My oldest and I were (and still are) true Harry Potter fans, so we planned years ahead that she would have a Harry Potter Party theme for her 11th birthday. I was beyond excited about the idea. I started my Pinterest board and made it my mission to create a fantastical version for my daughter. With her birthday being in mid-September, I started with preparations in July with the wands. My husband may have asked a few times how long I would be working on making wands, but you can’t mess with the artist’s methods and desires. Below is the full rundown on our Harry Potter Party.
We blew up white balloons and drew owls on them with Sharpies. We attached an owl balloon to each invitation and hand-delivered it to each house for a truly authentic experience.
Harry Potter Party: The Journey begins with Platform 9 3/4
“For in dreams we enter a world that is entirely our own.”Albus Dumbledore
I used the same technique for both Platform 9 3/4 and Diagon Alley. This involved shades of brown and shades of red, a paper plate, water, and a sponge cut to brick size. I put a mix of the cheap acrylic paint shades on a plate and thinned them with water in a syringe. The sponge would absorb the color before I stamped it onto the curtain. I used a curtain panel I found at Goodwill for Platform 9 3/4 and butcher paper for Diagon Alley.
Using cardstock in shades of red, clear fishing wire, and hot glue I made the rotating ‘bricks’ to keep with the authentic Harry Potter Party feel. This may well have been my favorite part of the whole party.
Quick Stop at Gringotts Bank for some Spending Gold
Each wizarding student received a gold coin from Gringotts Bank. On the back of the coin was a unique Harry Potter image. I had printed off images onto one piece of paper and taped them to the back of the coins. This was intentional so there wouldn’t be fighting at Eeylops Owl Emporium.
Eeylops Owl Emporium & Magical Menagerie
In order to keep party costs as low as I could, I asked family to help me check out Goodwill stores for good condition cats, owls and frogs to stock the menagerie. Now here is where the coins came into play. I picked a pet out of the stock and would call out the Harry Potter image I’d placed on it. This matched with the coin. I knew that kids would likely like specific animals and didn’t want to have them fighting over the same one. This pet was one of their party favors as well.
Monster Book of Monsters at Flourish and Botts
For the full tutorial on my DIY Monster Book of Monsters, check out the instructions here.
Ollivander’s Wand Shop
There are definitely lots of options for you to pick from when it comes to wands. Premade is always an option, but if you’re like me, you enjoy the opportunity to express your creativity and save some money at the same time. I used Long Cooking Chopsticks as the base of the wand. From there, I used a variety of clay, hot glue, spray paint, and paint to create my own wands. The only one I made true to Harry Potter was the elder wand.
My mother in law happened to have a tall wide vase for me to use for the wand to choose the wizard. I used some purchased fairy lights inside the vase and left the on/off switch outside of it for me to be able to control the light. Each little wizard came up to pick a wand. They would continue to touch different wands until the lights lit up to indicate the wand had chosen. It was great fun.
On to Hogwarts and the Sorting Hat
I seemed to do a fair bit of paper Mache these days. My sorting hat may very well have been the kick-off to that trend. Cardboard served for the brim, butcher paper to shape the point, then newspaper and flour-water mixture as the glue. I rejected not looking at a picture of a sorting hat while doing the face, but it is what it is. It also ended up being slightly small but worked out.
The Great Hall
I bought battery-powered candles to hang from the ceiling with fishing line and tape.
I called each wizard to the chair and place the hat on their hat. There was a blue tooth speaker behind the chair connected to my phone. Based on the birthday girl’s list of picks, I played the particular Youtube bite on the Wizarding house selection.
With the wizards sorting into their houses, it was time for classes to begin…
I bought this Marauder’s Map for my daughter. If you really want to up your game though, check out this one:
For Herbology, I bought clay and tiny pots for the wizards to make their own mandrakes. They did a great job with them. I baked them in the oven while we completed the other classes.
We were cleaning out a storage room at work which had started to mold. It was just my luck that one of those items that had significant mold was a large painted picture with a magnificent frame. They were going to toss it, so instead, I took it home to take the painting out and repurposed it. It was a perfect set up for some live motion photos of each youth. It’s one of my signature party favors to include a photo of each youth with the theme. Just like in my detective party with the arrest photo.
I did a photo and a boomerang photo as they finished up with their mandrakes, which helped fill in time during the transition to Potions class.
Professor Flitwick’s Charms class
Using their wands, they have to say “Wingardium Leviosa” and keep the balloons up as long as they could. The wizard who was able to keep it up the longest was the winner.
We rounded out the classes with a games tournament. They sorted into their houses and played board games until their was only one winner for each house. Then the house winners, played against each other to get to win the house championship. With classes complete, it was time for a trip to Hogsmeade.
Day Pass to Hogsmeade
I used Muggle Magic’s Honeydukes Chocolate Frog Box design for these boxes. For the frogs, I used Nerdy with Children’s recipe and tutorial. I ordered the Bertie Botts Every Flavor Beans and the frog mold from Amazon.
Harry Potter Party Must Have: Butter Beer at the Leaky Cauldron
For adult and youth wizards alike, I used this Butterbeer recipe that includes Schnapps. For youth, I obviously took out the schnapps. They weren’t much fans of it, so I had a fair amount left after the party. I will have to use the ice cream version next time.
Next time I do this party (for the next two girls). I may opt for some premade options like Flying Cauldrons Butterscotch Beer.
I borrowed this Pensieve idea from Raegun Ramblings. It did not turn out that great, because I was rushing to get it done between getting home from work and the party starting.
To top off the sweets, I made a chocolate book cake to fulfill my cake decorating hobby needs.
So that’s the rundown, I truly hope you enjoyed it and are able to grab some ideas for your very own Harry Potter Party.
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