Exploding Drinking Straw Lamp

Exploding Drinking Straw Lamp: A Tribute to Diet Coke

Full tutorial featured on Design*Sponge!

Did I mention I love me some Diet Coke? No, I don’t like it. I love it. Don’t judge. I know someone out there is reading this while sipping on a frosty glass of wheat grass juice thinking I am stupid for professing my love of a soft drink, but I don’t care. Our love runs deep and pure. They can take their wheat grass and suck it.

No pun intended.

When I tell you I am a “World Class Diet Coke Connoisseur” that is the living truth. I can tell from one sip how long it has been in a can, and in some cases, in what canning facility it was born. I can tell from the sound of a can opening if it’s Coke or Pepsi. And Pepsi, don’t even get me started on Pepsi! Don’t get me started on Diet Coke in plastic bottles either; plastic doesn’t compare to glass and glass hardly compares to can, but the real way to drink Diet Coke is by fountain dispenser. It’s hard not to get riled up just thinking about fountain soda in all its complexity and wonder. Topics like syrup/soda ratio and crushed ice administration methods have been known to spark passionate arguments in my presence. I could talk about this for days, but I’m afraid you all will think me strange.

Oops. Too late on that one.

I am embarrassed to tell you how much time and money I have spent over the years on fountain soda, but sufficient to say, it’s a lot. Fountain soda is an indulgence I never deny myself.  I don’t smoke or drink or gamble or partake in any other expensive or risky ventures, so besides chocolate and spoiling my cat, Diet Coke is pretty much my only vice. I feel bad just calling it a vice. Really, it’s an affordable luxury.

Because fountain soda is a near-daily indulgence, I know how quickly my delicious treat can be ruined by inferior carbonation. Soda served flat should never be tolerated, but slightly mediocre bubble activity has become an accepted colloquialism in our time. Luckily, my Uncle Rob showed me you can make up for bubbles with a genius technique–use a narrower straw. It has something to do with accelerated sucking speed and maximizing surface area exposure, but Uncle Rob is a major Smarty Pants and that is all above me head. All I know is that slightly flat soda tastes better with a smaller straw. Seriously, try it sometime. Hell, why don’t you try it now and treat yourself to this effervescent pleasure.

Why am I telling you this? Because if you, like me, enjoy fountain soda, you should save your straws. Keep a stash of smaller/narrower straws on hand (you can buy 100 for 85 cents at the grocery store) …and save the straws from the dispenser for your craft stash. I use mine all the time. I have also been known to buy small, colorful straws at Ikea and wash them out when I’m done. Compulsive, yes, but I have so many colors and sizes to choose from, I get excited just thinking about it!

There are lots of uses for straws, but this lamp is one of my favorites. Check out the full tutorial on Design*Sponge!

Look at Yentl jumping after that drinking straw! See, even kitties appreciate good design.

In addition to this lamp’s wire/twist technique, there are lots of fun things you can make.

What about a Garland?  Wouldn’t these look fabulous on a modern Green (Green with a capital G, mind you) Xmas tree? Or what about stringing them on the inside of a window? What about using black straws to look like little spiders and wrapping a few around an existing light fixture for a spooky touch?

Or what about attaching one to pipe cleaner and giving your cat her favorite new toy? (just be sure the pieces aren’t so thin that she chews off a piece).

Does anyone else out there find ways to glorify the remnants of their addictions daily indulgences? I would love to hear what you think!

This project is linking to Craft School Sunday at www.creativejewishmom.com  


  1. says

    I can’t tell you how much I love you for putting my thoughts and love for diet coke in perfectly-crafted words! You are so right!!! People give me crap for my raging addiction to Diet Coke, and my answer is always hey…..it’s my one vice in life….let me have it and let me have it in peace.

    And the lamp? Glorious! love love love. I’m glad we can be diet coke addict friends together. 🙂

  2. says

    No one drinks a frosty glass of wheat grass juice. It is all room temperature and horrid. Ghagh. I love your lamp I love your lamp I love your lamp.

  3. says

    i love it!! you’re amazing.

    the only byproduct of my daily addiction is on my thighs, because i’m addicted to chocolate chip cookies.

  4. Anonymous says

    Okay I just have to say the straw lamp is amazing. I will never look at a straw the same way again.

    I want to know about the yellow chair next to your lamp. I have that chair in it’s original horrid brown finish sitting in my family room. I bought it over a year ago with the intent of painting and reupholstering. But a year later here it sits.

    Tell me how you went about making yours so cute. I need the motivation!

  5. says

    Amy, I’m so glad to hear from another Diet Coke follower. why isn’t there a fan club?!

    Katie, I grabbed that chair when I saw someone put it in the alley years ago….love the lines!!!! I just steam cleaned the velvet and then covered all the fabric parts with masking tape (it took a while, I was very thorough)…then just gave the wood a super quick sanding and spray painted glossy yellow (two coats, I think it was the generic brand from Lowes). That chair is super comfortable and it’s the first place people want to sit when they come over! One day I’ll reupholster the right way, but this $4 quick fix has lasted for years rather nicely 🙂

  6. says

    I am a diet coke traitor!!! My son was staying with me for a couple of weeks and got me started on Coke Zero!!! Can I still be in the club??? The straw light is amazing!


