How can I reuse or recycle … Q-tip/cotton bud sticks?

Cotton budsHad an email from Rani:

I’ve saved up the stems of old qtips (cut off the used cotton part) and now have a bunch of little paper sticks.

I’m planning to make a picture frame out of them but would like other more practical ideas before I do something decorative.

I’ve thought about this before too – we try to buy the paper sticked ones but sometimes can only get plastic ones (boo) – at least the paper ones will compost.

So any suggestions for little paper or plastic sticks?

(Photo by solneman2)

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11 Responses to “How can I reuse or recycle … Q-tip/cotton bud sticks?”

  1. N1X says:

    hmmmm if you get some child friendly glue, a homemade k’nex style kit would be an idea.
    Spheres, rectangles, pyraminds etc

  2. Anonymous says:

    Probably not a good idea with q-tip sticks, but the similarly shaped incense sticks (the wood bit that’s left once you’ve burned the incense) are super useful for lighting candles with hard-to-reach wicks.

    also for spreading glue on surfaces (like when you’re repairing a broken mug)

  3. fishcake says:

    How about using them to make a beaded curtain, most of the plastic ones are tubes you can use them as they are or cut them into smaller sections.
    ive made one out of sherbet sweet tubes because of the bright colours and it works really well.

  4. Dr OM says:

    I use the paper sticks as smudge sticks when I work with charcoal or pastel drawing

  5. Poke into old sheets of polystyrene and put in the garden to deter cats.

    Modern art?

  6. SuZ says:

    You could also see if the local kindergarten or childcare centre might want them for their art projects. They’re usually happy with things like that.

  7. Andy says:

    I cut the end of mine with a sharp angle to it, then i have a perfect toothpick!

  8. Mart says:

    I chop up the plastic ones into inch long strips and use them when I’m tiling to keep everything evenly spaced.

  9. rani says:

    Thanks all. I just found out I can actually reuse them by re-covering with a little cotton as well! But I still have too many for that. I love the plastic tube idea – alas, mine are paper. I’ll try one of the other ideas and get back to you.

    • Marie Burton says:

      Can you please tell me where you bought your paper stem cotton buds as I am needing the paper stem ones and cant locate any?
      Many thanks

  10. Thomzo says:

    When I was young we used to put 3 or 4 together in a star shape and then weave wool in and out. I can’t remember exactly how we did it but it pulls the sticks into a bowl shape. We used clean ones though and left the cotton wool on to stop the wool falling off. I guess you could glue a bead on each end instead.

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