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7 Clever Ways to Upcycle Plastic Straws

Do your bit for the environment and craft waste into art!

7 Clever Ways to Upcycle Plastic Straws

1 Vase

With some brightly coloured or spray-painted straws, you can create vibrant flower pot vases. There are two ways to do this – sticking the straws onto an existing plastic or ceramic pot, or glueing the straws together to create a brand new vase. The latter wouldn’t be waterproof, unfortunately, but you’re able get more creative with the woven design, and top it off with faux or crafted flowers.

2 Marble Maze

If the kids are out of school and getting underfoot, why not try this clever and easy-to-make game, and have some great fun together! Simply stick some straws to a square of card to make a maze, insert a marble, and cover with acetate to stop the marble escaping. Not only will the fun puzzle keep youngsters busy, but it’ll also help little ones improve their problem-solving abilities.

3 Pipecleaner Figurines

Like the marble maze, this is a great craft to do with kids, because the figurines are easy to make. Little ones can even create personalised characters for their made-up stories and games! Simply use straws, pipe cleaners, small beads for the joints and body, and a large bead for the head. You can even add small googly eyes to the head bead, or get out the paints and pens and draw on a face.

4 Sunburst Wall Decoration

These showstopping decorations often have a mirror, clock or picture in the centre, but look glorious on their own too. Simply cut out a cardboard ring and stick the straws on top of it in a fanned out sun shape. The straws can be kept at the same length, or cut to several different ones to create an interesting pattern. Once this is done, spray paint the finished product gold or silver, seal it, let it dry, and hang it on the wall for all to see.

5 3D Starburst Ornaments

Perfect for hanging at parties, using as baubles, or simply decorating the mantlepiece, these ornaments are created using a method similar to pom-pom making. Tie a group of plastic straws together with a zip tie around the middle, and shape each of the protruding straws to point in different directions – thin wires down the middle can help if the straw won’t hold its new position. You can even cut the ends into points, to accentuate the star look.

6 3D Geodesic Dome

Much like the sunburst wall decoration, these interesting art pieces add an element of elegance to your home, and visitors would never guess they were made from drinking straws! Build the dome to your desired size, by poking pipe cleaners through trimmed straws and weaving them into shape. Once the shapes are all connected, you can spray paint the dome gold, silver or black, and seal it. Why not make a few and decorate the mantlepiece or windowsills?

7 Geometric Art Pieces

You can create some interesting art pieces with straws, pipe cleaners, and a printed picture for reference – the process is similar to the geodesic dome, but you’re building a geometric version of a picture rather than a dome. Simplified animals are popular choices for this type of art. Make sure to keep the picture in front of you, and refer to it often to get the proportions of your muse accurate.