Steve had made the kids some wands out of bamboo earlier in the year. Then at Halloween he made some more and we discovered that even the small Bamboo is sometimes hollow in the center, making it not always ideal for wands. The bamboo wands were pretty quick and easy to make but we were concerned that bamboo might break.
So in the end we opted to buy oak dowels from the lumber store.
Steve then made a lathe out of his drill and carved each of the 16 wands individually by hand so each was a little different. WARNING: THIS IS DANGEROUS. They were then stained using wood stains we already had. And clear coated with Rustoleum clear spray paint so the stain wouldn't rub off on the kids' hands.
I'd read on one of the party sites that a woman had put the wands in a light up cup so I thought I'd give that a try. We used a cup from The Rainforest Cafe (I got a 24 oz electric lemonade out of the deal.) and I covered the logo with an Ollivander's label I made by using a picture I found on the internet. The button is on the bottom of the cup. I had each child select a wand but if the magic cup did not light up it was "not the wand for them" and they had to select another. It was fun.
Sometimes they'd get the right one the first time sometimes it seemed like they had to try every wand in the cup. It's hard to see in the pictures but it was a cool effect and the kids loved it. Of course they eventually caught on but were still good sports as they selected their wands.