Ribbon Streamers

One of the things the occupational therapists are working on with Eli is motor planning (basically thinking about and carrying out a specific body motion.) Because of his Sensory Processing Disorder he has trouble seeing a certain motion and mimicking it. Many of the signs he uses are approximations of the actual sign… and sometimes not so very approximate. He does stick to his version though and I am able to understand him, another person who knows baby signs though probably wouldn’t recognize many of his signs.

So to work on this skill,  one activity is to play with ribbon streamers. I don’t know if there is another name for these, it’s just the best one I could come up with. They are just lengths of ribbons attached to a handle.

He holds one and I have another. I try to get him to imitate me swinging it from side to side, up and down, around and around, etc. Add some music and dancing and a mini party can be had!

Of course hitting the wall and other things with them is also great fun.

Want to make some yourself? It’s cheap, quick and easy!

I started with two scraps from an old pair of pants. I didn’t measure… I just cut them the length I wanted the handle loop to be and wide enough to fold over a few times to give the handles some stiffness. I chose to use the existing seams to add extra weight.

I folded the raw edges in and folded them again to get the width I wanted and pressed them with an iron.

I stitched down the length of each handle.

This was a perfect project for the $1 box of ribbon I had picked up long ago at Michael’s. I had two of these boxes. Each ribbon is 18″ long which isn’t really even enough for wrapping most presents, yet just right for these ribbon streamers.

I unrolled all of the ribbon spools and sandwiched the ribbons between the two ends of the folded over handle. This is a quick and dirty project… finishing before the end of naptime took higher priority to craftsmanship, so the handle ends are just raw edged.

I then sewed the ribbon into place with three  lines of back and forth stitching. The first handle went relatively smoothly.

The second which used fabric with the outer seam of the pant leg, not so much. Besides the six layers of ribbon, each side of the handle was by this point at least six layers of heavy material thick. I should have clued in that this would be a problem when I broke the first needle.

But no, I had to keep going with a new needle that promptly broke as well…

after being driven through the bobbin case! Ahem…

I managed to hand sew the rest of the handle, not easy let me tell you. We will see how long it lasts.

For now they are working just fine. A therapeutic toy for only $2 (not counting the replacement sewing machine needles!)


I have now finished a couple sets of these streamers to put in my Etsy shop Folk Haven Creations.If there is continued interest I will make more. As you can see the ribbon streamers for sale are not the quick and dirty version shown in the first part of this post.

I’m quite pleased with how the handles turned out on these (and with the fact that I didn’t break any more needles!) I used a pair of jeans that are part spandex so they are a bit stretchy and softer to the touch.

These streamers are also longer, measuring 28″ long from the top of the handle to the ends of the ribbons.

I was featured!

Here’s where I am linking up.


Simply DesigningWhipperberry,  Happy Hour Projectskojodesigns,

Joyful StamperMaking Lemonade BlogThirty Handmade Days,

Release Me CreationsNaptime CraftersRomantic HomeFinding Fabulous,

Shabby NestFrench Country Cottage, The Charm of HomeThe Grant Life,

At the Picket FenceFingerprints on the Fridge, One Art Mama2805


The Gingerbread BlogToo Much Time On My Hands,

Six Sisters StuffSerenity YouBe Different Act Normal


Homemaker on a Dime,  I {heart} Naptime,  Flamingo ToesMy 1929 Charmer Blog,


Get Outta My Head PleaseSkip to My LouThe Gunny SackSew Can Do,

Singing Three Little BirdsEtcetorizeDittle Dattle,

C.R.A.F.T.,  diy home sweet homeCraft-O Maniac, Sew Chatty, Artful Rising,

Sarahndipities Just Winging ItEverything Under the Moon,

The Cure for the Common Monday


At Home With KNot Just a HousewifeHope StudiosFunky Polkadot Giraffe,

Kammy’s KornerThe Kurtz CornerI’m Topsy TurvyTip Junkie,

Raising 4 PrincessesThe Creative Itch BoutiqueSchwin and Schwin

Tip Junkie handmade projects


Sew Much AdoFrugally SustainableThe Shady PorchTea Rose HomeLil’ Luna,

Someday CraftsPassionately ArtisticWhatever WednesdayTrendy Tots


Mom On TimeoutThrifty DecoratingBear Rabbit Bear,

The Crafty BlogstalkerThe Shabby Creek CottageHouse of Hepworths,

Sorta Crunchy, Delightful OrderSaved by Love Creations,

Between U & Me,  Anything Goes Linky Party,



  1. February 24, 2012 at 8:13 pm

    what a fun idea, it’s such in an expensive great toy! thanks for sharing the idea and how to go about making these ribbon-streamers 🙂

  2. emmycooks said,

    February 24, 2012 at 8:30 pm

    Nice, my kids would love those! And I am always looking for good ideas for inexpensive birthday presents.

