With a very important Harry Potter-themed party in the offing Little Boots needed a wand. Not just any wand, oh no, it had to be Lord Voldemort’s wand, from his youth.

With our own special birthday in the offing, and having just splashed out on a Slytherin robe, buying one was not an option.

I’ll make one I announced. This may sound foolish, and probably was, but we’re not averse to making things here at Boot Hall. So, a week ahead of the friend’s party I downloaded a few photos from the net, printed them off and after studying them wondered what I’d let myself in for.

Voldemort’s wand has a gnarly bone handle and a long thin pitted shaft. “At least it’s asymmetrical,” I said to myself, because this made it potentially easier to make. Or at least better for covering up errors, or lack of ability in fabrication.

So I drew a few lines on one of the pictures and scaled the wand up to a suitable size. This I then drew this onto a suitable piece of baton and when LB was out with the OH last Friday I started to saw away the extraneous wood. I put it away intending to finish shaping it following day with the Dremel, before giving it a quick coat of emulsion in a suitable boneish hue.

Job done.

Or so I thought.

I was just sitting down with a drink when LB arrived home and announced

“You know, Tom Riddle’s wand is completely different to Lord Voldemort’s.”

My heart sank. I went off to look for a picture on the ‘net. My heart sank further. The desired item was a dark, wooden, highly-turned item, that it wouldn’t be possible to make without a lathe. “Oh well,” I thought, “I’d better give it a go.” I copied the picture and enlarged it to roughly the right size.

The next day, having printed off the picture I marked its dimensions off a piece of dark hardwood beading I’d found. I roughly shaped it with the Dremel and then replicated some of the finer turned bands by painting rings on. I should have done this later as the paint bled into to the bone dry wood. Still, at least that meant that it dried quickly.

All it needed now was some varnish. Unfortunately the water-based quick drying varnish had dried in the tin and all I had was some yacht varnish which if you’ve used it you’ll know is unholy stuff that takes aeons to even become touch dry, and isn’t fully dry for about 6 years as far as I can make out.

As I’ve mentioned the wood was bone dry so it sucked up the varnish whilst at the same time managing to stay wet. Eventually it was dry enough and had a sufficient enough gloss to hand over to LB.

I was not hopeful because in truth it looked like someone had stretched out a dog turd and then lacquered it.

Expecting one of those searingly critical evaluations that only small children are capable of I handed it over rather unenthusiastically.

It was met with silence.

Followed by a short intake of breath.

Followed by a single word.

“Brilliant!”

The beholder’s eye is a wonderful thing.

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