Here is a tutorial that will teach you how to make high quality, Harry Potter style wands, from real wood. This is my first Instructable, so I hope you like it and share it with others! I also have some wands available to you at my website. Please be sure to visit my site - Alexander's Handmade Wands
Step 1: Find Your Wood
The first step is to find and cut a branch or young tree to use as your wand. It can be basically any type of wood, but I have found that cedar is very soft compared to other wood, and is my favorite to use. It also looks good, because the grains show up more than in other types of wood. You don't have to use a fresh branch, pretty much any sort of wooden stick around an inch in diameter. You should also come up with a design before you find your wood. Just a messy sketch will be fine. Remember not to cut wood from public parks, forests, etc.
Step 2: Peel the Bark Off of Your Wood
This will be easiest when using a knife or flat-head screwdriver to pry the bark away from the wood. If you aren't using a fresh stick, just skip this step. The wood beneath the bark is usually very wet, and almost slimy. This is normal.
Step 3: Dry Out Your Wood
Again, if you are using wood that hasn't come directly from nature, this step isn't necessary. The reason you must dry a stick is because if you don't the wood will be flaky and will never become smooth. You can use your oven, just set it nearly on your lowest temp, to avoid splitting.
Step 4: Make Your Wand!
I use a bench grinder to make my wands. Most wand makers use wood lathes, but I don't like the way those wands turn out, kind of like glorified chair legs. If you are going to use a bench grinder too, be prepared for some work. This can take a while. To taper the tip, start near the middle, and make steady strokes to the tip, pushing harder against the wheel as you get closer to the tip. After that, you just have to play around with it, different techniques depending on your design. Of course, you don't have to use power tools, you can just use a carving knife. This will be more difficult, and won't look as clean.
Step 5: Sand the Wand
To make your wand smooth and get rid of rough edges, just a little sand paper will be fine. Start with a more course sandpaper, and finish with a finer grit.