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DIY Reusable Straw Sleeves for Back to School

reusable straw

It’s the final week of Plastic Free July! In celebration, we want to share our favorite recipe for making straw sleeves to carry your reusable straws on the go. Don’t own a reusable straw yet? Here’s why you should think twice before using plastic:

  • Americans use 500 million plastic straws every day.
  • Placed end to end, the number of disposable straws used in the U.S. in the past four days could reach the moon.
  • We use enough to fill over 125 school buses with plastic straws every day. That’s 46,000 school buses every year full of straws.

For this project, we recommend reusing old fabric you already have or purchasing from a second-hand shop. Old tablecloths, cloth napkins and heavy t-shirts work! If you are purchasing fabric, we suggest organic cotton or unbleached muslin.

DIY Reusable Straw Sleeves

Supplies (makes one sleeve):
1/2 yard fabric
Measuring tape or small ruler
Straight pins
Fabric marker
Sewing machine


  1. Cut fabric into a rectangle that is 14.5″ x 2″. Take fabric and fold it in half to make a shape that is now 14.5″ x 1″. If you’d like, run a warm iron over the fabric to smooth it out.
  2. Cut a 1/2″ strip of extra fabric for ties. Use a pen to mark the 1/2″ pieces and cut along the width of the fabric. 
  3. If you’d like a finished edge along the opening of the sleeve, fold the top of the rectangle over 1/4″ and zigzag stitch along the edge.
  4. Measure up 8″ from the bottom of the sleeve and pin the tie in the seam.
  5. Place your reusable straw or a knife inside of the fabric for stability when sewing. Place straight pins along the bottom and open side of the fabric.
  6. Zig zag stitch along the bottom and open edge of the sleeve until you’ve made it to the top.
  7. Place straw and straw brush inside, fold over excess fabric on the top and wrap the tie around the sleeve to keep your reusable straw in place.

You can easily make this project kid friendly by using felt for the sleeve and whipstitching the bottom and side edges. Looking for more ideas on how to cut plastic waste out of your life? Take a look at our Pinterest page for our favorite tips!