How to Make a Kabuki Curtain Drop

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A kabuki curtain drop is a mechanism designed to allow a curtain to suddenly fall, revealing whatever happens to be behind it. The system is so named for its commonality in Japanese kabuki theater, a stylized combination of dance and drama that uses sequential curtain drops to signify the changing of scenes. While professional curtain drop systems cost hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars, you can make a simple curtain drop that works just as well out of nothing but rope and eye bolts.

Things You'll Need

  • Cord
  • Curtain
  • 6-inch eye bolts
  • Rope
  • Drill
  • Support rod
  • 4-inch eye bolts

Tie 1-foot lengths of cord through the grommets at the top of the curtain. If your curtain has them very close together, space the cords apart, skipping a few grommets in between. There should be a minimum of one cord every 5 feet.

Tie 1-foot lengths of cord through the heads of several 6-inch eye bolts. When finished, there should be one bolt with an attached cord for each cord tied to the curtain.

Cut rope to a length equaling the width and height of the curtain combined. Lay the curtain out flat, and position the rope so it runs along the curtain's upper edge and down the left side. Tie free ends of the curtain-cords to the rope, evenly spaced along its length. Do the same with the free ends of the bolt-cords, tying one to the rope near the knot of each curtain-cord.

Pre-drill pairs of holes along the length of the curtain's support rod, with each pair as far apart from each other as are the cords along the long rope. The two holes of each pair should be aligned along the rod's length at a distance less than the length of the eye bolt shafts. Screw a smaller eye bolt into each hole, with the eyes looking along the length of the rod. Drill an extra hole at the left end of the rod, and screw a larger eye bolt into it.

Slide the shaft of each bolt tied to the horizontal rope, from left to right through the eyes of its two corresponding eye bolts on the support rod. If done correctly, a sudden tug on the rope should pull the bolts free, allowing the curtain to fall. Run the bight of the rope through the eye bolt on the left end of the rod to complete the assembly of the kabuki drop system.

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