For Christmas this year, I created custom magic wands for everyone in my family. I wish now that I had created a full instructable, but hopefully the few pictures I managed will still be helpful.
All the wands are made from various woods, ranging from oak dowel rods to branches and weeds found in the backyard. The sizes range from 10 to 12 inches.
I couldn't have done this without the corded Dremel. Pocketknife took forever, and even a battery-powered Dremel needed recharging after every 15 mins of use. The sanding wheel worked best for trimming the dowels down to size and stripping the bark. The basic cutting wheel worked best for the spirals and other designs, especially on the sticks. Cutting a design through the bark, exposing the wood made for a simple, natural effect. (wear goggles, work outside or in a well-ventilated area. lots of messy dust!)
Hot glue was used to make cool effects or to add extra pieces to the handles. Gobs and gobs of hot glue!
Some of the finished wands were treated to preserve the designs. Clear nail polish worked well and gave an added shine. I tried spray-on lacquer but it left a kind of tactile feeling I didn't like. The wands made from the oak dowels were finished with oil-based wood stain.
I baked polymer clay onto some of the wands, but didn't end up using them. I think the clay would have worked better if I had taken the time to paint it.
The wand in the last 2 pics is one of my favourites. It is from the oak dowel, sanded to shape with the Dremel, smoothed over with fine sand paper, and stained. The Celtic braid was tricky. I measured the size of the surface onto a piece of paper, drew the design, and taped the paper right to the wood with clear tape. I used a fine-tip engraving accessory for the Dremel and traced over the design. The colour of the design is the natural wood. The metal piece on the end is a Celtic-looking kitchen knob from a home improvement store. I drilled a small hole in the end of the wand so the knob fits snug without any glue. The end piece is actually detachable, and the hollow handle can be used for a wand core! (or extremely small storage space)
Hope this helps! Thanks to all the great wand instructables out there. I also used this site a lot to help with the sizing: http://harrypotter.wikia.com/wiki/Wand