I’m a big fan of making your own tools. I believe it really creates a connection with the tool and gives you a greater appreciation for it. Not that buying tools is bad or wrong in any way! I have to buy tools still because unfortunately I have no idea how to work metal to make an athame, for example, or cast iron for a cauldron. But a wand is fairly easy to make. Here are my steps.
Step 1: Gather the wood
First, you need wood. I’ve seen some wands made of metal, but if you’re looking for a very simple wand, go with wood. When gathering the wood you’d like to use, pay attention to what kind of tree you are getting it from. I recommend looking for a fallen stick or small limb that you can easily lift and shape as necessary. You don’t want something terribly long, but if you can only find a long stick, then you can cut it down to size. You also don’t want something too thick. Hold the prospective stick in your hand and see how easy it is to hold and wield.
If you’re gathering the wood from your backyard or nearby woods, it’s easier to learn what kind of tree the stick is coming from. Become familiar with the associations/meanings of trees before going on a search! It makes things a little bit easier, and if you take an already-fallen stick, you can generally assume that the stick fell from a tree nearby. If you should decide to cut or snap living wood from a tree, be sure to ask permission first and thank the tree for its gift.
Step 2: Shape the wood
Next comes the shaping of the wood. Whittle off the bark from the stick and use sandpaper to create a smooth surface. Once you’re sure you won’t get splinters, you can rub your hands over the surface. The oils in our skin can help to smooth the wood.
If you found a good piece but it’s too long to easily use, then find a handsaw of some kind or some other cutting tool and carefully and with reverence cut the wood down to a proper size (which is whatever length feels best to you). If you have not already charged the stick and begun to connect with it, then return the stub to nature. If you’re doing this after you’ve completed the wand and connected with it and such (like me), then I recommend holding on to the piece until you can safely burn it.
Step 3: Carve
This step involves blades and carving and is entirely optional. If you want to dress the wand up a little, you can add shallow carvings. Examples are magickal symbols, symbols that have meaning to you, etc. You can also carve a grip on the end. To do this, simply carve a number of even lines at the end of the wood. Evenly space them along the length until you have enough that would equal roughly the width of your palm.
Step 4: Add stone
I like to add a small stone point to the end of the wand. This stone should be something that ends in a point on one end and a roughly flat end on the other, like this:
Choose a stone that is an appropriate size for the wand. You won’t want a stone that’s too huge and weighs the wand down! I like to use stones that are pointed because part of the principle of the wand is that it guides and focuses energy and the will, and the point is a part of that guiding and sending out.
You can choose any kind of stone, as long as it is appropriate for how you intend to use the wand. I chose clear quartz for mine because of the meanings and attachment I have for that particular stone. Other types of stones I would recommend are amethyst, lapis lazuli, hematite, sapphire, tiger’s eye, and carnelian.
Step 5: Use
You’re done! All that’s left is to clear and charge the wand and start using it how you see fit.