Gettin Crafty Wid It – Harry Potter Wands

It’s been forever since I did any crafting around here, because I’m way too busy freaking out over the state of the now-revealed lawn. Why, oh why, did I ever wish for spring, when I had all that lovely winter snow covering up the grub-infested carpet of weeds that is our so-called lawn? I am seriously considering astroturf.

Anyway! A couple of days ago, I did find time to do a craft, mostly at the Little Miss’ insistence. So that means blog! fodder!

We made magic wands, but not girly wands, the kind you can buy in the store with purple feathers and sparkles and ribbons. These are wands made for pure magic, the kind that would make Harry Potter proud. I actually first made one a few years ago, when the Captain was Harry Potter for Halloween. At the time, I also made one for Gal Smiley, and with the Captain’s new found love of all things Harry, they’ve been running around here with their wands yelling “Wingardium leviosa!” and “Expectro Patronum” and “Bringy Meith a Sandwichia!”

Here’s what one looks like (click to enlarge all images):

Harry Potter Style Wand

Sadly, Gal Smiley snapped hers in half last week (not all sad – she pretended to be Ron from book 2 most of the time), and poor Little Miss never had one in the first place. So it was time to get crafty with it. I am grooooovy, man.

Let’s craft!

First, you will need to gather:

  • a piece of dowel – about 3/16 to 1/4 inch thick
  • a glue gun
  • a saw, or perhaps some scissors
  • sandpaper
  • black paint
  • glitter glue

Now, take your piece of dowel and cut it to length. Somewhere around 10 to 14 inches is good, depending on the size of your kid. If your dowel is thin enough (thinner than 1/4 inch), you might be able to just snip it with a tough pair of scissors. If it’s a little thicker, it might take a few strokes with a hand saw to snap it.

Sawing the Dowel to length

The end will be all rough, so sand it down. You want one end flat, and the other end slightly rounded. If you were super creative and had a lot of time on your hands, you could taper the whole thing from base to tip, like the “real” wands used in the movies. But I’m lazy so I just filed off the sharp bits with some medium grain sandpaper.

Sanding

Now, heat up the glue gun. First, use the gun to put a ring of glue around the flat base. Then, put another ring about a hand’s width up the shaft. This forms the “handle” part of the wand.

Handle part

Then take the glue gun, and for shaft part above the handle, make a pretty pattern. What I do is spin the wand while applying the glue, then twirl around at the top and come back down, so it ends up making a criss-crossed pattern.

You’ll want to leave about an inch of bare wood at the tip to make it look good.

With glue

WARNING, this gluing part is pretty annoying. The glue gets everywhere and I’m not going to lie to you, there will be cursing. Luckily, we are going for an organic vines-growing kind of effect here, so don’t worry about making it smooth and even. Even slips and slops are okay. If you get some of those little thin stringy bits hanging off the sides like hairs, you can let them cool slightly and then snap them off with your fingers, or let them dry completely and cut them off with scissors.

In any case, once you have the glue on, use the tip to lean it against something and give it an hour or so to dry.

glue drying

Once the glue is dry, it’s time to paint it. Previously, I always made the wands black, but the Little Miss asked for purple, so I tried to mix up the most dark, badass purple I could, and used that on hers. Last time I made these, I used a satin finish black wall paint I had kicking around from another project. This time, I just used Crayola craft paint. Both worked well, but the satin finish paint made for a cooler looking wand and also a nice, smooth feeling to the handle part, and the kids definitely prefer that. So if you have access to glossy paint, I’d recommend that; otherwise, just use craft paint and they’ll never know the difference.

painting

You want to paint all over everything, including the glue. Really lay it on there thick; you might need to come back in half an hour and put on a second coat. Also you’ll have to come back to touch up the spots where it was resting as it dried.

Literal shot of paint drying

Here’s a shot of them once all the paint is dry.

dry paint

Time for the last step! Get some glitter glue – here the kids customized their wands by choosing their own colour of glue, and apparently various colours represent various magic and Reducto and blah blah. Squeeze a puddle of glitter glue onto a bit of newspaper. Dip your finger in the glittler glue and rub it on just the glue-gun-design parts of the wand, to highlight them.

adding glitter

Give the glitter a few minutes to dry, and voila! AVADA KADAVRA.

finished wand

Or whatever.