For a device or article of manufacture claim the trick would be to write a claim that did not cover something that existed. If I invented a back scratcher that was structured like a tiny rake and small rakes already existed I couldn’t write a claim that covered the structure of my invention that didn’t also describe the existing rake. My hypothetical backscratcher patent can’t mean people who made tiny rakes can no longer do so.
To make it worse, making something smaller or larger, in itself, doesn’t get around prior art. Of course if miniaturization took special techniques or materials or structures those aspect would be different from just “make it smaller”.
The balancing of a conductor’s baton might be different from what had been previously known for other sticks be and lead to a device patent. But be careful of the principle of inherency. If sticks had been made with that balance but for a different reason or no reason then the prior art would have inherently had the feature and you can’t patent.
However a method claim can patent a method of doing something with existing items that had never been done or thought of doing before.
So a “A method of indicating the tempo of music to a person performing music by waving a generally cylindrical stick having a length, weight and width between (generally define the stick) mimicking the motions of a metronome” might fly if it was new and not obvious even if balanced sticks existed.
Same with the rake/backscratcher. You couldn’t stop people from making and selling tiny rakes but they better not advertise them for backscratching or they may be committing inducement to infringe.