The elementary school variety show producer (yes, producer — we take this seriously!) asked if I could build some lighted magic wand props for one of the acts. “Heck yes!,” I said. I love building props.
Here’s how I built them:
- Start with an LED flashlight for the end cap switch, handle, and battery holder. Doing these things from scratch can be a pain. $5 lights worked great, you may be able to go cheaper.
- Remove the bulb, solder in leads and wires to extend the length, solder on a nice, fat 10mm LED.
- Use three street sweeper blades to form the wand structure, zip tie and tape them to the barrel.
- Heat shrink tubing to hold the LED nicely to the sweeper blade tips.
- Wrap the wand in masking paper. Glue the paper on, being sure to wrinkle and crease it like gnarled wood.
- Stain with wood stain, paint it, dry brush lighter colors at the peaks to increase the read on stage to the audience. Polyurethane the paper.
Here’s a visual guide to my method. UPDATE: The wands survived dress rehearsal and three performances! See bottom of this post for a photo of the young wizards in action.