50 Uses for Disposable Chopsticks

By Chaya Kurtz, Networx

We normally unwrap takeout chopsticks, eat with them and dispose of them without much thought. Recently, though, there has been a small wave of transnational activism aimed at reducing the use of disposable chopsticks stateside and in Asia; chopsticks, activists say, are contributing to heavy deforestation in China.

The approach of activist groups like Greenpeace East Asia has been to encourage individuals to carry reusable chopsticks, and the New York Times reports that many restaurants in Asia and in America are no longer popping disposable chopsticks into every takeout bag. Given that your local sushi place may not have jumped on the conservation bandwagon yet, I’d like to help you at least get an extra use out of disposable chopsticks. Here are 50 ways you can reuse those takeout chopsticks.

Uses for Disposable Chopsticks in the Kitchen

  • Use them to stir while cooking.
  • Use them as drink stirrers. (I found this idea on DIY Life.)
  • Reuse as sticks for homemade popsicles. (This one also came from DIY Life.)
  • I use one to stir the slurry when making coffee in a French Press.
  • Dry plastic bags on them. Stick them in a jar and hang the bags off of them. I did this when I lived on an off-the-grid property where we were very careful about trash, and also when I lived in a cooperative house. The coop actually had a piece of wood mounted to the kitchen wall with chopsticks sticking out of it for bags to dry on. There’s green street cred right there.
  • Use them to stack plates on when you run out of space in the dish drain. As in, you want to raise the dish you are drying off of the countertop.
  • Level-off measured dry ingredients like flour when baking with a chopstick. My mom has done this forever. She also saves Popsicle sticks for this purpose.
  • Toast marshmallows. (Idea found on This Old House.)
  • Use them to clean hard-to-reach spaces. (Idea found on This Old House.)
  • Pit cherries with one. (Thank you to Apartment Therapy for this one.)
  • I whisk eggs with them.
  • Freeze individual portions in freezer bags with the help of a chopstick. (This idea is from Lunch In a Box.)
  • Use chopsticks to turn meat or tofu when grilling.

Uses for Disposable Chopsticks around the House

  • Prop open a window with a couple chopsticks.
  • Push viscous material out of a funnel with a chopstick.
  • Place chopsticks in a jar and air dry wet mittens or socks on them. Thanks to my mother for this great idea.
  • Use them to stir paint.
  • Kindle your fireplace with them.
  • Use them to loft frames or boards when doing painting projects. (I found this idea on Project Polermo.)
  • Unclog bottle tips. (Thanks again to This Old House.)
  • Clean dirt out of the crevices of shoes. (Ditto.)
  • Clean up mastic when grouting tiles. (Ditto.)
  • Mark potted plants with care instructions. (Only the ever-fabulous Martha Stewart could create instructions for this one.)
  • Use them to clean electronic devices. (This idea came from Apartment Therapy.)
  • Use chopsticks as shims for wobbly tables.
  • Make a doorstop in 30 seconds. (Thanks to Curbly for this idea.)
  • Make attractive stakes for potted orchids. (Martha. Who else?)
  • Fill a stripped screw hole. (Idea found on This Old House.) This can also be done with toothpicks.

Crafts You Can Make with Disposable Chopsticks

Photo: Lotus Head/sxc.hu

Alternatives to Plastic Wrap
8 Ways Not to Use Vinegar
7 Household Uses for Cayenne Pepper


roseann s.
rose s7 years ago

use them to stir the pot or stir drinks..put in my potted plant to hold them..

Angelica P.
Angelica P7 years ago

Great ideas!

Eternal Gardener
Eternal G7 years ago

Great craft info.

Mel M.
Past Member 7 years ago


Ireland Dreams
Past Member 7 years ago

Didn't I just read an article lately that most disposable chopsticks came the SE of USA ... this is one of the few things China inports from the US? Maybe it wasn't this site. Down at the dojo they use disposable chopstikes to practice (using a sheet of paper to slice/break a chopstick); the Preschool uses them as tempura paint stirring sticks ....

Shiya T.
Lily T7 years ago

Endless possibilities! I use chopsticks in all my cooking, and so many crafts as well.
Here are just 50 uses, but there is so much more. Get creative, everyone :)

Lika S.
Lika P7 years ago

If you have a touch screen, and you don't want finger prints on them, put a tip eraser on the fat end of the chopstick, and use it as the pointer to touch your computer screen... No mess to have to be careful cleaning up later.

Take those small paper cups for the bathroom... fill them with juice and freeze. Use chopsticks to stick in to stand it up for Popsicle sticks.

The wooden ones do make better hair bun holders than the lacquer ones I have... lol.

Betty C.
Betty C7 years ago

Some good ideas thanks.

Sonny Honrado
Sonny Honrado7 years ago


Carmen S.
Carmen S7 years ago

thanks for sharing these great ideas