The Colours of a Comet 260

Wow, looks like I completely missed August!  Where’s the time gone? I have been doing a few crafty things as of late, I just haven’t posted anything, my bad.  Hope you all had a terrific two Harry Potter days on July 31 and September 1. 😀 If you still didn’t make it to Platform 9 and 3/4 this year, don’t worry, neither did I.  We can cry together.  Check out these wonders I have made thanks to The RPF.

As for my own crafts, I have just finished making a miniature version of Tonks’ broom (approx. 21cm), and I’m quite proud of it myself (reference pics at bottom) 🙂 I only decided to make this in an out of the blue type moment, and it was quite simple, if fiddly and a little annoying, it didn’t take too long.  The longest part is waiting for the glue to dry.  Apologies, I didn’t take too many progress photos, but it was all very easy so I’ll try and make this tutorial easy to follow, too.

You will need:

  • Twigs
  • Exacto knife
  • Sandpaper
  • Needle
  • Paperclip/wire
  • Pliers
  • Scissors
  • Craft glue
  • Thin cardboard
  • Paint (optional)
  • Kraft paper (optional)
  • (Optional to use as tail alternative) Hardened paint brush bristles, wire or raffia

1.  The first step you’ll need to do is to get out in the garden and collect some twigs.  How many you will need depends on how you are going to make your miniature broom.  If you are using twigs for the tail, you will need lots of tiny, very thin twigs.  If you are using something else for the tail, you’ll only need to gather one larger sturdy stick.  Try and use ones that have already broken off on the ground so you’re not destroying nature xD Wash all of these under water and gently rub your finger over them to wipe off any loose dirt.  Leave to dry.

2.  Once you have chosen the stick you want to use for the main part of the broom, you’ll want to trim it down to the size you want.  Leave a bit of space at the end for the tail – this part of the stick will be hidden, but it is a good idea to have it there for extra support.  I had it extended about halfway through the length of the tail.  Strip the bark away with the knife and sand it.  It is a good idea to leave some knots in it, and other uneven markings just to make it more natural.  Some brooms you will notice have natural wood curves and bumps, others will have a little dip for the seat, others will simply be polished straight, so you have a bit of freedom here.  You will also want to carve the handle end of the broom the way you want.

3.  This step is optional, but you may want to paint your broom.  Of course, if you want to leave it it’s natural wood colour – go right ahead!  But the stick I used as above was much too light, and I wanted a darker colour.  If you plan on painting it, you may do it now or later.  It is much easier to do it now, but beware, you may need to go over it again later – or at least I did because might had a few scratches on it and I wasn’t happy with the original colour.  So now, later or never, it’s up to you.

4.  You see the wire stand/leg rest thingy that it’s sitting on?  That’s been drilled through the stick, so it actually twists all the way around.  However, this has not been done with a drill – much too heavy if you ask me!  Get your needle and position it where you want the legs to be.  Carefully push the needle down through the hole, so it comes out through the other end.  Whatever you do, don’t rush this part.  The stick is very thin and fragile, and if you aren’t careful, you may just completely split the whole thing down the middle, and you don’t want that!  If you’re having trouble, try hammering it down with a ruler (making sure you have some sort of surface beneath it).  Remember, you want it to be reasonably straight too!  If you end up with tiny cracks, that’s okay as they will be hidden and glued, but anything bigger and you may have to start again, particularly if the stick is in danger of snapping.

5.  Cut up 2 small strips of cardboard, one thinner than the other.  This may vary depending on the broom you’re making – i.e. Nimbus 2000 has 3, Nimbus 2001 has 1.  This should be on rather thin, flexible cardboard like an old cereal box.  I used some shiny silver metallic cardboard I had lying around, but you can paint this silver or glue aluminum foil, colour in Sharpie, whatever you like 🙂  These will be the “metal” bits that hold the tail.  Measure both of these around your stick, leaving about a 2-3mm gap all the way around, and glue.  You’ll want to hold this for a bit, or hold it around a paint brush, or hold it with a paperclip, ’til it dries nice and around and can slide over your broomstick with ease.  For the bigger piece, you will take your needle again and pierce it evenly on both sides, aligning it with the hole you already made in your stick.  Once done, take your paperclip and and straighten it out as best you can with pliers.  Slide this through the hole so it’s about centered.  You may need to wriggle it a bit, or widen it with the needle again.  If you have other strips, slide them onto the stick too.  You shouldn’t be gluing anything to the actual stick just yet.  Don’t worry about shaping the paperclip yet either, it’ll only get in the way.

