For the wand bases we used 7/16" x 12 inch wood dowels that we purchased at Hobby Lobby. My husband sanded one end to a blunt point with a power sander. You could use sandpaper, but to get the nice taper that ours had would take quite a while by hand.
This was the fun part, and my husband and I both went a little crazy creating wands. It was a bit of a fight over who got to do the last one! Get a glue gun and LOTS and LOTS of glue sticks! We used a ton of them, but they are fairly cheap in a big package. We used aluminum foil to set them on between layers - if you use paper it will stick to it. By adding tons of glue, tipping, spinning and tilting, you can add layers and layers of awesome designs.
To get the big drips, add lots of glue in a blob then tilt it one direction to let it run. Let it dry completely before adding another layer. For the wood grain, just squeeze the glue out slowly as you run the tip back and forth right against the wood.
You really just have to experiment with it to figure out how it works. We were each working on about three wands at a time so they had time to harden and cool while we worked on another one.
****BE EXTREMELY CAREFUL WITH THE HOT GLUE!!!!! THIS PART IS NOT FOR KIDS!!!
Even being very careful we burned ourselves multiple times. You may want to keep some cold water nearby.
After everything was good and dry, I spray painted all of the wands completely with black spray paint. I used the Rustoleum Universal spray paint made for all surfaces because it stuck really well to the glue. Let them dry overnight, or at least 6 hours.
Use whatever craft paints you want to decorate your wands! I used mostly earth-tone metallics. I mixed many colors, and really just got creative with it. This part was really fun, but a bit time consuming to make as many as we did. You don't have to add a lot of paint though. Just focus on the designs and the black base adds the shading automatically.