Hello crafty friends! Today I will be giving a run-down of how I go about one of my favorite crafts: magic wands. I'm sure I've mentioned this in other blogs before, but, in case you didn't know, I am an avid fan of Harry Potter. I love the books, which are better than the movies (it's the truth, don't come for me), and have quite a collection of wands. Whenever I have a Harry Potter movie marathon with my parents (I do love the movies, the books are just better), my father insists that we all have our wands out during the movie to add to the experience. Quite a few years ago, I had made my dad a wand, but it was starting to fall apart and, if I do say so myself, my skills have vastly improved since then so it was time to make him another. Here is his old wand alongside the stick I planned to make his new one out of. I usually collect any good sticks I find in the yard (like a weirdo) so I had a few in my stock already and picked the one I thought suited him the best.
So the first step was to cut down the wand a little and sand it to shape. I used both a small electric sander and some pieces of sandpaper to get the shape that I wanted. The electric sander helped shape the tip of the wand which I wanted to be slightly pointed, while the sandpaper allowed me to smooth out any sharp edges on the wand. I destroyed several pieces of sandpaper during this step.
After getting the wand the shape I wanted it, it was time to paint it. My dad mentioned several times that he wanted a "manly" wand so I decided to go for a deep blackish brown as the base color and then took a dry brush and added some accents in a lighter shade of brown to highlight any natural creases or bumps in the wood. It is hard to see the lighter brown highlights in the wood in photos, but here is the wand painted the dark brown and then with some of the highlights added.
The next step was to decide what I wanted to do to for the special accent on the wand. Previously I have added twine to wands or have added swirls or other designs with hot glue and then painted over them, but for this wand I wanted to try some air dry clay. The wand has a natural bend which creates a sort of handle so I decided I wanted to accentuate that handle and add some clay to that part to bulk it up. I shaped the clay around the wand and wasn't too worried about it being perfectly smooth as I would be able to sand it later once it dried.
I let the wand dry for about 24 hours and it had cracked slightly as it dried which air dry clay is prone to do.
I filled in these cracks with Superglue and then sanded the handle down to make it a smoother surface. I wasn't looking for perfect smoothness as I wanted it to make sense with the more natural texture of the wand, but I wanted to make sure that any traces of the cracks were gone.
After this I painted the handle a light shade of brown and let that dry. I then covered the entire wand in several coats of clear varnish. I highly recommend DecoArt DuraClear Satin Varnish. I bought this product based off of a recommendation from a YouTube video (I forget which one so sadly I can't credit them) that I had watched before I made a custom Funko Pop for my boyfriend. This is the varnish that the person in that video said to use for sealing in the Funko Pop and I have used it for several projects since then. Many clear sealants leave things tacky and cloudy, but this varnish dries clear and smooth and protects from scratching and fading. I have even gone back and added the varnish to several wands that I had made before using this product. See how shiny the wand is?
The next step was to package up the wand for my dad to give him the real Harry Potter experience. I have wand boxes already made, which I did using a template that my mom created for me. I was going to show how to make the box, which is made out of black, thin cardstock, as well, but to be honest with you I didn't feel like it because the template has to be tweaked slightly to match the length of the wand and that seemed like a whole lot of math for my brain. So here is the box all completed! Inside is just some paper filling that you can pick up at the Dollar Tree in the section with all the gift bags and tissue paper.
The absolute final step was to make a little sheet of paper to go into the wand box, explaining the qualities of the wand. This is a completely unnecessary step that I did because I'm a little crazy, but it adds to the experience. I went on Pottermore and looked up the descriptions of wand woods and wands cores that JK Rowling provides and picked out the ones I though best suited my dad. Then I wrote a little note stating that this wand was an "authentic" wand, 13 inches long, made of dogwood and containing a unicorn hair core. Like I said, I'm a big Harry Potter nerd, as are my parents and now my boyfriend (mwahaha I've pulled him into the web). I will slide this note into the wand box and present him his new wand this evening. What do you guys think about the wand? There are so many different variations you could do on this craft and it is so easy to customize to what you want. For example, if you or someone you love is into fairies rather than witches and wizards, these can just as easily be painted a bright color and given a sparkly, shiny accent to fit that aesthetic. Let me know if you are a crazy Harry Potter fan too in the comments below!
