DIY Project: How to Make a Ribbon Wand

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Ribbon wands are a delightful toy for all ages. They encourage activity and imagination--something I'm always happy to see as a parent of two young girls.
 

 

They're easy to make, and are perfect for a party activity or as a take-home favor.

To make a ribbon wand, you'll need:
 

 

  • 12" long wooden dowels
  • satin ribbon
  • a lighter or candle
  • small eye-hooks
  • small swivels
  • needle nose pliers
  • needle and thread
1) You can find 12" long wooden dowels pre-cut at any major craft store, or you can buy longer dowels and cut them to length yourself. Paint with craft paint, if you'd like.
 
 
I painted mine with a simple climbing rose design to match the party colors.
 
 
2) Screw the eye hooks into one end of the dowel. I didn't have to drill a pilot hole to do this, but the needle-nose pliers did come in handy to give me extra torque. Use the needle-nose pliers to pry open the eye-hook just enough to slip the spinner on, then bend the eye-hook back to its original position.
 
As an aside, swivels are the key to really good action on ribbon wands. I discovered this by closely inspecting my own professional-grade ribbon wand, a leftover of my briefsojourninto rhythmic gymnastics as a kid. I didn't stick with the sport, but I loved playing with that ribbon, and now my girls do, too. The official rhythmicgymnasticswands use swivels designed as fishing tackle, available inthefishing section of Wal-Mart or any sporting goods store. So did mine.
 
 
3) Cut a length of satin ribbon for each wand. It can really be any length you want, but mine were 120 inches long. Nice and easy to measure with a measuring tape. Using a needle and thread (preferably a thick, strong thread, like button thread), sew your ribbon on to the loose end of the spinner.
 
4) Hold the end of the ribbon near a flame--a lighter or a candle--to seal the cut edge so it won't fray as the children whip the ribbon through the air.
 
 
All that's left to do now is go out and play!
Nicole Wills, creator of Tikkido