Maleficent staff

Disclaimer: this is not a live-action or animated screen accurate version. I took inspiration from Once Upon a Time, Maleficent, and Sleeping Beauty as well as my own ideas. I got everything from either Home Depot, Joann’s, or amazon.


  • 10′ PVC pipe
  • PVC pipe end cap
  • Sandpaper
  • Black paint (spray or liquid. Make sure it’s meant for plastics)
  • Gold paint (same as the black)
  • Sealant (I used outdoor Mod Podge)
  • Thermoplastic pellets (I used Instamorph)
  • Leather lace
  • Hot glue + gun
  • Paintbrushes
  • Magical ball
  • optional (fake crow)


  1. Cut the PVC pipe in half so you have two 5′ pipes. One will be used for the staff.
  2. Put the end cap on the bottom end of the pipe
  3. Sand the whole pipe and the end cap. This is important to help the paint stick to the pipe. Make sure to wipe the dust off.

    I chose a 1″ pipe. This is pre-sanding.
  4. !! Follow the instructions for the thermoplastic pellets and be careful not to burn yourself!! I first made a cup for the ball to sit in on the top.
    I formed a log first for everything, it was the easiest shape to make the pellets at first.

    If I needed to soften the plastic after it cooled, I simply reheated it.
  5. Make dragon claws. I didn’t use any references for mine, but I would definitely suggest having an idea of how you want them to look. Then I made dragon claws. I made a thumb, middle, and two claws. I used clay tools to help me add a bit of detail to the plastic before it cooled.

    This is a claw mid-cooling stage. I added knuckle detail as well as the talon.
  6. As you’re making the claws, be sure to mark where they will go on the staff. This ensure you don’t make giant or tiny claws that don’t fit appropriately. I labeled each mark and the corresponding claw with the same number.

    This is after I glued the ball down preemptively.
  7. You can curve the claws inward, but make sure to do this with the ball sitting in the cup on top so you don’t curve them too much and are then unable to remove the ball!

    This is the same claw as the one pictured in 5, reshaped and curved.
  8. Use the hot glue to attach the claws onto the staff (I didn’t realize until after the fact that I placed one higher than it’s “twin” but I used pro strength hot glue and couldn’t be bothered to fix it, it’s fine.)

    You can use hot glue to fix any spaces or lumps between the claws and create a smooth surface.
  9. Then I used varying thicknesses of plastic ropes and wrapped them around the staff a bit to mimic a kind of root or gnarled branch look. I hot glued portions to the staff to ensure that they would stick. The thermoplastic I used adheres to other plastics, but I wanted to play it safe.

    I forgot to take a picture mid-process of the branch things.
  10. Paint the whole thing black (I used a thick enamel paint and did 2-3 thin coats). Make sure you remove the ball first to paint the cup and underside of the claws black. I glued the ball into place without thinking and had to painstakingly paint what I could in the space between the ball and the claws with a tiny brush. It was not a good time.
  11. Use the gold paint and dry brush over the “highlight” areas of the claws and the roots/branches. Dry brushing is simply using a dry brush dipped in a small amount of paint to lightly brush over a surface.
  12. Use the sealant and cover everything to make sure the paint doesn’t chip or flake off.
  13. Hot glue the ball to the top of the staff.
  14. Using the leather lace and any knot design you fancy, create a hand grip.

    I used one lace to wrap horizontally and the other lace created the criss-cross pattern.
  15. If you want to, hot glue the fake crow on top of the ball for an added ~Maleficent~ feel.

If you stopped at step 14, this is what it looks like.



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