I realize that by posting this, I am exposing the jungle that is my backyard. We fought the lawn and the lawn won. That’s all there is to it. Annnnnyway….
I’ve seen a lot of cool crafts to make wands. I puffy heart love this one because it’s cute but not super girly, super cutesy, or super frilly. However, some of my kids are just too old for these wands and, honestly, they’re pretty hardcore fantasy fans. They wanted wands that looked real. Seeing it as a great way to introduce the art of wood carving, I was all over it. So we started with sticks in our crazy, overgrown backyard.
This one is about perfect though Eden and Eli found thicker ones that also worked well. Dennis’s is a little thinner.
Then I gave all 4 of my kids pocketknives, and we got to whittling.
Yeah. You heard me. Four kids, ages 6-13, with 4 knives. The key is to teach them respect for the tool. A knife is a tool and not a weapon. Lesson 1: done.
Being our first project, we decided to just whittle off the bark and possibly taper the ends. In future projects, my new carvers may start adding designs and such. We have plenty more sticks to work with. I’ll definitely blog if we go down that route but for the sake of this project — a beginning carving project — we learned about knife safety and proper holding technique.
Eden carved while singing songs. She started with Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star, moved to Give Said the Little Stream, and wrapped up with the ABCs in Danish. That’s how you do it, people. That’s how you do it.
Eli and Eden would periodically need a break from the carving, and I’d take over. I think I need either tougher skin or better knife holding skillz.
After the bark was off the parts they wanted to be bark free, we used the miter saw (my favorite power tool EVER) to trim off the ends and make them smooth. Then we stuck them in our spray painting box and sprayed them with clear gloss spray paint. They look considerably more finished with the gloss. You can also stain them for a variety of colors before the gloss.
And then we were ready for our wizarding adventures!
Wizard training in our house has led to the following conversation:
Eli: Eden! That’s a forbidden curse!
Me: What? She just said abracadabra.
Eli: Oh. I thought she said “avada kedavra” and then I’d be dead.
This would also make a great project to make for a gift or even as a favor at a magically themed party. Here is a cheating cheaters who cheat tip: Sand off the bark with a hand sander and then use a carving knife or pocketknife to just carve off a single layer for the “carved” look. You don’t actually have to carve the entire thing if the end product is your goal and the process is simply a means to an end. For us, it was all about the process so we used the knife the whole time.
As always, let me know if you do this project. If you blog your project, be sure to add a link in our comments!