A few Christmases ago, my husband made us all wands to celebrate our love for Harry Potter. Then when we were on our first visit to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, the boys purchased wands to commemorate the trip.
The problem is, once you get them home, what do you do with them when you aren’t an eight-year-old boy?
Yes, you can still run around and stupify the neighbor’s dog to get them to be quiet, but really, what do you do with it at that point. As our collection grew, they just became boxes sitting behind the television in our room (or in the boys’ case, lost somewhere in the land of piles of stuff). So for Father’s Day this year, I had a great idea – buy him a wand holder for a wall display!
The problem is – the price! While I appreciate the craftsmanship of handmade ones, I just couldn’t justify the price, so I came up with an idea.
So off to the craft store I went to find a board in some kind of shape I wanted, that would be easily stained, nailed and voilà! It wasn’t quite that easy, but I did find an awesome, pre-cut, unfinished board piece that looks like a banner. PERFECT!
Here’s how I did it:
Magical Wand Holder Supplies
- Unfinished, pre-cut board piece ($7.16 at Hobby Lobby)
- Sandpaper or sander
- Stain or paint. I used Minwax Wood Finish Penetrating Spray Stain because I wanted it quick and easy. ($8 at Lowes)
- Cup Hooks – you’ll want the biggest you can find without being the industrial hooks. I would have gotten these bronze cup hooks had our local DIY store carried them. Make sure you take your wands in to be sure you have one large enough for a handle to slip into. ($5 at Lowes)
- Punch (or as in my case….steak knife we use as a utility knife because you use what you have handy, right?)
- Pliers (because you don’t want to bruise your fingers, and you may need to change the hook shape.
- Decorative ideas for a topper. The custom vinyl decal for ours was $5.
- Acrylic Clear Coat (which we didn’t record, but have found out since that it was a good idea to help with dust building up. Much easier to dust!) I do not recommend Modpodge.
Added – my husband made me a wand holder for my birthday, and instead of using vinyl, he purchased some stickers from Amazon (you can see them here and here) and used a blow dryer on a low heat to fully adhere them after placing them on the stain or paint.
How to Create a Magical Wander Holder / Display
Because everyone has a different number of wands, and wand sizes are all different, please take your wand with you to size the plaque you want to get. We chose ours to be undersized for width, but big enough to hold 6 wands at a time. (1.5″ a part). You may want something a little different.
Step 2: Sand Your Plaque
Even if you purchase a sanded, pre-cut, unfinished piece from Hobby Lobby (like I did because that 40% off coupon just makes everything perfect), you’ll want to sand it down smooth. I skipped this step because it felt smooth enough, but the wand holder has some flaws you can see because I didn’t sand it first.
Step 3: Measure your spacing
Measure where you want your hooks to fall on the wand holder and how your wands will lay in them. We chose a 2″ inset, meaning we placed our hooks 2″ in from the edges as it was a perfect placement. We also placed our positions 1.5″ apart. We weren’t interested in putting name plaques on the board as we would be changing out the selection, and based on how big our board was, we needed to be able to fit a header plus 6 wands.
I just laid my wands on the board and got a feel for where I’d like them to be, then just measured the space out and figured out that 1.5″ was a good range.
(FYI.. these images were taken by me and watermarked with my Instagram account name before I decided to start the blog to begin sharing our creations. Just a heads-up in case someone thought I was stealing images from someone 😉 )
Step 4: Punch the holes
Use a punch to put a small starter hole in your wood. My punch is my handy, dandy, steak knife/utility knife because I didn’t have a punch and didn’t want to go in search of one in all of hubby’s tools. This worked just fine. You just want a starter hole that you’ll be able to see once you’ve stained or painted your wood.
Step 5: Sand again
Sand your wood again. The holes you made may need to be sanded down a bit.
Step 6: Stain or paint
Following the directions of whatever kind of stain or paint you decided to use (this spray stone effect paint would be really good, too, to mimic a castle wall), cover up that wood! Be sure to use in a well-ventilated area, allow plenty of time to elapse before doing a second coat should you choose to, lightly sand between coats, and don’t do this on a super humid day if you can help it.
Step 7: Screw in hooks
Insert cup hooks.
Step 8: Adjust hooks
Resize all the cup hooks. The problem with the hooks is that they are made to hold cups and not let them accidentally jump off. The problem for your wands, you’ll scratch them to shreds trying to make them fit, so take some pliers and gently open up the hook to form a crook shape instead – think a “u” instead of a “c”.
Step 9: Admire your wand holder
Admire your handiwork and imagine just how awesome this wand holder is going to look on your wall.
Step 10: Decorate
Without a header, the plaque looks awesome, but really, it’s got to have a little something on it, doesn’t it? If you are great at hand lettering or painting – decorate to your heart’s content! I originally thought about a simple Deathly Hallows symbol at the top of the wand holder, but created something I loved more.
Being a font creator, stink at hand-lettering and painting. Honestly, I do. So, I had a friend who offered to create a vinyl decal for me based off of this file (DOWNLOAD THE .PNG FILE HERE). Please don’t share this file, but send people to this article to download it for themselves! Thanks.
I do not own a vinyl cutting machine, and you’ll need to have one or have access to someone who can create it for you. Or you can use this file to use as a stencil to trace and paint it directly on the wood if you’d like.
Please don’t use this file to sell your own plaque creations. It is for personal use only.
Alternative Step 11: Apply Decal
If you are going the decal route, here are some tips:
- Make sure your piece is really, really, really dry.
- Follow the instructions of the vinyl decal maker
- Use a credit card to smooth the decal on, and keep doing it for a bit
- SLOWLY pull away the vinyl covering. Do it too quickly and you may tear your vinyl. Keep pulling and testing. If the vinyl comes up, just smooth it back down with the credit card and continue.
NOTE: After the fact, we learned that putting a few coats of a clear acrylic coating helps smooth out the surface and makes it less prone to collecting dust. In our house, that’s a big deal. bleh.
And there you go! Your very own magical wand holder!
Another Version of a DIY Wand Holder
My husband recently made me my very own wand holder!
Here is my husband’s version that he made for my birthday. The wooden blank was purchased from Hobby Lobby (be sure to use that 40% off coupon! but many are available at any arts & crafts stores and on the interwebs). Instead of using vinyl, he purchased some stickers from Amazon (you can see them here and here). He found that for best adhesion to the stained wood, using a hair dryer on a low heat to fully adhere them after placing them on the stain or paint.
I hope that seemed an easy enough task for you and can’t wait for you to show me yours!