Have a dowel? Have a ribbon?
You can make a ribbon wand!
Kids love these sweet, floaty wands made for dancing and leaping and running. You’ll mostly find them in the hands of the preschool set, but my eleven-year-old rediscovered the ribbon wand during a recent trip to a local children’s museum, and rather than buy her the lovely but expensive one in the museum gift shop, I promised her that I’d help her make one of her own when we got home.
And so I did, and so can you!
To make your own ribbon wand, you will need:
dowel. We always have some dowel or other in our garage, left over from some project or other, but if you don’t, just go to the hardware store and find one that feels good in your kid’s hand–around 1/4″ should do. You can stain or paint it (my kid painted hers gold), or leave it plain. Cut it to a good size for your kid, and put the rest of the dowel back in your garage for another project.
screw eyes. If you’ve got one in your garage, use that one; otherwise, buy the smallest that you can find. Ours are 15/32″, and they were super cheap.
barrel swivel. This one you can likely get for free if you know anybody who fishes, but again, they’re cheap. Ours are size 10, and they work great with the 15/32″ screw eyes.
ribbon. We used stash 1/2″ silk ribbon, and my kiddo vat dyed it pink. I like silk because it floats so well; satin would be another good choice. My eleven-year-old put six feet of ribbon on her wand, but if you do have someone in the preschool set, you’ll probably want to start with a shorter length, or resign yourself to untangling ribbon every two minutes.
1. Assemble the ribbon wand hardware. Using needle nose pliers, slightly open the eye of the screw eye, and insert one end of the barrel swivel. Tie one end of the ribbon to the other end of the barrel swivel. Check out the above pic to see the set-up.
2. Attach the hardware to the dowel. I had thought that I was going to have to use an awl to get the screw eye started, but my kiddo just twisted it right into one end of the dowel. It’s so secure that we didn’t even need to use glue, although you certainly could secure it with a good epoxy glue. Use the pic below as a reference:
These ribbon wands are so quick and easy that older kids can make them completely independently. They’d make a great kid-made birthday gift for another kid, or a simple project for a group of kids to make together. If you’ve got a group of kids marching in a parade this summer, they’d all look super cute waving matching ribbon wands as they marched!