Introduction: Strawbees Hydraulic Flower

This fun project was created for the Strawbees Instructables Build Night in May.

Build your own flower that opens and closes when you move a plunger. This is a great project to teach children about hydraulics and pneumatics.

You'll need:

  • Strawbees
  • Regular drinking straws: 10 full bendy straws, 6 medium length straws & 10 short straw pieces
  • Thick straw (the ones from Starbucks are perfect)
  • 2 Syringes (the oral medication syringes we used were free from the pharmacy)
  • Aquarium airline tubing
  • Craft paper
  • Glue gun
  • Tape

YuKonstruct is the first makerspace in Canada's north. Our mission is to provide access to shared space, quality tools, available expertise, and a collaborative environment to help makers build anything!

Step 1: Make the Centre of the Flower

Connect 5 short straw pieces with a 5-Strawbee. Add a Strawbee to the end of each piece of straw.

Using a hot glue gun, attach the middle 5-Strawbee to the plunger end of a syringe (this step should be done with adult supervision).

Connect another 5 short straw pieces with a 5-Strawbee. This time add a 2-Strawbee to the end of each piece.

Put the two parts together and secure with Strawbees.

Step 2: Make the Petals

Attach bendy straws to the 2-Strawbees. Add another 5 bendy straws and connect them with Strawbees.

Join the bendy ends of the straws with Strawbees to finish the petals.

Step 3: Add the Stem

Put one end of the tubing over the end of the syringe. You want a tight fit so it won't leak once it is filled with water.

Thread the tubing through the thick straw to create the flower's stem.

Step 4: Create a Base

Make a pyramid with 6 medium length straws and four 3-Strawbees.

Put the thick straw stem through the middle of one of the pyramid's 3-Strawbees.

Fill the syringe and tubing with water and then attach the other syringe to the open end of the tubing. This step is a little tricky as you need to get all the air bubbles out of the syringe and tubing.

Step 5: Finish the Flower

Cut a leaf for the flower out of paper and tape it to the stem.

To make it easier to open and close the flower, tape the base of the pyramid to a table or counter.


grodrirgues (author)2015-08-26


thunder_ir (author)2015-06-06

great idea

licheness (author)2015-06-04

Very clever! I can see the possibility of using this sort of simple hydraulics in many different applications - for strawbees creations, and beyond!

tomatoskins (author)2015-06-03

This is great! I love the hydraulic action of it!

About This Instructable




Bio: YuKonstruct is a non-profit society which provides an enthusiastic community of makers and entrepreneurs affordable access to space, equipment and knowledge. This community serves to ... More »
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