Introduction: Make an Awesome Harry Potter Wand From a Sheet of Paper and Glue Gun Glue

About: Eldest of five, son of two doctors, 10 years in Graphic Design and marketing, then retrained as a Biomedical Materials Engineer, don't ask me why, I think it was because I had always wanted to design artificia…
Now that Harry Potter fever is upon us once more, I thought you would like to have a go at making some really nice Harry Potter Wands. This is such a simple but effective instructable. With a sheet of paper, some glue and a bit of paint, and about 40 minutes to spare this instructable will show you how you can make a Harry Potter type wand that would not look out of place in the film itself. I designed it and I have already made a load for my kids, even my girlfriend and her 18 year old daughter and her boyfriend wanted one each! For the frist few stages I have drawn pictures of what you have to do and then for the painting part I have taken photos to show you exactly what to do. It's very simple but the effect is fantastic. For more projects like this visit dadcando where there is more Harry Potter type wizarding projects and a load of other craft printables and templates.

If you like this but want more of a challenge which not try it with added magic in the instructable A really magic Harry Potter wand for Lumos and Reveal Your Secrets charms, you get to make a wand with a UV LED at the tip that can reveal secret and otherwise invisible writing. (But I'd try this one first to get the idea).

Step 1: Prepare Your Paper

Stick a strip of double sided tape diagonally across a sheet of A4 or US Letter sized paper

Step 2: Tightly Roll the Paper Starting in the Corner

Roll the paper starting in the corner and roll diagonally, rolling one end very slightly less that the other so that the thin paper roll is tapered. Roll until you get to the double sided tape, roll over this so that the tapered roll sticks to it

Step 3: Glue the Last Third of the Roll

Smear the free corner of the paper with a little PVA glue (Elmer's Glue) so that whole surface is, (or will be when it is rolled up) covered in glue.

Then continue to roll the wand tightly and hold (with fingers) till it's dry

Step 4: Trim the Wand

Wait about 20 to 30 minutes for the wand to dry. As the PVA (white glue / Elmer's) glue hardens, it should become much stiffer. When dry Trim a little bit off both ends of the wand to make the ends straight.

If you want to make a very stiff wand, roll another piece of paper and glue tighter than the first one and poke it down the inside of the first one after coating it in a bit of white glue.

I avoided using a chopstick for this because I didn't want the wand to become dangerous. I would rather the wand broke than someone got their eye poked out with it!

Step 5: Plug the Ends of the Wand (and Fill It)

Carefully dribble glue gun glue into both ends of the wand (one at a time, waiting till each end is set). For the bigger of the two ends, you can pack the end with a little rolled up tissue pushed down a bit with a pencil so that you don't have to use too much glue. For the bigger end you will probably need to have two goes. If you are careful you can achieve a rounded end, as the glue is setting make sure that you rotate the wand to stop it slumping to one side or dripping over the edge. The same goes for the little end, although if you have wound the wand tightly enough, you will not need to fill this twice.

NOTE if you want your wand to be stiff and very robust, then instead of using the tighter rolled up paper core, you can fill it with epoxy resin. Epoxy resin is that sort of glue that you use by mixing up two parts. It can be very runny when mixed up, so you will need to plug the smaller end. After plugging the little end, but before plugging the big end, fill the wand with quick setting, two part epoxy resin. Use the 5 minute setting version rather than the really fast 90 second version and carefully dribble the glue down the inside of the wand, making sure not to get it on the outside. Don't worry If you do get a little bit on the outside though, just wipe it off carefully and quickly, you'll be painting over that later.

Step 6: Create the Surface Detail

Holding the wand in one hand and the glue gun in the other slowly rotate the wand between finger and thumb as you gently squeeze out glue gun glue onto the surface of the wand. Try to keep it even and make a nice pattern. Start with one or two rings at the thicker end, leaving a space for the grip area, then make a crisscross lattice effect lower down the wand by rotating and moving the glue gun along the wand at the same time.

