Group Info Group Founded 9 Years ago 172 Members
19,616 Pageviews248 Watchers

General Info and Group Rules

Submission Rules:

:bulletpurple: Submission limit: 5 per week.

:bulletpurple: No more than TWO submissions per wand. If a wand appears in a submission (for example, as part of a set of wands), that counts as one.

:bulletpurple: Your submission should be a photo (or photos) showing the wand(s) made by you. Designs (paper, digital, or otherwise) must be submitted to the "designs" folder.

:bulletpurple: Submissions not sorted to the appropriate folder will not be approved.

Things to do here:

:bulletblue: Submit art -- Feel free to submit any wands you've created! Folders are available for both finished products and progress pictures.

:bulletblue: Ask for suggestions/Share -- Members may submit a blog entry asking for suggestions or help regarding a particular woodworking topic, or to share something they found, whether it be a wookworking website, an outside link, a tip they discovered, or anything else.

:bulletblue: If your submissions has the Critique feature enabled, it may also be submitted to the "Critique Me" folder.

Gallery Folders

Boat 'n' Waves Wand by SRG-Wands
Hybrid Wand - Nigel Wolpert and Sirius Black by SRG-Wands
Pottermore - Ravenclaw Wand by SRG-Wands
Ambronia - Whelk 'n' Waves Wand by SRG-Wands
Finished Wands
Celtic Wand by SRG-Wands
Luna Lovegood's second wand - Wood replica by SRG-Wands
Obsidian by PraeclarusWands
Afflammel01 by Ornemaniste
Work in Progress
Opus Exemplar Update .0 by Plookustheplok
BW Urban WIP by Wandersticks
Bone Wand WIP by globalionGrid
Work-in-Progress: ''Root Twist'' by PraeclarusWands
''Black Dragon'' wand - Step by step by PraeclarusWands
Wand Bed Tutorial by SRG-Wands
Wand bed tutorial by PraeclarusWands
Harry Potter Wandmaking Tutorial by Inspirement
Critique Me
Raven Wand - Spirit of the Morrigan Magic Wand by LunaSolare1
Dreaming Goddess Magic Wand by LunaSolare1
Faerie Magic Wand by LunaSolare1
Serpent Magic Wand by LunaSolare1
Wand Concepts and Designs
Harry Potter Wandmakers: Part I Western Wandmakers by LittleBlackForest
high-resolution wandmaker USA free stickers by LittleBlackForest
Unfinished Wand Catalouge  [WIP!] by Andy-Cardith
Wand certificate by SRG-Wands

Group Info

Welcome! We are a group of Wandmakers who are looking to promote wandcarving and wand-whittling as an art form, right alongside relief carving, sculpting, whittling, and other forms of woodworking. We are also a platform for sharing tips and tricks related to woodworking as applied to wands. Wandmakers of all mediums are welcome to join, but the focus will be primarily on wood.
Founded 9 Years ago
Jun 18, 2012


Group Focus
Common Interest

172 Members
248 Watchers
19,616 Pageviews
Artisan Crafts Week

Part 2A: Carving the Details

Welcome to the final part of A Whittle Magic: Carve Your Own Wand, where we will use basic whittling techniques to carve a Harry Potter-style wand from wood. In Part 1, we practiced some simple whittling cuts and used those cuts to carve the basic shape of the wand. Now, in Part 2, we’ll refine the design by carving the details before moving on to sanding, staining, and finishing.
Because we will be working with sharp knives in close proximity to fingers, this workshop is recommended for those 15 years of age and older.

Caution!! Woodworking is NOT a risk-free craft. Review these safety rules from Part 1 before continuing. Disregard them at your own risk.

  • Always protect your hands.
  • Always cut AWAY from yourself. Avoid cutting towards yourself if at all possible.
  • Always keep your knives sharp and take note of what is in the path of the blade.
If you need help or advice at any point in this series of tutorials, post your question(s) along with a photo of your current progress in the comments so that everyone can benefit from the answer.

