The Art of Darkness

A Wand for an Artistic Witch

October 13th, 2015 by Cobwebs

Wand DetailA few years ago there was a rather excellent blog called “Seeing Things” which was a trove of Halloween projects. And then, one day…there wasn’t. The entire site was deleted without explanation and the whole wonderful archive of ideas was gone without a trace. This was particularly galling to me since I’d had my eye on one of the projects, a wand for an “Art Witch,” because my sister happens to be both an Art History professor and a Wiccan.

Fortunately, the googles are your friend. I was able to dig up enough of the details to take my own crack at the wand, and my notes are below.

Materials

  • Wooden bobbin, for the body of the wand. Vintage hardwood bobbins used in textile mills from the 1890s – 1940s are a common shabby chic/primitive decorative item and are available on eBay, Etsy, or at flea markets and antique stores. I got mine from Stampington. The original post noted that there was probably all kinds of creative energy already stored up in the wood, so…sure, let’s go with that. (If you don’t want to use a bobbin, a largish wooden dowel should work although you’ll have to drill the ends.)
  • Wooden dowel, small enough in diameter to fit snugly into the hole in the center of the bobbin (optional).
  • Cabinet knob, for the back of the wand. The type used for kitchen and bathroom cabinets is about the right size. I used a faceted crystal knob that I picked up at the hardware store, but I really like these crystal balls too. You can use a metal or ceramic one if you prefer. (You could also use plastic but it seems kind of a shame to get a cool wooden bobbin and then stick a cheap plastic doohickey on the end.)
  • Hanger bolt of the correct size to fit the cabinet knob. This is optional, depending upon how you decide to secure the knob to the wand (see instructions below).
  • Crystal bead, for the front of the wand. I hit the beading section of my local craft store and picked up some natural quartz beads (similar to these, although nowhere near as expensive; the strand cost about $3). Any other small pointy thing should work.
  • Wire, for wrapping the wand. I used 20-gauge wrapping wire. It’s available in all sorts of colors.
  • Wire cutters. Additional wire tools like needlenose pliers are not strictly necessary but are really helpful.
  • Decorative elements, to personalize the wand. I used some metal-rimmed tags from Stampington, some vintage Halloween images (see below), a glass capsule bead from the craft store, some wire connectors, charms, and thin copper chain. Most of the items were found on clearance, so choose whatever appeals to you.


    The little round tags were for “inchies,” which is apparently a scrapbooking term, so I looked for round “inchie” images on Etsy. I finally settled on this set, but these and these were close seconds. If you’re feeling intrepid you can create your own set of images using clipart and your favorite graphic software, but I figured it was worth the four bucks to have all of that done for me. (I did use Photoshop to add the words “Art Witch” to one image before printing, but that’s completely optional.)

  • Hot glue and/or wood glue, depending on how you secure the cabinet knob (see instructions).
  • White glue or Mod Podge (optional, depending on your decorative choices).

Spindles

Dowel

Knob

Crystal with Wire

Crystal Tip

Knobs

Wire Wrapping

Bangle

Inchies

Art Witch Wands

Directions
(Click the thumbnails to enlarge)

  1. Attach the cabinet knob to the larger end of the bobbin. There are two ways to do this:
    1. Slide the dowel into the bobbin as far as it will go. Mark a line on the dowel flush with the end of the bobbin, take the dowel back out, and cut at the line with a craft saw or heavy wire cutters.
    2. Spread wood glue over the surface of the dowel and slide it back into the bobbin. If it’s still a little loose, slide a few toothpicks into the crack to act as shims. Let dry.
    3. Drill a pilot hole into the end of the dowel, being careful to center it.
    4. Screw the hanger bolt into the cabinet knob, tighten, then screw the assembly into the dowel. Work carefully, making sure it goes in straight, continuing until the flat bottom of the knob is flush with the top edge of the bobbin.

    OR

    1. Use a hacksaw to cut the head off the bolt that came with the cabinet knob. Screw the bolt into the knob.
    2. If the hole goes through most of the length of the bobbin, you may want to stick a short piece of dowel down in there as filler; if it’s just a couple of inches–the bobbins vary–this shouldn’t be necessary. (You can probably get away with not using a dowel even if the hole is deep; you’ll just use more hot glue.)
    3. Squirt hot glue into the hole in the bobbin until it’s almost at the rim.
    4. Stick the screw of the cabinet knob assembly into the hole, making sure that the knob is centered on the top of the bobbin. Wipe off any hot glue that squirts out around the edges.
    5. Clamp or otherwise prop up the bobbin so that it’s upright until the glue dries.
    6. The second method isn’t quite as secure as the first, but unless you bash the wand around pretty hard it shouldn’t come loose. I did two wands, one with each method, and they both seem equally sturdy.

  2. Choose a crystal that fits into the hole on the small end of the bobbin. Again, bobbins vary; one of the bobbins I used had a hole nearly an inch deep with a little metal rim around it. The other one was more like a shallow divot in the end of the wood. For the first one, I just put a little hot glue in the hole and used a crystal that wedged in pretty tightly. For the other, I made a virtue of necessity: I used a dab of hot glue to hold the crystal end in place on the divot, but then I threaded a piece of the wrapping wire through the drilled hole in the crystal and wrapped it around the end of the wand several times to properly secure it.
  3. Cut 10″ lengths of wrapping wire. Make a spiral on each end (if you aren’t sure how to do that, there are instructions with illustrations here). Wrap each length of wire around a marker, pencil, or other cylinder with a slightly smaller circumference than the bobbin (this ensures that the wire will fit snugly on the wand). Slide each coil onto the wand, adjusting as desired.
  4. Print the “inchie” images, cut them out carefully, and use glue or Mod Podge to affix them to the circular tags. If using Mod Podge, brush a thin layer over the images to seal them (Mod Podge is water-based, so if you printed out the images on an inkjet printer make sure to use it sparingly lest you smear the ink). Let dry. Run a short piece of wire through the hole in the tag, taking care not to tear the image, and twist to form a loop. (Instead of wire, I used some bits of chain I had left over from another project and looped them together with a little jump ring.)
  5. Combine the assembled tags with charms, beads, and other items to create a bangle for each wand. For one decoration, I pried the top off of the capsule bead and half-filled it with teensy seed beads. Thread the bangle onto a loop of wire and twist it tightly around the neck of the wand just below the large end.
  6. Decorate further as desired. You can thread seed beads onto thin wire and wrap them around the large end of the bobbin (they fit nicely between the metal channels). Add a smaller bangle toward the tip of the wand, or thread individual charms on some of the wrapped wire.

And…done! I’m pleased with the way it turned out, and hope that my sister will be as well.

Posted in Doom It Yourself | 2 Comments »

2 Responses

  1. Craft Says:

    Nice work!

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