i had a beaded curtain as i kid that i loved. it was a cheap, plastic and probably meant to be a retro nod to 60’s or 70’s. the beads were multi colored and transparent and made the best shimmery sounds when you walked through them. it wasn’t fancy but it made my room a place unlike any other in the house. thinking back on i found myself in an internet rabbit hole in search of any new innovations to this classic and surprisingly i found very few. -natalie

after a lot of searching i did eventually come across a small handful of very lovely and one of a kind versions. feeling a little more inspired i decided i’d give it a go and see if i might be able to DIY one worthy of a house inhabited by adults. the plan was to make it simple and graphic, allowing texture and shape to take the place of wild colors and plastic bits.


• 3/4 inch wooden dowel cut to the width of the door jam were you plan to hang your curtain plus 2 inches

• 2 inch styrofoam balls, we used about 60 to create the density we wanted but this will depend on where you hang it

• 1/4 inch natural cotton cord, ours was a large spool we got at Michael’s

• paper pulp

• white acrylic gesso

• a drill with 1/4 inch bit (not pictured)


how to make it:

mix the paper pulp according to instructions and smooth over the styrofoam balls. it can take a little effort to get the paper pulp to stick at first but as you add more and smooth it it will become easier and stick to the styrofoam.

once you have a nice shape set the balls down and allow them to dry completely hard. the dry time will depend on the air conditions where you live and can take a few days in humid or damp climates, so it’s best to set them out of the way during this step so they don’t roll around.

next, using a 1/4 inch bit drill holes through the styrofoam balls. after you have drilled all of your pieces paint them with acrylic gesso. you can also use craft paint be i liked how matte the gesso made the surface of the dried paper pulp.

cut 6 strands of cord 1 and 1/2 times the length of your door.

after knotting the first bead in, measure about 5 inches and make another knot. add another bead and continue this until you have the length necessary for your door. repeat this for the number of strands you need for the width of your door. loop them onto your dowel rod evenly and snip the remaining cord. if you feel the need you can secure the loops in place with a dab of craft glue.

installation of your curtain will depend on your space and how permanent you want it to be. if you want to be able to take it up and down easily you can screw 1 1/4 inch mug hooks (available here at home depot) on either side of your door frame and set the dowel rod in the hook.

keeping the palette neutral and the textures a bit rough help to elevate the curtain beyond the kitschiness of the novelty store version of my youth.

I can envision it in a chic island retreat as well as a seasonal play on snow fall, the perfect addition to a winter white interior. let us know if you try it out in your home!

project by: natalie and gina gordon for designlovefest
location: victoria’s house

photos: ivan solis


Add your own

    Janiece says:

    I just moved into my new place and we are looking for DIY projects like this that will make the place our own. Definitely going to try!

    Janiece – http://www.cultureintheory.com

    jaclyn says:

    Ooh! I recognize Victoria’s lovely home in this shoot!

    hannah says:

    This is the cutest accessory to a home!


    Kylie Garner says:

    Looks really great! I will definitely try this, love to see this on my home.

    Molly Garvin says:

    OMG this brings me back to my childhood! Only this is a much classier version haha!

    Diane says:

    Amazingly easy to make curtain. You’re happy you have a dog and he might now be interested in playing with the balls. I think of a cat.

    Awesome! Simply all the wonderful words apply to this material! Thank you from the bottom of my heart and also spirit and also I will come see again if you maintain up the great work!

    Tomas says:

    Looks really amazing.
    Please check our website http://www.tomson-floors.com we have stunning engineered wood chevron and herringbone parquet flooring for every home.

    Cristian says:

    Fantastic !!! If you need amazing flooring products please visit our website https://www.newconstructionslondon.co.uk/our-services/flooring/
    Thank you

    Nerissa says:

    I wonder if table tennis balls would work too? Have you tried?

    sue says:

    I’m thinking this could also be used to string across exterior of windows to help deter songbirds from flying into the mirror-like glass. Will give it a try. love the look.

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