Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Make a Beaded Curtain

I can't take credit for this fabu project, my grandmother came up with the idea and just needed a set of willing hands to put it together. She recently redid her guest bathroom and wanted a beaded curtain as the finishing touch.
She hunted around until she found a curtain with an open work design on the bottom. She ended up finding one in a resale shop. Why open work? Because she had the very clever idea of using earwire hooks to attach the dangles to the curtain so that she can easily remove them when she wants to wash the curtain. (I see now that the creative apples in my family did not fall far from the tree!)
Art bead for the center (we used a hand-blown glass angel from an unknown artist that was picked up at a local craft fair many years ago)
acrylic beads in various sizes
light-weight metal accent beads
small charms
beading wire
crimp beads
earwire hooks
measuring tape
wire cutters
crimping pliers
(Bead source: Hobby Lobby)
To string the beads I used Econoflex from Soft Flex in steel blue. Price was more of an issue for our project than high quality materials, since the items are not going to see any wear I felt this was a nice choice for adding color to our design. But if I was doing this for my house, I would have used one of Soft Flex's Trios sets. (Photo from the Soft Flex website)
Measure out the size of your window, not the curtain. Lay out a towel, fold to the size of your window. Starting from the center, layout your design. It's like decorating a Christmas tree, after you have the design laid out, move the beads around until you find a good balance of colors and sizes.
String a crimp bead and a charm unto the beading wire. String the wire back through the crimp bead and flatten* the crimp. String on one bead. Leave a space on the wire by holding it and string on a crimp, flatten, add a bead or two. Repeat this until the desired length. Add a crimp, string through an earwire hook, back through the crimp. Flatten the crimp and trim the wire.
*Why flatten? The holes on the beads are larger and flattening the crimp holds them nicely in place.
After your design is strung hang the earwires evenly spaced on the curtain.

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