I've been trying to up my host game lately, especially in the drinks department. Solid glassware, proper bar tools, and better presentation go a long way towards concocting a quality experience. That's why I was excited to come up with a great gift project for those that want to ditch the cheap plastic in their classy mixed drinks. These simple straws are hefty enough to really stand out as a stocking stuffer, or on their own as a solid holiday gift.
For this project, I picked up a 36" length of 5/16" stainless steel round tubing here. ($11) I ended up with 5 straws from this length, so plan accordingly.
Mark the tubes. I used a similarly sized plastic straw for a guide, and marked the tube for each cut.
Make the cuts. I cut the tube into 5 7" straws. The steel was fast to cut with a hacksaw, but for cleaner cuts, you could use a grinder with cutting wheel, metal blade on a bandsaw, or even a dremel tool with a metal attachment. Whatever your method, wear a set of safety glasses to protect against any metal shards.
Clean up. Taping all the rough-cut straws together ensured that they would all end up the same length. I used a sanding belt to clean up the rough cuts and make the length uniform.
Soften edges. Once the straws were to final length and squared off, I used some 240 grit sandpaper to soften out the edges. I didn't want to use rougher grit as that would introduce deeper scratches that would need to be polished out, so I took a bit longer with the 240 to make sure both ends felt smooth enough for a great drinking experience.
Polish up. The last step was a quick polish with a simple compound to get the printed information off and smooth the surface. I did it by hand with just a little polish and a clean rag for each straw.
Clean and enjoy. A quick cleaning and they straws were ready to enjoy. I really like the feel and heft that these little straws add to those special drinks you're proud to mix up in your home bar.
This is great project to make for the holidays, so get on it today and give a gift they'll love this season!