Diy'd Dollar Store Frames
Hello everyone! I am back! So I had bought some simple black 12 by 12 frames from the Dollar Tree and wanted to do something fun with them. I have quite a few 12 by 12 paper pads, most of which contain full sheets with pretty sayings or words on them and thought it would be nice to put some of this pretty paper into the frames.
Even though the paper is very pretty, a sheet of paper in a frame isn't all that exciting so I knew these needed to be fancied up a little bit. My mom had an idea for dressing up these frames and made a prototype for me:
So although this post isn't a guest post from my crafty mother, her ideas are still heavily featured in this blog! The large pieces of wood around the frames are cedar shims that you can pick up at any hardware store. The first step was to cut the shims down; they are about 15 inches long and each one needed to be cut down to 13 inches. Since shims are thinner on one end and thicker on the other, I chose to cut those 2 inches off the thinner end to make it easier on my pathetic little saw.
Once the shims were cut, I sanded them down quickly with some medium-grit sandpaper to get rid of any sharp edges. Then it was time to decide what color to paint the 4 shims needed for each frame. The colors I ended up with were purple, gold and a peachy/orange shade. These colors will make sense once you see the papers I paired them with! Once the shims were painted, it was time to attach them to the frame. For this I used my hot glue gun with my go to Gorilla Glue sticks. I actually attached the shims to each frame in a different order (not on purpose but because I got confused), but they all came out looking good! You can either add the shims to the top and the bottom of the frame first and then overlap the side shims or you can add the shims in a clockwise pattern. The most important part is that you want the thin part of one shim to be touching the thick part of another shim so that everything is even.
After gluing the shims on, it was time to decide what little decorations I wanted to add to each frame. For two of the frames, I decided to use small accents I found on pieces of paper in the matching paper pads. For the below frame, I cut out the gold camera to add on. I backed the camera paper with a piece of cardboard as well to give it a little more support. Here's this one all done!
For this next frame, I cut out the small cactuses and flowers from matching paper and glued some gems onto those accents. I also ended up adding some gems to the glass of the frame itself for some extra added sparkle. And here is this one all done!
And for this final frame, I decided to use some butterfly wall stickers as accents. Similar to the camera accent above, I stuck these to a piece of cardboard before cutting them out to give them more support when attaching them to the frame. And here is the final frame!
What do you guys think about these frames? It is super easy to fancy up some dollar store finds!
Clocks and succulents part 2
Happy Wednesday everybody! This week I am showing you how I finished up the clocks and succulents I started last week. So let's do the clocks first. As I mentioned last week, my dad had ordered some more drill bits to get the right sized hole in the plate clocks and those came in so we were able to drill into the plates. I then added the clock mechanisms I had previously bought. Then the general consensus was that the clocks needed something to finish them off and my dad found some cheap gold clock numbers that were sold at Hobby Lobby. My dad really came through for this craft! The numbers were adhesive, but I was worried that the adhesive may not have been strong enough so added a tiny bit of SuperGlue behind each number before adding it to the plate. I will say that I didn't add theses numbers perfectly, but I tried my best. As I think ornate clocks like this are more meant for decoration rather than actual accurate time-telling, I figured it would be okay! Here the plates are all done. The gold numbers really finished them off!
So as I said last week, I was basically done the baking pan clocks, but felt that they needed a little something more. I had the idea to add buttons in place of numbers and my mother suggested that I add some string tied into each button to finish them off because, in her own words, she doesn't like a naked button. I haven't added the string yet, but here is the general idea for what I'd like to do to complete the baking pan clocks.
