Saturday, December 20, 2008

Dress-up Box - Wands

These wands were a last-minute addition to the Box -
the girls already had a pair of star wands (pictured in this post)
so I didn't include new wands in the original list of contents.
But I saw them lying around the house one day, looking
decrepit and fuzzy, because I had gone and used acrylic
craft felt to make them in a hurry. So I made three new wands,
out of the good felt this time. Again, this was a very fast 
project so I thought I'd do a tutorial for them too. Insane, I 
know, when it's five days to Christmas and I should be 
wrapping a multitude of gifts instead of documenting the 
painful construction details but it's in my blood. Sorry.

Well, a person essentially needs

For the Flower Wand
  • Piece of felt cut into a flower shape (front of wand)
  • Another piece of same-color felt cut bigger than the flower shape (back of wand, pre-trimmed). You could cut the second piece into a flower shape too, but that would mean aligning all the fussy petals when stitching the two flower pieces together which is iffy.
  • Other smaller pieces of felt for the center detail of the flower
  • Miscellaneous ribbon

For the Heart Wand
  • Two heart-shaped pieces of red felt
  • Miscellaneous ribbon
  • Other decoration/embellishments

For the Sun Wand
  • One circular piece of orange felt
  • One circular piece of yellow felt
  • Miscellaneous ribbon cut to 1.5" lengths. Best to use at least 1/4" widths.

along with appropriate-width dowels like these

and the usual suspects: craft glue, sewing machine,
sewing thread and a good babysitter.

Step 1
Complete all embellishments except for the adhesive sorts which can be left to the last.

For the Flower Wand, I embroidered silly little dots with yellow floss (all 6 strands) on the green circle, then top-stitched that to the navy circle, then pinked the edges of the navy circle. Finally, I top-stitched the navy circle to the teal flower.

For the Heart Wand, I top-stitched about 1/2" from the edge all around both hearts in white thread, just for contrast. You could hand sew a running stitch with embroidery floss for a superior effect but I was lazy.

For the Sun Wand, I did running-stitch in a spiral in contrasting-colored thread (i.e. yellow thread on the orange circle and orange thread on the yellow circle).

Step 2
Sew the pieces together.

For the Flower Wand, place the flower-shaped front piece on the blobbish back piece and top-stitch close to the edge of the flower outline. Leave a small opening for inserting the dowel (see the loose stitches at the bottom). Remember to back-stitch when you start and end! Then trim the back piece to a flower shape, using the front piece as a guide.

For the Heart Wand, I thought I'd be a bit clever and sew along the outline with right sides facing in and then turn it right side out. No reason, just experimenting to see if this would give a more rounded product. The downside is that one would need to leave a rather large opening for turning out, meaning more hand-sewing later.

For the Sun Wand, mark equal intervals around the circumference of the circle for the ribbons. Top-stitch close to the edge of the circle, inserting ribbons about 1/2" (so about 1" sticks out) as you go. Leave a small opening at the bottom for inserting the dowel.

Step 3
Stuff the shapes but don't be overzealous - they are not meant to be softies but more like, er.. puffy flatties.

Step 4
Assemble the wand.

For the Flower Wand
Insert a dowel experimentally into the opening of the flower and lightly mark on the dowel the depth of insertion. Apply strong craft glue above this point (about 1/2") all round the dowel and stick the ends of the ribbon all round the dowel.

Let dry briefly. then apply more glue on the section of the dowel that will be inside the flower, including the adhered ribbon ends.
Insert dowel-with-ribbons into the flower - I found a twisty motion helps defeat the resistant stuffing.

Hand-sew (ugh) around the opening to ensure a tight fit.
All done!

For the Heart Wand, I didn't have skinny ribbons in appropriate colors so I used whatever fat trims I found. Just looking at them, I knew they would never stay glued on the stick just by themselves. So I laid them side-by-side, slightly overlapping, and sewed across their top edge to secure them together first

and then wrapped them around the appropriate point on the glued dowel. They went around 2-3 times!

Insert the dowel with glue as with the Flower Wand

and hand-stitch the huge opening shut and tucking in whatever fabric is necessary to get a snug fit around the dowel-and-ribbons. Embellish how you like it - I stuck on gems just because I had some left over from the crowns.

For the Sun Wand, I decided trailing ribbons might be overkill so finishing it up is as simple as sticking the gluey dowel into the sun shape

and stitching the opening snugly shut around it.

If you have loads of time to spare, you might like to paint
the dowels before inserting them. It occurred to me that the
bare wood, if suitably color-coordinated with the felt tops,
would give a very finished look, but I was already dangerously
sidetracked from my other projects by making these,
so I left them as they were.


  1. Oh, another cute cute addition! I love these. Can't wait for January when I start on a box of my own. Was thinking today as my oldest waltzed in pretending to be a tiger -- she'd tied a LONG piece of bright yellow huge-diameter piping around her waist -- that I should ask whether you've made any tails for the Box. But then I saw in the next post that it's done. Big congrats! It's so lovely!

    P.S. I replied to your comment about the softies here.
    Wasn't sure if you subscribed to the comments and don't know your direct email... Nutshell: about 4" tall.

  2. Oh these are just lovely...they would be great in the classroom too for pointers or reading big books! Thanks for sharing :)

  3. I am definitely trying this for my little princesses!

  4. I saw you from 21 Wale. Great idea - I could see all my princesses loving these. Plus the sun one could be for princes.

  5. I love these! And you explain so clerly and yet so vividly! Thank you for all the wonderful posts, you are so talented, I don't have words...


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