Sunday, September 9, 2012

A Harry Potter Birthday and Making Hermione Granger's Wand

For years, The Girl refused to watch any of the Harry Potter movies. I suppose she WAS a bit young for it back then. When Elder Boy was clamoring for everything Hogwarts related, The Girl was just a little sprout. In fact, she wasn't even a thought when Elder Boy's Harry Potter years started!

Just recently...last month in fact, The Girl was on her way to a birthday party with a friend. They are fortunate enough to have a dvd player installed in their minivan so she watched part of The Sorcerer's Stone on the way to the party and back. She came home after the party talking about nothing but that movie and wanting to watch it again (as well as all the others). Luckily, we were able to find the first two movies at the library. The next four movies were all currently borrowed and unavailable at the time...and every week following. Thankfully, Elder Boy brought ALL his movies (the first four) and all his books (the first 6) with him on a recent visit over Labor Day Weekend. We've watched them all several times throughout the last week.

Within this last month, The Girl had declared she wanted a Harry Potter birthday cake and was going to be Hermione Granger for Halloween.

The cake wasn't much of a problem. I came across a cute Hedwig cake I wanted to try to duplicate so I pinned it.

I decided at the last minute to not include the Hogwarts book in the cake design. I didn't want to have too much cake. So I wound up with something similar that The Girl kept ooohh-ing and aahh-ing over because "He's soooo cuuute!"




You can find a "How-To" for the cake at The Creative Cake Maker, my cake decorating blog.

The Girl's recent orthodontics banned Bertie Bots Every Flavor Beans. I couldn't make my chocolate covered pretzel rods and call them "Wizard Wands" because the pretzel rods were also on the "not allowed" list. Oh well. We'll save them for next year since she insists she'll want another Harry Potter birthday and she SHOULD have her expander off her teeth by then.

The Hermione Granger Halloween costume was coming together nicely (we figured she could also wear it for "Book Character Day" in the spring). The area thrift stores all had 50% off on Labor Day so The Girl and I spent the day shopping together.  We found a white school shirt, a grey cardigan, a grey plaid skirt and some Mary Jane shoes. We also found a burgundy tie that I striped with gold ribbon. I already had some thick grey knee high socks she could use (though they might wind up being thigh high socks on her).


I was able to locate a set of three Gryffindor Patches on Amazon.  I only needed one patch for the cardigan, but if I am able to make the robe in time for Halloween, I would need a second patch. Having three at my disposal would come in handy. Her costume came to about $15 so far (including the patches).

In the days leading up to The Girl's birthday, there was a lot of "discussion" about the wand.  She had originally found a plain stick in the yard that was going to be used for the wand.  That was all fine and good until she saw an advertisement for Hermione's wand in one of the movie cases...


Yes, it's beautiful, but  unfortunately the ad worked. She suddenly wanted to spend $30 on Hermione's wand...and if I wouldn't buy it for her, she would from the money she had been saving all summer! NOOOOOO!

Mr. LH talked her down to a MUCH cheaper plastic version he spotted online but I didn't want to also have to pay the shipping...and I remembered the disappointment I had in the plastic Harry Potter wand Elder Boy had years before. It was bulky and cheap looking. I think it might have even said "Flipendo" over and over again...or maybe it was just Elder boy saying it repeatedly...or it was his video game...or all three...

The day before The Girl's birthday, I happened to notice a thin bamboo stake outside (it was originally used to hold up one of the hydrangea plants in the store).  It was just the right length for a wand. Then I thought some clay might work well to form the wand around this bamboo stick. I could even make the vines and leaves. But I didn't have any clay. I DID have some SUGRU that was part of a prize package from Instructables this summer for my crochet  Lego Minifigure).


SUGRU is a silicone rubber that you can mold. Once it cures, it's permanent. Sounded good for my needs. I'm sure there are better uses for this stuff but it needed to be used on SOMETHING before it passed its "use by" date which was coming up fast. I got to work and "sculpted" Hermione's wand. I wasn't exactly trying to keep it a secret since I was molding it at my kitchen counter, but when I set it aside to cure an hour later and The Girl had still not seen it, I hid it away.

The wand before painting

On Sunday, The Girl was so impatient about celebrating her birthday and opening her presents I thought a diversion was needed.  I pulled out the wand so we could both paint it. It had been curing for 24 hours. I didn't know if I could/should even paint this stuff but I did...with acrylic paint.  The Girl was bouncing everywhere when I pulled the wand out but she soon calmed down enough to help me paint it. We covered it with a light brown base and made sure none of the colors from the SUGRU were showing.

The bamboo stick in the middle was hollow so I was able to fashion a wire hanger into a stake that fit in the base of the wand holding it upright for curing, painting and drying...VERY handy!

Then we lightly swiped it with a darker brown to kind of bring out the details of the vines and leaves.

The wand after painting

Once the paint dried, I covered it in a clear coat of matte Mod Podge (I couldn't find any of our polyurethane in the garage).


I think it looks pretty darn good. In fact, the nicest compliment came from The Girl when she said "It looks like we bought it!". The cost? FREE. Can't beat that!

The Girl using her wand to zap the cake



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