Friday, April 30, 2010

Harry Potter Wand Tutorial

We just had a SURPRISE BIRTHDAY PARTY for my son Jake. In all of our recent traveling we have listened to books #1-5 on CD. We LOVE them!

When I considered the party I thought of my friend Maren. I remember seeing a "wand" at her house once. I picked it up and thought it was totally amazing. When she told me it was made of paper and hot glue...NO WAY!! It felt like very smooth wood. It was amazing! So, I made a quick call and she kindly walked me through the process of making them.

I'm telling you....I WANT ONE! :)

So, I wanted to share the process with you! These are easy enough to be a party craft or just simply a fun craft to do on a cool day. Your kiddos will LOVE them!


  • 8 1/2 x 11 plain white paper

  • Hot glue gun and LOTS of glue sticks

  • Sponge paint brush

  • Paint (usually a brown, red, green, black, silver and/or gold)

  • Begin by rolling paper into a narrow funnel. You want one end to be just a bit wider than the other.

  • Stick the tip of the glue gun into the narrow end of the wand first. You are going to fill the entire tube with glue. This part can be tricky. Don't miss any sections. The wand will be too flimsy. Squirt glue into the gun until you can see it at about 2/3 - 3/4 of the way full through the entire tube.  

  • Allow to cool for a moment. 

  • Fill the remainder of the way, through the wider end and allow to cool completely. Tube should be entirely full. When cooled it will be solid and darn near unbreakable. 

  • Each wand will take approx. 3-4 hot glue sticks. 

  • Squeeze a small bead of glue on the top or narrow end of the wand. This will give the wand a nice rounded finish on top.

  • When that cools, flip the wand over, cut the paper and glue level, if needed.

  • Once the wand is completely cooled, using a sponge brush, lightly brush your base paint layer. We used brown. For a darker look you can also use black.

  • For your second coat skim a layer of maroon or grean (or whatever color you choose) over the top of the brown.

  • The paint dries very quickly. When it is completely dry, use the hot glue gun to carefully draw designs on your wand with the glue. We did vines with flowers, "knots" like wood, spirals, snakes, anything! Get creative!

  • I tipped the wand vertically and squirted a bit of hot glue on the top and let it drizzle messily around the tip. Then, holding it upside down did the same, just a bit thicker, so it sort of ran down like candle wax-ish.

  • Now mix a little bit of the base color and the second coat color together and paint over the glue once it is completely dry.

  • Then, using your finger, apply the metallic color wherever you want. Allowing it to really make the design of the glue stand out.

  • Optional: I brushed a light coat of Mod Podge over the top to seal it all together. I like the silky texture it gave it. It made it look polished, not glossy.

  • We used brown, maroon & gold or brown, green & silver, mosttly. They turned out so great! The kids have been playing with them constantly!


Just Us said...

Amazing what paper, glue and paint will make. Those are so cool! The possibilities are endless. I am thinking cute witch or fairy wands with glitter.

Unknown said...

Those are way cool! Makes me want to get a normal sized glue gun that actually works :) At our house, they might turn into WICKED stuff though :)

Gear Gang said...

Super cool. Who would've thunk!!!

Cami D. said...

You're such a cool mom!

Allison said...

I am storing this one away for a later time. My kids aren't in to Harry Potter yet but this is just too cool to forget about! Thanks :)

Amy Lindstrom ~ said...

Glad you guys like it! Courtney, you KNOW I like the "Wicked" idea! :)

Norris Fam said...

I'm totally going to make those for my nephews for their bdays...thanks for the idea!

Lady J said...

I am going to make these for my 2 oldest boys. Thanks for the idea!

Just read your blog and sending you my deepest sympathy for your loss.

Laura said...

So easy and cheep. I would have never guessed that is how you made them. Awesome post! Love this idea. New follower here!

Michelle L. said...

Oooh, they're really beautiful - magical, in fact!

Angela said...

The boys and I must made these! OMG so much fun. Sadly I didn't have anymore matte modpodge on hand so ended up with a glossy finish because we didn't want to wait! Might make more for random kiddie presents! Thank you!

SayWhat? said...

What a great idea! My son and daughter are very excited to try this!

Also, what a great way to recycle those extra sheets of paper that seem to mysteriously print from your printer when printing coupons and such!

Michelle said...

This is one of the most amazing wand tutorials I have ever seen. Can't wait to try it out!

lovelyadklady said...

Let me start by saying, I love your blog!! I am actually wondering how you filled the wands all the way with hot glue? I tries it twice and can not get in the middle of the paper. I must be doing something wrong....please help!!


Amy Lindstrom ~ said...

Deanna -

Thanks so much for the comment!

