how to make diy ribbon wedding wands mountainmodernlife.com

How to Make Ribbon Wedding Wands

There are tons of creative, fun, and safe alternatives to throwing rice at a wedding send-off. Today I am sharing a tutorial on how to make ribbon wedding wands, which we made for our guests to wave during our ceremony and reception exit.

Check out this tutorial on how to make DIY wedding wands, a perfect alternative to rice for your ceremony or reception exit! MountainModernLife.com

How to Make Ribbon Wedding Wands

The best part about these wands is that you don’t have to worry about grandma accidentally throwing her drink on you rather than the cup of confetti you gave her {speaking of, have you seen this video, it’s hilarious but I feel bad for granny}. You also don’t have to worry about a messy clean up, and although most venues have restrictions on what you can use, I’m doubtful that wands would be on that list.

This project is super easy and can be as simple or detailed as you like. Plus it’s easy to customize to match your wedding colors or theme.

Check out this tutorial on how to make DIY wedding wands, a perfect alternative to rice for your ceremony or reception exit! MountainModernLife.com


Materials you will need to make Ribbon Wedding Wands:

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Round Wooden Dowels

Eye Screws

Ribbon/lace/tulle

Scissors

Wedding Bells

Vinegar/Steel Wool/tea stain mixture {See note below}


Side Notes & Tips:

The homemade stain is totally optional but I wanted to stain my dowels to give them a richer and more rustic color. You can read about how to make this homemade stain here. I bought 48 in. x 1/4 inch dowels at a local hardware store and then cut them into 12″ sections. You can see in the photo below that one of the guys at the store cut the first batch, but then I felt bad and told him I could cut the rest at home. So if you have a miter saw you can easily cut them yourself, but if not you can ask someone at the hardware store to cut them for you.

Each 48″dowel made 4 wands, and since we needed 50 wands we bought 15 dowels so that we would have some extras just in case. These were .78 each so we spent about $12 on the dowels. You can also buy these pre-cut in packs at craft stores. I bought a couple different packs but the wood was splitting when I tried to put the eye screws in – of course that was before I bought the eye screws from Target so it could have been the eye screws and not the dowels that were the problem…

Another great tip is to first use a thumbtack to add a hole to the top of the wooden dowels. This makes it easier to screw in the eye hooks and afterwards you can twist them in further with pliers. Trust me, this makes things soooo much easier! Thanks for the tip Irene!

Check out this tutorial on how to make DIY wedding wands, a perfect alternative to rice for your ceremony or reception exit! MountainModernLife.com

I purchased a few packs of eye screws from a couple different stores and honestly think that the ones from Target that came in a picture hanging kit worked best, plus they were cheaper than the other packs I found {roughly 1.29 for a pack that came with 12 eye screws}. Some of the others were difficult to screw into the dowels or would start to split the wood. The ones from Target needed a little elbow grease but were much easier to work with and the perfect size. So the thinner the eye screws, the better.

Check out this tutorial on how to make DIY wedding wands, a perfect alternative to rice for your ceremony or reception exit! MountainModernLife.com

We used several different ribbons as well as some tulle and lace fabric that we cut. Some of these items we already had from previous wedding projects and some we purchased. You can buy as little or as much as you want and the amount of ribbon you need will depend on how long you want the ribbon to be, as well as how many strands of ribbon you want on each wand. I wanted the ribbon to be a little layered but close to 2 feet in length and wanted 4-5 pieces of ribbon per wand.

Check out this tutorial on how to make DIY wedding wands, a perfect alternative to rice for your ceremony or reception exit! MountainModernLife.com

I was honestly surprised how difficult it was to find wedding bells but eventually found some at the wedding section in Walmart. It was $6 for a 24 pack of 1.5″ high bells. I didn’t want to use the “jingle” bells but that is another option you can go with and they are less expensive and easier to find.

Check out this tutorial on how to make DIY wedding wands, a perfect alternative to rice for your ceremony or reception exit! MountainModernLife.com

As for the vinegar/steel wool/tea stain I actually just dumped both mixtures into the kitchen sink, along with some water and a couple teaspoons of ground up coffee {this was my first time adding coffee grounds and I think it helped darken the color a tad}. Again, this is totally optional and you can read my tutorial on how to make this stain here.  I then placed all of the wooden dowels in the mixture and every hour or so would mix them around to make sure the color got spread around. You could also put the mixture in a bucket or large plastic container, rather than the sink.

