Thursday, June 19, 2008

Magic Wands--Piggyback Tutorial Included

A while ago, on a Saturday without much else going on, our entire family started making these wands from a tutorial on DadCanDo. We rescued the used typing paper, rolled it into the tapered tube, and glued the last third of the paper as we were rolling to hold it nice and tight, like so:

From left to right you can see my wand, Sydney's (done with my help), Willow's (done independently), and Matt's (also done independently). Pretty awesome so far, right? But then, due to a lack of both the acrylic paint and the hot glue that the instructions called for next (I don't know what it is about dads, but DadCanDo loves itself some hot glue), we put the project aside.

Time passed, however, and at some point I bought a bunch of acrylic paint so that the girls could try their hand at professional art just like Marla in My Kid Could Paint That (my ultimate evaluation of their professional potential as, no), and then I bought some hot glue so I could make record album cover boxes (tute for that to come), and then yesterday, in a fit of weariness at my stuffed stegosaurus sweat shoppe (must deliver by Friday. Must deliver by Friday. Must...), these unfinished wands caught my eye and I thought, "Hmm..."

And so without re-consulting the instructions (which may have turned out to be a mistake), the girls and I jumped right in. You do it, too. Starting with the recycled paper all rolled up and glued into a nice, tapered-tube wand shape, gather your tools:

You'll need your wands, hot glue, a hot glue gun, and some cereal for stuffing your face.

Now, you need to plug up the ends of your wand with the hot glue, at the same time filling the ends up with glue enough to provide a nice weight in your hand at the hand-end (If it's light like paper, it won't feel like a wand), and a nice-feeling counterweight at the tip. Sure, go ahead and let your three-year-old do her own hot-gluing; everyone loves tools:

With the girls' thicker tubes, I actually found it pretty difficult to get their handle ends filled up with the glue correctly. Eventually, I squeezed a bunch of glue in, stuck a piece of parchment paper over it, and stood the wand up on its handle end and balanced it there, so that the hot glue could all run down against the parchment paper. When the glue re-solidified, I peeled the parchment paper off.

After this, you're supposed to use the hot glue to run a kind of spirally decoration down and around your wand. I'm not totally sold on this part, but it involves the hot glue gun, which is a tool, so we did it anyway. Here's what mine ended up looking like:

Now you're supposed to seal the paper, perhaps with a spray sealer or maybe some Modge Podge, but I forgot about this part, so we didn't. Instead, we moved right on to the next fun part, which is the painting:

I played mine straight with a brown wand and yellow accents----but my girls generally tend to be way more awesome than me. Willow did hers in pink and purple----and Sydney did her hands in purple----and then got some as a natural consequence on the wand.

On the whole, I think my wand turned out only okay, especially compared to the terrific photos on the DadCanDo gallery. All those wands, made by eight-year-olds, look completely realistic, whereas mine still looks like rolled up paper painted real cool. The sealer might be more important than I realized, or it might just be all in the details of painting--painting isn't so much my thing. Anyway, though, the wands work quite well enough to serve their purposes of being waved like mad while running around the house--

--and of being squiggled back and forth enticingly to serve the delight of kitties--What did you do today that was magical?

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