Halloween Treat - Open Your Own Wand Shop

Wands & Tags

Wand with some design work.
Wand with some design work.
Simple wands with scored lines.
Simple wands with scored lines.
Printed tags on business card stock available at any office supply store.
Printed tags on business card stock available at any office supply store.
Separate the tags and punch one end with a hole punch
Separate the tags and punch one end with a hole punch
Attach tag to wand with string or large rubber bands and simple hitch knots
Attach tag to wand with string or large rubber bands and simple hitch knots
My dog Daisy at the Fairy Crossing
My dog Daisy at the Fairy Crossing

Harry Potter Style Wands for Your Trick or Treaters

If you have a lathe, it's pretty simple to make beautiful magic wands for the neighbor kids who come trick or treating. There are two steps to this project. The first is to make a small "Wandmaker Shoppe" sign to place in your front flower bed or hang over your door. The second is to make the wands. We'll start with the wands.

Materials:

  1. Hard wood dowels
  2. Dremel moto-tool, lathe or grinding wheel
  3. Saw
  4. Fine sandpaper
  5. Oil stain
  6. Varnish or polyurethane clearcoat
  7. Business cardstock for printer/computer
  8. Board for sign
  9. Post for sign
  10. Router or printer paper & decoupage clearcoat

Step 1:

Buy an assortment of hardwood dowels. To avoid poking hazards, the dowels should be at least 5/8 inches in diameter or larger. Old handles and broomsticks will also work, especially if you plan to turn them on a lathe. Anything smaller represents a poking hazard especially for smaller children. Kids who receive wands should be six or older. Unless the child is accompanied by a parent who will supervise the child closely, I wouldn't offer them to anyone younger than that.

Step 2:

Dowels come in three and four foot lengths usually. You can get get three to six wands ranging in length from 8 to 15 inches long. I bought four dowels this year, two poplar, one oak and one mountain ash dowel and cut them into the following lengths -

  1. Poplar (4 ft. long) = two 15-inch, one 10-inch and one 8-inch wands
  2. Poplar (4 ft. long) = two 15-inch, one 10-inch and one 8-inch wands
  3. Oak (3 ft. long) = three 12-inch wands
  4. Mountain Ash (4 ft) = six 8-inch wands

Step 3:

Prepare the wands to be finished. If you have a lathe, simply turn the wands and shave it down in places to create a handle and knurled ends or perhaps a series of ridges. If you don't have a lathe, you can use a bench grinder or Dremel Moto-Tool to shape the wands. Some can be left smooth with just the ends rounded. The wands at Hogwarts were of many shapes and designs, so use your imagination. It's a good project to do while you're watching TV or sitting out on the porch if you whittle or shape the wands with the Dremel.

Step 4:

Sand the finished wands smooth with fine sandpaper. Wipe on different colors of oil stains and allow the wands to dry. Once dry, coat the wands with a high gloss varnish. I use the wipe-on polyurethane. It's easy to use on the round wands and doesn't leave brush marks if you wipe it on with a clean dry cotton or linen rag. You can also use spray varnish to finish the wands.

Step 5:

Make labels for the wands. I use printable business cards on my computer printer. I made individual labels that used this format:

         Olivander & King
            Wandmakers
        Oak and Gryphon Feather
        12 inches - Unyielding


Follow this link and you'll find a PDF file with two pages of wand labels you can print on business cardstock. The wand types come in various woods and lengths with cores and a heraldic picture of the mythical beast that donated feather, scale or heartstrings to the wand. Punch a hole in one end with a paper punch and attach a string loop. Tie the loop to the wand with a simple hitch and give the child the wand with the label attached to add to the drama of the gift. Your house will be the hit of the neighborhood I promise you.

Step 6:

Make a simple sign with your last name and "Wandmakers" or "Wandmaker's Shoppe". Mount it on a post and stick it in your garden or hang the sign beside or above your door. You can use a router to carve out the lettering or print the sign on fancy paper with your computer and decoupage it to a board. Screw it to a post or hang it by the door - whichever works for you.

Showtime:

For even more fun, meet the kids at the door. If you know them say, "Ah, Mr. Jason. I wondered when I'd be seeing you here....." It's fun to give them an attractive treat like a wand and much better for their teeth. And it's something they'll enjoy long after Halloween is gone. Their Moms may even want to keep their wands as a keepsake on the shelf with the tag still on it. They really look cool

Cost:

The wands will cost you 50 cents to a dollar apiece, but since you probably don't get more than a handful of local kids anymore on Halloween, it won't cost you much and for the price of a trip to the movies, it gives you many evenings of entertainment making the things. You can save your wandmaker sign for next year and start scrounging dowels and old handles and even tree branches if you're a whittler of any talent and make them throughout the year a few at a time. I made 17 wands this year and plan to include a small saw in my walking kit bag for when I take the dog out into the woods. I've seen plenty of interesting tree limbs I could have used to make some really gnarly magic wands. I figure I'll just collect enough for next year and make them in my spare time. I've also started putting signs on the trees along the trails that say things like "Fairy Crossing" or "Beware of Cornish Pixies - The Green Ones Bite" - things like that. Naming places "Godric's Hollow" or putting up arrow signs pointing to magical places from children's literature is also fun. The kids get a real kick out of it. With a router, you can make some cool looking signs from scrap boards.

I get a kick out of making a walk in the woods a magical experience for the neighborhood kids. My wife says I'm just a big kid myself. Hey, keeps the old heart young and besides, what's a workshop for?

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Comments 1 comment

Amanda108 profile image

Amanda108 3 years ago from Michigan, United States

Wow, I would have been ecstatic if someone had given me a homemade wand in my trick or treat bag as a kid! What a unique, special treat for a kid to receive on Halloween.

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