Do you think that your room is getting a tad too boring or a corner just needs a little more privacy from the rest? Release the inner hippie in you. Bead curtains can add a touch of drama, mystery and whimsy in any space. It can also serve as a front to a door or to cover/hide unwanted storage areas. This would be suggested to a creative, meticulous person who loves working with beads. It is also important to note that this is a time-consuming project. Truly a labor of love, any artist can appreciate. Here are a few necessary items to start.
- Choice of materials. A thread or string, beads of different colors, shapes and sizes, an adjustable curtain rod or any wooden stick, 2 or 3 large hooks, a pair of scissors, tape measure, saw, a hammer and a pencil. Check with your local art supplier or DIY shop if you are unfamiliar with some materials. Keep in mind to choose bigger and longer beads to make the project less tedious in terms of stringing.
- Measure it up. Use a measuring tape to measure the width of the window/space that you need to cover. Remember that this project is time- consuming so a wider doorway may not be advisable for the faint-hearted. You can also decide now which kinds of beads you would deem fit for that particular space or corner. Light reflecting beads like glass, murano stones (stones made of special glass that take on different colored hues), wooden beads for more coverage, or to be on the safe side, big three toned plastic beads that hang nicely for a retro feel. It all depends on the personality you want that space to be too.
- Cut, tie and knot. Cut the thread into pieces and remember to leave two inches allowance for tying off ends. A standard curtain is approximately 75 inches. Tie a knot in one end of the thread as the starting point for the bottom of the curtain strand.
- Beads behold. Now the fun part begins. The color, size and texture of bead are really up to you. When it comes to size, it will be good to initiate with a slightly smaller bead at the bottom end unless you want a heavy looking curtain. Some go for lighter to darker shades. You can use however, longer/bigger beads or shells to avoid the time-consuming process of filling in the entire length of the thread. Usually bigger beads go in the middle or alternately with small and medium-sized ones. You can write down on paper how you want the pattern to be. An example would be M-S-L-M to represent L for large, S for small and M for medium sized beads. You can then make the opposite of this pattern on the next line to M-L-S-M.
- Hammer in the hooks. Measure with your tape and bring out your stick. The stick should then be approximate to the width of the window/door. Mark with a pencil and saw into appropriate size. Next is to mark with your trusty pencil the wall placement to make sure the alignment is correct. Do this by placing your tape measure from the floor up to the sides where you want the curtain rod to hang and mark. Now it’s time to hammer in the hooks and hang the rod/stick. You can then make the necessary adjustments.
For each length of bead you make, it is important not to have too much spacing in between beads. After all, the purpose of the curtain is to add some mystery and division from another entrance or path of light.
- Finishing at length. At long last you say to yourself, that you can do a length of a bead curtain without much fuss. It just takes practice and a pattern to follow. Giving two to four inches allowance on your thread now makes it possible to be able to tie a knot securely on the rod for your bead length to hang. Complete rows until satisfactorily covered.
Now that you have completed this beadwork creation covering a bit of your space, this original accessory is now quite a memorable handmade project worth truly hanging on to. How’s that for genuine art?