Tuesday, 27 September 2011

How to make a magic wand!

How to make a magic wand

A very simple and quick project – perfect accessory for any wizard costume.  (Did someone mention Harry Potter?)

What you need:

  • Piece of wood (pine is cheap and easy) approx 40 x 1.5 x 1.2 cm
  • Stanley knife
  • Sandpaper
  • Acrylic paint
  • Rag
Before we start a little reminder about health & safety – maybe a little boring but very important:

  • This guide is designed for adults
  • Always cut away from you and keep both hands behind the blade
  • It’s advisable to wear goggles
Start by marking out the line of your handle at approximately 12.5cm from the bottom.  Gently score a line all the way round – this may take a couple of turns. 

Start to shape your wand using small shallow cuts – a bit like peeling a carrot.  Hold the handle and gradually taper your wand (cutting away from you at all times). 

To shape the wand just above the handle, turn the wand around and hold it just above the handle.  Use the thumb of your wand holding hand to guide the knife slowly towards the scored line of your handle.

Once you’ve done this you’ll probably end up with a collection of shavings sticking out.  To remove these, lay the wand on the table and gently press the blade along the scored line.

To shape the handle: gently slice off the four edges to soften them slightly and round off the end.  Once you’ve got the shape you want, use sandpaper to smooth the two ends.

There are various ways you can finish your wand, but in this example I’ve chose to use acrylic paint.  You can use any colours you wish – I’d recommend a mid-tone, dark and highlight colours.

The colours I’ve used are burnt sienna, burnt umber and bronze.  Use an old rag to apply your base colour (burnt sienna).  Wipe it on evenly, dampen the cloth if necessary.  The wood grain should show through nicely.

How to make a magic wand - wood staining

Next, apply your darker colour (burnt umber) with the cloth.  Use this neat and rub it on to emphasise the contours.

How to make a magic wand - wood staining

Finally, use your highlight colour (bronze) on a very dry cloth.  Rub the cloth on your mixing palette or another cloth so there is hardly any paint on it.  Very lightly start to work the cloth over the ridges on the wand.  Apply until you have build up the finish you like.

How to make a magic wand

And there you have it – your very own wizard wand.

How to make a magic wand

There a lots of variations you could do, here are just a few:

·         How about some metallic braid to wind around the handle – spray or brush into it to give that antique/worn effect
·         Use spray paint, wood stain or wax instead of acrylics
·         A small branch from the garden could make a more curvy/gnarled wand
·         Add some rhinestones for a bit of sparkle
·         Carve a design into the handle

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