- Long, thick branch from a tree
- Set of whittling knives
- Pocket knife
- Dremel or other rotary tool
- Sanding paper
- Linseed oil or clear varnish
Walking sticks are essential when you want to take a nice, long trek through the woods, or for providing you the aura of a mystical wizard, sans the white beard. Walking sticks are fun to make and you can even get a little artistic with them, by carving a dragon's head out of the top of the stick.
First, you will have to find a long, thick branch that is not weather-beaten or damaged by insects. Walking sticks should never be taken from a live tree, only sticks already on the ground should be used. The ancients believe that when the branch falls naturally from a tree, it is the tree that is offering the branch to you. You may have to walk for a while in the forest to find the right stick, but when you come across it, you will know it.
Look for a stick with a large, knobby end as you will need the large portion of the stick to create the dragon head.
Next, take the stick home and remove all of the bark from it. Take it all the way down to the bare wood. You will also remove any tiny branches affixed to the stick.
Stand the stick on its end to determine how long the walking stick should be. Use the saw to cut the stick to the proper length.
Use the Dremel or rotary tool to sand away any rough edges and remove the small branch nubs.
With your whittling knives, begin to carve the face of the dragon on the staff's top. Begin with eyes. Use the smaller knife to carve small circular indentations and carve lines for the dragon's eyebrows.
Next, carve the dragon's mouth. This is just a pair of lines running along each side of the face which will meet in a point on the muzzle. (Most dragons have a downward facing point on their muzzle. Just trying to keep it real!)
Depending on the shape of the knob, you may or may not have the flexibilty of adding horns or ears. If you do go ahead and carve them but just be careful because the wood may be thin or weak.
With the dragon face carved, use the half-moon shaped whittling knife to create the appearance of scales going down the back of the dragon. You can take them as far down the walking stick as you like. Along the dragon's neck, carve horizontal lines to give the appearance of the dragon's underbelly.
Use the sand paper to sand away any additional rough spots and possible sources of splinters. Then, thoroughly wipe off the walking stick to remove any excess sawdust.
Lastly, apply a few generous coats of either Linseed Oil or clear varnish to protect the wood and provide your walking stick with a gorgeous finish. Now, simply let it fully dry and you are all set for your next venture into the forest. Although you may find it difficult to take your masterpiece out of the house!