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Wand





Age Range: 6-14
Difficulty: Hard
Time Frame: 2-4 Weeks

      Wands are a very big deal for the kids, especially with the popularity of the Harry Potter series. The idea for making your own wand came to me while we were visiting Universal Studio's Islands of Adventure in Florida. And we saw the long line there of people going into Olivander's to buy a wand. (and a very expensive wand at that)

      I decided that it would be cheaper and more memorable if I made the wand myself. Not only that, you can personalize it better and more importantly, allow you kid to play with it, even to the point of breaking it, given that you did not spend so much to get it.

      Materials you will need:
 
1) Wooden dowels - this would be available in home depot or in walmart. You can either buy a long dowel and cut it into proper lengths, or you can buy the precut dowels with different thicknesses being sold at Walmart.
2) Rotary Drill
3) Pencil
4) Varnish with color of choice
5) Clear enamel acrylic spray

      I had to make around 5-6 wands given that once I made one and they saw the product, I had to make others for my nephews and nieces. This is why by experience I have found some techniques that work better in making the wand.

      I found that drawing the design on top of the wand before actually drilling is the best way to go. You don't actually end up following the design exactly, there will always be something - an error, the wrong shape, the product turning out uglier that you had imagined - that would make you make adjustments such that usually, the end product is no way comparable to the drawings you initially made. But at least the drawings give you an idea to begin with when you start.

      Designs that worked the best are:
 
- tapering the dowel from midpoint to one end but leaving a blunt enough end
- drilling parallel lines along the circumference of the dowel
- drilling alternating rows of holes 5 holes long and continuing around the dowel
- rounding out edges
- drilling the name of the owner in bubblegum font

      I find that drilling an exact shape on a narrow dowel using a rotary drill is best kept for the experts :-) the hand slips inadvertently and destroys any intricate design you are trying to make, aside from the fact that any shape you do come up with shows the novice character of the sculptor.


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