How to Make a Magic Wand

Sunday, July 2, 2017

One of the first activities we did together as a family for the Harry Potter themed birthday party was to make wands. Details on wand-making are below!

Wands

Supplies Needed:

Wood Dowels or Chopsticks
Hot Glue Gun
LOTS of Hot Glue Sticks
Primer
Paint
Paint Brushes
*I favored sponge brushes for this project.

Optional:

Miscellaneous Beads

Instructions:

Wood Dowels: We used a couple of different sizes of dowels for this project. I would recommend visiting a craft store and looking at the gauges of dowels to determine which size(s) work best for you. OR you can use a variety of thicknesses by purchasing an assorted pack like THIS. The benefit of dowels is that they are typically sold in 12" (or longer) lengths.

Chopsticks: The benefit of chopsticks is that they naturally taper from a thicker end to a thinner end. The downside for chopsticks is that they do not come in a particularly long size, many are only 8"-10" long. HERE is a set of chopsticks that is a bit longer, at 9.75".

Optional Step:

Use a saw to cut a little bit off of several of the wands so they aren't consistently the same 12" in length. Take a light sandpaper and smooth out any splinters or rough edges from the cuts.

Step 1A: 

Heat up hot glue gun and begin adding glue to the dowels. You can spiral up the dowels, or drips, or thicken the wood by completely covering it in glue and building it up thicker as it cools by adding additional layers. This is the fun part. We bought a couple of packages of dowels and did several at once. The glue cools relatively fast, so you can lay the wand down to finish cooling as you move on to additional wands.

Wands in the Making: Glue Application.

Step 1B: 

Optional beads can be added to the wands to give additional thickness or unique texture. We added some wood beads around the handle side of some of the wands to make the handle thicker. We added seed beads to some of the wands to give it a more rough texture. We added some decorative beads to the ends or handles of the beads to stay exposed as decorative elements. We essentially found old beads from our craft stash and repurposed them for wand-making! 

Step 2: 

Once the glue has cooled and you have finished adding glue layers, you can begin to prime the wands. We had purchased a single quart of primer @ a home improvement store, and used it for every single project of the party, and there is still primer to spare.

Priming took a couple of steps. We primed one side of the wands and then used mason jars to hold the wands upright as that side dried. Once dried, we primed the other half and repeated this step. 

You can see in the photo below that we had filled the mason jars up with old coffee beans to help the wands stand upright so we could fit multiple wands in each jar without them touching and sticking to each other. 

Wands in the Making: Glue Applied & Primed Steps.

Step 3:

Painting, layer 1. We purchased a brown craft paint, black craft paint and had a grey craft paint. We used the brown by itself on a few wands, added black for a darker brown on a few wands, and grey on a few wands. This is getting the base color onto the wands. 

We repeated the two-step process with mason jars that we did for the primer to paint each half of the wand.

Wands in the Making: Base Paint Layer.

Step 4:

The final step was to add a layer of gold to highlight the details on the wands. I took a sponge brush and got it a little damp to dilute the potency of the gold color (you can do this by running it under the faucet and then squeezing the excess water out). I then lightly brushed the gold paint over the wands. This will only apply gold on the thickest three-dimensional parts of the wands. We also did this with black (instead of gold) on a few of the light brown wands to make these darker and more 'aged'.  Little Tomato found a few metallic paint colors she liked and added accent colors on a few wands as well. Have fun adding depth and character to the wands, so the color isn't so flat. 😊

Completed Wand with a Wand Tag.










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9 comments:

  1. so THATS how you made them! so great.

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  2. Hey do you have something on how you made the display board

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    Replies
    1. The display board was made using insulation foam. I included some details about the foam and tools in this post:
      http://houseoflittletomato.blogspot.com/2017/07/hogwarts-shield-my-diy-process.html

      I also included a process photo and a few more details on this signage post: http://houseoflittletomato.blogspot.com/2017/07/harry-signage-roundup.html

      I hand drew the Ollivander's logo on a separate piece of foam and glued it onto the backing board to give it a more 3 dimensional look, and screwed in brass cup hooks to hang the wands.

      As the backer board is foam, the cup hooks were screwed in very lightly, and will not support a lot of weight. It will work perfectly fine for the wands, as long as you carefully remove them.

      If you want a more sturdy backer board to actually mount on a wall, I'd recommend MDF board. You could still make the Ollivander logo out of the foam to mount on the backer board if you should choose. :)

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  3. Hi! Do you have a file for the wand tags?

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  4. How long does this whole process take? Would it be feasible to do the process with a group of kids or do you advise getting up to the priming part them let the kids paint?

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    Replies
    1. Waiting for paint to dry will be what takes the most amount of time (glue to cool for priming, then at least an hour for the primer to dry - double that time if you are doing the bottom half, allowing to dry, then flipping to do the top half separately).

      I would recommend having the primed wands ready for kids. While I favored the natural brown tones, Little Tomato loved to use bold colors and make multi-colored wands. I would also think having craft 'gems' to glue on for detail would be a fun addition to a party.

      Good Luck!

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  5. Great idea! We created wands as giveaways for our church Halloween festival. Only adjustment I made, since this was less a craft project than a freebee, was I used hot glue and then just spray painted. Came out great!

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  6. do you have a file for the tags? thanks these are amazing!

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  7. Unfortunately I think I lost it - the tags were made a couple of years ago on an old computer that has since gone by the wayside. If I ever make tags again, I will definitely make a PDF file and back it up in a Cloud this time. :(

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