Saturday, July 21, 2012

Ribbon Wand Tutorial

No idea who this couple is! I copied this off the web years ago!

 I finally got around to some of the wedding crafts on my to-do list. Today, I put together most of my ribbon wands (before I ran out of ribbon)! These are for the "staged exit" as we leave the Wedding Pavilion after the ceremony, like that random couple above. They make for a prettier photo than bubbles, which can be hard to see and don't show up well in photos.  The ribbon wands also give the photographer a longer opportunity to shoot than rose petals, which are thrown and then fall to the ground really quickly. I love the photo above so I knew we were going to do this! Here's how I did it.

Things You're Gonna Need: 
12" wooden dowels.  I used the 3/8" size
12 mm jump rings (2 per wand) 
Screw eyes
1/2" jingle bells

I bought the first round of screw eyes at the craft store and they were obscenely overpriced.  Like $4 for 6 screw eyes,  I got the second batch at Lowe's-- $1.99 for 16.  

You're also going to need a pushpin, a small hammer and a pair of rounded jewelry pliers. 

Start by sanding your dowels with fine sandpaper if they feel a little rough out of the package, like mine did!  Use the pushpin (and hammer if necessary) to create a pilot hole for your screw eye in the top of one of your dowel.  Try to put the hole as close to centered as possible.  Wiggle the pushpin around a little to make the hole bigger. 

Screw in a screw eye. It was hard to get them to catch.  Once it is started, use the rounded pliers to twist the sucker all the way into the dowel. 

Next is the jump ring for the bell.  Jump rings are a little tricky.  I wanted to use split rings (like a teeny tiny version of a key chain) but I couldn't find any in an appropriate size so I went with jump rings instead.  These are just a small circle of metal where the ends butt up against each other to close the loop.  If you want the loop to remain fairly round, don't pull out on the sides of the ring to open it.  You want to do more of a twisting motion- hold the ring in one hand and use the pliers to twist.  You don't need to open it very far, just enough to slip it onto the screw eye and then slide on a jingle bell before twisting it closed.

Next I measured out the ribbons I wanted to use and cut them to 30 inch pieces.  I used a 1/2" ribbon, a 3/8" ribbon and a 1/4" ribbon all stacked up.  I pushed the ribbon through another jump ring.  The first two, I used my sewing machine to put a couple of stitches across the ribbons to lock them onto the ring; but then something happened with the feeder and the thread got tangled and it was a big old mess.  So I finished them by hand stitching the ribbon together onto the jump ring.  I twisted the ring open and hooked it onto the screw eye before twisting it closed. 

At this point, I was tempted to wave it around a little bit and see how it felt.  I learned an important lesson!  This made the wide ribbon fray and look bad.  So I used clear nail polish to seal the cut edges of all of the ribbons to keep it from fraying.  

I used the brush to put a very fine line of polish at the edge of the ribbon.  This photo is actually pretty thick.  I did much better after a few of these!  Once they dried, I waved one around and no more fraying!  They're in a heavy crock hanging down so they don't get wrinkled.


  1. Love em! You did a great job!

  2. Wow! These look great. I love the idea of ribbon wands and I think they're going to look wonderful in your exit pictures.