Thursday, March 19, 2015

Realistic Harry Potter Wand Replica Tutorial

Hello there my little muggles!  Today I'm gonna share with you the step by step process I use to make Harry Potter wands.

Last Halloween, I went all out and held a huge Harry Potter party.  I'm talkin' Quidditch pong, hand sculpted wands for each guest, and enough butter beer and chocolate frogs to fill the Ministry of Magic.  So, while I was planning for this partay, I scoured the internet (aka Pinterest) for the HP tutorials I could get my hands on.  The only thing is, I couldn't find the kind of wand tutorial I was looking for, so I decided to share one myself.

Remember, your wand doesn't have to be perfect.  The imperfections are what will give your wand character and make it your own, so just have fun with this tutorial!

M A T E R I A L S : 

  • Wooden dowel 1/4" wide and at least 14" long
    • You can get these from craft stores and even hardware stores.  You can also save time from sanding if you can find cooking chopsticks.
  • Sculpey Polymer Clay
  • Sandpaper
  • Scissors or something to cut through the dowel
  • Tape measure
  • Tooth pick or clay tool
  • Paint brush
  • Brown, red, white and black acrylic paint
  • Satin Gloss

P R O C E D U R E : 

  1. Cut your dowel to about 14".  I find this is a good length for wands and is around the size the replicas are sold at.  However, if you want to be true to the book, make yours around 11".  You can find exact sizes of wands on the Harry Potter Wiki.

  2. Sand down one end of the dowel until to you get a smooth tapered edge.  I like to start with a coarse sand paper and then finish off with a finer one.  (You can skip this step if you're using cooking chopsticks instead!)  

  3. Roll your polymer clay about 4 inches long and 1" thick.  Throughout the tutorial, add and take clay as you need, whatever looks better to your eye. 

  4. Insert the blunt end into the clay you rolled out and use your thumb in one direction to smooth out the line.  Make sure your clay is firmly attached the wooden core with no air pockets underneath.  Trapped air could cause your sculpt to crack in the oven.

  5. Using your thumb in a upward motion, smooth a 2" space between two larger mounds.  I find it's easier to hold the wand by the wood with one hand and then use my other hand to smooth. 

  6. Again, using your thumb, smooth some of the top mound upwards about 3".  Again, make sure all of your clay is compact with no air pockets underneath.    

  7. Take a tooth pick and start marking the divides.  Use jagged, uneven, motions to give the impression of roughly cut wood.  And remember, it doesn't have to be perfect.  In fact, the more imperfections, the more it'll look like real wood!

  8. Take your tooth pick and make a slanted divide 2" above the top mound around the wand.  Roll your toothpick between your thumb and index finger in an upward motion from the that divide to smooth the indention.  Use your thumb to smooth this piece of clay upwards until it is flush with the wood.  Get this topmost section of clay as smooth as possible. 

  9. Using the side of your toothpick, slice gently in an upward motion at the portion above the top mound.  You're trying to give this portion small flat areas that will give the appearance of hand whittled wood. 

  10. Now take your toothpick to the top mound and begin making upward slices and indentions into the clay.  Make sure you gouge out small indentions to the give the wand more character.  You can also make light slanted lines in a criss-cross fashion to give the wood more texture.  

  11. Next roll 2 clay balls about 1/4".  Place them as shown in the image.

  12. Use your toothpick to roll downwards at the edges to blend them with the wand to create wood knobs.  

  13. Next make upward slices with the tip of your toothpick to give the impression of bark.  Make sure the slices are rounded around the knobs you added.  Take your time and scrap away the clay as you go so you don't end up with a lot of little clay specs all over your wand. 

  14. Do the same thing with the lower mound as you did in step 10.  Make your indentions a little more deep and chaotic with this end.

  15. Go over your entire wand, adding detail wherever you think it's needed.  

  16. Next, place the wand on a cookie pan lined with parchment paper, and throw this in the over at 275°F for about 10 minutes.  After your timer goes off, check to make sure your clay isn't still soft; you may need an extra 5 minutes.  If you see any browning of the clay, remove it immediately.  Try not to cook for longer than 15 minutes as we have some very thin areas of clay on the wand and they tend to burn easily.
  17. Once cool, you can sand away any areas that need smoothing like your top portion of clay that should be flush with wood.  
  18. Next, using your black paint, begin covering all the cracks of the wands handle.  I find that adding a little water to the paint makes this job a lot easier.  After the first coat dries, I usually go over with a second coat of black to fill any holes or crevices I missed earlier.  

  19. Add a small amount of red and black to your brown and cover the rest of your wand above the top mound.

  20. Once dry, mix a little black with some brown paint.  Using a dry brush, dip into your paint, dab excess onto a paper towel, and dry brush paint over the entire handle.  You use a dry brush painting method so your paint doesn't seep into the cracks; we want those nice and dark to give good dimension to our wand.  After that layer dries, do the same but with only brown.  You're gradually building up lighter colors, or highlight, on your handle.  You can also mix a touch of white with your brown to give an even brighter highlight.  

  21. Next mix your red and brown and dry brush the whittled portion of your wand to give a red highlight.

  22. Go in with dark brown and add shadow to the divides and anywhere else you missed.
  23. Once dry, cover the entire wand in 2-3 coats of satin gloss for protection and shine.
  24. Lastly, hold up your wand and shout EXPECTO PATRONUM!

And if you haven't the time to make your own wands, you are certainly welcome to order them from my own Etsy shop (link below). :D

I really hope this tutorial could be of some use for those of you who are Harry Potter fans!  If you liked this tutorial, please follow me for more geeky tutorials and cosplay!


  1. This is awesome, Nikki! I might have to give it a try. And your party sounds epic, I'm sure you all had a ton of fun :) I've been wanting to throw a Harry Potter themed party in forever, but I still haven't tried it yet (but then again, I very rarely throw parties, so this might have something to do with it).
    xo Rosa

    1. You should definitely throw a HP party! It was super dorky and fun. X) But I don't blame you for not throwing many parties, they can be costly and time consuming... including tons of hours spent on Pinterest party planning that somehow always morphs into late nights adding pins to your imaginary wedding board. (So much for being productive! Ahahahahaha!) Hope you're doing well! - Nikki