“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!


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.


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.

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?


  1. 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!


    1. pam kueber says:

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

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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!

    1. David Ess says:


      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

  5. 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!

  6. 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!

  7. 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!

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