I first created these in 2004, for a Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix paperback release party. I was working at Borders Books at the time, and gathered several other staff members who were enthusiastic about the series and wanted to host a celebration. Since it was a paperback release party, we were not anticipating a huge turnout–although, we probably should have anticipated more than the 30 we planned for.
This was before cell phone photos and social media, so unfortunately, the only photo I have from that night is this very grainy one of me and my “team”; cell phone photos were terrible in 2004. (From left to right: me, Thi, Cindy, and Lisa) That first party featured wand making, potions class, Bertie Botts tasting, and possibly a costume contest or trivia (I do not remember what the fourth activity was.)
Since it’s been over ten years, it’s probably time to share the evolution of these wands and how we made them. The idea has been passed down through the following HP release parties, then the movie celebrations, and now simply–just celebrating.
The wands are made with a hollow center so that guests can design their own wands. Guests chose the color of their “wood”, their core (feathers, magical threads), and then dressed the exterior of their wands with stickers and such. To make it more fun, we assigned magical qualities to each type of wood and core.
So here’s how to make them.
- Bubble tea straws
- Reinforced paper tape
- Sponge brush
- Spray paint
- Attach together two straws
- Measure the paper tape. Cut a length a couple of inches longer than the attached straws.
- Brush water onto the paper tape.
- At an angle, roll the tape onto the straw.
- If there’s more than a couple of centimeters at the end, cut it off. The example in the picture is just right.
- Here’s what the ends should look like.
- Tuck in one end of the wand. This will help hold the “core” inside. Leave the other end open.
- Spray paint the wands.
- The wands are done and ready for decorating. Provide various “magical” feathers and threads for the cores, stickers and metallic markers for decorating. I would stay away from providing glittery glues or glues of any type if you’re working with kids. It could get messy quite quickly.