Introduction: Awesome LED Illuminating Harry Potter Inspired Wizard's Wand!
First let me give a big thanks Kaptin Scarlet for inspiration and his instructable https://www.instructables.com/id/A-really-magic-Harry-Potter-wand-for-Lumos-and-Rev/. Very cool work and definitely my inspiration, among the many other awesome wands made on here. Also, any feedback would be welcomed, would like to hear from ya'. If this "ible" has motivated you then please rate it and be sure to place a vote in the contest! :)
Be sure to take a look at the Albus Dumbledore Elder Wand I entered in the "Make It Glow" contest... https://www.instructables.com/id/Professor-Dumbledores-Incredible-Illuminating-L/
I have two sons, 21 and 9 - yep, a bit of an age gap, but one of the few things they have in common is the love of Harry Potter (...and Star Wars, me included)...and of course now I am hooked on this wand making thing too...so I will be making many more I am sure. Thanks for the sickness "Kaptin"! lol
So let's get down to this "Making it Glow" challange with a illuminating Harry Potter inspired wand. This was not difficult and there really is no way to mess up if you take your time. Now it does involve soldering, but I am a complete novice at soldering and still pulled this off. So do not cut yourself short, give it a try!! Hey I am new to this stuff too, no excuses! You can exclude the LED/battery pack section and still make an awesome wand.
- 2 or 3 sheets of heavy drawing paper ( a lighter weight will still work)
- White glue
- Hot glue gun with glue sticks
- Acrylic Paints and brushes AND a few damp paper towels
- LED ear piece night-light (I got mine from Harbor Freight for a buck or something close)
- extra length of wire
- Soldering gun with flux core solder wire
Step 1: Making the LED Assembly
First get your materials organized and close by.
Now let's get most of the soldering outta' the way. For me this was kinda easy, I did NOT have to make a switch or battery holder...it was already made. I bought that green LED ear piece you see lit in the pictures at Harbor Freight for a couple bucks. If you can find something like this or similar then you are golden.
You'll want to take that "i-sight" LED ear piece and seperate the LED from the battery pack. I just took a pair of pliers and gently pried the LED from the battery pack....careful, don't break the wires, they don't have much slack. now snip the from each other as shown in the photo.
You will be left with the LED and the battery pack with red and white wires like shown in the picture. I clipped that in half so I could extend it the wand's length. You'll wanna' strip a bit of the plastic tubing off the wires to expose them for soldering...
SOLDER the battery pack FIRST! Do not attach the LED yet, set it aside for later. Soldering is DONE for now. Moving on...
Step 2: Creating the Wand Shaft and Finishing the Lighting....
Now let's make the main body of your wand. This will be made from the 2 sheets of paper, perhaps one sheet if you used a really large sheet of sketch paper.
In the photo you see me rolling the paper lengthwise in a narrow cone....try getting yourself nice narrow taper.
Add a bead of white glue along the way as you roll the cone, finish the corner off with more glue as you get to the end of rolling it and let it dry for a bit. I did a few in varying sizes so you get the idea. If one cone is not long enough you can attach 2 of them together to make it longer.
Now take the battery pack and thread it thru the paper cone as shown....NOW is the time you will solder the LED to the appropriate colored wires and THEN you can put the soldering gun away! 4 connections, soldering is complete! Yes I know you could solder the led and battery pack all at once and then drop the LED thru the cone, but mine would not fit that way with the narow tip I made. I did not want to cut it larger, so this is how I did it. Use your discretion.
Once the LED is soldered properly drop some hot glue inside the narrow paper tip and secure the LED in the tip...pull any slack wire thru the other side..let it set up solid for a minute or two. Once my LED was secure I then dripped some hot glue over the bulb and let it drip down the tip, kinda' trailing the glue gun tip to the end to make it trail off sharply. This looks cool with the lights off and the glow travels down the whisps of clear glue. So now your LED tip is secure.
Flip over the cone and fill the inside with hot glue a little bit at a time to give it rigidity. I secured the battery pack to the opposite larger end of the tub with hot glue, careful not to get any on the little sliding power switch. Build up the handle with hot glue, spinning slowly as you go, building thickness. Sometimes let it cool almost completely before resuming the layering of glue.
You can see where I left it void for the on/off switch. When cooling you can wet your fingers and even shape hot glue. Careful, it is hot and will stick to your skin if you are not careful!! This comes with experience from working with hot glue and seeing how far you can go with it! Be safe! I sustained some blisters learning when the hot glue was cool enough to shape. OUCH!
Step 3: Time for Primer!
By now you should have made quite the mess, have a few blisters and spider webs of hot glue strands all over! Just kidding...maybe not!
So once you've made your hot glue swirls around the wand shaft, embelished it with smalls beads of hot glue and shaped your handle, NOW IT IS READY FOR PRIMER. I just happed to have white primer left over from another project. You can see the wand covered in white primer and ready for the next stage. You are almost done! Let's go...
BTW, I did not paint the hot glue on the LED tip. I want this to shine thru clearly when switched on. So keep a steady hand when painting around the wand's tip.
Step 4: Let's Add Some Color!!!
Ok you are in the home stretch now...with the exception of dry time the Elmer's glue, primer and hot glue you should be looking good on time.
Now it is time to add color to your wand, give it the magical and well used look, or as they say, distressed. Remember what Kaptin Scarlet mentioned, distressing your wand does not mean unloading your woes to it verbally...that's a whole 'nother level of geekdom!
Get out your color acrylic paints and small brushes. Blue, red and yellow will make brown. I am looking forward to attempting a bone color for the next wand. Anyhow, mix up your desired shade of brown if thats the color you choose using those three primary colors. Proceed forward and paint your wand. Get all the little pot marks, crevices and such.
There should be a a nice layer of color to your wand now. Let's set that aside to dry completely before moving on.
You should also be feeling a bit of pride as you see your wand taking shape...especially when your child receives it!!
Step 5: Making Your Wand Look Aged....
Alright let's give your wand an aged/distressed look. Simply take black acrylic paint and put a dab on dish. a a tiny bit of water..not too much...just enough to make the paint more like a glaze that can be wiped off just as easily as it was painted on.
Work this into all the nooks and crannies, dap it in with your paint brush, don't worry about it being neat, you are going to wip it off now.
Take a damp paper towel and wipe the black glaze off gently. This will leave the black in the crevices and give it a worn effect. This is very simple and not hard to get the knack of. Once you have this effect down you'll be able to apply this to all sorts of faux finishing projects. Experiment with different colors.
Step 6: The Last Touches! Congratulations!
Here you will add gold trimming and veining. You can choose silver or any color you like...I went with a classic gold look.
For this I used a gold paint marker which worked excelllent. Once the gold paint was dry I did one more black wash for more depth and left it to dry.
YOU ARE FINISHED! Congratulate youself for a job well done. Your next project shall be building a cool case for it to rest in. Be sure to do a search and check out the other awesome Harry Potter inspired wands built on "Instructables". Thanks again Kaptin Scarlet.
I will be making more for my sons...and perhaps for a gift or two.
Thanks again for checking this out, hope it inspired you and earns your vote.