (or shower rings)
  • Some two-hole beads
  • One-hole glass beads of your choice
  • Scissors

What Kind Of Beads Work Best For Your Curtains?

This all depends on what kind of curtain effect you want, and how much coverage you want to have. Here’s what we have to say about each type of bead:

  • Small pony beads tend to be best if you want to make a very thick curtain with lots of strings. This is a classic look for raver-y beaded curtains, as well as for anime-styled curtains. They can even be used to make an 8-bit room.
  • If you want to have the beaded curtain version of sheer or semi-sheer curtains, go for glass beads or reflective crystals. These are great for having the sunlight turn your windows into a giant prism.
  • Very large beads offer better coverage, without requiring as much work to create. Bamboo tube beads, large star-shaped beads, and similar bead stylings offer great results with fewer strings.
  • People who enjoy having a uniform look should choose beads that are all uniform in color. This gives you a more cohesive look than traditional multicolor beads.

How Many Beads Will You Need?

Beaded curtains are nothing if they don’t have beads. The problem that most people have when they make beaded curtains is their tendency to underestimate how many beads they will need in order to make the curtains. You have to remember that a single beaded bracelet will take at least two dozen beads in most cases.

When you’re buying up your beads, it’s far better to err on the side of caution and buy more than you need. You should get, at the very least, several hundred beads for your curtain set. It’s better to have extra that you can embellish on the side of the curtains than it is to be stuck scrambling for more beads when your project is half-done.

Make Your Beaded Curtains

Now that you have all the supplies, you will need to actually start making your curtains. Don’t worry, this groovy project is totally fun. In order to get beaded curtains, you are going to have to prep your strings, start beading, and then secure everything in place. The more rings you have, the thicker your curtains will be. So, let’s get to talking about how to do this.

  • Measure how long you want your curtains to be. Note this measurement. Then double it and add 12 inches to that number. That’s how long you want the strings to be.
  • Start cutting out strings at the length you need them to be at. I suggest doing this in batches of six to 10, simply because it’s easier to gauge how thick your curtains will be.
  • Tie the fishing line on the rings. When done correctly, the center of your fishing line will be tied to the ring. You should have a long strand hanging on either side of the ring.
  • Start beading! Push the one-hole beads up either side of your fishing line. Stop beading once you have 12 inches of curtain line left.
  • Push a two-hole bead at the end of your curtain, joining the two strands together. Tie three small knots at the bottom, then push the remainder of the string back up through the holes of the first couple of beads. Then, trim the extra string.
  • To make sure the beads stay in place, add a drop of superglue at the bottom. It helps, but is not necessary.
  • Keep doing this with every ring you have, and then push them through a curtain rod. To finish the project, hang up your curtain rod. It’s just that simple.

How Do You Hang Up Your Beaded Curtains?

For the most part, this should be pretty easy. If you have racks that your curtain rod can rest on, all you have to do is place the finished rod on the rack. If you looking to hang beaded curtains over blinds that stick out, there are tutorials for that. They work well, too! If you cannot hang your curtains due to a pesky landlord, using Command hooks is a great option.

Is Making Your Own Beaded Curtains Worth It?

Honestly, it’s all up to what you want to do. Most people who make their own beaded curtains do so because they want to have the experience of spending a day beading your curtains. It’s fun to be able to hold something in your own hands that you’ve made on your own. And, if you want to make something that’s totally unique, this is a good way to do it.

However, we’re not going to sugarcoat things. In most situations, it’s cheaper to buy pre-fabricated beaded curtains than it is to make your own. This is especially true if you want to make a beaded curtain that has extremely thick coverage or if you want to have a beaded curtain with an intricate print or pattern.

So, what you really want to ask is whether you want the experience or a more complex style. If you are more about the style, then you’ll find it easier (and more convenient) to get the curtains from an online store.

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Related Questions

What’s the best way to use beaded curtains in a home?

Beaded curtains aren’t meant to act as blackout curtains or offer a serious sense of finality in terms of room separation. Most beaded curtains are meant to add an artistic twist to your home, or to add a gentler sense of separation in a room. Basically, if you want to make your room feel open and inviting but still need to section it off from the rest of your home, this is a good pick.Obviously, beaded curtains are not compatible with all types of decor. If you like to go for a very traditional look, or a modern look, you may find it hard to work beaded curtains in your home’s ambiance. With that said, it’s not impossible to do. If you are fairly imaginative and are willing to put in the work, it can always be possible.

What is the most popular era for beaded curtains?

If you’ve ever walked into a room that was dedicated to stuff from the 1960s or 1970s, then you probably have seen beaded curtains as a part of the room’s layout. Beaded curtains reached their pinnacle during this era, after all. Ever since then, beaded curtains because synonymous with having a retro layout.With that said, there are other decades that are commonly associated with beaded curtains. The early 2000s had a teen bop movement that used them, as did the earlier part of the 2010s. (Think Millennial hipster movements, and you’ll understand what happened here.)

What other names are beaded curtains called?

They are sometimes called “portieres,” from the French term for “door.” In some smaller circles, these beads are also called uvulae. However, that’s rarer than the first term.

Ossiana Tepfenhart
Ossiana Tepfenhart

Ossiana Tepfenhart is an expert writer, focusing on interior design and general home tips. Writing is her life, and it's what she does best. Her interests include art and real estate investments.

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