Padded Heart Princess Wands: The perfect gift for a princess obsessed child. (The ‘padded’ part especially comes in handy if said child also has a tendency to use the Queen’s Crown Jewels to deliver the occasional smack-down.)
A Crafting Tutorial in the stylings of SarahThe
Step 1: Take some foamy stuff and cut some hearts out of it. I find that X-Acto knives made for the easiest cutting, but you might prefer scissors. And if that’s the case, I won’t judge you, I promise. Cut out a couple of hearts so that the end of the wand will be extra soft. You’re doing this because you and I both know that the only thing wands are REALLY good for is beating stuff. And believe you me, your little princess? She’s going to smack the crap out of everything in sight once she has this awesome wand in her hand.
Step 2: Take the hearts you just cut out of the foamy stuff and put them on two pieces of fabric. Have the two pieces of fabric facing right-sides together. Like they’re making out, or something. Then trace the outline of your heart onto the fabric. That’s how complicated this project is. It involves a step so difficult that the main verb is “TRACE.”
Step 5: In the mean time, find your wand’s stick. I used a little wooden stick that I found in a package of wooden sticks at Hobby Lobby. Then I used some hot glue and some fabric to cover the wooden stick so that it would look less… wooden. The picture below is of the wooden sticks, and my stick, post-covering. I’d tell you how I did that, but let’s be honest here. I made it up as I went, and it wasn’t pretty. The tricky part about hot glue is that it is both hot AND sticky. I don’t want to talk about it.
Step 6: It’s ribbon time. Grab your ribbons. Peel off a couple of lengths of ribbon, about 2 times as long as you want them to be on the wand. You’re doing that cause you’re going to fold the ribbons in half eventually. Take all the ribbon and lay it all out together. For the sake of easing operations, I stitched all my ribbons together at the center point so that I didn’t have to deal with them slip-sliding all over the place.
Note: The only thing you DON’T want to sew right into the middle is the rope. If you’re going to take any kind of ribbon/rope to wind down the handle (barbershop-swirl style), you want to sew that in with the rest of the ribbons, but instead of sewing at the ropes midpoint, start at the rope’s end. Somethings are easier to explain with pictures. Feel free to just scroll down now.
See what I mean, here? Ribbons, tacked together in the middle, but with the wand-handle-winder-downer rope tacked at the very end. Marvelous. Here’s another picture of it, just because it’s a fun picture:
Step 7: Sew the heart on the lines that you traced. No need to worry about seam allowances or anything like that – just follow the lines. Couple of tricks, here. Trick #1: Don’t sew the bottom point of the heart. You’ll want to. You’ll think to yourself, but I have to sew the bottom, making that point by hand would suck! Well, you won’t have to make that point by hand. Because there will be a pole sticking out of it. Trust me on this one. Trick #2: Leave one of the whole sides open. Like, from the widest point of the heart, all the way down. You’ll need that much space. Unless, of course, you know what you’re doing, in which case, feel free to just ignore this whole tutorial and, ahem, make up how to do this thing on your own.Step 8: Glue the ribbons to the stick. Careful for your fingers. Seriously.
Step 9: Trim around the heart, leaving about 1/2 to 3/4 inches all the way around the stitching. I left myself a little extra space in the areas where I knew I’d be stitching by hand because, uh, I’m not very good at stitching by hand. The flip the heart right-side-out and stuff the two foamy hearts inside.
Step 10: Crank open the foamy pieces and dump a massive pile of hot glue into the belly of the heart. Then take the wand, which now has the ribbons glued to it, and shove it into the heart, between the foamy pieces. Dump a little more hot glue in there, just for good measure. Hot glue is kind of like the avocado of the crafting world. You can never have too much of it. The wand installation procedure looks something like this:
Step 11: Get your Whip Stitch on. Start at the top and work your way down. When you get to the base of the heart (where the fabric meets the ribbon), just pick a direction and keep working your way around. I whip stitched all the way around the base so that my fabric and ribbon would be secured by thread and by glue. This way, I hope, it stands a chance of surviving for at least 5 minutes in the hands of my 3 year old niece.
Here’s a close-up that cleverly portrays what I’m talking about without actually showing you any of my whip stitches. NOT AN ACCIDENT.
Step 12: Take that ropey thingy that we tacked in with the ribbons and hot-glue that sucker to the wand handle. If you’re really strategic here, you can use the rope to cover up any unsightly glue spots that were on the handle from the total mess you (I) created when you (I) decided to just totally wing it and throw that fabric on there all haphazard like because HEY, IT’S HOT GLUE. WHAT CAN IT HURT?
I wound it up extra tight at the end, then literally covered the thing with hot glue, so that it’s basically a translucent glob at the end of the wand. I figured it was either that, or the rope would be yanked off of the wand after about 5 minutes of play because LOOSE STRINGS! Loose strings are fun to pull.
Note: My hand was on fire in that picture.
And that’s all, folks. You’ve got yourself a wand. If you’ve got two nieces, I recommend making two wands. One wand in a house with two nieces does not a pair of contented princesses make.