May 23, 2016

DIY Magic Wands (for next to nothing!)

Want to know the best part about DIY-ing your own things for birthday parties??
Coming up with some awesome party favors that cost next to nothing!!!
Seriously, these were the easiest things I've ever put together.
They also turned out the coolest.

If you haven't been following & have no idea what I'm rambling on about, 
head over here to check out our most recent DIY birthday party that was all things Harry Potter. 
It was magical :) 

One of things that you just can't go without are magic wands. 
When thinking up different ideas for party favors, I was trying to steer away from edibles.
Mainly because we were having candy already mixed in with the party food & I didn't want to add to the dentist bills.
And with several big projects taking up our budget, I needed something that would be budget-friendly.

Cue the easiest magic wands ever. 
Oh, and the coolest. 

Now, I guess I should say that these SHOULD be made for next to nothing.
But, honestly, I guess it depends on what types of shrubbery you live near or have access too...

When searching for the easiest way to make a whole slew of wands, 
I stumbled upon all kinds of tutorials that were making them from anything from dowel rods to chopsticks to pencils. 

I didn't mind those, most of them turned out amazing!
But I was still kinda stuck on the fact that they all looked too....perfect?
I don't know. I wanted that more natural, bendy look that I imagine they would have.
You know, because I imagine what magic wands look like a whole lot. 

But being an avid book lover, I think those images you have in your head are a huge factor in how you expect things to appear.

Basically, I wanted them to look like magic, natural sticks. 
Ha., why not use STICKS? 

And so I did.
We have a pretty little Crete Myrtle tree in our front yard that was not blooming during the time leading up to the party.
And, ahem, we may or may not have NOT trimmed it back like it should have been. 
Sorry, tree. 
So it had all sorts of bare stick-like branches reaching out, begging to be made into wands. 
For real, they were begging. 

So once I came up with the brilliant idea of using the sticks, I cut a whole bunch of them.
I wanted them to be all different (which really couldn't be helped anyways. Hello. They are sticks). 
So I cut skinny ones, fat one, curvy ones, flat ones.
(now I'm just getting crazy) 

Want to make your own magic wands out of sticks??
Go find the perfect branches (get permission if it's someone else's yard...we don't need trespassing charges here, guys). 
And let's get to work.

Supply List: 
Sticks (in case you hadn't gathered that)
Hot Glue Gun & lots of sticks of glue
A jar or styrofoam to hold them while they dry
Spraypaint- I used copper, black and oil-rubbed bronze. 
Rub-n-buff in antique gold (found at Hobby Lobby)
A small paintbrush

At this point, I'm assuming you've found the perfect sticks by now. 

So take your whole pile of sticks and start creating the wand 'base'. 
I started about 3/4 up on the wand and just started drawing dots, lines or circling the entire wand several times. Get creative with it. 
After a while, you're over being creative and you just start dripping glue all over it. 
Whatever gets the job done. 

Some of them, I piled the glue on thicker at the bottom to make it look chunky.
Basically you just want them to have some type of design and a lifted look around the bottom quarter of it. 

As I glued them up, I stuck them in a jar to dry (ends up).
They dry fast so you should be able to do a whole bunch without worrying about them touching and messing up. 
Here's a group of mine after they were hot glued up: 

After you've created a design on them, the next step is to add paint. 
I sprayed all of mine in a dark copper first and then spritzed them randomly with bits of oil-rubbed bronze and some gold spraypaint. 
You don't want them to be perfect but you also don't want them to still look like sticks you found in your yard. 

The subtle sparkle of the metallic paint helps with that :) 

To add the gold effect that the ends of the wands have in the above picture, 
I used rub-n-buff. 
This stuff is amazing gold wax that is so easy to apply.
It takes a TINY amount to do so don't get crazy.

I used a very small paintbrush to dab into the wax and then brushed it all over the ends where I had made my raised designs. 
This gave it the perfect 'magical' effect I was going for. 

 For the party, I plopped all of our wands into a jar and created some wand labels that I printed on linen paper. 
I tied the labels randomly onto various wands with twine. 
If you'd like your own wand labels, I shared the super easy and FREE printable version of mine over on this post
Just print,cut & attach. 

Again, the book nerd in me came out full force.
And each of the wand labels are actual descriptions of wands from the Harry Potter series. 
Guys, there is a whole Wikipedia page on just what the wands were made of. 
I can't even. 

But I love how the labels added a worn, Ollivander-y feel to them. 
I created a whole little mini Ollivander set-up for the wands during the party: 

Each of the kids were encouraged to grab one at the beginning of the party- most of our party games utilized them. 

Then they were allowed to take them home as their party favor. 

Our little wizard LOVED them and he loved helping me create different designs for the wands. 
He had specific instructions for how to do his :) 

So, you can't get much easier and cost-efficient than wands made from sticks, right??

Spray-paint & hot glue are our real-life magical items, am I right? 

Hope you guys are having a fantastic Monday!!!

If you're dying to check out more Harry Potter goodness, check out these other fun party posts: 

 DIY Wizard Brooms

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