Filling the middle can sometimes be tedious. Start with the smallest opening in the wand tip. Fill in there as much as possible. Then move to the wider end. One thing that seemed to help me on the harder ones is to do a little, then let it cool. Then do a little more, cool, etc. Some of them are more stubborn than others, but it is worth the patience and the effort! Let me know if this helps. If you need anything else, please let me know!

- Amy, YLU

Becky said...

I also had issues with getting the glue into the middle of the wand.... I did two, and then (gasp) ran out of glue sticks, so I will try again some other time.
The second one I tried to take a razor blade and cut open the center to force glue into the middle.... it kiiinda worked, but not really.

I'm actually wondering if a fat drinking straw would work too... then I might be able to see the glue go in, and know I've got it all.

Amy Lindstrom ~ Your Life Uncommon said...

Hey Becky! Thanks for your comment. How tight are you wrapping your paper? Perhaps you could try more loose or a little tighter.

When you start at the most narrow end you can really fill quite a bit through that way. Then let it sit for a little bit. Once it hardens you can put a little dot at the tip to round out the tip. Then let that harden. Then as you fill from the other end you can squeeze the glue in and tap the round tip on the end to "motivate" :) the glue to move down the tube. Make sure you are giving it time to cool. When that hot glue hits the already cooled glue inside it will heat it up again just a bit. By tapping you can help it all kind of meld together to fill in all the spaces. Let me know if that works better for you!

Missy said...

I too am trouble getting the glue to the middle of the tube-when I squirt the glue in it doesn't drip down very far into the tube-it sticks to the sides and clogs it up preventing me from getting glue further in. I've tried tapping and rolling and squeezing and nothing seems to help. Is the problem with the type of glue/gun I'm using (low temp small glue gun) or is it just an operator error on my part?!

Thanks for any help you can offer!

Also, what type of paint do you use? Tempera paint?

Amy Lindstrom ~ Your Life Uncommon said...

You know Missy, I haven't even thought about the different types of glue guns! Mine is WAY hot! It is definately not the low temp! I bet that totally makes a difference!

When the glue is hotter it takes just a bit more time to melt. You need that time so it has time to run down into the tube, without clogging the tube. I am certain this will help!

I just use an acrylic paint. Just the cheap like $1 stuff.

Anonymous said...

Love, Love, love this project! Thanks so much!!! It is a great party favor for our Harry Potter birthday party. I only had a low temp glue gun and had the same difficulties filling the middle. I solved it by rolling an old pencil into the middle. Just wondering what kind of mod podge did you use? It comes in shimmer, gloss, matte, glitter? Thanks so much!!!

Amy Lindstrom ~ Your Life Uncommon said...

Hey Anon! Thanks for the comment! I usually use a Matte Modge Podge, however, it totally depends on the look I am going for. I mean, I am sure the glitter or shimmer would add an interesting twist! Especially if you were making wands for a little girls bday party. FUN!!

Jaimee @ Havenwood House of Boys said...

awe-SOME. Truly. I'm including this in a mega Homemade Halloween Costume round up post on my blog this week : )
Jaimee @

Anonymous said...

I've got a ton of friends (and a mother-in-law) that would love these! To make them a little more Harry Potter-ish, one could poke a feather in before filling them with glue for a Phoenix feather, or a strand of glittery string for unicorn hair, or black string for Dragon heartstring...

AliB said...

I've been eyeing this awesome pink glue gun in a store near me but couldn't justify it because I didn't have a use. Now I do...and an awesome use at that. :D What a great idea and so totally unique too just like the real Harry Potter two will ever be alike.

Maureen said...

Made this today with my boys while on spring break. They turned out great. Thanks for the wonderful craft!

Mandi said...

We did this at Halloween and instead of filling the hole wand with glue we put pony beads inside to act as a "stopper" and just used glue to cap the ends

Niki S. said...

We made this craft today. So fun! Takes A LOT of hot glue sticks. Would also recommend to glue the outside of the paper, as I didn't before painting, and it keeps coming unraveled. I found regular glue(not glue gun) to work best to keep it together. Also, we used cardstock paper, which made it feel stronger. My boys are excited for their Harry Potter birthday parties!

Jessie said...

Thanks so much for sharing this great tutorial! I just posted some pics of our results on my blog.

Agnes Jayne said...

Thank you for this! I am using it for my son's birthday party.

Anonymous said...

This is totally amazing! Thank you so much for this tutorial.

Terren said...

The hot glue issues could be from the type of glue gun you have. There are low temp ones and the glue from those harden much faster.

Penelope Sanchez said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Penelope Sanchez said...

Such a great project. I love how they came out and I love all your different designs. That will also help greatly once everyone falls in love with “their” wand. Amazing!!

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