Plans are in the works for Little Jo’s birthday party and I’ve been tasked with coming up with the invitation. Her favorite character from the movies/books is Hedwig, Harry Potter’s pet snowy owl. Since Hedwig is known as a messenger throughout the stories, it made perfect sense that she be featured in the invitation.
I wanted it to appear like Hedwig was delivering the invitation, so I started by designing an image of her flying, with talons outstretched. I put it into a PDF so you could all download it for free and easily make your own Harry Potter party invitations.
Once you’ve got the invitation template downloaded, print it onto white cardstock. Then use your paper trimmer (or scissors) to cut them out.
I want to share a little tip with you to really make your invitations looks sharp. When you print something onto white cardstock that has black on the edge, the white core of the cardstock shows on the sides. This is especially true if the blade on your paper trimmer is a little dull, like mine is. To fix this problem, just run a black marker along the edge of your cut cardstock, letting it color the exposed white core. Just look at the difference it makes in the before (left) and after (right) stacks of invitations. Such a simple trick really makes your printouts look more professional and less handmade.
Now take an invitation and set it on a self-healing cutting mat and grab a craft knife. You need to cut along each side of each of Hedwig’s talons, in the general area where I’ve marked with yellow in the photo below. Be sure you cut all the way through the cardstock.
Once you’ve made your cuts, you should be able to pop the talons out and stick your finger behind them.
Why did we do this? Well, to have somewhere to put the details about the party!
Open up your favorite word processing software and write out your party details (when, where, etc). I suggest using a fun Harry Potter font like Harry P or Wizard’s Magic. The paper should be about 4″ wide and 6″ tall, and for an authentic look, I suggest tearing the edges or even using parchment paper.
Now roll the printed paper up really tightly (roll around a bamboo skewer to get started if you need help) and then slip it underneath Hedwig’s talons.
Pretty cute, right? You could stop there, but why would you? We can embellish these invites and really take them over the top!
First, take the rolled paper back out. Then grab a tape runner (I used a Thermoweb sticky dot runner) and run a curved row of stickiness across the tail feathers, about halfway up, where I’ve marked in yellow in the photo below. (P.S. Do not use glue for this… I tried and it was a mess!)
Speaking of messes, you’re getting ready to make a big one. Like, you’ll need a vacuum after you’re done, but it’ll be worth it.
You’ll need a white feather boa with really fine strands (not giant, thick feathers). I found one at my local Hobby Lobby store for just a few bucks. Grab a chunk of the feathers, hold them really tight to keep them from going everywhere, and snip them off with scissors.
Now carefully stick the ends of the cut feathers onto the sticky tape on the invitation. It won’t be perfect and bits of feathers will be flying around everywhere (thus the aforementioned mess) but keep sticking them on until the tape is covered.
Grab the tape runner again and add a second row of tape, this time near the top, where I’ve marked in yellow in the photo below.
Cut more bits of feather and stick it to this row of tape, creating a full, feathery tail. I love it! By the way, once you’ve done one of these and are comfortable with the process, I suggest doing ALL of the invitations in an assembly line fashion, so you don’t have to keep cleaning up feathers after each one.
With the tail done, you now need to address the body and wings. Adding more feathers would be too much, so we’ll use a different approach. To start off, print one more copy of the invitation template onto cardstock and cut it into two pieces so that one half has tail feathers, claws, and the blue sky on it.
Use this bottom half as a mask to cover up all your pretty feathers and the blue sky, then apply a thin coat of adhesive to cover the rest of the owl’s body, making sure to cover it all. You can use any adhesive you have on hand that works well with flocking, but be sure to choose something that won’t curl/wrinkle your paper. (I suggest doing a test on a piece of cardstock first to be sure you get good results.) It’s a good idea to work on top of a piece of scrap paper so you don’t get glue all over your table.
Now sprinkle a liberal coating of white flocking powder over the glued surface, then shake off the excess. If you’ve never used flocking powder before, you’ll soon see that it creates a soft and fuzzy finish, which is perfect for the fine, feathery coat of an owl.
When the glue has dried completely, tuck your rolled-up invitation paper back into Hedwig’s talons.
The invitation will fit perfectly into a 5 3/4″ x 8 3/4″ envelope (size A9).
I’d say this invitation definitely sets the tone for a fun and authentic Harry Potter party, wouldn’t you?