06. Harry Potter Wands
Leon decided that he wanted to present each guest with a wand as a thank you gift and memento of the party and we wanted each wand to be unique just as each wand from Olivander’s is unique.Making unique wands not only means that the guest can identify their wand but also makes the wand just a little bit more personal. He found this easy to do by using deadwood sticks found on the ground in a local park rather then buying and shaping dowel. Using dead wood sticks as your base is not only a lot cheaper but gives the wands so natural character.
When choosing a stick to carve, he look for a reasonably straight stick with defining characteristics approximately 300mm (11 1/2 inches) long. To carve the wands you don’t need any special tools, he found a Stanley knife was all that was needed. Once you have found enough sticks it’s time to begin the carving.
Don’t worry about the handle part being smooth as this gives more character to the wand. Once all the wands are tapered too your satisfaction, tidy up both ends of the wand by sanding them smooth if required. You can choose to embellish some of the wands if you think are lacking in character.
When he had finished carving the shape of the wand he add decoration to the wands in a few different ways, one of the simplest ways of doing this is by binding natural twine in different unique patterns around your wand. You want every wand to be different so use your imagination to come up with some variations.
Once you’re happy with how the wands look its time to finish them off by giving them a couple of coat of clear varnish. Only give the wands one coat at a time making sure the wand is properly dry before starting the next on. This will give the wands a professionally crafted look rather than just a looking like an ordinary stick found in the back yard.
The Wand Boxes
As I have said before we had decided to present the wands to each guest and although the wands looked really good, just handing out a wand didn’t seem enough. To really add the wow factor it needed to come in its own hand made box.
This did take a bit more time to make but the end result is defiantly worth the extra effort.
To make the boxes we cut both the base and lid box from foam core cardboard using a template we designed.
After we had finished gluing the boxes the next step is to paint them. This was done using watered down black paint so that the brush strokes were less visible. To give the box an aged look take an old cloth and rub away the corners and edges, this removes some of the paint and scruffs the corners.
Next we cut a piece of foam to fit snugly into the lid and base of the wand box. We then shaped the foam by sanding out a grove to match the shape of each the wands.
This makes each box uniquely fitted to it’s particular wand. We numbered each wand and box so that we could keep track of which wand went where.
Next we lined both pieces of foam with velvet and attached a small amount of ribbon to the bottom piece so the wand could be held in place. The foam was then glued to the lid and the base.
Finally we made our own Olivander’s labels complete with a description of the wands length and construction material just like the real thing.
Leon had decided that he was going as Lucius Malfoy and he really wanted to have Lucius wand/cane so he decided to make this wand himself. He carved the snake head of the wand out of a solid piece of Balsa wood, using my Dremel tool and sandpaper.
Balsa wood is very easy to carve even with hand tools so while the carving tool makes it much easier you can also do the shaping by hand. It’s just slower and more hand sanding is need to get a really smooth finish.
For the shaft part of the wand He found a old dried branch that was fairly straight and just whittled away until he got the shape and length he wanted.
Connecting the snake head to the shaft was fairly simple, we cut the head off screw with a pair of bolt cutters, we then drilled a small pilot hole in the middle of the base of the snakes head and the center top of the wand shaft, that way we could then screw both ends together and they would be perfectly aligned. To lock them firmly in place, we put a drop of PVA wood glue between the two pieces.
For the cane section, we just used an old thin piece of PVC pipe we had laying around the garage. To finish the cane off we sprayed the PVC pipe with black gloss enamel, leaving it to dry and giving it a light sand between coats. It took three good coats to get that sleek glossy finish.
After a few coats of chrome paint we glued some cheap green gemstone eyes on and it was finished.