Beaded curtains — Strandoliers and Spangles

retro-beaded-curtain

“They just don’t make ’em like they used to” is a standard phrase we retro-loving folk use when describing everything from vintage kitchen appliances to retro sofas. But this sentiment isn’t just for those big ticket, used-daily objects — it also applies to decorative items from days gone by. Case in point: these vintage beaded curtains — two different brands — “Spangles” and “Strandoliers” — available on etsy from seller Good KarmaHedgehog. Sure, you could go out today and buy a new plastic beaded curtain for a comparable price, but the quality of the plastic and the vibrant color just don’t seem to compare with the real 1970s deal. And look at all the colors! It’s a retro rainbow of peace and luv!


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Retro Renovation Facebook follower Brenda shares a photo of her own retro beaded curtains and writes:

 I have some of these exact ones. I love the way the light shines through them. They make me so happy.

retro-beaded-curtain-instructions

Beaded curtains are a great way to let your inner hippie come out and party. Use them to create a curtain in a doorway, over a window or over a closet door. Or, use them as a room divider.

beaded curttainsAbove: Remember seeing them in this amazing 1970s time capsule house earlier this year? Beaded curtains across a whole run of patio doors — YUM. We hope the new owners kept them!  Photo used with permission from Evan Godwin from Chateau Shooters.
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From the shop listing:

Make: Strandoliers by Russ Stonier Inc.
Size: 25 feet long strand per box
Date: 1960’s / 1970’s
Material: Nylon-bonded plastic decorator “beads”
Condition: UNUSED IN BOX, box shows normal signs of aging and slight wear. Beads still have vibrant color and look great!

This is an original and authentic beaded curtain from the 1970’s. It is designed to be hung on a rod (not included) and trimmed to your desire length and pattern. Door rods may be found in hardware stores, or if you are crafty you could probably come up with something unique. They are “nylon bonded” for hanging purposes and strength. The original box has directions on the back for for hanging. One box is all you need for a small window, a larger window will need two or three boxes, and a full length door curtain will need three to four boxes depending upon length and width of door and how far apart you space the beaded strands.

Colors and styles can be combined to make a unique custom curtain.

retro beaded curtains retro beaded curtains

Such pretty and vivid colors…retro beaded curtains retro beaded curtainsretro-pink-beaded-curtain

These Spangles beaded curtains come in 12 different shades — giving plenty of mix and match or solid color options.
retro-strandoliers-curtain-beadsSo do the Strandoliers — clearly, these must be from the same company — Russ Stonier, Inc. Sounds like a businessman from Bedrock!

Mega thanks to Good Karma Hedgehog for allowing us to showcase photos of these fabulous vintage beaded curtains. Click here to see all the vintage beads available in Good Karma Hedgehog’s store. But, if you want them, you better act fast. Pam says she is seriously eyeing them to add to the door into her Big Fat Crazy Epic Retro Office Remodel. Who will bead her to these?

 

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Comments

  1. Mary Elizabeth says

    Wow, beam me into the way-way back machine! Speaking of Pam’s office, how did you all like the article and photo spread on her and RetroRenovation in–of all places–Yankee Magazine?

  2. Jeanne says

    Yep, those were some heavy duty beads. Growing up in a bungalow, we had a bead curtain on the doorway of the stairs leading to the upstairs bedroom. My mom did a two-tone thing alternating amber and gold strings of beads in the hanging rail. They were really nice. Ah, the memories!

  3. CT says

    My grandmother (yes, grandmother) had beaded curtains in the hall leading to her laundry room in the 60’s. Alternating gold and silver if I remember correctly. Swanky.

  4. Sarah g (roundhouse) says

    Very cool. These always remind me of going to visit family in Belgium. Everyone has beaded curtains or those fuzzy ones that look like giant pipe cleaners hanging at the doorway. They are used more for practical uses rather than decorative. No one has a/c so you have to open doors and windows during the summer but since most of Belgium is very pastoral the beaded curtains serve to keep the flies out of the house.

