I don't hand out the recorder cleaning sticks with my recorders because #1 the kids won't really use them, #2 they'll probably just lose them, #3 if they use them they'll probably use them infrequently and incorrectly. So, I kept the recorder cleaning rods and had them in a huge box. After Christmas last year I went into the wrapping paper and found big rolls of ribbon for pennies. So of course I bought the ribbon cut them into lengths of about 2-3 feet and tied them to my recorder rods. They're not perfect, but they're not bad. The rods are free and the ribbon only came out to be about $1 a roll. I only needed three rolls to create about 45 wands. I could make more later if these rip apart or break.
It's cheap, it's really easy, and it saved me time and money. Try it out and see what you think.