Introduction: How to Make a Glowing Wizard/Witch Staff
Plastic ornament/Globe with the top removed PVC (Mine is 5 feet long, I would recommend a PVC that goes up to your chin. If you don't feel like cutting your PVC your best bet is just to grab a five-foot PVC)
Brown spray paint Here is a link to the spray paint I am using
Acrylic Paint (in the color of your choice) for the Orb
Sandpaper Electric sander (Takes a while with an electric sander so I wouldn't recommend trying to do this by hand)
paintbrush or popsicle stick
Optional lighting component materials:
51 Ohm Resistor
LED in the color of paint you chose for your Orb
Battery (What type and how many depends on the battery pack you get but it will most likely use two double A's) \
Battery pack with on/off switch
Extra wire (You'll want it to be the length of the PVC)
Step 1: Paint the Orb
If your putting lights in your orb the paint needs to be the same color as the light or the light needs to be white.
DO THIS OVER A SINK. Begin by putting a large dot of paint in your tray. Add a little bit of water and mix with your paintbrush until combined. You want the paint to be thinned enough to pour but you don't want it overly thinned like thick water or else this won't work and you'll have to do multiple coats.
Once you have your thinned paint, pour it into the globe and swirl it around so it covers the whole inside. If you can't get every little bit near the opening or the color starts pooling there while drying that's okay, that area will be covered by the branches.
Once the whole inside is covered pour the excess paint into the sink (rinse it drown the drain so it doesn't stain). Flip the orb upside down and stand it in your train overnight so the inside can dry and the paint can continue to drip out. (Make sure the opening is facing down or else the paint will pool in the top and leave you with an uneven color.
As the orb sits more paint will drain out and the orb will become lighter. If your orb is to light after drying feel free to do a second coat but wait until it's dried before doing a second coat.
Step 2: Sand the Staff and Attach the Orb
If your globe already fits over your PVC you can skip this step
Measure how far up the PVC you will need to sand (This will create dust, be careful not to breathe it in and have a vacuum handy.)
Begin sanding the PVC to a width that your ornament will be able to fit over, as the PVC gets thinner be sure to check often to see if the ornament can fit over it. This will take a little while so be patient and take breaks if you need to.
Important Note: The globe doesn't need to fit on smoothly and as you can see in my picture it doesn't fit all the way on, it may require a push to get it on but it should fit fairly snugly.
Once the globe fits in place super glue where it connects to the PVC and glue it together.
Step 3: Build the Branches
Time to get creative!
Your "Branches" on your staff don't have to be branches! You could do a spiral, some circles, whatever. It can be as simple or complex as you want. Do whatever design suits you and your use, you don't have to follow my pictures. Of course, you can always just look at my pictures and follow them if that's what you would like.
If your following my pictures follow these steps:
Base: Wrap a band of model magic around the joint between the globe and the PVC and spread it out to create a smooth connection and a base for your branches. (If you didn't want to do branches and want it to be simple you could just stop here)
Branches: Create multiple "Branches" of varying lengths (Average length would be about 4 inches) The branches should be thin and slightly pointed at the top and get wider as they go down. (Since they are supposed to look a little rough and like branches I found having indents from my fingers really helped the look, so don't smooth them out too much!) Once you have a few of these (I used about eight) begin placing them onto your staff, smooth the bottom of them into the base. Create some nice overlaps but don't put too many in one spot.
Miny Branches: To make it look even better I added small miniature branches to some of the bigger strips of model magic creating the smalls Y's you would see in a tree. I didn't add them to every branch though since you want each branch to look different and you don't want your staff to crowded.
Twisted bottom: I wanted the model magic to come down to where my hand would rest but just a plain smooth piece looked boring. Continue the base down the PVC until it reaches right above where your hand will once then start at the top and slowly twist, coming all the way down. Don't overtwist or you'll tear the model magic. Leave some smooth space between the base of the branches and the twisted bit.
TIP: If you have pieces that won't stay down use a bit of plastic wrap to hold them until the model magic drys, don't glue them yet.
Let it dry for 48-72 hours.
Step 4: Spray Paint
First, you want to protect the Globe, slide small squares of paper under the branches then once you feel like that area is nicely covered tape the paper down.
Do this step outside or in a well-ventilated area and be sure to cover your workspace, you don't want to get spray paint on the floor.
Spray the side of the staff that's facing up first, don't do the whole thing at once. Make sure the paint isn't so thought that it drips but spray close enough that it leaves a good coat, if you feel like your paint looks too thin but it will drip if you get any closer that's okay just do two coats. once the first side is dry, wait about an hour to an hour and a half, flip the staff and coat the other side the same way.
Step 5: Lights!
The lights can be a little more complicated since we're working with wires and circuits so remember that this is an optional step and your staff will look amazing even without it. This is more of a step for people who know a bit about circuits and soldering already, so read through it first and see if you understand.
The first step is to put the batteries into the switch and learn which leg of the light needs to connect to each bit of wire. Your battery pack will most likely have two different colors of wire and which LED leg each wire connects to is important so test it first.
Connect the legs of the LED to the 5-foot piece of extra wire by soldering them together. The best way I did this was by hooking the two pieces together first. Once each leg has been soldered let it cool off then wrap the exposed wire with electrical tape.
Do the same thing but on the other end of the wire with the battery pack, Again, TEST BEFORE YOU SOLDER. If you want the circuit to work you need to make sure that each wire is connected correctly so test the circuit before you solder by touching the fires together, then solder just like you did the LED and wrap with electrical tape.
Slide the LED up your PVC until it reaches the Globe opening and then glue the battery pack to the base.
Step 6: Touch Ups!
Is any pieces cracked or broke during the process glue them on with superglue and feel free to touch up the paint.
Make sure you glue all the branches to the Globe- even ones that aren't broken, you want to make sure to glue them so they don't break.
If you don't like the look of the battery pack for the lights you can wrap it with tape or put some model imaging over it, just be sure you have access to the switch.
Step 7: Action!
Light up your staff! (if you have a light)
And have fun!
Participated in the
Question 1 year ago on Introduction
Looks like exactly what my grandson wants to make. Where did you get the globe? I can't find one that size. Thanks.
Answer 1 year ago
That's awesome! I found mine in hobby lobby as an individual clear ornament but you can also find boxes of them or reuse an old Christmas ornament if you have one!
2 years ago
Reply 2 years ago
Thanks! Glad you like it.
2 years ago
That turned out great :)
Reply 2 years ago