Rosana is an author, artist, entrepreneur and podcaster. She lives in Uruguay.
DIY Beaded Curtains
While some find beaded curtains annoying, others of us love the look they bring to a room or the sound they make when you walk through them. There are many different variations out there—some use wooden beads, others make a pattern with bamboo shoots and then you have the famous colorful plastic beads reminiscent of the glitter glam 1960s and '70s.
If you've looked online, beaded curtains can be a bit expensive. Why not make your own? If you have some time on your hands and a vivid imagination, you can make a your own set out of virtually anything. Here are some great examples and cool ideas you can try yourself. It's a great way to upcycle items, and you can work with more than one person on these projects which always makes it way more fun.
Plastic Bottle Caps
Looks difficult, right? If you really look at it, all you need is a bar to hold up the caps, and since they are very light, any bar will do. Drill holes on top and bottoms of caps and start tying fishing line to each end, continuing your way down each strand until you're done. Measure the distance between each strand first, and after you do one strand, you'll know how many you'll need to do the rest.
Tip: You don't have to put the line through each hole, cut then start another. Just thread it through one hole, then continue it to the bottom of the cap, continuing to the top of the other cap, without cutting at all. It's a clear line, so you really won't see it. This depends on how much time you have on your hands.
Plastic Bottle Pieces
Caps, tops of bottles, anything colorful you can think of is in this curtain, and it looks cool. A cool idea for a kid's room or entryway of an art class.
Tip: When the edges of the bottles you're cutting are sharp, place fabric over the top you just cut and iron the fabric. The heat of the iron will melt away the sharpness of the edge.
Easy to find, easy to drill holes into but be careful, or they'll crack. Put in more if you like. Don't just go by the picture.
Anything and Everything
Are any loose beads lying around? Grab them and start threading. They don't have to be uniform in any way, shape or color. Something the variety of the pattern is a pattern in itself.
Whether you use color or plain, they will look awesome. How cool would this look in a room? Or a wall? The lights it will pick up if you decide to use the plain will be like mirrors. Drill tops and bottoms, string with fishing line.
Color Cotton Balls
You know those cotton balls you find at the craft store? There you go. Easy enough. You can use fishing line or color thread, either way, this is an easy project, and you can put in as many as you like for a fuller effect.
Use color straws or just one color, separate with beads or those cotton balls we were just talking about. A nice way to spice up a dividing room, wall or any entryway. And don't forget your patios on these projects. This would look neat outside by a pool.
Use all wooden beads or whatever but stick to one texture to make this curtain. Here you see wooden beads, all different shapes, and colors thrown in together to make a cool-looking rustic curtain.
Who doesn't love buttons? Use all different sizes and colors or keep them all the same. Thread with fishing line or thread. Whichever you choose, this will look and sound cool.
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Fabric Flowers and Beads
You can either make your own fabric flowers or find them in a craft store; maybe you want to crochet or knit them. Separate with beads in between, and you have a beautiful, colorful and quiet curtain.
Tip: Don't just use fabric flowers here. What about those silk flowers you were going to throw out? If you have a bunch of fake flowers laying around, why not put them to good use on a curtain?
Cut a triangle as big as you want your bead and roll it up like a croissant. Tape of glue the end down and you have a bead. This is a very time-consuming project and one you would even get the kids involved in, which they will love. Find magazines or newspapers or constructions paper. Once it's rolled up, the colors will all seem different, unless you choose a solid picture.
Pearls or Silver Beads
Do you have old costume jewelry you want to get rid of? Don't. Here are silver-tone beads all put together to make a classy curtain. You can make one out of gold or one color if you like. Faux pearls would look great too, especially to a bedroom entryway. How sexy is that?
Water Bottle Bottoms
You'd never thought to look under your water bottle? Look at one now. A perfect flower impression right there and you never noticed it before, right? Simply cut the bottoms off, if they are too sharp, look at the tip for plastic water pieces above. String them with fishing line, and you can even use this as a real curtain for any of your windows. Actually, you can use beaded curtains to decorate anything in your house. Don't just limit yourself to what most people use them for. Hang on an empty wall, throw over a small window or even hang it outside by a deck or pool for a little something special.
Questions & Answers
Question: How do you string the cork curtain?
Answer: Shish kabob skewers work best. Stick the skewer through, making a hole and pull out. Or I've also used knitting needles or anything you can tie a string on the end and pull through.
Rosana Modugno (author) from USA on April 10, 2013:
Muito Obrigado meu amigo! My grandmother was from Sao Paulo. Thank you so much for liking my hub. I have always loved beaded curtains. And if you really look at one closer up, you'll see they aren't that hard to make. It only requires some patience and creative ideas on what to hang. Glad you enjoyed. Please visit again soon. :)
Mary Wickison from USA on April 10, 2013:
Wow, there are so many ideas, you could make a book!
I think they are a great idea. Here in Brazil, you don't see many but I think they keep out bugs which is also a great idea.
Great idea for a hub.
Rosana Modugno (author) from USA on March 14, 2013:
Thank you! I love the water bottle ideas too since I have so many lying around. Remember to keep the caps to fill in spaces between beading, etc. Another tip for water bottles: I fill them with colored water (using food coloring) and place them on a window in my kitchen so it looks like stained glass. :)
vibesites from United States on March 14, 2013:
Wow, quite creative and fantastic! I have many little stuff lying around the house, now I have an idea what to do with them instead of throwing them away. The mineral water bottoms are especially clever. Voted up and useful, awesome.
Rosana Modugno (author) from USA on January 10, 2013:
That's a great idea! And I'm happy that I've inspired you. Just use thick gauge fishing line and like you said, distribute them and maybe separate with lighter beads or paper bead or even fabric, like I did on mine, just to cover the space. It doesn't have to be all glass beads. I'm still working on mine and I add different things because I like it when it doesn't match. You can also keep distance between them by tying knots if you wish, That would look cool as well. And remember, it doesn't have to be the full length of an entry way, it can be for a small window too. Good luck and please share pics!
Marco Piazzalunga from Presezzo, Italy on January 10, 2013:
In my warehouse I have tons of glass beads that are defective.
I've kept them for years because I'm very fond of my creations even if these have not been-made in the correct way.
But now that I read your article, do you know I almost am tempted to make curtains with this glass?
Probably these are heavy curtains, and maybe I should find a way to assemble the beads in a rather thin distribution.
What do you think? I'm saying stupid things?
Rosana Modugno (author) from USA on December 20, 2012:
Thank you. I posted on Pinterest. Yes, I love the heart design as well.
Patricia Scott from North Central Florida on December 20, 2012:
These belong on Pinterest for all to see. The heart design is my favorite. I am pinning this on DIY. Love this....:) ps
Rosana Modugno (author) from USA on December 20, 2012:
Thank you, Carol. I'm making one now but it's taking forever. I'll post pics today and add to this hub. It won't be finished but you'll be able to see the things I used.
carol stanley from Arizona on December 20, 2012:
These ideas are so clever. I love them all...I love using stuff around the house to create..Thanks for sharing..Going to vote UP+++ and pinning for sure.