Ribbon wands are a delightful toy for all ages. These DIY dancing ribbon wands are so much fun to play with, and so easy to make! Make your own ribbon wand in your favorite color or to match a themed party with this simple tutorial.
They're a great way to encourage activity and imagination--something I'm always happy to see as a parent of two young girls.
These pretty ribbon wands are easy to make, and are perfect for a party activity or as a take-home favor.
Materials for Making DIY Ribbon Wands:
- 12" long wooden dowels
- double faced satin ribbon (10 feet of ribbon for each ribbon wand)
- a lighter or candle
- small eye-hooks (aka screw eye hooks)
- small fishing swivels
- needle nose pliers
- needle and thread
How to Make a Ribbon Wand
You can find 12" long wooden dowels pre-cut at any major craft store, or you can buy longer dowels from the hardware store and cut them to length yourself. Paint the wood dowels with spray paint or with craft paint, if you'd like. Let the paint dry completely before attaching the ribbon streamers.
I painted mine with a simple climbing rose design to match the party colors.
Screw the eye hooks into the top of the wooden dowel. I didn't have to drill a pilot hole to do this, but the flat needle-nose pliers did come in handy to give me extra torque and screw it into the end of the wand. Use the needle-nose pliers to pry open the eye-hook just enough to slip the spinner on, then bend the eye screw back to its original position.
Fishing 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 brief sojourn into 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 rhythmic gymnastics wands use swivels designed as fishing tackle, available in the fishing section of any sporting goods store or online. So did mine.
Cut lengths of ribbon for the wands. The length of the ribbon can really be anything you want, but mine were made 120 inches long. Nice and easy to measure with a measuring tape.
I used one inch wide ribbon for this craft, but you can use any width you like for this easy tutorial. They all work brilliantly! Regulation rhythmic gymnastics ribbons are between 4-6cm wide, and must be at least 6 meters (19 feet, 8 inches) long. I didn't worry about those official specs for my fun craft version, but there's the information if you're looking to make something more official.
Hold the ends 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. You could also use fray check.
Using a needle and thread (preferably a thick, strong thread, like button thread), sew one end of the ribbon on to the loose end of the spinner.