Making a wand can be a lot of work and a major time commitment. Before you embark on such a task, it is best to keep a few things in mind, and to have a plan for how to move forward. So before you begin crafting your wand, here are a few tips....
FIRST THING'S FIRST
Before you begin making the wand, you must be clear on what the wand is for. All aspects of crafting will be reflected in the wand's intended purpose. Is this wand for channeling energy into spell work, to look pretty on the mantle as an art piece, or a prop for a Harry Potter cosplay? All are perfectly valid, as long as you are honest with yourself about what you want from your wand.
CHOOSING A BRANCH
This is a critical first step in making a wand. Do you want a symmetrical, straight-as-an-arrow wand? Then you're going to need to start with a milled dowel, and you will probably need a lathe. Do you want a twisted, gnarly tool that looks like it was pulled straight out of Faery? Then you'll definitely want something taken right from the tree. Straight, curved, twisted, zig-zagging, or any number of other design options are all possible, but you will need the right branch.
Some people make wands of metal or crystal, which is also awesome and cool, but my particular advice will probably not apply to these.
PICK YOUR TOOLS
What tools you use will have a huge impact on the final outcome of your wand. Myself, most of the time I use a curved, all-purpose x-acto blade, rasps, a needle file, and a variety of sand-paper. I have some other blades that I use for specialty work. If you want a lot of carved letters, you may wand a v-gouge, though I find mine really hates curves and going across the grain, so it's utility is limited. Knife and needle-file never let me down.
Decide if you want to involve power tools, or if you are dedicated to hand-tools only. Many more spiritual wand-owners do not want the vibrations of technology to be involved, though a power lathe is practically required for symmetrical turned wands, and power drills can be incredibly helpful if you want to set a stone or crystal in one or both ends of the branch.
DESIGN YOUR WAND
You have your branch. You have your tools. You know what the wand is for. So, now we get to work on what it will look like.
You may want to lay out design features in pencil if the marks will be cut or sanded away (erasing rarely removes ALL traces). Your design can be the layout for relief-carving, for gouging an inscription, laying out where you are going to paint or stain, or any other form of design that you want.
In designing a wand, I incorporate by my conceptual ideas, the basic shape enforced by the branch, and any subtle messages from the tree or gut feelings I get. Always pay close attention to your instincts. You get them for a reason.
When you have completed all of this, you are ready to begin the actual work of making the wand...