They probably sat in that mixture for a good 5 hours before I took them out, rinsed them off and dried them off. I felt like this was the easiest way to stain them on all sides. Plus it’s safe and much cleaner than trying to “paint” the stain on with a brush. Each dowel came out with a slightly different shade of grey/brown and I really like the way they turned out. It’s amazing what a difference it makes with the dowels being a dark color. Plus some of the wood had orange dots on the ends {as you can see in the photo above} and after they were stained the orange no longer showed up. Added bonus if you ask me 🙂

Check out this tutorial on how to make DIY wedding wands, a perfect alternative to rice for your ceremony or reception exit! MountainModernLife.com

Her is a photo showing the process and then I will go into further detail below.

Check out this tutorial on how to make DIY wedding wands, a perfect alternative to rice for your ceremony or reception exit! MountainModernLife.com

Step 1: Cut your dowels into sections of 12″ each – you can obviously skip this step if you bought the bag of pre-cut dowels.

Step 2: “Stain” the wood dowels using the vinegar/steel wood/tea/coffee grounds mixture I mentioned above.

Step 3: After the dowels have been stained, rinsed and dry {I let mine dry for a day or 2 before adding ribbon}, then it is time to gather all of your materials and cut all the ribbon/fabric into your desired length.

Step 4: Screw the eye screw into one end of the wooden dowel. You may need to use a bit of elbow grease and take a break after every 5 or so, but if I can do it you can too 🙂

Step 5: Tie your ribbon onto the eye screw. I used double knots and started with the widest material/ribbon first.

Step 6: Repeat step 5 until you achieve the number of layers and look that you want. I made slight variations in some of the wands,  so they are not all identical. You can change some of yours up to if you would like, or make them all the same.

Step 7: Tie a shorter piece of ribbon to the bell and double knot it.

Step 8: Tie the bell onto the eye screw on the wand and then make a bow. We actually made double bows on ours.

Step 9: Wave your wand and do a happy dance because you’re done and the wands are oooh-so-pretty! Or not… but I couldn’t help but do this step once they were finished, lol.

Here is what the ribbon wedding wands looked like all finished:

Check out this tutorial on how to make DIY wedding wands, a perfect alternative to rice for your ceremony or reception exit! MountainModernLife.com

And this is how we displayed the ribbon wedding wands at our wedding:

Check out this tutorial on how to make DIY wedding wands, a perfect alternative to rice for your ceremony or reception exit! MountainModernLife.com

Check out this tutorial on how to make DIY wedding wands, a perfect alternative to rice for your ceremony or reception exit! MountainModernLife.com

Ribbon wedding wands are so easy to personalize for your big day and you can add as much or as little ribbon as you want. So what do you plan to use {or did you use} for your wedding ceremony exit?

5 Comments
  • Lana Winkler
    Reply

    I am so excited to have found this DIY project. I saw these on ETSY and they were so expensive to order once I scoped out how much it’d be to make them myself for our upcoming wedding. Thank you so much for posting this project!

    October 21, 2014 at 10:40 am
  • Leah
    Reply

    Hello! Do you know what size the eye screws are that you used? Thanks in advance!

    April 28, 2015 at 2:01 pm
  • Brenda Small
    Reply

    Hi. I love the idea…I cant read your sign you put with them..Can you Please put it on here.

    May 19, 2016 at 11:46 pm
  • Peggy Marisa Daniels
    Reply

    I made these for our reception. Guests formed a tunnel and waved the wands as we entered. They were a fun, unique, and splendid addition to our reception and décor, and made for awesome photo ops. We received tons of compliments on them and many guests saved then as favors/mementos of our special day. Super easy to make. Word of caution: Make sure guests with young children are aware that the eye hook and bell dong can be choke hazards. Nothing bad happened at our reception, but when I spotted a young child putting the wand in her mouth, I – being the Registered Nurse that I am, asked the master of ceremonies to make a tactful announcement about the choke hazard. Several parents thanked me later, saying they weren’t aware of the small parts on the wands and were glad they could be ale4rt for the hazard.

    June 8, 2016 at 12:20 pm

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