The Harry Potter
Halloween party we hosted last year was so fun that I plan to make it an annual thing.
I’ve been working on the preparations since the summer in the hope that by
adding a little each year, sometime in the future I’ll be able to transform
our whole home into that of a common wizarding family in the Harry Potter
universe. Here is the first post on what I’ve made this year.
As wands are such basic things for witches and wizards, I wanted hubby and me
to have one each, though it’s unlikely we’ll be carrying them with us very much
at the party. I tried the hot-glue-on-a-stick method, but didn’t like it much.
I wanted neater wands, made from real wood.
I got wooden dowels
(10 millimetre diameter) from the local craft store, and as they were too short to make nice wands on their own, I searched my stash of
craft supplies for the other things I needed. I found wooden beads and
other turned wood shapes – if anyone have a good name for them, please share. I
meant to assemble these different elements with a combination of screws and
First I played around
with the materials a bit, deciding how I wanted our wands to look. I didn’t
want them to look identical, but a as I had a limited choice of materials, I
had to work with what I had. I decided that the wand with the larger handle would be hubby's, as he
has larger hands than me. I also chose wooden beads of different colours, as I
thought that could be a nice touch.
After I had decided on
the basic design, I whittled patterns on the dowels. They are similar, but not
identical. As I’ve said before, I’m not very good with woodwork, but all in
all, I’m happy with how these turned out. After the carving was done it was
time for sanding. I used round objects of different diameters (knitting needles and a
round building block borrowed from the kids) to wrap the sandpaper round, to help get a nice, even
finish to the carved areas. I also sanded the dowels to taper towards the tip,
and made mine a smidge thinner than hubby’s, for a more feminine look. Unfortunately
I only remembered to take a picture of one of the dowels at this step.
I drilled holes in
the “handle” ends, and drilled corresponding holes in the turned-wood-things.
With a screw I then attached
the wooden bead and the turned-wood-thing to the dowel of what would become hubby’s
wand, adding a bit of hot glue for strength. I would have preferred wood glue
for this, but we didn’t have any. With hot glue I attached the other turned-wood-thing, and the first wand was assembled.
For mine, I screwed the
turned wood thing to the dowel, again securing it with hot glue, and then added
the bead and small peg with more hot glue.
After that I painted
the wands with acrylic paint that I had diluted with water for more of a
stained than painted effect.
When they had dried I sealed them with two coats of a
semi glossy varnish. Ta-da!
The different coloured beads worked out well, especially as I painted the wands in shades to compliment them.
The finished wands are rather pretty, and
comfortable to handle - a very important feature, I would think, for objects
that are allegedly used countless times every day, and are always within reach of their
owners. Hubby's wand is 12 5/8" long and mine is 11 3/4". What wood type and core they are supposed to be made from is still undetermined.
Sometime I’ll need
to make wand boxes for storage (or display – I plan a very nerdy curiosity
cabinet with "souvenirs" from books and films I like), with the Ollivander label
on them, of course.