• Make Your Own Stainless Steel Straws

    by  • November 28, 2011 • Drink, Eco-friendly • 20 Comments

    stainless steel strawsI rarely use a drinking straw. In the entirety of my nearly 11 year marriage to Alex, we have only purchased one box of 100 plastic straws, many of which were used for crafting, not drinking, purposes.

    Along came Lil and our family’s straw consumption sky rocketed. Straws are fun for kids and easier to use than a drinking glass. Lil is more likely to finish a drink, especially a smoothie, if she uses a straw.

    As the straw waste and news reports about the dangers of BPA began to pile up, we found ourselves looking for a safe and reusable alternative.

    Glass Dharma and other companies make beautiful glass straws. At $7 each, even with a lifetime guarantee against breakage, we just couldn’t see investing in this option.

    Alex, a materials scientist by education, thought he might be able to make straws at home from a safe, easily attainable material. Stainless steel is free of potentially dangerous chemicals like BPA, unbreakable, and easy to clean. With just a few simple tools, most of which we have around the house for plumbing, Alex created a set of stainless steel straws.

    tools to make stainless steel strawsusing pipe cutter for strawsstanding stainless steel drinking strawstainless steel straw bending

    Here’s how:

    1) Buy tube stock from McMaster-Carr hardware supply. A shipped 6-foot length of 5/16-inch diameter round tube 304 stainless steel costs around $40. Other diameters are available.

    2) Use a pipe cutter (available for around $10 at hardware stores) for to cut the steel into usable lengths. We like 8- and 6-inch lengths. The 6-foot length of tube makes 5 long and 5 short straws.

    3) Optionally, bend one end at a 45 degree angle with a pipe bender (available for $20 at hardware stores).

    4) Sand edges and outside with fine (220) grit sanding sponge and/or Dremel tool with a sanding point.

    5) Wash well with soap and water or in the dishwasher.

    Our home made straws have been in heavy use for over two years now. We rinse them immediately after use and wash in the dishwasher.

    Unlike when we first made them, stainless straws are now offered on Etsy and at green living stores like Columbus’ Generation Green. The most basic straws are cheaper to purchase than make from scratch.

    homemade stainless steel straws

    When you create the straws yourself, you can play with bends, diameters, and lengths. They are a fun project to make as a family. Create a bunch and package sets in beautiful fabric carrying cases for unique, eco-friendly gifts.

    Have you ever used a stainless steel straw? Would you consider making them yourself?

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    I live to eat and eat to live, planning every meal to include as much local and seasonal abundance as possible. I often wear purple and never refuse a drink.


    20 Responses to Make Your Own Stainless Steel Straws

    1. November 28, 2011 at 1:31 pm

      Simple, awesome, and wonderful! I’m totally adding this to my list of things to do!

      • November 29, 2011 at 10:32 pm

        I hope you enjoy making them, Eric.

    2. Allaina
      November 28, 2011 at 3:50 pm

      This is a perfect idea… I would love to try this because this is useful and cute. Another thing, this is perfectly designed.

    3. November 29, 2011 at 2:46 am

      Hey man, thanks for the mention. All our straws are handmade using techniques only slightly more developed than yours.


      • November 29, 2011 at 10:31 pm

        Your straws are great, Heather! We briefly considered making them for sale but decided against it.

    4. November 29, 2011 at 6:48 pm

      I have Glass Dharma straws. However, if I had little ones like you do, I’d go stainless.

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    6. majeral78666
      December 14, 2011 at 3:07 pm

      You can buy these straws at Amazon 4 $9.99 they come with a little wire brush to clean them

      • Charlotte Devlin
        October 25, 2014 at 3:01 pm

        I live in Argentina and was wondering where Amazon 4 is and if they can send me some to Argentina or at least one. Thanks, Charlotte

        • Patrick Michael Hayes
          August 1, 2016 at 12:02 pm

          Charolette, I’ll send you some straws. We have made some and would love to share.
          paddy at bykin period commercial, swap the at, use a . and drop the mercial to send me a message.

          Why not use the yerba mate straws already available in Argentina?

    7. majeral78666
      December 14, 2011 at 3:09 pm
    8. Pingback: DIY Stainless Steel Reusable Straws For Your Cocktails | Shelterness

    9. Krae1023
      December 29, 2011 at 5:50 pm

      I LOVE this idea! Can you please tell me the lenght’s you did (like in the small jelly jar pictured above)?? Also, I like a fatter staw for smoothies, how does the 5/16 work for you guys?? Thank you!!

    10. January 21, 2012 at 10:20 am

      Love this!! I am an avid straw user and I have been using stainless steel straws for about 3 years now and would never go back….

    11. Pingback: Straw Wars: The campaign to keep straws out of restaurants… and landfills | Blog | BSI Biodegradable Solutions

    12. Shweta
      June 5, 2012 at 1:40 am

      I bought a variety of stainless steel straws with cleaners on eBay. I won’t be going back to plastic ever. I even bought milkshake and spoon straws… Pretty neat stuff!! Here is the link http://stores.ebay.com/malabarhillz

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    14. Donna Flint
      October 22, 2013 at 5:34 pm

      I just made 5 of these. I was able to find the steel on eBay for less than $20 for a 6 foot section and my Dad had all the stuff to cut them. I needed 10 1/2″ ones for the thermal cups I use (32 oz) and couldn’t find any pre-made in that size, so I made them myself. Thank you so much for this tutorial! :-)

    15. February 7, 2015 at 3:56 pm

      Hi, Rachel! This an awesome project and a great way to reduce our dependence on plastic straws. Have you considered using glass straws? Get in touch with us at http://hummingbirdstraws.com if you would like to try out our reusable glass straws. I think you’ll love them!

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