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How to make a ribbon stick for your junior gymnast.

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Picture of How to make a ribbon stick for your junior gymnast.
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This Thursday, August 21, 2008 during the Summer Olympic Games in Beijing begins my favorite portion of the gymnastics competition...rhythmic gymnastics! Where else can you observe tiny gymnasts flailing across the mat using all sort of over-sized apparatuses? In honor of this sport and the 29th Olympic games and because my 2 year old daughter fancies herself a mini gymnast I give you instructions for making your very own ribbon stick for your little athlete. Whip one up, flip on the tunes and set that kid loose. Heck, you'll probably make a matching one for yourself just because they're so darn fun. Go ahead, nobody's watching, twirl that baby and bring it on.
 
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Step 1: Gather necessary ribbon stick materials

Picture of Gather necessary ribbon stick materials
You'll need the following to create your very own fabulous ribbon stick:

1 Wooden Dowel (I used a 3/4 x 12in. wooden dowel)

1 Small square of all-purpose sand paper to sand the dowel

Acrylic Paint (optional) to paint the dowel giving it extra pizzazz

1 Small Eye Screw

1 9mm Split Ring

1 Swivel Badge Clip (possibly taken from your Comic-Con lanyard--come on people it was over a month ago. Time to move on.)

1-3 yards of ribbon depending on the size of your rhythmic gymnast (we used 1 1/2 yards of 7/8' Red, White and Blue polyester ribbon...baby...USA! USA! USA!)

Duct Tape for a handle

And of course a paintbrush to paint the dowel if you choose to do so.

Step 2: Sand the dowel.

Picture of Sand the dowel.
Using your small square of all-purpose sand paper lightly sand your dowel to smooth out any rough spots.

Step 3: Paint the dowel.

Picture of Paint the dowel.
Paint the dowel with a sassy acrylic color (we chose pure gold because we're so money) using an even stroke from bottom to top and covering the entire circumference of the dowel as well as the top and bottom bases of the dowel. Paint dries in less than 20 minutes on a warm sunny day in a house with no air conditioning. We found one coat to be sufficient.

Step 4: Attach Eye Screw

Picture of Attach Eye Screw
Attach eye screw to the top of the dowel.
cbullows2 years ago
I found this page researching making my own as I'm planning to have a few for my wedding. I've already made one and was looking for cheaper parts. Anyway, I thought I'd share how I've done the join.

I've used two lobster claw keyrings,

Take the keyring part off and join them together (with a bit of wire or a small keyring) at the base.

Attach an eyelet to one end of the ribbon (these are simple to attach, you just hit them with a hammer)

Attach one claw to the eye screw and one to the ribbon.

I've also made some for children by getting 4 x 2.5m ribbons, folded in half , wrapped over a handbag handle (big ring for making a bag with, usually found in the knitting section) and then the end pulled through the loop. To make it a bit prettier (and because the lady in the shop gave me the odd bit that was on the reel and I didn't know what else to do with it) I've wrapped the ring with ribbon that I've glued down. I'm planning on putting a couple of stitches into the "knots" because they are too easy to take off...
Momica5 years ago
LOVE IT! What a great way to get the kids involved with the Olympics. My daughter had one years ago and loved it. Now we can make one and personalize it. Great photo directions.
rob-e5 years ago
Very cool, congrats on being featured!
You know, Shawn Johnson started gymnastics at age three...
canida5 years ago
Looks like she's having fun! The swivel clip is a nice touch.
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