A staff [walking stick] or wand are made in similar ways, the difference is how big the wood is. Around Mabon [first day of autumn] many witches make their wands because of all the fallen wood. I was taught not to use fallen limbs, but I have made a wand from one and haven't notice a difference so whatever. If you are making a wand, find a stick/branch the length of your wrist to your elbow, if a staff I think its shoulder height but don't quote me.
If you choose to use a living trees branch [because different wood has different magickal properties and/or you feel the branch can't be 'dead'] it is common to befriend the tree, give it offerings, energy, meditate under it, and of course, ask before you take [wait for an answer]
Now that you have your branch, strip the bark, widdle it into your desired design, and sand it. Some choose to stain or paint it, your choice. You can decorate it with symbols, runes, beads, stones, feathers, ribbons, and whatever else. Try to have it flow, if you make a wand for love magick, find wood with these qualities, and use runes and crystals for love. Throwing a bunch of stuff together when it is meant to be used for one specific thing will effect the energy.
Once you are satisfied with your wand, bless it. Luckily, if you made it yourself, you don't have to cleanse and charge it since you charged it with your energy while making it. If you bought your wand, be sure you cleanse and charge before blessing.