11 Unusual Uses for Straws

522,630

822

254

About: Build.Share.Destroy.Repeat. Follow me and try a few of my projects for yourself!

Intro: 11 Unusual Uses for Straws

Straws are already pretty great for sipping down delicious drinks, but did you know there so much more that can be done besides the ordinary?

Fun and inexpensive, straws are versatile and functional. Follow along as we explore vacuum sealing bags to noisemakers. 11 unusual uses for straws is sure to show you something you didn't already know about seemingly innocent straws.

Think of any other uses for straws? Share your ideas in the comments below.

      Step 1: ​paint Fun

      Maybe you remember using straws to blow paint around in elementary school art class - In case you forgot, it's loads of fun!

      Water based paint works best for this, as it can easily be diluted with a little water to make a thin paint. Either load a little paint into the straw, or dab a small puddle onto your canvas, then gently blow through the straw to create a unique art piece.

      Blowing a thin stream of air over the wet paint will allow it to crawl across the canvas and create interesting branches of colour. Try letting one color dry then applying another colour over to really give your piece depth.

      Step 2: ​flower Holders

      Fix droopy flowers by propping up the weak stems with thick straws. Alternatively, you can use straws as an extender to give your flowers new length in a tall vase.

      Just find any straw that's larger in diameter than the flower stem. Clear stars work well, as do green ones.

      Step 3: ​wire Organizers/markers

      In our digital age wire management is critical. Never accidentally unplug the wrong thing again my clearly labeling your device wires.

      Cut a straw lengthwise, then cut into small segments, wrap these segments around wires and label them with an indelible marker. Use a few different colour straws to keep things really organized.

      Step 4: ​spoke Fun (embellishments)

      Another classic from childhood are embellishments to your bike spokes. Straws can make a colourful and fun addition to your ride.

      Cut the straws lengthwise, then cut into segments. The straws can them be fit around each spoke, alternating colours or keeping it one consistent colour around each spoke of the entire rim.

      After this all you need is a card in the spokes and you're all set to cruise the neighbourhood!

      Step 5: DIY Vacuum Sealer

      Putting food into a plastic storage bag is a good way to keep things fresh, but you can keep things even fresher by removing any air trapped in the storage bag and prevent it from going stale.

      If you don't have a commercial vacuum sealer all you need to do is put your food into a resealable bag and close the seal most of the way, insert your straw into the bag before closing the seal and then suck as much air as you can from the bag. While holding he suction with your mouth, seal the bag while removing the straw in one motion. It might take some practice, but when done correctly you can effectively create a vacuum inside the resealable bag and keep for fresher for longer.

      Step 6: Necklace Chain Holder

      Keeping your delicate necklaces organized might be easier said than done, but keeping them safely threaded inside a straw is a good way to keep them from getting tangled.

      By using different coloured straws you can organize your jewellery by type, and different size straws can accommodate chunkier necklaces.

      Step 7: Straw Flute

      Start a band by making a straw flute. Bite the end of a straw to flatten it out, then snip the flattened end to a point. Carefully cut small holes along the length of the straw for the tone holes.

      To play, insert the cut end into your mouth and press down gently with your lips, then blow through the straw. You should hear the straw vibrating in your lips creating a buzzing sound, you may need to refine the placement of the straw in your mouth and the amount of air pushed through to get a sound. You'll know when you get it right.

      By varying the placement of the tone holes you can create different sounds. Just remember to not cut more tone holes than you have fingers to cover. Here's a short video of the straw flute I made.

      Step 8: Straw Siphon (science!)

      Joining two straws together can make a fun science experiment showing the action of a siphon.

      A siphon is an inverted 'U' shape, which causes a liquid to flow upward above the surface of a reservoir, with no pump, but powered by the fall of the liquid as it flows down the tube under the pull of gravity, and discharging at a level lower than the surface of the reservoir whence it came.

      To make a siphon, gently fold the end of one straw lengthwise and feed it inside the second straw then roll the folded end with your fingers to undo the fold and create a seal between the two straws.

      With a full glass of water placed near a sink, insert the straw into a full glass of water and suck on the straw to prime the siphon. Put the end of the straw into the sink below the bottom level of the glass and the siphon action should start draining the water from the glass. Science at work!

      Step 9: Individual Storage for Powders

      Straws also make great containers to store individual portions of any kinds of powders, like sugar, sports drinks, or salt and pepper.

