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Make Mason Bee Nest Tubes Out of Magazines

Stuffing a mug with paper straws is one of the easiest ways to make a mason bee house. But what if you don't have straws on hand? Follow this quick tutorial to make your own with magazines.

What you'll Need:

  • A Magazine

  • School Glue

  • Two Paper Clips

  • A Straw, Wooden Dowel, or Pen

  • Scissors

1. Gather all the materials listed above, noting the following:

  • The size of your straw, wooden dowel, or pencil will determine the diameter of the straws you make. If you're unsure of what size you're wanting to make, visit this article.

  • If you don't have a magazine, you may use another kind of paper. The thicker the paper, the harder it will be to use for this project. Magazines are ideal because the ink helps them hold up to water. If your paper can't hold up to water well, consider using Mod Podge, or another sealant.

  • You may want to protect your workspace with newspaper.

2. Tear out the magazine pages.

Decide which pages you'd like to turn into straws, and tear them from the magazine. Each page will become a straw.

This is your chance to get creative! Pick fun designs and images to make your straws pop! Or, create a positive reuse for not-so-exciting pages. (I had no trouble parting with these college prep articles.)

3. Begin rolling your straw.

Using the cylinder you selected as a guide, roll your straw. You might find that longer cylinders are most helpful, but a short one like this straw end will do the trick.

The result should look something like this:

At this point, the cylinder you used for reference should still be inside the paper. Hold the paper where the cylinder is inside, to avoid putting too much pressure on the paper.

4. Secure each end with paperclips.

As you secure each end, make sure to leave about a centimeter of the paper unclipped. Avoid clipping the cylinder inside to your paper.

5. Glue the paper.

Glue alongside the tab of paper you left unclipped. Then, remove the paperclips and the cylinder inside.

Your nesting tube is complete! Continue making them until you have enough for a mason bee house.

If your tube is buckling like the one on the bottom right of this mason bee house, you probably didn't roll it tightly enough. Simply remove the tube, and replace it with a new one.


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