At the Harry Potter night last year, we had kids make their wands from start to finish at the “Ollivander’s” booth. As this was a very time consuming activity, it inadvertently created a bottleneck of people in one area. So many people wanted to make their own wand that it was the very last thing to close down for the event. (Nearly 40 minutes after the scheduled event close!)
This year, we decided to go for a more time friendly route. Considering that many of our attendees will be little kids, I pitched the idea of creating “Smallivanders.” This area would be dedicated to our little wizards who, let’s be honest, have no business holding a glue gun.
So, with our group of volunteers, we made around 300 pre-made wands. The materials used were pre-cut wooden sticks (think extra long chopsticks), hot glue guns, string, pipe cleaners, pony beads and acrylic paint. I forgot to take a picture of the sticks before they were chopped up and had the ends sanded, so we’ll start with some that were already decorated and hot glued.
Most were just pony beads that had gobs of glue on them. The trick to getting interesting hilts, however, is to manipulate the obnoxious amount of glue as it’s drying. Once it gets harder to move around, then you know it’ll be safe to set down and dry. Otherwise, I’ll be very blunt here, you get some very hmm… interesting looking wands. The glue just gets all droopy and well, maybe not so appropriate for little kids.
Or, if you don’t care about that stuff, then play on!
Next came the dipping. Some really awesome volunteers spent a whole lotta time dipping each wand into a bottle of acrylic paint. The colors we chose were purple, gold, brown, black, green, white, yellow… I would like to note that the acrylic paint did not stick well to the pony bead itself. It worked MUCH better if the bead was covered with glue. The few wands that had pipe cleaner wrapped around them ended up being a bit strange and crunchy after painting.
Nearly all wands had to be dipped two times and then touched up after they dried. I have tested out two of these pre-made wands with a friend’s two kids and they were ecstatic. They ended up just painting some embellishments on their wands and calling it a magical day!