How to Build a Straw Dispenser

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Uncovered jars leave your straw tips exposed to potential contaminants.
Uncovered jars leave your straw tips exposed to potential contaminants. (Image: Hemera Technologies/PhotoObjects.net/Getty Images)

Old-fashioned straw dispensers perform a double function as dining room decor and functional accessory -- not only do they keep your straws on display, but also they make them easily accessible and prevent them from spilling out on the counter or floor. The beauty of a straw dispenser is in its simplicity -- while you can buy them in the retro style, you can just as easily make your own. To build your own straw dispenser, you need only a few household materials -- and, of course, a bundle of straws.

Things You'll Need

  • Tall glass jar with lid, between 10 1/2 and 11 inches tall
  • Thin sheet of wood, like balsa
  • Pencil
  • Craft knife
  • Thin dowel rod, approx. the same height as the jar
  • Hot glue gun
  • Straws

Place the bottom of your glass jar on the balsa wood and trace an outline of the jar onto the wood with a pencil. Remove the jar.

Cut out the circular outline using a sharp craft knife, carving the wood just inside the circle you drew.

Hot glue one end of your dowel rod to the center of the circle you cut out. Hot glue the other end to the center of the inside of your jar's lid.

Set the lid in place on top of the jar -- the dowel goes down inside the jar, with the wooden circle resting at the bottom of the jar. Lift the lid slightly, then drop your straws into the jar. They should stand vertically with their bottoms resting on the wooden circle, and when you lift the lid, they raise up so that you can easily remove them.

Tips & Warnings

  • To make removing your straws easier, use a jar that has a pop-on lid rather than a screw-on lid.
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