Straws for Jewelry, Flowers, Ketchup and More! | Reader's Digest

Straws for Jewelry, Flowers, Ketchup and More!

Straws make sipping easy, but you'll never guess how handy they are for other tasks!

from Extraordinary Uses for Ordinary Things

Keep jewelry chains unknotted
You’re dressing for dinner out, and you reach into your jewelry box for your best gold chain only to find that it’s tangled and kinked. Next time, run it through a straw cut to the proper length and close the clasp before putting it away. It’ll always be ready to wear.

Give flowers needed height
Your flower arrangement would be just perfect, except a few of the flowers aren’t tall enough. You can improve on nature by sticking each of the too-short stems into plastic straws, trimming the straw to get the desired height, and inserting them into the vase.

Get slow ketchup flowing
Anticipation is great, but ketchup that comes out of the bottle while your burger and fries are still hot is even better. If your ketchup is moving like molasses, insert a straw all the way into the bottle and stir it around a little to get the flow started.

Improvise some foamy fun
To make enough cheap and easy toys for even a large group of children, cut the ends of some plastic straws at a sharp angle and set out a shallow pan of liquid dish soap diluted with a little bit of water. Dip a straw in the soap and blow through the other end. Little kids love the piles of bubbles that result.

Make a pull-toy protector
Pull toys are perennial favorites of young children, but you can spend all day untying the knots that a toddler will inevitably put in the pull string. By running the string through a plastic straw (or a series of them), you can keep it untangled.

Fix loose veneer
The veneer from a favorite piece of furniture has lost its grip near the edge of the piece. A bit of yellow carpenter’s glue is the obvious solution for re-adhering the veneer, but how do you get the glue under there? Veneer can be very brittle, and you don’t want to break off a piece by lifting it up. The solution: Cut a length of plastic drinking straw and press it to flatten it somewhat. Fold it in half and fill one half with glue, slowly dripping the glue in from the top. Slip the filled half under the veneer and gently blow in the glue. Wipe off any excess, cover the area with wax paper and a wood block, and clamp overnight.