Our’s is a Harry Potter house of late. Charms, spells and words I have no idea how to spell are being shouted about day and night and the children are gaining these ideas that they “have magic inside of them” and “can accomplish anything” or the dreaded “friendship can save the world”.
Their love of the wizarding world of Ms. Rowling is being highly encouraged. To help out, I made some wands for the whole family to enjoy. This was sparked by my five year old calling me a muggle and I took it personally.
Wands, as it turns out, are incredibly easy and fun to make.
Up top we have five wands. At far left, the toddler’s wand. Smaller so it hurts a bit less when he inevitably smacks a leg. Next up is the five year old’s solid blue wand, followed by my brother’s three tiered masterpiece. My wand is black and blue and the first one made and finally my wife’s deep purple, smoke on the water, hand styled fun. One for every house regular. No one is safe.
These are all comprised of dowels. With the exception of the five year old’s, each has a handle section made from a one inch dowel. I took a drill bit, bored into the handle and placed a smaller dowel into it, usually 1/2 inch, but 1/4 inch dowels do show up. 1/4 inch is terribly fragile and highly inappropriate for children to be running around with as it will snap and sharp shards are abundant. That did not stop me though.
Once the dowels are drilled and glued together, the personalization process begins. All the bumps and dots of the adult’s wands were made with hot glue. Just draw what you’d like and paint it. My wife and my brother put a lot of thought and care into their designs, which really reflects them quite well. I wanted to be done, not done well, so my wand is less intense.
Once the hot glue is dry it is time to paint! Pick a color, spray it on, let it dry and your spells will be flying soon.
I added some texture using a drill based sander. Some handles have a curve to them and the blue wand of the five year old has ridges dug into the top and bottom of the handle. Rounding the edges off the dowels helped the look as well. Nothing really structural or needed about rounding them off, but they do look better.
And if either of my kids calls me a muggle again…
Most satisfying moment: figuring out that rubber bands shoot off of these at ludicrous speeds.
Time to complete: 10 minutes each. Mostly waiting for paint to dry. Dowel cutting is easy and drilling into them was pretty fast once the correct bit was identified. Hot glue can take anywhere from a minute to 10 depending on how detailed the wand owner wants it to be.
Cost: For all five, probably $10. Dowels aren’t cheap. Paint, hot glue, wood glue and dowels are the only costs involved.
Fun level: Intense! These are now must-have items in our house.