    • Robin, NV says

      ROFL!! I wonder if the beaded curtains made it to the US via some hippie chick travelling Europe in the 60s. She thought the curtains looked “groovy man” and brought them back to decorate her pad – not realizing they were to keep flies out! She probably just thought they looked Bohemian or “far out.”

  5. Laura says

    Love these so much!! I had a set of reproduction beaded curtains in my crazy apartment in New York City, they hung from the bottom of my sleeping loft and separated our living room from this weird workshop area. They were multicolored.

    I’m particularly enamored with the hot pink ones!

  6. says

    I’m giving some serious consideration to doing a beaded curtain between the TV area and bar area in our basement. I have some sheers hanging there now but they’re too short and don’t really give me the ‘vibe’ I’m looking for. These might be the perfect solution.

  7. Brenda Ss says

    I have some of these in my kitchen window. I love how the light sparkles off them. They make me very happy. I wish I could post a picture on here.

  8. Jay says

    Groovy Man! or should I say M’am. I always get a kick out of seeing the original price tags still affixed. Fun posting!

  9. KATHY H says

    WOW! I haven’t commented in forever, but this article – wow…is all i have to say…I grew up in an old farm house, my bedroom did not have a door, more like an angled opening. My Mom went to Ocean City New Jersy on a trip and brought back a beaded “curtain:”…and that became my door…it was soooo awesome way back in the late 60’s early 70’s – my room was the cat’s meow! It was the talk of the small town we lived in and all of my freinds. Thanks for the memories!

  10. nina462 says

    Fun. Not quite my style, but fun nonetheless.
    I like how you can cut them or FUSE them by using a candle flame.
    Ha! Bet the new beads don’t have that instruction listed!

  11. David Ess says

    In some circles these are known as “Rhoda beads.”

    On a similar note, I’m wondering if anyone recalls silk cord curtains that were also used in doorways and as space dividers. Our local shoe store had such curtains in several doorways separating the showroom from the stockroom. I can still hear the soft drumming of those corded curtains as the salesfolk parted them as they went to and fro carrying promising (or rejected) boxes of factory fresh shoes.

    If you know of any source for them, please do tell!

  12. Bird says

    fyi… There is a massive beaded curtain hanging between two gallery rooms at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts. Even artists and museums recognize the beauty and animation of the beaded curtain!

    • David Ess says

      Jeannie,

      Thanks so much for your research efforts and the link to ShopWildThings! We have a beaded curtain from them hanging between our rec room and laundry room. It makes quite the racket when recovering from someone passing through, which is what made me recall those softly drumming shoe store curtains.

      Alas, my description may have been misleading. While the String Curtain moves us in the right direction, the curtains I’m remembering were made with something more akin to rope than string. Very much like the kind of rope or cord that’s used to make drapery tiebacks.

      If push comes to shove (and doesn’t it often?), I’ll order a couple of spools of such rope/cord and make my own. In my spare time. Of course the temptation to easily fashion a noose in the middle of such a project gives me 2nd and 3rd thoughts!

      David Ess

  13. CCinVA says

    I’m having flashbacks! Every hippie I knew had these in their homes. I loved the way the sun would shine through them & cast colored designs on the walls. Psychedelic! LOL!

  14. Kim Campbell says

    Awesome memories you just brought back! My step-mom had these between the bathroom sink and toilet when I was growing up.

  15. Colleen says

    Brenda, if anyone knows the “BRENDA” who has the first window picture of the beads…it looks like she has a MCM banquet, and I am getting one next week, and wanted her to send me a better picture and how she reupholstered it….i am debating between going solid color vs. a solid Print seats and a crazy fun pattern on the back rest, or make the crazy fun print into pillows???
    Thanks Colleen

  16. Abby Vanderbilt says

    Hi Pam,
    Can you suggest a good site to buy vintage style beaded curtains? I am looking for one to use as a door into my retro laundry room.

    Thanks so much!

    Abby

    • pam kueber says

      I don’t know of one. I waited out the estate sales until I found mine! And: Watch etsy.com and ebay for NOS.

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