Straws Thingy

Come learn all about the Straws Thingy—its shape, geometry, symmetry, and of course, detailed step-by-step instructions for how to build your own!

[Straws Thingy]

All of this is discussed in my mini-blog-post series for NaBloPoMo November 2015, listed here:

  1. Get Ready for NaBloPoMo 2015!
  2. Enter Straws Thingy
  3. The Shape of Thingys To Come
  4. Straw Size Matters
  5. No Target? No Problem
  6. Blowing Up Straws
  7. Oh, the Places You(r Straws Thingy)’ll Go!
  8. Time to Build At Last! Step 1
  9. Step 2 (Hard Mode)
  10. Interlude: What Makes Hard Mode Hard?
  11. Step 3: Scaffolding!
  12. Step 4: Cutting and Stacking
  13. Step 5: Punching and Folding
  14. Step 6: Pentagons Galore
  15. Step 7: Straws in Spaaace!
  16. Step 8: Tucking and Weaving
  17. Step 9: Quintuplicate!
  18. Step 10: A Savage Ending
  19. Odd One Out?
  20. Scheming Colors
  21. About Faces
  22. Mirror Thingy on the Wall
  23. But Wait, There’s More!
  24. Triangle Jitterbug: Up to Eight Versions
  25. 4D Hypercube of Straws Thingys!
  26. 32 Straws Thingys! Aaah!
  27. Endless Variations on a Theme
  28. On the Origin of Scaffolds


Full instructions to build your own are given in the short blog posts above, together with lots of math about the structure. Alternatively, here are more concise and self-contained instructions as a printable PDF (without the math).

Download the Template

To make this project as accessible as possible (without losing the thrill of the build!), I designed a paper scaffold that helps guide the straws’ arrangement and also helps keep the straws in place during assembly. Full instructions for how to use the scaffold are in the above series, and you can download the template here.

Thanks! Now go out and get building! -Zach