I've wanted to make a fancy wand display for ages now, so our friend Dana's birthday was the perfect excuse. Dana is a wand maker (you can see some of his work here) and the biggest Harry Potter fan I know. His house is decorated in a Hogwarts/Gryffindor theme year-round, with floating candles on timers, a big wooden four-poster bed, and more magical details than I can count. (Of course I have pictures - keep scrolling!)
Here's Dana as The Wand Maker - a photo I took at our Fantastic Beasts party.
Having been to Dana's house before I knew this display had to be Gryffindor colors in red and gold - and I really wanted some velvet like his jacket there.
After a few days' work, here's what John & I came up with:
Different room & lighting:
That's a refinished thrift-store frame, velvet backing, and custom metal pegs I'll show you how to make.
They turned silver in some of my photos, but the frame & plaque are quite gold in person. I also struggled with photographing the velvet; in reality it's the darkest shades of red you see, not so bright.
Because John and I are all about using what we have, we upcycled the frame from our Drowsy Goblin painting for this. Besides, that's another fun Potter touch, and I love that it already has a history now.
Here's the frame before:
I was tempted to use it as-is (above), but after some debate we decided John should cut it down to a more reasonably-sized 24X30. (Wouldn't that size be amazing if you had enough wands to fill it, though? Talk about a showpiece!)
Once the frame was re-assembled, John cut a sheet of 1/2 inch plywood to fit inside:
You can see the original finish really well here - very brown and blah.
Lots of heavy-duty hardware on the back to handle the weight:
Testing out how many wands we could fit:
One of these things is not like the others...
:D :D :D
We spaced the wands about 3 inches apart, and brought the support pegs more towards the center since Dana's wands tend to be shorter than our Wizarding World ones. Once we marked where all the pegs would go, John pre-drilled the holes in the plywood.
Next we used heavy-duty spray adhesives to stick down the velvet backing, and trimmed off the excess:
To find John's pre-drilled holes through the velvet we flipped the board over, inserted a straight pin through the back, then crushed the velvet with a nail head to mark the spot.
While John finished that, I got busy refinishing the frame.
I sprayed the frame shiny gold, then aged it down with a combination of black and brown acrylic paint - paint on, wipe off. I'm holding a sample piece over the frame in the right photo. Since we had left-overs from the cut-down frame, I used a section to test out my aging first.
I'll admit, we were a little tempted to leave the frame shiny gold:
But in the end, aging always wins:
After I finished aging with paint, I went back and added gold leaf Rub n' Buff to all the raised sections of the frame. Rub n Buff is a metallic wax, super easy to work with, and brings back that bright metallic gleam. Use it once and you'll be addicted - really, every crafter should have a tube in their paint drawer.
Ready to see how we made those lovely gold support pegs? These are my favorite part! Here's how they look up close:
First, John carefully hammered brass nails into all his pre-drilled holes:
(Sorry, that velvet wreaks havoc on my camera phone.)
If you're stumped on where to find brass/gold nails, this $5 picture-hanging kit from Walmart has a bunch:
Next, we bought this pack of studs from JoAnn's:
($3 with a coupon)
... and I clipped off all the little prongs. (Bend them back & forth with pliers, they should snap off.)
To stick the two together, we mixed up some two-part epoxy putty:
... stuck a tiny ball of putty on each nail head, and squished the stud cap on top:
Boom, custom wand pegs. And so much fancier than cup hooks!
As long as you don't use too much epoxy putty you can't see it even from the side, so the pegs look seamless.
I should mention our 2 inch nails were a little too long, so John hammered them in an extra half-inch and clipped off the excess in the back. If you can find brass nails that are 1.5 inches, that'd be perfect.
Oh! And did you notice our pretty plaque?
This beauty cost just $7 from a local trophy shop here in Orlando. (Locals, go to House of Trophies in Casselberry; the owner is super friendly, remembers us every time - even though we only go every few years - and charges next to nothing for plaques like these, which he usually has ready next day!)
We took all of these pics at our house - and we didn't have enough wands to fill it! OH THE SHAME.
We presented Dana with his new wand display during his birthday dinner at his house, and within 10 minutes it was on the wall beside the Fat Lady's portrait and filled with Dana's own wand creations. I think he likes it!
This is still at our house; I'll let Dana post pictures of his new display once he finds all the perfect wands for it.
I'll end with the photos I shared in my Instagram Story of Dana's house, since it would be cruel NOT to show you his gorgeous decorating. Again, his house always looks like this - not just for the party!
I barely scratched the surface on all of Dana's incredible design touches; someday I need to go back during daylight and take some REAL photos. Oh, and be sure to follow Dana on Facebook and/or Instagram; he's an incredible cosplayer, wand maker, Disney CM, and all-around cool guy.
Hope you guys enjoyed, and are inspired to make your own wand display! This would be gorgeous to showcase a single wand or a whole wall's worth; totally up to you.
Oh, and if you do make your own, show me pics! You can share them on the Epbot FB wall or tag me on Instagram so I can see.
And finally, if you're looking for lots more Harry Potter DIYs, check out my Craft Page! I've got everything from light-up wands to life-sized thestrals over there, something for everyone. ;)