This simple beading project is a great way to upcycle drinking straws into a fun, fashionable bracelet or cuff.

What You’ll Need

  • 3-4 drinking straws, paper or plastic
  • 30-40 pony beads
  • 4-5 feet of elastic cord or yarn
  • Ruler
  • Scissors
  • Masking tape (optional)
  • Toothpick or bamboo skewer (optional)

Prepare Your Yarn: If you’re using elastic or cord, you simply need to measure the cut your material. Depending on the size of your wrist and how tightly you add your beads, you will need between 3 and 5 feet of materials. If using yarn or string, use masking tape to keep the ends from fraying.

Cut Your Straws: Using your ruler and scissors, cut your drinking straws into uniform pieces. You will need approximately 20 pieces. You can cut them to a length of 1/2″ (13mm) to 1″ (26mm), depending on your preference. I cut my pieces to a length of 1 inch.

Add Your First Pieces: Thread your yarn through a piece of straw. Center the straw onto the yarn. If needed, use your toothpick or bamboo skewer to push the yarn through the straw. Then add a bead to each side.

Add More Pieces: To add the next piece of straw, thread the left length of yarn through the left side of the straw and the right length of yarn through the right side of the straw. Use your toothpick as needed. Pull the yarn in opposite directions to tighten down the straw against the previous beads. Add another set of beads to either side of the straw. Continue this pattern until your bracelet is long enough to wear.

Finish the Bracelet: To finish the bracelet, add one more set of beads. Then loop your yarn through the first piece of drinking straw. Tie a square knot tightly against the straw to secure the yarn in place. Enjoy!

Need more help? Watch my video of this project!

If you enjoyed this activity, be sure to check out The Big Book of Maker Camp Projects. With over 100 projects covering crafts to coding, my book has something for everyone!

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