Smart Innovation


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Radha Prathi tells us how a handful of colourful straws can be easily converted into beautiful decor objects.

Have you ever considered the array of colourful straws found at juice and smoothie counters could metamorphose into innovative art material? These days, they are available in an assorted range of colours, length and circumference. A pair of scissors, some effective adhesive and a set of a sharp needles and transparent threads can help you transform the humble straw into commendable craft.

Colourful stands

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Find a cylindrical container made of cardboard or plastic. Usually tennis balls or ready to eat savouries arrive in these containers. They can be cut short with a hacksaw blade to the required size of six or seven inches before you work on them.

Bring out the straws and cut them so that its height matches the outer length of the cylindrical surface. Work on a colour scheme that pleases you and glue the straws on the outer surface of the cylinder. A length of pretty lace or satin ribbon can be pasted at the upper and lower ends of the stand. This border will keep the straws intact and will add beauty to your stand.

Wall hanging

Cut out three equal circles with a radius measuring five inches each on a cardboard and cut them out neatly. Draw a circle measuring a radius of two inches in the circles that have been cut out. Bring out the straws and sort out the colours according to your fancy and arrange the same along the border of the inner circle. Note that it is important to arrange and rearrange the straws in a number of ways in terms of both space occupation and colour combination before gluing them on, in order to achieve neatness in the end product. The centre of the circle can be embellished with mirrors, synthetic flowers or even prized family pictures.

Place the circles at equi-distance on the reverse side and fold the satin ribbon into a loop, and paste the ribbon all the way across the circles such that they appear like parallel lines across the middle region of the circles. This will help the ribbon to bear the weight of the piece without any strain. If you happen to find your wall hanging a trifle on the heavier side you can use another ribbon in a contrasting shade and add another loop for lasting strength.

Doorway decor

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Measure the width of your doorway. Add two inches to the measurement and double it. That should be the length of the transparent thread (usually used for picoting) cut out and threaded into the needle. Double the thread and knot the ends and fix a large bead or button at the end. This will serve as a firm end for the thoran.

Arrange the straws in a colour combination that appeals to you and thread them a centimetre away from the end, uniformly all along the length of the thread. When you reach the last two inches of the thread, fasten a similar bead or button and tie the loose ends.

This colourful and innovatively made thoran will be ready to usher in your loved ones through the doorway.

Festoon

A festoon or garland made from straws can come in handy during a party or festivity to add a gaily colourful touch to it. You could opt for a multi-coloured combination or a single colour. Once completed, this screen will last a lifetime. It is easily washable and very easy to maintain.

Cut the straw into lengths of an inch each. Take considerably long lengths of transparent thread, double it, and knot the ends. Fix a bead or button to give it firmness as instructed for the thoran. Then place one piece on another, like a cross, and pierce the needle through the straws. Continue to do so till you reach the desired length and wind up like how you began.

Innovative screen

Measure the required length from the pelmet to about five inches above the flooring. Work with the straws just like the festoon. Fix a curtain ring instead of a button and work at the commencement of the work. String the straws till the streamer reaches the desired length.

Repeat this process till you complete the desired number of strings. You could maintain the same length for all the strings or you could develop a pattern by decreasing the length of the strings consistently as it progresses to the centre on either side of the doorway. These curtain rings can then be slipped on to the curtain rod and hung across as a curtain of exotic flowers which will never

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