Wood Dowel Rods: Everything you need to know

Scroll down to find out which dowel will work best for your project!

(plus our top DIYing-with-dowels tips)

Quick-look size chart


What is a wooden dowel rod?

A wooden dowel rod is a round (or sometimes square) wooden rod used in various woodworking, wood crafting and even construction projects.

What sizes do wooden dowel rods come in?

Wooden dowels range in length from 6 inches to 6 feet, and in thickness from ⅛ inch (which is more like a skewer) to 3 inches thick. Shorter lengths of dowel, used to interlock two pieces of wood, are called dowel pins. In this article, we use the term “dowels” to refer to dowel rods, not dowel pins.

What are wooden dowel rods used for?

Dowel rods have endlessly endless creative uses! Here are some of the common ones: 


Home decor

Woodworking & Hobbies 

  • Scale models
  • STEM projects (like catapults, Newton’s cradle)
  • Furniture building 
  • Bird cages and perches
  • Rhythm sticks

And… one more trending way to use dowels that we can’t get enough of at Woodpeckers: Multi-dimensional effects Fluted accent walls, fluted cabinet fronts, and “ribbed” furniture facades… they’re the latest “refurbishing hack”, and they are breathtaking. Truly a privileged place for humble dowels and split dowels to end up!

Where to buy wooden dowel rods?

At Woodpeckers, we have a full selection of wooden dowel rods in birch and oakround and square, available in multiple lengths and thicknesses.

What size dowel rod is the best for my project?

Find your project on the chart below, or scroll for more detailed sizing information.

Thickness ⅛" 3/16" ¼" ⅜" ½" ¾" 1" (and thicker)
DIY wands
Flag/ pennant sticks
Photo prop sticks
Cake Dowels
Closet & curtain rods
Plant support
Macrame/ Wall tapestry
Hobby crafting
Furniture building
Rhythm sticks


What size dowels to use for DIY wands?

The wooden dowel sizes we recommend for DIY wands are: ¼” x 12”, ⅜” x 12”, and  ½” x 12”.

Length: Our 12 inch dowels are ideal for pretty much all wands, so no cutting needed. 


¼ inch For wands that are sleeker and cheaper (but still durable!), ¼ inch is perfect. Think wedding wands, fairy wands, girl scout wands…. 

⅜ inch Want a bit more bulk for something like Harry Potter wands? Go with ⅜ inch, our most popular thickness for wand making.

½ inch These are not too wide for wands, but give you that extra thickness. They’re also easier for little hands to grip.

Why wooden wands?

Nothing brings in a bit of celebratory magic like wands. And nothing makes easier DIY wands than dowels! (And nothing is more tempting to wave than a wand with bells and ribbons at the tip! If you’re making those, be sure to craft a few extra cuz guests will all want to bring ‘em home for their kiddos!)

Dowels for DIY wands:


What size dowels to use for flag sticks?

The dowel sizes we recommend for wooden flag sticks are: ¼” x 18”⅜” x 18”, and ½” x 18”.  For pennant sticks use ¼” x 18” or ¼” x 24.

Flag Sticks: The 12 inch can length works for very small flags, but 18 inch gives you extra space for sturdy staking, and extra height for higher waving (cuz if no one sees it, it doesn’t count!). For thickness, ¼ inch is standard, but you can definitely go with ⅜ or ½ inch if you want some extra sturdiness and “grippability”.

Pennant Sticks: 18 inch and 24 inch length are both great length choices for pennant sticks. And ¼ inch is the thickness that sits securely in a standard pennant sleeve.

Flag Poles – Length: For a standard home flag (3×5 feet), use our 72” dowels. (That’s the tallest dowel we sell.) 60” dowels can also be nice where you have a bit less space and a slightly smaller flag. Have a non-standard flag size? Check out our 36 and 48 inch lengths as well. Thickness: Especially if your flag will be outdoors, you’ll need at least 1 inch diameter.

Why wooden flag sticks?

Flags show support, solidarity, or just a pop of pizzaz on your lawn. For such an important purpose, flimsy plastic pieces won’t do – stick with wooden dowels! 

Pro-tip: if you plan to keep your flag outdoors, seal the dowel with weather-proof coating first.


Pro tip for the tips of your photo prop stick! For photo props the thin, lightweight sticks (3/16″ and ¼”) are perfect. You can go with the 12” length, or choose 18” and put a different photo prop on each end!

Dowels for photo prop sticks:


What size dowel to use for a macrame rod?

Popular dowels sizes for macrame projects are ⅜” x 12”½” x 12”, ½” x 18”¾” x 18”¾” x 36”, and 1 x 36”

Small: For a smaller, lightweight macrame, ½ inch is the perfect sturdy-but-not-bulky size. ⅜ inch is also great, but don’t go thinner than that.

Medium:  For somewhat larger macrames, recommended thicknesses are ¾, ⅞, and 1 inch. 

Large: For large, very heavy tapestries, we have eight thicker options, ranging from 1 inch to 3 inch thick.

Why wooden dowel macrame rods?

The neutral tones and beautiful wood grain of birch dowels are practically made for macrame! It’s just what you need to complement your woven artwork. With 19 thicknesses and 6 lengths, there’s definitely a dowel that’s right for your macrame!

If you’re buying dowels for macrame, grab a few dowel caps to finish off the ends neatly

Dowels for macrame rods:


What size dowels to use for plant support?

The most popular dowel size for plant staking is ½ inch x 1236”, and 48”. But if you want extra support, you can go with the thicker options as well, like ¾” and 1 inch.

Why wooden dowels for plant staking?

Simple. Dowels are tall. Dowels are straight. Dowels are sturdy. And dowels are lovely in any nature-y setting! Don’t want the tomato plant to topple or the sunflowers to sag? Grab some wooden dowels for tomato plants, sunflowers, and other veggies growing in your garden.

Paint or spray paint the dowels a shade of green, and they’ll blend right in!

Dowels for plant support:

½" x 12" ¾" x 12" 1" X 12"
½" x 18" ¾”  x 18”  1” x 18”
½" x 24" ¾” x 24” 1” x 24”
½" x 36" ¾" X 36" 1" x 36"
½" x 48" ¾" X 48" 1" x 48"

What customers are doing with our dowels:


"We find the the wood dowels are the highest quality to assure safety with our swings." - Karen
1" x 48" dowel


"These dowels are perfect for my flags!" -Yvette
¼" x 24" dowel


"My daughter told me about this site and since then i have purchased a number of these ⅝" square dowels for a good price..." -Billy


"I have been very happy with my orders. The consistency and quality have been very impressive." - David
⅛" x 36"


"Good price. Good delivery. used dowels from Woodpeckers to make a fixture to hold 10 rolls of wrapping paper." -Jim


"Woodpeckers dowels are such great quality - I will never purchase dowels anywhere else ever again!!" -Joanne
⅝" x 36"


"Woodpeckers crafts has always been there to support my need for wooden dowels. I look forward to finding reasons to buy other products, when you get good service, you want to do business! -Tony Baguss


"I am using the ⅛" wood dowel for pilings on a HO scale pier." -Jim
⅛" x 12" Dowel


"The dowels I ordered were perfect! Consistent Diameter & color, no warped sticks or defects." -Mike

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