Instructables

Trashy Christmas, Recycled & Strung Straws Garland

In my half century of experience, the best tree ornaments are hand made. The best of these are usually made from trash. I don't know why, but after more than 50 years of study I've always found this to be true. For my very first, and most poverty inspired Christmas tree after moving out of my folks house, my 1st wife (then girlfriend) tied anything and everything colorful she could find to the branches including over a dozen empty red and white cigarette boxes. A good tree is not about expensive ornaments. It's all about color and sentiment. The color is obvious but the sentiment is here too. These straws were collected, one lunch at a time, from the many taco stands around my first studio spaces in East LA.

This hardly requires instructions but what the heck, this IS Instructables so I'll tap some out anyway.

Tools and materials are laid out in the third image.
  • Straws, the more variety and color the better in my book but you can use what suits you.
  • I used red coffee stirrers for the spacers but you could just use more straws.
  • Heavy thread. I used waxed linen because that's what I had but anything sturdy will work.
  • Embroidery needle, Sharp, not blunt point.
  • Scissors
  • Wine cork (I forgot to put this in the picture)
  1. Cut a bunch of spacers. Mine here are about an inch but don't bother measuring.
  2. Cut your straws into pieces. I varied the size from 1 to 2 1/2 inches.
  3. Cut about 2 arms lengths (10 to 12 ft.) of thread and thread the needle.
  4. Secure the end. I pierced a small piece of a stirrer because they are fairly stout and tied off to it.
  5. Thread on spacers and straws. Slip on a spacer and then thread sideways through a section of straw. (Here's where the cork comes in. I held it length wise in my hand and pierced the straw sections against it . This gives the straw support and keeps you from jabbing the needle into your fingers.)
  6. Repeat until you run out of thread.
  7. Tie off the end


I agree. Handmade is much better. I like how you used the coffee stirrers in between the straws. Very nice.