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Ways to Reuse Plastic Drinking Straws

Updated on June 1, 2014
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Plastic drinking straws have become a part of our everyday lives. We use it when we drink sodas, milk teas, frappuccinos from Starbucks, etc. Because we think of it as a one-use item, tons of straws get dumped in landfills everyday.

This hub is all about ways to reuse plastic straws. Filled with ideas for different kinds of people, you are sure to find one that suits you.

Ways to Reuse Plastic Drinking Straws

  • Make your own lampshade. While there are lots of designs available on the web, this Drinking Straw Lamp Shade from Chameleon Girls includes step by step pictures and clear instructions on how to make your own lamp shade.
  • Keep cords and wires from tangling. As we live in a highly technological world, we get more and more cords from our computers, appliances, etc. In order to keep them from tangling, you can insert straws through the wire and color code them so you can remember which cord belongs to which. Use thicker straws if the small ones from fast food places are not big enough to fit your wires.
  • Keep your jewelry from tangling. Much like the cords, you can also use straws for your jewelry before keeping it in your jewelry boxes. Cut the straws to your preferred length before inserting so it will fit in your storage space.
  • Fold for origami. When you type out straw origami on Google search, you will find that the most popular shapes include a heart, a star, and a flower. You can string these together to make a streamer or a garland for Christmas decorations. Here are some YouTube videos on how to begin with making your own heart and star.

  • Weave to make accessories like bags, purses, bracelets, and necklaces. There are a lot of ways you can weave straws together to form shapes. In the D.I.Y. blog, she has several tutorials on how to make your own bracelets. Here is a link to one: Woven Smooth Edge Bracelet. You can also use the weaving technique to make bigger pieces like a bag or purse.
  • Cut into smaller pieces to use as beads for jewelry. This is a fun project to do with kids. Just cut colorful straws into small pieces so kids can thread them through nylon wires or any elastic cords to make jewelry. Perfect as an activity for a birthday party, it is a cheap way to provide entertainment for the kids. You can also add some construction paper so the kids can draw their own designs and punch holes so they can thread it through the string.
  • Make your own weaving loom. Found in Dollar Store Crafts site, there is a tutorial there on how to Make a Drinking Straw Weaving Loom. Much like the olden days when they weaved their own clothing or tapestries, you can get a feel of how they do it with just some $1 items from the Dollar Store.
  • Mark spots in the garden. Whenever you plant new seeds, you usually don't recall where exactly you planted it in your huge plot of soil. You can use straws as marks to help you remember.
  • Use for blowing watercolor paint in art class. Remember in art class when your teacher keeps telling you to blow the paint across the paper? It's a fun way to paint with water colors and making your own abstract design. You can use straws to help focus your breath on the spot you want to blow.
  • Save strong straws for hulling out strawberries. During strawberry season, you can use straws to take out the hulls of fresh strawberries by inserting the straw through the center bottom and up through the other side. The leafy part and the hull should stick in the straw and you can pass the strawberry down the straw.
  • Make salve packs. You can make individual packs of your favorite herbal salves by following the directions in this Single Salve Packs Tutorial from Field of Tansy. It uses a the plastic from the straw to store the salve and candlelight to seal it tight.

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