Did you know that plastic straws are one of the top items found during beach cleanups? And that they can be extremely harmful to our planet’s magnificent marine life? It’s time to take action!

The good news is that there’s a more eco-friendly way to enjoy slurping up a delicious drink – by using biodegradable, paper straws instead, which are much better for the environment!

Let’s have some crafty fun and learn how to make cool, colourful papers straws…

How to make paper straws!

What you’ll need:

Thick paper or our Nat Geo Kids straw pattern paper
Non-toxic glue
Glass jar
Paraffin wax
Candle warmer or a large cooking pot
Paper towel
And finally…an adult to help!

Step 1

Cutting out paper

Print out the Nat Geo Kids straw patterns and cut out a template. Alternatively, you can use a piece of printer paper cut into 4cm strips.

Step 2

Using glue on paper

Add a long line of glue along the edge of the paper, on the side without the pattern.

Step 3

Rolling straw

Place a chopstick at a diagonal angle on the back of the paper. Then roll the paper around the chopstick until it’s completely covered. Be careful to roll the paper on top of itself so you don’t get glue on the chopstick!

Step 4

Straw on chopstick

Wait 10 minutes for the glue to dry, then wiggle the chopstick out from inside the paper tube.

Step 5

Cutting straws

Cut both ends of the tube to make them straight and even.

Step 6

Melting wax

Get an adult to put the paraffin wax in a glass jar. Melt the wax by either putting the jar on a candle warmer or in a pot of warm water on the stove.

Step 7

Straw in jar

Carefully dip the paper tube into the melted wax one half at a time.

Step 8

Wiping wax from straw

Gently wipe the tube with a paper towel to get rid of any extra wax. Be careful not to wipe too hard and damage your straw!

Step 9

Paper straws

Let the straws dry for about 10 minutes. And there you have it…your eco-friendly paper straw! How many will you make? And what cool, thirst-quenching drinks will you suck up?!

Did you enjoy finding out how to make a paper straws? Leave a comment below and let us know!

Photo credits — Rebecca Hale, NG Staff



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  • isabel

    I didn't know that you could make paper straws, i thought you could just buy them from the shops. It is a great eco friendly idea and it is worth trying and very crafty I will probably try this, thank you.

  • jane

    I just did it.

  • kim kim

    I just did it , Best thing ever !

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