November 9, 2015

Propworks: Cardcaptor Sakura Wand Tutorial - Part 06 Painting and Finishing

While wearing my Cardcaptor Sakura costume at the convention, I had a lot of people ask, "how did you make that wand?" so I figured that it would be a good time to write up a tutorial!

This tutorial will be in multiple parts to provide the detail I went through in making my wand so hopefully it will be helpful to other people! 

As always, if you make a wand using this tutorial LINK ME! I'd love to have pics of them in action!

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Photo by Bananzers

Now is when all our parts come together. The painting and finishing phase of the job!


White Primer Spraypaint
Valspar Spraypaint - Pink
Valspar Clear Coat - Satin
Americana Craft Paint - Primary Red

Americana Craft Paint - Cranberry Wine
Americana Craft Paint - Saffron Yellow
Folk Art Outdoor Craft Paint - Inca Gold
Thick white paint
Soft Acrylic Brushes of your choice

Poor thing looks so naked...

At this point you're ready to start finishing your wand. If you haven't already, make sure to sand your bird head with the 400 fine grit sandpaper (if using paper clay)! Get it nice and smooth.

Also, DO NOT attach your rubberized wings just yet. I just took the picture as a sample to what it would look like when it was finished. You glue those last.


I say it in panels, and I say it here now. If you are painting an object, primer that thing first. Primer is a type of paint that's made to stick to stuff and make it nicer for your regular paints to go onto it. I used a white spray primer, and I had to put a couple of coats onto it to cover up all the printed words on the PVC as well as any of the other miscellany colors that showed up (like on the strawberry).

Follow the instructions on the can. Make sure it's not raining, use it outdoors or in a well-ventilated area. WAIT THE ALLOTTED TIME before handling and turning it over for more paint. This will take time. Be prepared to spend a few hours at least waiting for paint to dry. (pull up some favorite netflix shows while you wait, or heck, sew your costume *coughcoughcough*).


Once the staff is primed and ready, I took mine outside and used the lovely pink Valspar spray paint I found at Lowe's. Turned out it was the perfect color. Once again follow the instructions on the can for drying times. Touching your project too early means finger prints and unwanted smudges!

I sprayed the handle, as well as the small area inside of the head piece. I left all other parts white.

Why yes, I do cosplay in the into the night...

After the pink was completely dried, it was time to paint the head and strawberry parts. I actually waited over an evening, mostly because it was really late when I spraypainted it pink, and I didn't want to screw up the hand painting.

To handpaint the rest of the staff, I used your basic craft paints you can get for a couple of dollars at the craft store.

Cosplay isn't entirely fancy materials...


I began with the red parts first.

To get the gradient, I followed these steps:
  • Start with the cranberry wine, and brush out towards tip of area, then take primary red, and brush from tip to slightly over the cranberry wine area. Let dry. It WILL look smudgey and have brush marks on it. Don't worry this is just the under layer.

  • Cover all the red parts with a coat of the primary red.

  • Then slowly traversing around the red edges, paint with cranberry and while it's still wet, take primary red and blend up into the cranberry area. This may take several coats/tries to do. Work in small parts.

  • Once all the blending is done to your satisfaction, use the primary red to touch up the tip areas, brushing from tip to just before blending begins.

  • After all that is dry, take your thick white paint (I used gesso), and paint over any areas where the red would cover up the gold.

Now that the gemstones are done, it's time to add the yellow-gold color. I wanted it to be shimmery, but still a little bit of that cartoony gold, so instead of just slapping gold paint on there, I wanted to give it an under layer.

  • I covered all the areas that would be gold carefully with the bright Saffron Yellow, I think I ended up doing at least two layers to cover over any other smudges of under-colors.

  • Once those layers are dried, I did approximately two coats of the Incan Gold. (I apparently forgot to take a photo of that, but hey, let's imagine I covered all the yellow parts in the gold color.)
This part actually took me the better part of almost two days of work. I took care to make sure each layer dried properly.


And last, but certainly not least, I used the Valspar Satin clear coat spray (I figured let's stay with the same brand I used on the pink), and once again following the directions on the can, I coated the whole staff. This provided a protective coating that wasn't overly glossy or shiny. If you're looking for extra shiny, feel free to use the gloss! 

Once all the sealing had dried, all that was left was to add the wings onto the side of the bird head. I used a good amount of E6000 on the circular part that would be touching the bird head, making sure to estimate where it'd sit. After the glue was applied, I pressed the wing firmly, but gently, onto the side of the head, angling the wings to where I wanted.

I held it down for a while, making sure the glue got tacky. Also, because I was in a rush, I quickly did the same for the other side of the staff. You can take your time (if you've got it) and wait for it to cure a lot more before adding the other wing. Just keep in mind to try to get them as symmetrical as possible.

I like to let E6000 dry for 24 hours if i'm using it for an important piece, so there's another time chunk you have to wait for. :) Just let it properly cure and you'll have a nice, strong bond!

Once it dries, you have a staff, ready for cosplay! Have fun!

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