The Wand Design – Revisited

Last time in Part 1, a basic wand design was provided for first-time woodworkers to follow. Now let’s add detail: I’ve provided two sample variations on the base design: an easier one with a spiral groove (Figure 18a) and a slightly more difficult one with smooth, spiral twists (Figure 18b). Choose the variation that appeals to you, or create your own variation if you’re up for a challenge! Use your creativity to make your wand your own.

Figure 18: Two variations on the base design
Fig 18 by PraeclarusWands

NOTE: Both variations have spiral design elements. For an easier time, right-handed folks should carve a spiral that ascends up-right (as shown in figure 18) while left-handed folks should carve a spiral that ascends up-left (mirrored).

Variation 1: Spiral Groove

Both Variations 1 and 2 begin with the same step. Take a pencil and sketch out the spiral on your wand. (TIP: If you have trouble with this, try taking a string and wrapping it around the wand, securing both ends with a bit of tape. Trace the string with a pencil then remove the string.)

With your knife, make mini Stop Cuts resembling a “V” that end on the pencil line (Figure 19).

Figure 19: Carve a spiral groove by doing small Stop Cuts
Fig 19 by PraeclarusWands

Do this for the entire length of the spiral groove. Repeat to increase the depth of the groove until you are satisfied.
For Variation 1, that’s all you need! To further personalize your design, change the width of the groove by starting your cut further away from the pencil line, make a double (or triple!) groove by carving more lines next to the first, or try a cross-hatching effect by carving a groove in the opposite direction.

Variation 2: Spiral Twist

Variation 2 starts by carving a spiral groove, as in Variation 1. Our goal will be to create a rounded twist by carving away the edges of the groove. Use a Push Cut to carve towards the pit of the groove, similar to how you rounded out the handle ring but on a larger scale (Figure 20).

Figure 20: Carve the spiral twist by rounding out the grooves
Fig 20 by PraeclarusWands

At the start of the cut, use little pressure with your left thumb and maintain a shallow blade angle. Increase pressure and blade angle as the cut continues, until the blade naturally stops in the groove.
You can use these techniques to create your own variations or add detail anywhere on the handle, shaft, or both. When you are satisfied with what you’ve created, move on to Part 2B below to add the finishing touches!

Part 2B: Finishing Your Wand

All your hard work is about to pay off here, where we’ll we will sand, stain, and add a finish coat to the wand for a final result you’ll be proud to show off.

We will no longer be working with knives, but there are some new important safety rules to follow:

  • Work in a well-ventilated area. Sanding creates sawdust, and some stains have fumes.
  • Protect your respiratory system by using a dust mask, and protect your hands with gloves.
  • Some stains are flammable. Keep away from open flames.


TIP: If you want to leave knife marks on some areas of your wand for texture, don't sand those areas.
You will need at least three different “grits” (a measure of coarseness) of sandpaper, with lower numbers being coarser than high numbers. Start with your lowest grit (120, 150, or 180 work well) and cut out a piece about as big as your palm. Start standing with the grain (Figure 21).

Figure 21: How to sand with the grain
Fig 21 by PraeclarusWands

Apply pressure so the abrasive material of the sandpaper cuts into the wood, removing your knife marks. Sand all areas of your wand thoroughly. For some parts of the handle, sanding with the grain isn’t possible due to the small surface area. In this case, first sand at a 45° angle, than again at a 45° angle in the opposite direction.
When you are finished with your lower grit paper, move on to your next highest grit (between 220 and 360 grit). Again, sand the entire wand thoroughly. Our goal is to remove all the scratch marks caused by the rough lower grit abrasive. Finally, sand one more time with your high grit paper (400-600 grit) to bring your wand to a smooth finish (Figure 22).