      Making your own is easy, all you need is parchment paper and an iron. Cut the straws to the desired length, but at least 2" long so you can safely work with the straw and the iron. Fold over the parchment paper and insert the end of the straw in the valley of the fold, then work a hot iron over the parchment covered straw to melt the plastic seal the straw end.

      Fill the straw with your powder, then seal the other end. These small sachets are great for portion control, and they are waterproof!

      Step 10: ​funnel Extender

      Funnels are really handy tools, but the wide top doesn't always fit into tight spaces. Luckily most funnels have a tapered bottom that allows straws to be attached and extend the range of the funnel.

      Step 11: Toothpick

      For the times when a toothpick is not at hand, or when you want to subtlety remove food stuck in your teeth while at the table.

      Bite the end of the straw flat, creating a sharp point at the end. Then gently (and covertly) use it as a toothpick to dislodge anything stuck between your teeth. As a bonus, you can then use the straw to enjoy some of your beverage and rinse your mouth. If done correctly, no one will be the wiser.


      Do you have some more unusual uses for straws? I want to see them!

      Share them in the comments below, tips with a picture included will get a free Pro Membership to Instructables.

      12 People Made This Project!

      Recommendations

      • Metalworking Contest

        Metalworking Contest
      • Furniture Contest 2018

        Furniture Contest 2018
      • Halloween Contest 2018

        Halloween Contest 2018

      254 Discussions

      0
      None
      RachelW96

      1 year ago

      I read most of the comments, but I didn't see: Cat Toy. The bendy ones especially. They're light & easy to bat around, not to mention fairly quiet!

      Also! Tip - when you make the sachets, you can (carefully) heat the tips on a pair of pliers to seal the ends, instead of using an iron!

      0
      None
      doo da do

      2 years ago

      CHeck out the history of straws, how they came up with the diameter, ect.

      0
      None
      vicpoole

      2 years ago

      Thank you all - I'll give them a try

      0
      None
      vicpoole

      2 years ago

      I love the straw sachets but I have a lot of trouble filling them.
      A little paper funnel seems to get very messy - any other ideas how to???

      5 replies
      0
      None
      KG-DIYvicpoole

      Reply 2 years ago

      There are bead (as in jewelry) funnels - extremely tiny. I think they would work.

      0
      None
      vicpooleKG-DIY

      Reply 2 years ago

      Thank you. I didn't think of those. I have similar for decanting perfume

      0
      None
      edm2vicpoole

      Reply 2 years ago

      Make a little scoop/shovel with a straw end.

      0
      None
      KG-DIYedm2

      Reply 2 years ago

      Years ago they had just such a straw for the Slurpees at 7-11.

      0
      None
      CindyLemirevicpoole

      Reply 2 years ago

      I have a tiny metal funnel that I got years ago, maybe to use with essential oils, I don't remember. But couldn't you use a straw to cut, shape and tape into a tiny funnel? Just a thought.

      0
      None
      Calbo32

      2 years ago

      my 9 year old granddaughter showed me this: put end of straw in arm pit. Blow on other end. Laugh hysterically.

      2 replies
      0
      None
      KG-DIYCalbo32

      Reply 2 years ago

      I love that you posted this. Made my day. Thanks for the smile.

      0
      None
      RogerD5

      2 years ago

      Please don't hate this, but.......

      Those straw packets can be used to hide weed. PLEASE DO NOT DO THAT

      2 replies
      0
      None
      KG-DIYRogerD5

      Reply 2 years ago

      If you're going camping - they're a great holder for toothpaste.

      0
      None
      LynetteSqRogerD5

      Reply 2 years ago

      Doesn't mean they will be used for that... also, what do you care?

      0
      None
      ChrisM235

      2 years ago

      Elephant catheters.

      0
      None
      OneBirdieMa

      2 years ago

      Ever need to add a drop or two to something and lack and eyedropper? Use a small diameter straw, insert one end into the liquid to be dropped (dripped?), cover the other end and lift the straw out and over the whatever to be dripped (dropped) on. Release the airtight hold on the straw gently to make sure of getting only the small amount desired . . . . inspired to add here as I recalled how to do this because I need to put one drop of almond extract in a dish of apricot puree to be dried as fruit leather . . . .

      1 reply
      0
      None
      jmlbOneBirdieMa

      Reply 2 years ago

      You can squeeze the straw instead of lifting your finger and you will have a bit more control

      0
      None
      deltron-z

      2 years ago

      Mini blow guns

      0
      None
      lyndell.netherton

      2 years ago

      i use straws as cherry pitters. just remember to put our thumb over the straw end to add air pressure so it doesn't bend