DIY: Drinking Straw Sewing Kit

by Todd Walker

From time to time I need to repair equipment and clothing while outdoors. Finding the right tools in nature is like searching for the illusive needle in a haystack. It’s much easier to spot a drinking straw. Size matters! This is a simple way to stock several kits with this essential equipment when you don’t have time to make needles out of scavenged critter bones.

Here’s what you’ll need: Straw, needle, tread, safety-pin, and electrical tape.

If you don’t have drinking straws, stop by a fast food haunt and grab a few…for free. The brown thread pictured is a heavy gauge waxed thread I’ve used it to repair equipment in the past. It was in a sewing box I bought at an estate sale. Great find! Dental floss would also work very well.

Steps 1: I made two straw kits. One for equipment, one for clothing. Thread the needle with about 6 feet of thread. I tie a knot in the end of the thread and pull it to the eye of the needle. This ensures that you don’t have to thread the needle in less than perfect conditions in the woods. It also lessens the chance of dropping the needle in the pine needles you’re standing on. Plus, you don’t have to employ fine motor skills to thread a needle and tie a knot with tiny cordage.

Cloth needle and thread on left. Equipment needle and waxed thread on right.

Step 2: Insert a safety-pin about an inch into the end of the straw. Fold the end over and close it with electrical tape. I guess super glue or melting would work for closure. I like the tape. It gives more options in the field.

Step 3: Insert the threaded needle into the open end of the straw. Bend it over and tape it off.

Insert needle and tread into straw

Step 4: Wind the tread around the straw in a coil. This is your bobbin.

Once wrapped with thread, cover it with you tape.

Step 5: Make another straw sewing kit for your clothing needle. Tip: use a different color straw or label them somehow.

That’s it. These are lightweight and will double as a drink stirrer when you stumble upon the moonshine still down by the creek. Hope you enjoyed.

Keep Doing the Stuff,


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Categories: Bushcraft, Camping, DIY Preparedness Projects, Preparedness, Self-reliance | Tags: , , , | 19 Comments

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19 thoughts on “DIY: Drinking Straw Sewing Kit

  1. The tape will be difficult to remove from the thread. Plus, the tape will have sticky on it, that sticky will make it difficult to pull the thread through fabric.


  2. Not really. The first brown thread is waxed and very thick. It’s diameter makes it difficult to pull. Once pulled, it holds. The other thread is a carpet/upholstery thread larger in diameter than normal sewing thread. Have you tried this yet? I’ve pulled the tape off with easy. It’s not duct tape and doesn’t leave sticky all over the tread. Give it a shot and let me know what ya think. Thanks.


  3. Sonia

    If you use a smaller diameter coffee stirrer straw as your ‘bobbin’ and stick the needle down inside it, you avoid the sticky from the tape. This will then fit inside the larger drinking straw with the safety pin(s). Electrical tape does have a tendency to leave a sticky residue over time and when exposed to heat.


  4. Pingback: Bio Prepper | DIY: Drinking Straw Sewing Kit

  5. kdonat

    Alternative closure: cut 1/2 inch off straw, fold end of straw down 1/4 inch and slide clipped portion over the fold. Put pin, needle etc in the straw and close the other end the same way. Can open and close as needed.


  6. D. Griggs Terry

    I have my threads already taken care of………..BUT I keep needles and floss in my first aid kit just in case I need to sew wounds. I’ll modify this using a coffee stirrer and insert needles prethreaded, then attach the stirrer to the container of floss. Never know how large a wound might need longer thread. GREAT IDEA and you might consider painter’s tape, it is meant to stick but not leave any sticky on walls so should work here too.


    • The green painter’s tape is stronger than the blue. I’ll keep that in mind for a non-sticky sewing straw. Thanks!


    • M Matthews

      I keep seeing the use of dental floss but which one…waxed or unwaxed and which one for specific use. THanks


      • Any extra cordage you can pack would benefit you in an emergency. Not sure which type you’d want to pack. I know this stuff is strong. I’ve seen primitive arrows hafted with dental floss. Waxed or unwaxed would work.


  7. Janice

    I have used drinking straw method for salt .. pepper and other small items. I cut strawvin half then seal the bottom by melting it and pinchimg the bottom closed. With the other half I cut into half inch sleeves. I then fold the end in half then slip the sleeve over that so the straw is reusable. This is compact and works wonderfully .can fit in purse, small tin ect


    • D. Griggs Terry

      great idea! I do this for cayenne pepper in my first aid kit…*in case of heart attacks or for pain* but never thought of it being reuseable. Going back and adding this improvement. 🙂


  8. Pingback: DIY: Drinking Straw Sewing Kit | Prepper Chimp

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