As I'm making an Elder Wand out of a branch, I am also making one out of a dowel. No special reason for there to be two, other than the branch will never be perfectly straight.
Safety, again is a factor when working with any sort of tools or sharp objects, so be careful.
Step 1: Materials
1. Stick, dowel, branch, 1x1, any "carveable" piece of wood that you want to make into a wand.
6. Lacquer (optional)
7. Paint (optional)
Step 2: Cutting Down to Size
This first step is different from the last in that all you really need to do after selecting your dowel is to cut it down to size.
Step 3: Mark It
Now, since we don't have all that bark stripping and drying time, we can get straight to the part where we mark where we want to cut.
I've marked the centers of the bulbs with dashed lines (- - - - -) and the ends with solid lines (------). I figured this would be easier come the shaping stage.
Step 4: Cutting
Using your saw, little by little, take out bits of wood until you have alternating thick and thin areas.
Step 5: Shaping
The easiest way I found to shape the bulbs, is to lay the wand on top of the design, and put two perpendicular lines on the inner face of the rough bulb, then add two more to make a square.
Then I took the pencil lines down the outer side, and use my knife to make the rough bulb a block.
I then rounded the corners with my knife, and smoothed it out with the finer half of the rasp.
Step 6: Rounding
I prefer using hand tools over machines, so I'm doing this the hard way.
I wrapped a piece of sandpaper around a dowel, then sanded down the corners of what will be my bulbs. Sand until the circumference of the dowel creates a nice taper down to the wand core.
Continue with all bulbs.
Step 7: Adding the Bauble
With this wand I decided to attempt the bauble on the end. In order to do this, I drilled a hole in the end of the wand, then in the end of a dowel. Be sure to get it as close to center as possible.
After that I began shaping the end with my rasp, then cut it off a little longer than needed so that I could shape it later.
To attach the bauble, I used a toothpick and secured it with superglue.
I tried to take a short-cut in the shaping department and ended up breaking the bauble, but was able to fix it with superglue.
When all the glue was dry, I finished up the rough shaping and got ready to sand.
To sand, I placed a piece of sandpaper in my palm, pressed the bauble into it, and twisted until the end was rounded to my likeness.
Step 8: Details
Now for the runes. I just laid the wand down on a piece of paper, and cut the width I felt was sufficient.
Then using a toothpick, I applied some superglue to the wand, and wrapped the paper around it.
After allowing it to dry, I used an X-acto knife (carefully) and cut away the extra paper. Now I had an area to add the rune symbols.
Again, I did this with black paint and a toothpick.
After that dries, shellac and allow to dry. I used about 3 coats each half. Adding the shellac slightly changed the color of the wood and brought out the grain.