It’s been three years now since Nella fell in love with a ribbon wand that became her signature accessory. Rarely is she seen without it at home. We are immune to its presence now, an extension of her we hardly notice anymore. In fact, I laughed looking through photos the other day as it shows up in every picture–even our family Christmas card photo, and I didn’t even realize it was there. I still get asked lots of questions about her wand from new people on social media. Here is the story of the wand if you didn’t know. She has an innate sense of when holding it is appropriate and, on her own, throws it in the car as she steps out at carline to go to school every morning. She hands it to me if I drop her off at play dates and can go without it when needed. She usually makes that call on her own.
But it’s clear that the wand brings her joy, and we love that.
We’ve bought so many wands over the past few years, have received them as gifts from friends, and yes–she has favorites and rotates them for different feelings and occasions. It makes us as happy to give her a new wand as it does for her to receive it, so we are always looking for ways to create new designs that will delight her.
Want to join the Wand Club? Nella’s the president, of course, but I’m a certified recruiter; and I have a whole spiel I can breathlessly deliver about the beauty of ribbon wands to sell you on them and lure you into our club. These wands promote delight and imagination and movement and creative expression and rhythm and color and childhood happiness, and it’s all contained in a sweet little stick you can make with a few things you probably have at home. These are also really fun to give away for sweet personalized birthday gifts (or Valentine’s Day!).
What you need:
Dowel Rods (we like the 3/8 inch ones and find 10-packs of them at Walmart)
Ribbon (we’ve also used lace, yarn, pom pom ribbon, etc.)
Optional: Acrylic paint, spray paint or wood stain for painting the sticks; felt and needle & thread for covering the screw eye and adding a little decoration on the end.
If you want to fancy up the stick part of your wand, you can paint or stain the dowel rod first. Last year, we made a batch of rich dark-stained wands which were beautiful. You can also spray paint them and then tape off stripes and add another color. You could even yarn-bomb the stick to get really fancy.
Push and twist the screw eye into the center of one end of the dowel rod until tight and secure. We used to drill a little hole first until I realized if you push hard enough, you can screw it in yourself without help. Loop as many ribbon strands as you wish into the eye and tie a knot to secure. If the knot is too bulky with multiple strands of ribbon, you can also fold over the edge of the ribbon and secure with hot glue instead.
That’s all you need for a basic ribbon wand, but we’ve gotten fancy with all these wands we’ve created and are always looking for ways to impress Nella with something new and interesting. Lately, we’ve sewn felt embellishments on the wand end which also disguises the screw eye. Cut two matching hearts (or any shape) out of felt. Add a little glue to secure one felt shape under the top of the wand and one over it so the end of the wand is sandwiched between them.
Stitch the two shapes together around the edge to secure.
Nella loves choosing her own ribbon combinations.
Now we’re just going to have to build a wand rack to store and display her collection.