How to weave on drinking straws

Written by helen sterling
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How to weave on drinking straws
(Jupiterimages/Polka Dot/Getty Images)

Weaving with yarn on drinking straws is a simple way for kids to create soft woven belts, headbands or bracelets. The drinking straws provide a functional, temporary loom to hold the vertical, or warp threads, and create a stable platform to weave the horizontal weft threads. Kids can create gifts for friends and family and colourful items for their own use.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • 5 to 7 drinking straws
  • Yarn
  • Tape measure
  • Scissors
  • Blunt large-eyed tapestry needle
  • Transparent tape
  • Beads (optional)

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Determine the length and width of the item you plan to weave. Each warp strand will be twice as long as the length of the finished item. Measure and cut one warp strand of yarn for each drinking straw you plan to use. The number of drinking straws used determines the width of the item; more straws make a wider item.

  2. 2

    Thread the tapestry needle with one warp strand of yarn and feed it through one drinking straw, leaving a 6-inch tail. Tape the end of the warp yarn to the straw with transparent tape to keep it from sliding out of the straw while weaving. Repeat with the remaining straws.

  3. 3

    Tie the tail end of the ball of yarn to the end of one of the straws leaving a 6-inch tail. This becomes the weft strands. Begin weaving the weft yarn over and under the individual straws. At each side, bring the yarn around the straw and continue the pattern of weaving over the straw the yarn passed under on the previous row. Continue the over-and-under pattern until the woven area reaches the last third of the straws.

  4. 4

    Gently remove the tape holding the warp yarn to the straws. Tie all the warp strands together in a loose overhand knot. Push the weaving off the ends of the straws onto the warp threads, but only as far as needed to continue weaving comfortably. Do not push the entire woven portion off the straws at one time and do not push the woven area all the way to the overhand knot.

  5. 5

    Continue the weaving process, pushing the weaving off the straws onto the warp threads as necessary until the piece reaches the desired length. Tie the end of the weft yarn to the last straw, leaving a 6-inch tail. Push all the weaving off the straws and remove the straws from the warp yarn.

  6. 6

    Adjust the weaving if necessary to create a uniform look. Tighten or retie the knots attaching the weft threads at the beginning and end of the piece, and untie the loose temporary overhand knot at the beginning. Gather all the warp threads and the weft thread at one end of the piece and tie one overhand knot close to the end of the weaving to secure and finish that end. Repeat with the other end of the piece. Cut the tails of yarn evenly.

Tips and warnings

  • Use two different coloured yarns for a contrasting look in warp and weft threads.
  • Attach beads to the yarn ends to allow the yarn to hang gracefully.
  • For a belt, leave the end approximately 10 to 12 inches long to tie in an overhand knot when wearing the belt.
  • For a headband, attach a length of narrow elastic to the ends of the weaving to keep the headband in place.

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