As the glue sets rotate the wand in the air to make sure that no uneven drips build up. The glue gun glue should be set in about a minute or so, but might be tacky for a couple more minutes so be careful what you rest it on to set properly.

Step 7: Spray With Base Coat

Apply a base coat to the wand to seal it, either you can use spray paint (more or less any colour will do and spray paint is good because it drys hard, but you can use household emulsion instead if you haven't got any spray. (In the US, emulsion paint is called Latex Paint). If you use emulsion (latex) make sure that the wand is dry before going to the next step.

Step 8: Paint on the Wand Main Colour

Paint on the wand's main colour. In this case I have chosen brown, but any colour will do. I chose this because I wanted it to look like natural wood. But you could use black or an off white for ivory or any other muted colour. Paint the whole surface but don't worry if it isn't too even, in fact this will make it look more like a natural material. (here you can see I have painted half of it.

IMPORTANT: you must use a type of paint that dries waterproof. Ideally use acrylic. The reason for this is that the next step uses a wash which you have to wipe off while it is wet and if you have used a paint that can wipe off for this stage, then when you apply the paint from the next stage it will rub this paint off as well (which is not what you want).

To mix brown use all the primary colours (red, blue and yellow) in varying proportions depending on what sort of brown you want, or one primary colour with any secondary colour (orange, purple or green). Mix in a little black (but not too much) for a darker brown and allow it to be streaky if you want.

Step 9: Start Distressing the Wand

No this doesn't mean telling it upsetting news, distressing is the furniture makers term for making something new, look old.

You do this by mixing up a wash of black. NOT too washy, but enough so that it remains wet long enough to be able to wipe it off. The best type of paint for this is acrylic. DO NOT paint the whole wand before starting to wipe the paint off otherwise it will dry and you won't be able to wipe it off.

Step 10: Finish Distressing the Wand

Wipe off the paint as you go along. Use a damp cloth or piece of kitchen towel. Dab and wipe, if you are not happy with the effect paint over and wipe more. What you are trying to achieve is the natural look of grim and aging that collects in the cracks and corners.

You won't be able to wipe all the paint off and some will collect in the corners round the glue gun glue and this will make it look really old.

Work on the handle area, in real life handles get worn more so will be shinier and have less dark areas. Go with the flow look at the work and wipe and paint until you are happy with the results.

Don't be afraid to go back a stage and add more lighter colours and then repeat the distressing if you want to get the right effect. Always wait till the previous layer is dry. If you use acrylic you can do this as many times as you want. But you only need to really do it once.

Step 11: Apply the Gold Detail

Using you finger tip apply some gold rubbing paste to the raised bits of the wand. You can use a gold marker or gold gel pen or gold modeling paint. The best stuff is the art store product that is designed to be rubbed on with the finger tip and then burnished a bit, but any gold paint will do.

For one of my kids wands I used a bit of silver leaf to make some very highly reflective parts metallic looking. It was a brilliant effect. This is a bit more complicated in that you have to have gold or silver leaf and you have to paint a thin layer of gold size (a model makers' and artists' liquid glue that dries slightly tacky) on to the raised surface first and allow to dry for 2 hours and then apply the gold or silver leaf with great care (it is sooo thin) and then remover the excess with a very fine brush and burnish up with a soft cloth. The effect though is truly amazing, like real polished gold or silver (which is what it is of course). Gold or silver leaf is very cheap but you need to get it from a good art shop or from the web.

Step 12: My (but Could Be Your) Finished Wands

I took the photos of my wands (each took about 20 minutes to make) to put on my website (dadcando) as just one of the 100's of fantastic projects available there. Many have printables and templates of the highest quality and are designed for kids to be able to do with their dads or mums.

Have fun making the Wand and send me a picture of any you make so that I can out them up on my website (in the Your Models section). Leave a message here and I'll give you my email address.
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