I will obviously be using appropriately colored buttons for the baking pan clock with flowered paper, but that's the plan! I am so happy with these clocks as they've been something that I want to try for a long time.
I also put together the succulents that I showed you all the supplies for last week. I was originally planning to make 4-5 with the empty candle jars I had, but decided I wanted a little more variety so I ended up using two candle jars and two mason jars. For each succulent, I started by adding sand to the bottom of the jar. Then I added rocks, topped that with fake moss and finished off with the fake succulents.
I also used some hot glue to adhere a few of the bottoms of the succulent leaves to the tops of the jars so that wouldn't move around. I then knew I wanted to tie something around the jars, but wasn't sure what. I tried both twine and ribbon, but neither of those really looked right. I ended up deciding on strips of fabric and tulle wrapped around each jar. And here the four succulent jars are all finished up!
Let me know what you think about these crafts now that I've (mostly) finished them up!
Clocks and succulents part 1
Hello crafty people! If you are reading this in the US, Happy Almost 4th of July! These crafts have nothing at all to do with America or freedom or anything like that, but they are cute! So I think a few months ago I mentioned in a blog that I was working on some clocks that I was making out of plates and baking dishes. Well, I finally got around to really getting started on those! I bought some clock mechanisms and hands in a set from Hobby Lobby.
I then got two pretty plates and two metal round baking dishes to use as the clock bases. The plates were already so pretty and decorative that they didn't really need anything done to them. I realized that I didn't take a picture of the plates before they already had holes in them for the clock mechanism so here are the plates already drilled into!
The baking dishes, however needed some love. I picked up two sheets of pretty paper and cut them out to fit directly into the center of the baking dish. I then used copious layers of matte Mod Podge to adhere the paper down and seal in place.
I then decided that I wanted some kind of decorative markers on the baking pan clocks to go at the 12, 3, 6 and 9 points on the clock so I took these little round pieces of wood and painted them to match the paper.
After this, I pretty much put the plates, baking pans and little pieces of wood in my drawer and proceeded to forget about them/ignore them for a few months. Fast forward to now and I finally took them out of storage and called up my lovely father to help me drill some holes in them. Drilling into the metal pans was easy and once we figured out how big of a hole we would need we were good to go. The plates were slightly more difficult as you need a special drill bit to cut through the plate without shattering it. We were able to cut through them, but figured out that the holes made by the drill bit he had were too small. So my fabulous dad ordered some more drill bits and we will be trying to make some bigger holes in the plates this week. The plate clocks are now at a bit of a standstill, but I was able to move forward on the baking pans ones. I got the clock mechanisms all set up and then glued the wooden pieces at the 12, 3, 6, and 9 marks which basically finished these ones off. Here is the flower paper one all put together!
My mother thinks a good finishing touch for these would be to add a dot of contrasting paint to the wooden circles to make them stand out more, so I will probably be adding a little more to these this week. Next week I will show you guys the final products of these clocks!
The other project I just got started on is trying to make some little succulent displays. So remember how I made my candles last week? Well that left me with some empty candle jars and I didnt think those should just go to waste. So I used a trick I read on the internet to try and clean out the leftover wax in the jars. I got some water boiling on the stove and then poured it into the jars. This caused leftover wax to detach from the glass and float to the top of the jar. This worked fairly well actually and got most of the leftover wax out of the jars.
I also had some random little plastic succulents leftover from various projects. I got a few more from my mom and the Dollar Tree and was left with enough to make a few projects. I also picked up sand and rocks at the Dollar Tree and was given some mossy greenery from my mother as well. I though that with all of these I could use the candle jars as a base and make some cute sand art/succulent things.
This craft is still mostly in the planning phase so I will have some more for you guys about this next week. Let me know what you guys think about these two projects I am working on in the comments below!
I am a 26-year-old crafter and baker from New Hampshire!