How to Make a Kabuki Curtain Drop

eHow may earn compensation through affiliate links in this story. Learn more about our affiliate and product review process here.
You can make a Kabuki curtain drop.
Image Credit: SergeyNivens/iStock/GettyImages

A Kabuki curtain drop system is a unique curtain mechanism that drops a lightweight fabric quickly from above. You can use these special curtains to suddenly reveal hidden elements on a stage to an audience. You have likely seen these used for theater shows and product releases. Sometimes, they even have double Kabuki effects. You can make one of these curtain drop systems at home with some effort and persistence.


Kabuki Drop DIY

Kabuki is a traditional kind of Japanese theater, and Kabuki drop-down curtains are a well-known part. For a Kabuki drop DIY, you will need a large curtain with grommets on the top, a support rod, a cord, a rope, 4-inch eye bolts and a drill. Lay down the curtain flat on the floor and measure its height and width. Tie 1-foot lengths of sturdy cord through these with one cord at every 5 feet. Then, add up the curtain's height and width and cut a piece of rope that equals that.


Video of the Day

Place the rope along the top length of the curtain and down its left side. Tie the ends of the cords onto the rope, keeping it evenly spaced, and repeat this with the free ends of the bolt cords. You can tie each one to the rope, close to the knot of the curtain cords. Pick up the support rod and pre-drill pairs of holes down its length. You should drill each set at the same points where the cords are along the longer rope.


You need to align these pairs of holes at distances that are less than that of the eye bolt shafts. Screw an eye bolt into every hole, keeping the eyes looking down the rod. Then, drill one more hole at the left end and screw in a larger, 6-inch eye bolt.

Finishing Your Curtain Drop System

Now, you can slide the shaft of every bolt tied onto the horizontal rope from left to right. These should go through the eyes of the two matching bolts on the support rod. Test to see if it works by tugging suddenly on the rope. This action should free those bolts, and the curtain should fall. Run the right end of the rope through the eye bolt on the rod's left end to finish the assembly.


Electronic Kabuki Curtain Systems

If this project seems complicated, you can order a Kabuki drop system that works electronically. These systems work with electrically powered magnetic systems that are known as solenoids. Solenoids look like small boxes that have pins sticking out of them. Electronic Kabuki curtains have a series of small solenoid boxes, and those are attached right next to each other on trusses.


The chain of solenoids is then plugged into an outlet and connected to a controller switch. You then hang the whole backdrop onto the solenoid pins with D-rings. To lower the curtain, all you need to do is push a switch. This causes those pins to retract and release the curtain's D-rings. Just like magic, the curtain drops to the floor. You can find single-drop Kabuki curtains that use one set of solenoid heads and double drop systems that use two sets of solenoid heads.


references & resources

Report an Issue

screenshot of the current page

Screenshot loading...