Found yourself straw bombed?
Never fear! It happens to every good eco-minded person no matter how diligent you try to be in your quest to say no to the plastic straw. If you have scored yourself this annoying bit of single use plastic why not try to find a way to make it useful again. I would argue that this incarnation of drinking straw is an upcycle because I like it much better in bracelet format than in it’s not-very-attractive drinking straw format. This is super easy and will make a good gift idea.
You will see I’ve added all sorts of goodies to my bracelet but it can be as simple as tying a few bits of straw onto a piece of fabric with some knots.
Step 1: Collect
Collect what you need. I went for a walk to find straws on the ground but could only find the really wide clear ones that come with Slurpee’s. I gave up on that idea and ended up going to a cafe to ask for some of their black straws from the rubbish bin. They looked at me like I was a bit crazy but obliged which was really nice. You will need one straw for a bracelet, some kind of fabric for the bracelet (I’m cutting up an old bag strap I found in a rubbish bin) and other decorations. I’m making a tassel for mine with some waxed cotton from garment tags that I found on my litter collection walk. I’ve also got some ultra thin jewellery wire (10 gauge) scissors and some jewellery pliers.
Step 2: Cut
Cut your straw into small sections. I’ve cut mine into sections of around 3mm. If you are using an recycled fabric cut it to a desired thickness. Mine is a thick synthetic leather and I’ve use a 30 cm length.
Step 3: Tie
Making your bracelet is as easy as tying each piece of straw on to the fabric with a knot on either side. Start in the middle and work your way out. I tied each knot twice because the straw I had was quite big so it kept sliding around with just one knot thickness. You want the knots tied as tight and as close to the straw beads as possible and try to tie them all in the same direction (away from you or towards you). Everyones wrist is different sizes so you want to stop when it’s long enough for you. To work out this length wrap the beaded and knotted part of the bracelet around your wrist. It should wrap nearly all the way around and meet neatly (not overlap). Don’t cut any ends off!
Step 4: The only tricky part
This is the only tricky part of the whole DIY. Tying a bracelet slip knot. I’m not going to try to explain this in words. Instead I want you to follow this link and check out how to do it for yourself. It was the simplest look at this knot tying that I could find. So many bracelet tutorials make this look WAY more difficult than it is.
Step 5: Adding embellishments
If you want to add some fancy to your bracelet. I made an easy tassel by draping the waxed cotton from the swing tags over the bracelet and then wrapping it tight with some of the jewellery wire to secure it and form the tassel. I also added a turquoise stone with the jewellery wire with a dangling bit of straw at the bottom as a hint of what the beads originally were.
Would you guess it was a drinking straw?
And that’s it people! Super easy and accessible to anyone with functioning fingers and their scissors licence. Would you have guessed what this was made out of? I probably wouldn’t if I hadn’t made it myself!