6.  This step is also optional for brooms (like Tonks) that have a leather type er, protector? around the tail.  Take some brown kraft paper (from roll/paper bag, or paint some brown paper, or whatever) and crumple into a ball.  Optionally you can wet it, and wait for it to dry… I dunno, I read it somewhere and that’s what I did though I don’t see the difference xD Uncrumple it and you have somewhat of a leather texture.

Take your piece of thin cardboard, and draw the design you want on it, taking into account the size of your broom and how long you want the tail to be.  Tonks’ should have 2 pieces that look something like this:

It is a good idea to draw the design two times, just in case.  I’ll explain that later.  As you can see in the picture, once drawn you’ll need to cut it out, then glue your fake leather over the top.  Tada!  You have a tail protector thingy.  Wrap these pieces around your stick to give them a bit of shape, and glue to the inside of your second “metal” bit, the round cardboard strip without the hole in it.

7.  Here comes the fun part.  Twigs for your tail!  Or your other alternative method.  Hardened paint brush bristles – you know all those paint brushes that end up ruined in art class because they haven’t been cleaned properly?  Well, I’ve never worked with them before but I’d imagine they’d be a pretty good.  I wouldn’t really recommend raffia, I’m only saying it because it’s an easy option that all the other tutorials use, but it also looks the ugliest.  Also, if you want to have more control over the shape of your tail (i.e. Nimbus series), consider using thin wire. 🙂  For this tutorial though, I’m using twigs.  They do give it a nice authentic feel.   Take your thinnest most fragile twigs and cut them into small pieces (I’d recommend cutting over snapping to give nice straight edge).  These pieces should be the length of your cardboard metal bits.  They should just be able to stick out from the broomstick end, and be just hidden underneath the last metal bit.  Cover each of these tiny strips with glue, and slide between the stick and the metal bits trying to keep them nice and straight.  These should wrap right around your stick, and should also glue the metal bits into place.  Wait for it to dry.  From here, you’ll want the longer, more sturdy pieces (though still tiny) to make up the tail.  Again cover the sticks in glue, and thread them underneath the last metal bit.  Or, if you’re using the leather, it doesn’t really matter ’cause it’ll hide their placement.  This is where the extra length of the broomstick comes in handy – you can glue twigs around it, too.  Generally just be careful, slide twigs between twigs, try not to force any or they’ll snap.  I think I only had this twice.  Try and cut them roughly to size before gluing, but don’t worry about trimming them perfectly just yet.  Just glue, wait, dry, glue some more.  Soon you should see the tail taking shape.

8.  This is basically the finishing touches stage.  Trim any tail ends.  Take a paint brush and spread the glue evenly over the tail again to seal the twigs (you can skip this if you’re not using twigs).  If you need to repaint your broomstick, for colour or scratch marks, do so.  Once I added the twigs, it warped the shape of the leather a bit, mainly because the design I had drawn was a fraction too small.  So I had to layer on a bigger one, and as such another metal bit to cover it.  If you’ve gotten to this stage you’re doing very well!  You just need to get the pliers and bend that stand into the right shape to make a kind of pedal for the rider’s feet to sit on where in the air.  If done right and evenly, it should also act as a stand.  If you want, you can seal the stick with er, whatever you like.  I rubbed mine with a bit of candle wax – not sure it did the job, but it does feel nice and smooth.  Add any last minute decorations you want (or wear and tear), a name/engraving if you’d like, and you’re all done! 😀

Tonks’ Broom (Comet 260) Concept Art from Page to Screen, courtesy of h.Emiru.

Visit their website for more wonderful Page to Screen broom scans – great references.

And some more references that might be of use to you…

Also from Page to Screen:

Close up detail of Mad Eye’s broom


Arthur’s broom

HP Wiki


Nimbus 2000

Nimbus 2001

Happy flying!

~ by acciomagic on September 10, 2012.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: