DIY Harry Potter Wands

Tutorial to make these diy wands for your Harry Potter party

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This weekend Milo is having a very belated birthday party (his actual birthday was back in May, but we waited until now for the party for assorted reasons too boring to get into). He just turned eleven so, naturally, he’s having a Harry Potter party. Next week I’ll be back with a full recap of the whole thing, but today I’m going to preview it a bit by telling you how I made the wands.

I thought for sure there would be a source of cheap but decent looking party favor wands out there, but my Amazon/Etsy/Oriental Trading searches came up empty (at least in our price range), so I had to get all crafty. I liked the idea of chopsticks because they’re already basically the right shape (as opposed to just using dowels, for example), but they seemed a little skimpy for the mostly tween pack of kids we’re expecting. Then I did a search for “long chopsticks” on Amazon and came up with these fifteen inch bamboo cooking chopsticks (they say 13 inch in the description, but the packaging said 15 when they got here. I haven’t actually measured them). They’re an add on item (which means you can get them with Prime free shipping, but only if you’re spending at least $25), but since I needed so many pairs that worked out fine. And at $3.91/pair, it brought the price down to what I wanted to spend. (Update: it looks like those are out of , but I found these that look similar for $3.50 a pair).

At first I thought I’d just stain them in a couple of different colors and call it good, but then a little googling revealed that lots of people use hot glue to make the handle part of the wand, and I thought this sounded both brilliant and easy. I didn’t use any particular tutorial–in fact, most of the ones I found on Pinterest went to questionable and useless source pages–if you are the first person who came up with this idea, then you’re a genius and I’m sorry I’m not linking to your tutorial, if you wrote one. I’ll just tell you how I did it.



15″ bamboo cooking chopsticks (or these)

Assorted colors of brown acrylic paint (I just bought the cheapest kind they had at Michaels)

foam brushes

hot glue gun and glue sticks

glossy spray sealant


It’s fairly self-explanatory from here, but I’ll go ahead and explain anyway.

First you heat up the glue gun and put hot glue all over the “handle” part of the wand. It will look like crap when it’s still glue-colored, but once you get the paint on there it will look way better (although still “rustic”).

Here’s the first one I did:


It takes quite a bit of glue (I probably used 2 full sticks on the more…..glue-y ones). Be careful not to burn yourself. If you get it at just the right time, when the glue’s pretty set but not all the way set, you can roll it on some paper or between your hands to smooth it out some. But don’t burn yourself! I experimented with different patterns. Some I put lots of glue all over. I did a couple in a spiral pattern. Some I just did glue in two spots to differentiate the handle part.

Then you paint. I used solid colors on some of the wands, and for others I kind of swirled two different browns together to get a more variegated look. I went back with a q-tip to get some of the hard to reach places where the glue was.


Then lay them all out on newspaper and spray a few coats of the sealant on (I sprayed one side a few times, let it dry, flipped them over to do the other side, then repeated a couple of times). All done!

wands22s wands21s wands06s

ย wands05s

Read more about Milo’s Harry Potter Party:

Part 1

Part 2

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September Before and After at Thrifty Decor Chick


DIY Harry Potter Wands — 121 Comments

  1. THESE ARE AWESOME. we have been watching the series- i was never into it but trying to be for the kids. we are going to start reading together as a family, too.

  2. Someone get me some black round glasses and a lightning bolt scar I’m ready to cast a spell! Seriously these turned out amazing!

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  4. I couldn’t believe you could get such a great effect with hot glue! I’ve never tried painting hot glue. These are really great! Also, makes my mind tick on a number of other projects.

  5. I wonder if wooden skewers would work if you rounded the point. They come in bulk packaging and are way less expensive. Also, the wands in the movies also have detailing on the wand itself. How would it be if you followed your process right up to the sealant, and then added more hot-melt to the handle over the paint and added some detailing down the painted wand as well, and then used two colors to increase the depth of of color and texture. These are really great, and while I’ve used hot glue to sculpt before, I would not have thought of this. When I first looked at it, I thought it might be Fimo, but this is really better. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Yeah, I think a lot of different things would work well….I also saw a lot made with shorter chopsticks, which are much cheaper, too. I think you’re right, too, that if you spent some more time and worked with the glue and paint more, you could come up with something really realistic and impressive–if I’d been making one for a costume instead of 14, I might have taken a little more time with it :). Thanks for stopping by!

