Thursday, August 16, 2012

Wedding Ribbon Wand DIY


Contrary to what this craft project may suggest, we did not have a Harry Potter themed wedding.  (Eric wasn't sold. ) Nor, was it a princess-unicorn themed wedding. (I'm keeping it on the back burner for future Maddie parties.) 

So, what was the point of making ribbon wands, you didn't ask? 

Ribbon wands are an alternative to throwing rice or blowing bubbles as the bride and groom exit the wedding ceremony.  They are cute, relativly inexpensive to make, and they add a sweet pop of color to the festivities.  Plus, ribbons just make me warm and happy on the inside.  

I origionaly saw the idea on Pinterest...obviously...and I found a good tutorial here on Intimate Weddings.  I changed a few things, added a few things, nixed a few things, so I thought I'd detail how I made my ribbon wands.  


  • Ribbons (a lot) 
  • Jingle Bells
  • Eye Screws
  • Jump Rings
  • Wooden Dowels
  • Spray Paint
  • Hot Glue Gun

  • and possibly...

  • An electric drill
  • Needle-nosed pliers  

**I bought all my supplies at Michael's except for the eye screws, which I bought at Lowe's.    


1. Spray paint your wooden dowels to the color of your choice....
 But don't use Styrofoam to protect your lawn because spray paint eats it, which I once knew and clearly forgot.
 Also, don't spray paint your dowels ivory because it is the same exact color as the natural wood, and therefore, a waste of time.

On second thought, only follow step one if you want pure white or silver, or even fushia dowels.  Otherwise, accept the wood color as God intended and proceed to step two.

2. Cut your ribbons
I used three ribbons per wand.  You could use more or less.  The pink ribbons were fatter than the yellow and peach ribbons.

Each ribbon was approximatley three feet long.

You could make them longer, but I was afraid they'd whack people in the faces as they waved them.

3.  When your dowels are dry, use a very small drill bit to make very small holes in the center of one end of each dowel.

Usually, I avoid power tools at all costs, but although you can force the eye screws in by hand, after just three of them, our dainty fingers were sore.

We didn't make the holes very deep, but it gave us a nice, easy head start on adding the eye screws.  It only took about five minutes to drill all the holes.

Also?  Be careful using power tools.  My Maid of Honor almost seriously maimed herself.

 4. Add eye screws to the end of each dowel.

I found a pair of pliers helped get the screws in nice and tight without me having to scream, "I've got blisters on my fingers!"

 5. Hot glue your ribbons to your wands.

I placed my ribbons right below the top edge of the wooden dowels.

Then, I made a ribbon sandwich.  I used one line of glue to place a skinny ribbon on the bottom with the fatter ribbon on top.    Then I added a second dab of glue on top of that to secure the final skinny ribbon.

I wanted the ends of my wands to look neat, so I wrapped the ribbons around the wand a few times, adding dabs of hot glue as needed, until everything looked nice and tidy.

6.  Wind up your ribbons and secure with a piece of scotch tape.  

You can see from the photo below that the  reason I sandwiched the ribbons is because when they are all rolled up, you can see the fat pink ribbon with the skinny peach ribbon as an accent.  The yellow ribbon is hidden until the guests unroll the wands.

(Ignore the jingle bell in this photo.  That's a spoiler of steps seven and eight.)

7.  Add the jingle bells to the jump rings.  

I used my pliers to pry the jump rings apart slightly so I could slip the jingle bells on.    

8. Secure the jump rings/jingle bells to the ribbon wands.  

While the jump rings are still parted, loop them around the eye screws.  Use the pliers to press the ends of the jump rings back together so that the jingle bells don't go flying off at your wedding.       

***The picture above is actually misleading because that is a split ring, and not a jump ring.  Jump rings are just simple circles with a break in the middle that can be pried apart.  Split rings are the devil.   After spending a rough twenty minutes on just two split rings, I went back to the store and got jump rings instead.  So much easier!

And that, my friends, is how you make ribbon wands.  

You might also note that I made some silver ribbon wands as well.  They are a little more manly....if there could ever be such a thing as manly ribbon wands....for our male guests.    

At our wedding ceremony, we placed the bucket at the end of the aisle with a sign explaining what they were.   


  1. Totally doing this for Christmas stocking stuffers for the kids. DANCE PARTY!
    Thanks for the tutorial!

    1. Yes, Madeline loves them! They'd be awesome at Christmas or New Year's. Great idea!

  2. How many did you make and how many guests did you have? We are inviting 250, but know all won't show and some will not come to the ceremony. Trying to figure out how many we need to make! Thanks!

    1. Emily, we only had 50 people at our wedding. It took us maybe four hours to put these together, so making 250 would take a significant chunk of time.

  3. what size dowels? many diy site call for 12 inches long but there are so many thicknesses (3/8, 1/2, etc). Thanks!

    1. Sadly, I don't remember what size dowels we got. I think they were 1/2, but I'm not sure. As long as the dowels are thicker than the eye screws you are using, you should be fine.