I recently fell in love with hair sticks when my grandpa gave me a set of mini Deadpool katana ones. Which are awesome. I love having tiny swords in my hair it makes my life seem so much more interesting. I tried to do this project with materials I already had on hand so hopefully you can too!
You will need:
A craft knife with a sharp blade,
A bead and some wire for the top,
brown acrylic paint (you will be using this to make a wood stain,)
coconut oil to polish
a cotton ball
Step 1: Pick Ya' Stick
Step one: Take a hike. No, wait, come back! I'm not telling you to leave I'm telling you to find a stick! you're going to need to find a twig that's at least the length of a pencil and about the width of your finger. Mine was a little thicker than that but I knew I could trim it down in later steps. Make sure that the stick you get isn't too flimsy! Hair is actually pretty strong so you should test the stick between two hands to make sure it isn't going to break.
Step 2: Whittling
WARNING: Before you start, make sure your blade is sharp. If it's dull it's easier for the blade to slip and cut you. NEVER FACE THE BLADE TOWARDS ANY PART OF YOU. I'm serious, don't do it. It's bad, folks.
Take your stick and grip one end in your non dominant hand. Place the other end on your surface and, angling the blade away from you, shear the bark off the twig. You won't need to push too hard if your blade is sharp enough. Once you've taken the bark off, you can carefully use your thumb to create a point on one end. Try not to make the point too sharp, remember this will be worn. Think very dull pencil.
It wound up being pretty smooth so I didn't bother sanding it. If you want to sand yours you should use medium and then fine grit paper.
Step 3: Staining
You may notice your peeled stick is looking a little pale. Like, vampire pale, or me at the beach. Let's give it a bit of a tan, shall we?
I didn't have any wood stain because I'm a broke college student so I experimented and made my own. In a small cup, mix equal parts water and brown acrylic paint. Add splash of vinegar, more or less depending on how pigmented you want your stain. Take your cotton ball and dip it in your stain, then quickly coat your stick in it. (note: you will get it on your hands, don't fight it, it's inevitable. It will wash off skin.) Allow it to soak into the stick for a few seconds than run it under the tap. Repeat to taste.
Step 4: Polishing.
Hold on to your hats, penny pinchers, because I'm about to show you the cheapest way to polish wood: coconut oil. Seriously you can get a huge jar of this stuff for like ten dollars at Costco and a little bit goes a looooong way.
Just get pea-sized glob on a paper towel and rub it into the wood. Seriously. That's it. It gets super shiny, plus it smells like a Hawaiian vacation. Sorry the picture is of a different hair stick, I forgot to take a process picture during that stage.
Step 5: Add Your Shiny Thing.
Remember the early 2000's when bedazzling was a huge thing? Yeah, this is sorta like that. Only instead of a weird press-y thingy you're using a pin. That makes life easier. Just slide the pin through the hole in the bead and stick it into the non pointy end of the stick. If you don't have a bead you can just use some E6000 or other superglue to attach anything you want. A river rock, a feather, the possibilities are truly endless. Unfortunately I forgot to take process pictures of wrapping the wire around the base of the gem but it's pretty easy, just make sure to tuck the ends of the wire in so they don't poke you or catch on your hair.
Step 6: Enjoy Your New Hair Stick!
Seriously, it's great! Go out and flaunt it! Wear it and feel like a crafting mastermind! You earned it!