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  8. My 7 year old has been asking for a HP bday party, so thanks for this awesome post!! I’m about 1/2 way thru glueing & I can tell they’re going to be amazing! I lucked out & a local Chinese restaurant gave me a handful of free chopsticks when I inquired about buying some. Woohoo!!!

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  11. You can also make these using a tightly rolled piece of A 4 paper, rolled on the diagonal. I use this for smaller children, if I am worried they may take someone’s eye out. I have also used buttons and acorns caps as ends for the wands, and added gold leaf detail. I love making these.

    • I’ve seen the ones made with paper–great idea for younger kids! And I love the idea of using acorns, too–I love acorns ๐Ÿ™‚

  12. I did this for my cousin when she was 12, She has graduated High School since, so that ought to tell you how long ago. I used polymer clay for a longer lasting and more heat resistant result. While it doesn’t offer as textured a result as the glue can, at least not without some banging and sculpting, it lets you get a smoother result. The wood bakes just fine! After you paint it, you can go over it with a dark wash or a black wash. It will really bring out the detail on the grooves. Also using Testor’s wet coat sealer gives the wand a really rich finish. Get som heavy card stock and fold a box and you can have a wand box as well.

  13. Is there any other glue which can be used in place of hot glue but it gives the same texture ? Im dreading to have a wand ! Looking forward to a helpful response

    • Sorry for the late response–I was on a bit of a vacation for the holidays! I don’t really have a helpful answer, though, since I haven’t tried any other kind of glue…..I’m guessing it would be hard to get the same kind of texture with a different glue. Oh! someone else in the comments mentioned using paintable caulk instead of hot glue, though–hth!

  14. That’s so cool! For my Harry Potter party, I used sticks and wrapped them in glow in the dark lanyard and used the lanyard to make designs–that way each wand was a different size and a little bit of a different shape. These are super cool, though, and I would’ve done them if I had seen them before! Thanks for sharing, and awesome job! They look like the ones you can find for over $60!!!

  15. Omigod I am SO trying this. I am obsessed with Harry Potter (example: Hagrid’s mom’s name was Fridwulfa, I bet you didn’t know that). I REALLY need a real looking wand! Although I can’t buy those chopsticks, I do have 2 paintbrush handles without the actual brush part, so I’m going to use those, they are the perfect size and shape!

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  17. I want to find the 15″ cooking chop sticks as they are about the right size. I bought one for my grandson in Universal 2 months and paid over $45.00 and then he wanted some for his friends and is afraid to use his as he is afraid he will break it so it is handing on his wall. Do they sell them in any retail stores?

    • Sorry to say it, but I really have no idea; this is the only time I’ve ever bought cooking chop sticks, so Amazon is the only place I know for sure has them.

  18. Did this with some friends about a year ago! We used beads and such to make the handles very different. Another great technique we did to make the rest of the wood look more authentic; we rubbed a bit of hot glue up and down the shaft of the wood to give it a different texture. Gave it more of a natural wood finish! Great blog! ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Thanks, Samantha! I’d love to try these again sometime when I’m only doing a couple and can spend more time–the beads and glue trick sounds really cool ๐Ÿ™‚

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  26. Dear Gretchen, I cannot believe how spectacular these wands are! I made three as gifts for a cousin who wanted to dress herself and her two boys as wizards for Halloween. I can hardly wait until she gets them. I had absolutely no idea how realistic and incredible they would look. A few years ago, I made our home into a Harry Potter Halloween, but I phased that out as the books became more read and the movie actors grew up. Now your wands have inspired me to maybe make them as Halloween hand-outs. I just wonder about liability, so I don’t know. I don’t want a parent coming back to me and claiming that I was negligent in handing out “weapons” for Halloween. ???!!! Have you ever heard comments about this?