Figure 22: Use sandpaper to smooth out the wand surface.
Fig 22 by PraeclarusWands

Wipe off any lingering sawdust with a paper towel or rag before moving on to stain and varnish.

OPTION: For those who don’t want to use varnish and instead prefer the feel of natural wood, sand once more with a superfine grit like 800, 1000, or 2000 for a shiny and smooth surface. Be warned - without a finish coat, the oil and sweat from your hands will wear on the wand much faster, and you'll need to re-sand again in the future.

Wood Stain 101

Wood stain comes in a wide variety of brands and types. In general, stain consists of pigments or colorants suspended in a solvent such as water, oil, or even in a finishing material like polyurethane. Contrary to paint (which sits on top of the wood), stain is absorbed by the wood, adding color without covering up the beauty of the grain.

However, because wood is a natural, organic material with many differences between species, as well as between different parts on the same piece of wood, stains may not be absorbed uniformly, causing variations in color intensity that are not present with paint. For example, end grain will absorb more stain than face grain, and the resulting color will be darker. Birch stained with darker colors tends to turn out blotchy while the same stain will be readily absorbed by cherry, creating a rich color. The only way to learn what will happen with any given stain and wood is to experiment.

Staining Your Wand (optional)

IMPORTANT: Read and follow all instructions printed on the stain can or packaging. Each brand is slightly different, and the information presented here might not apply to every brand. If you still unsure, there are often resources on the manufacturer's website. Do your own research if necessary, and post a question in the comments if you need help. 
There are two basic types of stain: oil-based stain and water-based stain. Oil stains use mineral spirits as the solvent and are the most common type (Figure 23a). These tend to have fumes and are flammable, so be careful when using them. In contrast, water-based stains use water as a solvent (Figure 23b). These are more difficult to use because they dry quickly and can raise the wood grain, making the surface “fuzzy.” Unlike oil stains, water-based stains don’t have dangerous fumes or messy clean-up.

Figure 23: Wood stain examples. Image Source:
Fig 23 by PraeclarusWands

To use stain from a can, first stir thoroughly to mix the pigments and the solvent. Wet a paper towel or rag with a generous amount of stain and rub it into the wood. Give it a minute or two to absorb, then wipe off the excess. 

If you don’t own any stain, buying a whole can just for this project is unnecessary and wasteful. Luckily, many brands make stain pens intended for furniture touch-up and the like (Figure 23c). If you are new to woodworking, this is a good way to easily add color to your wand without dealing with a the hassle and mess of a whole can. Once you have finished staining your wand, allow it to dry thoroughly.
This introduction to stain has barely scratched the surface of what is out there. Those interested in exploring woodworking further are encouraged to ask questions and to do their own research.

Varnishing Your Wand

Adding a finish coat is the final step before your wand is complete. This seals in the stain (if you used it) and protects the wood surface. Like stain, there are many different types of finish coats, such as polyurethane, lacquer, varnish, and shellac. Covering all of these is beyond the scope of this tutorial, so we will use varnish, the most basic type. Ideally, you will finish your wand with an oil-based varnish if you used oil-based stain, and with a water-based varnish if you used water-based stain. (However, if you allow your stain to dry completely before varnishing, it doesn’t really matter what kind you use.)
The most easily obtainable varnish for first-time woodworkers is acrylic varnish, found in the paint aisle of your local craft store (Figure 24a). To apply, brush a thin coat onto the surface of your wand and allow it to dry. Other types of varnish include oil-based wiping varnish (Figure 24b), which are applied with a rag in the same way as stain. You may also find polyurethane in DIY stores, which can also be brushed on (Figure 24c).

Figure 24: Varnish examples. Image Sources: DecoArt, Formby's, Minwax
Fig 24 by PraeclarusWands

IMPORTANT: Read and follow all directions printed on your varnish's packaging. The information presented here may not apply to all brands. Consult the manufacturer's website for more resources.

