How to Make Strong Straw Towers

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Maybe your child has been assigned a school project to assemble a strong structure from drinking straws. Or perhaps you have some time on your hands and are curious if such a structure can be formed. Whatever the reason, creating a solid tower from straws is certainly possible and not as difficult as it sounds. It won’t hold up your television, but it will support the weight of a baseball, which is quite an achievement for such flimsy material.

How to Make Strong Straw Towers
(Pamela Follett/Demand Media)

Things You'll Need

  • 79 straws
  • Masking tape
  • Scissors
  • Baseball
Step 1

Cut off and discard the bendy joint of all of your straws.

Pamela Follett/Demand Media
Step 2

Lay out five straws on the floor to make a pentagon shape. Stick together each of the corners with masking tape. Use the tape liberally so that the straws are securely attached together.

Pamela Follett/Demand Media
Step 3

Nip in the end of a straw and push it into the end of another straw. Wrap the point where the two straws join with masking tape.

Pamela Follett/Demand Media
Step 4

Add another four straws to this double straw, sticking down each joint with masking type. You should now have one long straw made from six straws.

Pamela Follett/Demand Media
Step 5

Follow the same technique to create another four of these extra-long straws.

Pamela Follett/Demand Media
Step 6

Tape one of the long straws vertically to a corner of the pentagon base. Use the masking tape liberally here; the main concern is that the long straw be securely attached to the base, not for the joints to be neat.

Pamela Follett/Demand Media
Step 7

Repeat the previous step for the other four corners. You now have five sides.

Pamela Follett/Demand Media
Step 8

Tape a single straw to one of the pentagon’s corners. This should lay flat on the ground and one end should be in the center of the shape. Do this for each of the five corners.

Pamela Follett/Demand Media
Step 9

Attach six straws together, using the same methods as you did with the sides of the structure.

Pamela Follett/Demand Media
Step 10

Place this straw vertically in the center of the five straws inside the pentagon base.

Pamela Follett/Demand Media
Step 11

Tape the five straws to the base of the long straw. You now have support through the center.

Pamela Follett/Demand Media
Step 12

Cut an extra 1/2 inch from five straws. Tape these to the first joints in your sides. You will now have a second pentagon one straw-length up from the first.

Pamela Follett/Demand Media
Step 13

Repeat Step 14 at each joint in the side straws of the structure, cutting an extra 1/2 inch off the five straws as the joints get higher.

Pamela Follett/Demand Media
Step 14

Tape two straws to one of the corners of the third pentagon up. Tape the other ends of both straws to the center straw, cutting off any excess. Repeat this from the opposite side, so that you have created a straight line running through the pentagon.

Pamela Follett/Demand Media
Step 15

Repeat Step 16 for the next pentagon up.

Pamela Follett/Demand Media
Step 16

Attach five straws to the five corners of the highest pentagon. These should be angled toward the center structure, just as you did with the base. Cut off any excess straw.

Pamela Follett/Demand Media
Step 17

Cut off the top of the center straw so that it is level with the five straws you added in the previous step.

Pamela Follett/Demand Media
Step 18

Tape the five straws to the top of the long center straw.

Pamela Follett/Demand Media
Step 19

Put a baseball to the top of the structure; the tower will support the ball’s weight.

Pamela Follett/Demand Media

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