    Once again, thanks for the awesome instructions. I will say that as I put the glue on a wand, I took it to the open fridge and rotated it so the drips would “freeze” where I wanted them. This seemed to work pretty well. As I reached the point where I liked the look, I stood the wand upright in a glass, glued side up, and let it continue to cool itself. This prevented me from getting burns.

    : ) XXX Barb Fig

    • Thanks so much, Barb ๐Ÿ™‚ It’d be so neat to hand these out for Halloween; kids would love it!…we didn’t have any complaints from b-day party parents, but that was a small group; you never know what people are going to object to, I guess. Great idea about cooling them in the fridge–glue gun burns are no fun!

  27. Love your tutorial Gretchen, we’re going to try it for our party!

    Some commenters wondered if the long chopsticks are sold in retail stores. They are a very common item in Chinese households (I’ve watched friends cook with them) and if you live anywhere near an Asian market, you will find them in the kitchenwares aisle! If you don’t have one within driving distance, there are lots of “online Asian markets” and one of them may ship to where you live. Hope this helps!

    • Thanks for the tip, Elsie! We have an Asian market right down the street, but it never occurred to me to look there for some reason!

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  33. Hoping to use this tutorial at a party I’m planning — how long would you say it takes to make one wand? I want each person to make their own, but I’m not sure how long to allow for drying…

    • The hot glue dries very quickly (maybe 5 minutes? It’s been awhile). then you’d need to wait a little while after the painting before putting the top coat on…but that could just be done all in a bunch at the end. Line ’em up and spray! So I think wand making would work well for a party activity; Maybe 15 minutes of hands-on time per wand, plus a little time to let things dry.

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  35. Great idea, I love Harry Potter! You should sell these on Etsy or E-Bay and put a link to the item on this tutorial. I would definitely buy some! Thanks!

    • That’s a great idea! I went over and peeked, and it looks like a ton of people are selling similar ones already (and getting a good bit of money for them). I honestly don’t think I could find the extra time for it right now, though…maybe when the toddler gets a little less demanding ๐Ÿ˜‰

  36. I’m so glad I found your blog! I’ve been scouring etsy for two days looking for affordable wands (in bulk) for a bachelorette party. I’m fairly certain this will be MUCH cheaper and give it a more personal touch. Looking at the listings I had found I presumed they were mostly done with hot glue, but I’m really glad for the bamboo cooking chopsticks tip – the wand “base” was the one thing I couldn’t decide on.

  37. Hello! I’m planning on doing this with my students next year as they all love Harry Potter. I was wondering what type of paint you used to paint the wands? Thanks! Love this craft!

    • Thanks, Emmy! I used acrylic paint from Michaels….there’s a picture up there that shows what the bottles looked like, but any brand should work. HTH!

  38. I used the pointy tipped dowels that they put in the bags of polyester fiberfill stuffing that are normally used to get the stuffing pushed into small sewn & stuffed areas of projects. They are perfect for this. I’ve had this on my Pinterest board for a while & it’s been re-pinned many times. Great idea & tutorial. ๐Ÿ™‚

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    • I don’t really know; I’ve only made them with glue. I’m sure if you google you can find a lot of different wand making methods, though!

    • Sorry for the late reply; I’m super behind on comments! I haven’t tried it myself; my guess is that the glue would work fine on plastic, but you might run into trouble getting the paint to stay on well.

  41. I just wanted to say a huge THANK YOU for this. Using your inspiration I have just made 50 wands for my 50th birthday party next week which is Harry Potter themed. I have had such fun making them and this lucky few who have seen them already think like me that they are amazing!!

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  43. I’m making several for my wedding in November. I’m a HUGE HP fan so these will be handed out to our wedding guests with a tag attached. I’m putting them in a metal bucket with a chalkboard sticker on it that says “Accio Wand” I actually used dowels and whittled them to make the smooth dowel look like real would grain. I love love love the way they turned out!

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