You may need to work in sections: varnish the shaft while holding the handle, and once it dries, hold the shaft and varnish the handle.
Varnishes come in a variety of finishes such as matte, satin, and gloss. Choose whatever is available and suits your taste. Apply one coat at a time and allow it to dry in between coats. An acrylic varnish might need only one or two coats, while a thinner oil varnish may need 5 or more. Use your judgment and stop when you feel the wood is adequately protected, then allow the varnish to cure completely. Check the packaging for the approximate drying times.

You’re all done!

Congratulations! You made it through the entire workshop and now have in your hands a wand that you carved, sanded, and finished on your own. Hopefully this series of tutorials has given you a hands-on glimpse into the wide world of woodworking. It has been a pleasure being your guide on this journey and I hope you had fun. Enjoy your wand!  

– Maranda (Praeclarus Wands wandmaker)

Finished wand by PraeclarusWands

Share your creation with other wandmakers!

<| Previous - Part 1: Intro to Whittling and Carving the Basic Shape

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Plookustheplok Featured By Owner Jun 20, 2019  Student Digital Artist
Ok why was my request to add my first completed wand not even looked at? I will resubmit it but I don't understand why I received no corespondence on anything. I do not wish to sound rude but I just feel shoved under the rug as they say.
PraeclarusWands Featured By Owner Jul 3, 2019  Professional Artisan Crafter
Hi, sorry for the delay. There is nothing wrong with your submission, and it has been approved. I have been terribly busy with getting ready to move back to the US from Japan and haven't had any time to log in to DA recently. My apologies.
Plookustheplok Featured By Owner Jul 3, 2019  Student Digital Artist
All is forgiven, I had no idea you were so busy. My plans have recently changed from moving to unpacking as the move didn't and won't be happening. Thank you very much and I hope you get everything home safe.
Plookustheplok Featured By Owner Jun 16, 2019  Student Digital Artist
Um I haven't broken any rules have I with my recent submission? I assume not as I am still part of the SoW but I hope I haven't made a mess.
Plookustheplok Featured By Owner Apr 28, 2019  Student Digital Artist
Um I'm still new just wanted to ask are new submissions check weekly or as they are sent in? I hope that's not a rule break I just wanted to know the system so I know when best to request my design for posting, I hope you enjoy my Opus Exemplar.
PraeclarusWands Featured By Owner May 3, 2019  Professional Artisan Crafter
Just approved it, sorry for the delay!
Plookustheplok Featured By Owner May 3, 2019  Student Digital Artist
Not to worry, I fully understand I hope it fits in well for the SoW. I can't wait to finish it to properly show it off. Take care and stay safe.
Colevanders Featured By Owner Jul 26, 2016  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
I will be moving all of my wands from ElocNodnarb over to Colevanders. FYI.
elocnodnarb Featured By Owner Jul 24, 2016
I'm looking forward to the possibilities of collaboration afforded by a society of Wandmakers.

My family has been making and selling wands since HP 6, and I have carried on during this time between movies. I'm really excited by the renewal of interest as Fantastic Beasts approaches.
SonicLunaDash76 Featured By Owner Edited Mar 19, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
Even though I haven't actually made my wand, I have decided what it would be made of. Wood: English Oak for the shaft and would be pale white to describe my soul and spirit with blue coloring to describe the color of hope, for the grip it would have nordic runes like on Sirius's wand and have pure silver crosses along the top of the grip where it meets the shaft and have a sapphire gem on the pommel and would be rounded. Length: 15 Inches. Core: Phoenix Feather, Unicorn Hair, Pegasus Wing Feather, and Dragon Heart String for many options when it comes to magic and I would cast an enchantment on it so that any Dark Wizard would try to hold it, the wand would send a non-lethal electric shock through their arm there for letting go and return to my hand and another enchantment for it to never break and only I could remove the enchantments and it would have to be of my own free will unless if it is absolutely necessary.

So what do you think? Good huh?
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