How often have you found yourself submerged under a mountain of old newspapers, magazines and leaflets? Ok, so they can come in useful in certain situations, such as lighting a fire or packing dishes when you’re about to move house, but very often the only thing you’ll be doing is putting them in the bin. Instead, if you’re feeling crafty, read on to find out how to create and dye paper straws using coffee. We will provide a few ideas for things you can make with them.
For DIY enthusiasts, this is an enjoyable creative recycling activity, useful for breathing new life into old materials that would otherwise have ended up in the waste. It is also a great idea for engaging children, if you have any, in a new and fun activity.
How to dye paper straws using coffee
- Place a tablespoonful of ground coffee in the centre of a strong napkin.
- Gather up the sides of the napkin to create a small bag, ensuring that all the coffee remains in the part that hangs down.
- Wet the napkin slightly under running water in the area containing the coffee.
- Squeeze the part with the coffee gently to remove any excess water.
- Now blot the paper you want to dye briefly but firmly using the part of the napkin that contains the coffee. Alternatively, press it down on the sheet of paper for a few seconds.
- Leave to dry for a few minutes.
How to make paper straws
Now that the paper has taken on the brown colour of the coffee, we need to learn how to make the paper straws:
- Take a skewer, or a knitting needle, and place it on one edge of the sheet of paper.
- Roll the object inside the paper until it is completely covered, ensuring that the paper is pulled tightly round the object.
- Apply some glue (use a glue stick or some vinyl glue, as you prefer) to the last part of the sheet of paper that is still flat, then close the straw.
- Draw out the skewer or knitting needle, then repeat to make more straws.
What can I make with my paper straws?
And now that you have lots of new coffee-dyed paper straws, what can you make? If you use your imagination, the sky’s the limit! Here are a few examples of objects created using these elements:
- Ethnic-style furnishing accessories, such as window blinds.
- Clocks, with the straws wound into circles.
- Woven hearts.
- Woven wastepaper baskets, like those made of wicker.
- Mini Christmas trees.
And the list goes on. If you’re a real DIY buff, don’t settle for creating and dyeing paper straws: discover lots of creative ideas for recycling ceramic espresso cups and saucers to help you make new useful and attractive everyday objects.