  7. says

    Must admit, I’m a Coke Zero fan myself…but I’ll take Diet Coke in a pinch. Even worse…I like mine old. As in, I’ll sip on a can of soda for a couple of hours, and I don’t care if it’s flat or room temp. Still tastes good to me. Though, I totally agree that fountain soda is by far the best.

    …and of course I love the straw lamp…but when do I not love something you make?!

  8. says

    Hear, Hear! Although I don’t drink it anymore, it’s true that if I were to encounter a real, live old-fashioned soda shop, it might be hard to turn down a Coke (full-sugar). It’s true that there’s an addictive chemical in the properly concocted fountain soda.
    Such patience with the lamp! Impressive.

  9. says

    Well. You are obviously addicted. Perhaps an intervention would be in order. However, given that you create such fantastical, gloriocious wonders as i see before me now, I’m going to have to allow you your “affordable luxury” as you so benignly put it. We all have our vices. Don’t we? Go ahead. Have your soda and i’ll be back soon to have my fix of Peaches.

  10. says

    P.S. Congratulations on the Design Sponge Article! Doesn’t surprise me. I’m just glad that, one day soon, when you are rich and famous, I’ll be able to say that I knew you WHEN. You are amazing.

  11. says

    you guys are really far to kind 🙂 If anyone makes the light, please send me a picture –I would LOVE to see!

    Am also glad to hear I am not the only diet coke/ coke zero addict out there. And yes, coke zero counts in my book. Heck, even Tab counts in my book. (gasp!)
    All soda-drinkers-who-want-to-be-tea-drinkers-but-just-can’t-give-up-the-crutch: these are my people!

  12. says

    Hi I am new.

    Gotta say I am with you on the diet coke. So much so that I don’t even buy it in cans much any more lol. I even go as far as telling restaurants that their syrup ratio is wrong… My H2B thinks I am crazy too.

    Sorry all you coke zero people but coke zero is icky 😛

    Any who what really brought me here was the lamp which was awesome. Giving me great wedding decor ideas 🙂

  13. says

    I personally don’t understand how anyone can create anything without sipping on a diet coke (or diet dr. pepper–my last pregnancy turned my tastes a little for some reason) OH–and some nibs licorice..
    love your straw creation and I am going to attempt something spidery this afternoon! thanks!

  14. says

    Hi again – I tried to email you about winning the Mystery Jewel, but no answer yet…it might be in your spammy folder? Or email me directly to choose your fave. anygenre@earthlink.net

  15. Holly says

    I love your straw lamp! It rocks the heck out of the plastic drinking utensil universe. My preteen dubbed it “… um…”. Gave me an excuse to smack her on the head. I swear that child’s taste is all in her mouth.

    Which brings me to… my sister. She’s so addicted to Diet Mountain Dew, if you cut her she bleeds green fizzy stuff. Me, I go for the sweet tea at McDonalds. I’m convinced they put crack in it or something. I have to order two… one light on ice and one with no ice. Hello, my name is Holly and I’m a sweet tea addict. Also a licorice jelly belly junkie, but we’ll leave that little secret alone.

  16. says

    By the way … ther’s a link to your blog on mine… good ideas are to share … definetely. Thanks for the creativity!

  17. Anonymous says

    Thanks for the info

  18. Anonymous says

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  19. says

    I’m working on one of these right now in sky-blue store bought straws; 200 for 89 (euro)cents at the grocery store. It’s a loooooot of work, and I’m only about half done so far, but I LOVE it! As for the Coke, I like it sugared – never been a big fan of artificial sweetener aftertaste, and the lack of sugar makes the Coke less syrupy and I burp WAY more! Though actually, I love the store-brand cola from Lidl the best of all, even more than Coca Cola. But anyway, thanks for this – it’s a big boost toward my goal of personally handcrafting every light fixture in my house, and looks amazing in my cloudy, tranquil, sky blue and white bedroom, even half done!

  20. Ami Audal says

    I love you I love you I love you. You have put my cola-based thoughts into words I could hardly come up with on my own. But seriously, What’s the point to bottled soda?

  21. Swelldesigner says

    I love me some fountain drinks too, but I’m also very, very picky about the ice. The best ice comes from Sonic and then the little round donut hole ice would be next. The worst are the kinds that are like disks, but I still chew them. I guess I have a deficiency of some kind, but I don’t care. I like chewing ice.

  22. PeachesFreund says

    Yes indeed, Sonic is tops. Always. Boom. NO DEBATE. Love that place!

  23. teresa says

    Please help! The link for the tutorial no longer works! Yes it’s over 2 years old, but I would love to know how to make this!

    • aunt peaches says

      Sorry, the tutorial is exclusive to Design Sponge. If I find it in the archives I’ll let you know.

  24. . Michelle says

    Glad to hear I’m not the only Diet Coke fannatic. I drink far too much, but nothing else does it like a cold D.C. So if I want to drink a few more than I should, I will…it’s not like it’s beer or wine​.
    Lamp is amazing as well as the Diet Coke picture out of Mardi Gras beads, coudos to you! I could only wish to be so talented. Cheers to all of the Diet Coke Fiends……From one fiend in Mi. Who will always​ enjoy an ice cold Diet Coke with all of you!


  1. […] you didn’t know, if there is one thing in my home that is always in abundance, it’s empty cans of Diet Coke. I use them for lots of things, but for this project I used those baby Diet Coke cans that are […]

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