  3. Honey said,

    February 25, 2012 at 3:00 pm

    He is such a sweetheart! The ribbons are cute too! Thank you for sharing your creativity at Potpourri Friday!

  4. ReStitch Me said,

    February 26, 2012 at 3:44 pm

    What fun!

  5. intrepidtraveller said,

    February 27, 2012 at 4:42 pm

    Very creative! Well done! 🙂

  6. February 28, 2012 at 4:59 pm

    My grand daugher would love these, and are too cute. Your little one is adorable, better keep a good eye on him cause he sure is eye candy! Thanks for sharing your creative inspiration at Sunday’s Best Par.tay!

  7. Kelley said,

    February 28, 2012 at 8:52 pm

    These look so simple.. and yet I can see the hours of entertainment in them! I want to play with them! Such a great idea Karen! Do you sell them in your store? I would love to buy one!

    • February 28, 2012 at 9:04 pm

      Wow! Really? If so I’ll go out, get more ribbon and get to work. Maybe other people would like them too. I think it would be something I could sell for a fairly low price.

  8. Maysem said,

    February 29, 2012 at 5:30 pm

    I agree, I think any kid would enjoy playing with these. They look so much fun! Is this something you just came up with or was it based on something the therapists used? Either way, it’s so creative how you went about making them. If you decide to sell them, let me know 🙂

    • February 29, 2012 at 6:05 pm

      It’s something his occupational therapist showed me during one of his sessions. I couldn’t find this actual product in the online therapy catalog I looked at, but all of the other products were so incredibly expensive I wasn’t motivated to spend a lot of time hunting it down when it seemed such a simple thing to make. I think any kid would like it as well and I plan to make up some for Etsy as soon as I find time to get to the store for some more ribbon.

  9. March 1, 2012 at 5:38 am

    I love this, would you mind me featuring this on my blog, I have a child with Sensory and ADHD, you can check out my Sensory Fix page at http://www.missinformationblog.com

    • March 1, 2012 at 8:38 am

      Hi Kelley! Thank you for visiting. I would be honored if you were to feature this on your log. We are very new to the world of SPD as Eli was just diagnosed in December. I will enjoy exploring your blog!

  10. Sherry said,

    March 1, 2012 at 8:30 am

    Cut idea! Thank you for joining me at Home Sweet Home!

  11. Carrie said,

    March 2, 2012 at 9:47 am

    Shared this on my blog’s Facebook page:


  12. Carrie said,

    March 2, 2012 at 9:48 am

    PS- ribbon streamers are one of my daughter’s favorite activities! She gets OT and PT, this would be a great addition to those services. Thanks for sharing the tutorial.

    • March 2, 2012 at 12:43 pm

      Thanks for sharing on Facebook! I was wondering why I was getting hits from Facebook today!

  13. Melanie said,

    March 2, 2012 at 10:15 am

    So glad that you shared it at Things I’ve Done Thursday!!

    P.S. I launched a great CD giveaway today if you’re interested!! http://www.bearrabbitbear.com/2012/03/ummcan-i-get-zumba-dvd-to-this-review.html 🙂

  14. Natasha said,

    March 2, 2012 at 12:24 pm

    what a lovely craft!!

    Thanks for sharing on Serenity Saturday

    Natasha xxx


  15. Erika said,

    March 5, 2012 at 9:00 am

    I featured your post today on It’s a Wrap Link Party at Artful Rising.


  16. June 25, 2012 at 6:23 pm

    […] clutter. And I’m making an attempt to make many of his new toys myself. (Also here and here.) For those that we buy, I’m being more conscious in making decisions in favor of quality […]

  17. January 14, 2013 at 12:04 pm

    […] Ribbons for my Niece – Folk Haven […]

  18. May 20, 2013 at 9:09 am

    […] Ribbon Streamers :: Folk Haven […]

  19. January 10, 2014 at 7:38 pm

    […] Ribbon Streamers :: Folk Haven […]

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