Wand Tutorial for DIY Craft at a Harry Potter Party
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Milo’s Harry Potter birthday party was this past weekend and it was a whole lot of fun. Most of the stuff I did was inspired by all of the amazing Harry Potter parties that came before ours. You can see my inspiration board on Pinterest if you want to see a few of those creative tutorials and ideas. I did make a few (kinda) original projects that I’ll share over the coming days. The first is the craft/favor that we did with the kids. A DIY wand made from bamboo, hot glue and craft paint:
Harry Potter Wand Tutorial
You will need:
Craft (popsicle) stick
Hot glue gun
Hot glue sticks
Acrylic craft paint, assorted colors and metallic (I used my favorite metallic and pearl paints, Jacquard Lumiere
and sponge brushes
Assorted cores (feathers, fibers, etc.)
1. Use a handsaw to cut your bamboo poles down to various lengths of 9″-12″. Remember that bamboo is not hollow all the way through, and every time there is a “bump” in the bamboo that joins sections, that part will be solid. So plan your cuts so that you will be able to add a core later. I cut mine so that the bumps fell at about 1/3 from the bottom of the wand. It makes a great, natural point for the handle.
2. Seal off the bottom (handle-end) of your bamboo stick with lightweight spackling (the stuff you use to patch holes in your walls). You can apply it with a craft popsicle stick or just use your finger. Allow to air dry for at least 15 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, set up your drying rack by pushing bamboo skewers into a block of styrofoam, and heat up your hot glue gun.
4. Use hot glue to create handle designs on your wands. Squiggles, swirls, stripes, dots. . . play! Place each wand on a bamboo skewer to set.
5. (Depending on the age of your party goers, you can do this step, or leave it for the kids to do.) Paint your wands with acrylic craft paints. Be sure to cover up the white spackling at the bottom of the handle. A regular (hair) paint brush is good for your first layer to get into the little crevices. A dry foam brush is great for dry-brushing on accent colors and painting contrasting colors onto the hot glue. Sometimes I just dry-brushed gold onto the glue and bare wood for a more subtle effect. I used a mix of cheap craft acrylics and I also had Jacquard Lumiere paints, which have a nice 2-tone metallic and pearl finishes. I also did ombre effects on several of the wands by painting on a heavy color at one end, and then dry-brushing the color down to the other end of the wand. Another tip is to pull the bamboo skewer out of the styrofoam and hold onto the skewer with the wand over it as you paint, then put the whole shebang back into the styrofoam block to dry. It will keep your fingers from getting too messy!
6. Allow your wands to dry on the skewers. They are now ready for the kids to stuff with cores. I allowed each child to choose a wand and then he or she got to choose from two cores: Phoenix Feathers (orange/red feathers) or Dragon Heartstrings (I cut strands from these iridescent and red foil centerpiece sprays). I was also going to have Unicorn tail made from metallic rainbow thread, but since the kids were mostly 4- and 5- years old, I thought that might be too difficult.
7. The easiest way to seal the cores on would probably be to use hot glue. However, since our party was at a park without access to an electrical outlet, I brought along some spackling mixed with brown and metallic bronze acrylic paint in a small jar and sealed the tip the same way I sealed the handle end. It dries to the touch in about 15 minutes and continues to dry without shrinking over the next few hours.