Wait a second...did you say "bits of colored drinking straws" like a straw cut up to make beads? I think I did that in kindergarden.
Please for your own dignity sake, buy or make beads. There are a lot of self hardening clays, you can also use wire to wrap objects (adding a loop for the string). You can create paper mache beads/pendents and paint them with runes or symbols.
Plastic is man made, go for earth given materials (glass=sand, newspaper is recycling a tree, clay is from the earth, etc) and making them adds your energy to the objects which makes it very easy to work with them magickally.
Let's step away from the drinking straws.