As I said in my DIY death star post, I like to get creative for Christmas presents and one of D’s fave franchises is Harry Potter (books and movies). A few years back, C and I had a movie franchise theme for D’s Christmas present. So we gave him a framed parchment Lord of the Rings map of Middle Earth (which I got from the Imaginus poster sale in university) and I decided to make some wands from Harry Potter, we got other things too, but these are the more noteworthy presents we gave him that year. I wasn’t sure how I was going to go about making the wands, so I went onto Pinterest to get an idea. I liked the idea of trying to duplicate a wand from the films, but there is a limit to my artistic abilities and things don’t always turn out how I want them.
After searching on Pinterest, I made a trip to Dollarama (dollar store in Canada) and here’s a list of things you’ll need to make your own wands:
This DIY project includes a hot glue gun, so adult supervision for children is recommended
- wooden dowels* (I used 12″ dowels, but you can choose any length you want)
- paint (whatever colours you’d like the wand to be)- I used brown and gold
- paint brush- thick and thin (for doing intricate details)
- glue gun
- glue gun sticks (don’t use expensive ones because you will be using the glue to create the swirls and handles for your wands)
- (optional)- beads or items to glue onto the handle of the wand
- (optional items for drying the wand- string, binder clip)
*Instead of wooden dowels, some people used wooden chopsticks (the tapered kind) or even wooden knitting needles. For me, wooden dowels were the cheapest option that would be big enough. If the wand is for a child, a chopstick may be large enough for them and will also have a tapered look that resembles the wands in the movies
I know it looks like a lot of instructions, but it’s fairly straightforward. To start off, plug in your glue gun and have the sticks ready because you’ll go through them fairly quickly depending on how thick you want the handle to be. Once heated, just start squeezing the glue out onto the lower portion (about 3 inches) of a wooden dowel. Spin the dowel so you go all the way around the lower portion until you’re happy with the thickness. Make sure the glue has cooled down a bit (it should be a bit sticky but not hot enough to stick to your fingers) and start shaping the glue into how you want it. To get a more unique handle, keep adding more glue to certain spots and shaping with your fingers as the glue dries. If you wanted to add a bead or something for the end of the handle, glue it onto the end of the dowel and glue around it so it stays on. Once you’re done with the handle part, put a dab of glue on the top to round out the dowel. Then, add swirls or whatever shapes you want to the middle portions of the dowel.
When you’re done with the glue, now you can paint your wands. Since I didn’t want to lay the wand down to dry after painting it and possibly have some of the paint come off, I painted the bottom half and let it dry and then painted the top half. I used a piece of string and tied one end to the wand and the other end to a binder clip. Then I clipped the binder clip onto my table so I could let the wand hang while it dried. I painted the wand with 2-3 coats of brown paint, just to make sure I covered the dowel and glue. When you paint over the glue, the paint is a little less opaque, so that’s why I suggest 3 coats of paint. When I was done with the brown paint, I painted the swirls on the top in gold to make the wands look fancier.
That’s all for wand making, no need to make a trip to Diagon Alley to go to Ollivander’s Shop (although if you ever go to London and love Harry Potter, go to the Warner Brothers Studio Tour– which I mention in my post Family Trip to Paris and London)! If your child (or adult friend/spouse/family member) loves Harry Potter, but you don’t want to splurge on those collectible wands, this is a cheap alternative and you can make them feel unique by owning a wand that is original.