Chica and Jo
...simplifying life
Chica and Jo
...simplifying life
Chica and Jo
17
JUL
2013

Harry Potter party

by: Jo

Harry Potter party
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Little Jo loves all things Harry Potter. She has seen the movies more times than she can count and she is in the middle of reading The Goblet of Fire. It came as no surprise to me that this year when she said she wanted a Harry Potter birthday party. Be prepared for me to share A LOT of pictures with you!

I set up the Great Hall inside of our living room. McGeeky hung battery-operated LED taper candles from the ceiling using fishing line and clear push pins. I used different sizes and varied the height. The look was fabulous when the sun set! To cover the wall behind the cake, I ordered a stone wall backdrop.

Harry Potter party

I covered the tables in either Gryffindor red or Ravenclaw blue plastic tablecloths and decorated with candleabras that I had collected from various places. I used clear, plastic plates on top of gold chargers.

To add punch to the chargers, I printed the crests for Gryffindor and Ravenclaw on sticker paper, cut them out, and stuck them on the chargers. Having the clear plastic plate on top kept the food from messing up the logo.

To make the banners, I used my Artograph projector to project the Hogwarts crest, Gryffindor crest, and Ravenclaw crest onto foam core. I outlined the images with a pencil and then painted them in. I trimmed out the edges with some coordinating cording. The foam core made them lightweight and easy to hang!

Chica made an amazing cake that looked just like the sorting hat. She covered it with Wilton chocolate fondant that tasted like Tootsie Rolls! I can’t even explain how she did it, but Little Jo and I believe there was some magic involved.

Our most outrageous party decoration was the suit of armor Little Jo and I dragged home one night. Yeah, McGeeky wasn’t too thrilled about that purchase, but I think our armored friend looks right at home!

I took inspiration for decorations from stories in the books. In the first book, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, Harry must capture a particular flying key. I portrayed that story by hanging feathered, vintage-looking keys from the dining room entryway.

Even Dumbledore took a few moments to pop in on the festivities, by way of a Professor Dumbledore cardboard cutout

I decorated one wall with printouts of educational decrees that I found online.

And another wall was plastered with Harry “Wanted” posters.

Next to the entry way, I had Hedwig the Owl in a cage near a box full of note pads and quills. I made the quills by snipping the ends off of large feathers, pulling the ink tube out of a ball point pen, and inserting it into the feather. A little white or black duct tape to secure them in place, and we had some awesome homemade feather quills.

Nearby, I placed an old-fashioned ink well surrounded by gold coins, to represent Gringotts Wizarding Bank.

And of course we made our homemade Butterbeer recipe and served it at our version of The Three Broomsticks!

My dear friend, Donna, was kind enough to paint this fat lady portrait for the party. I placed it next to the front door, but as soon as the party was over, Little Jo immediately moved it to her bedroom door.

Then there was Honeydukes, the kids’ favorite stop at the end of the party! I ordered a Candy Shoppe cardboard stand and decorated it with Honeydukes sign on top. We went nuts making custom boxes, labels, and tags for our Honeydukes candies. You can get all of our Harry Potter Honeydukes printables in our Etsy shop. We used these all over the party space!

We recreated Bertie Bott’s Every Flavor Beans boxes with a template from our Honeydukes printables set, and filled them up with jelly beans.

The Fizzing Whizzbees candies were my favorite addition to the Honeydukes stand. I used a bee candy mold that I filled with melted chocolate with some Pop Rocks mixed in. They gave the chocolate the perfect fizz and were so fun! We think the strawberry ones tasted the best in the chocolate. I put the bees in long plastic bags (the kind made for chocolate covered pretzel rods) and topped them with the label from our printables set. Voila, the cutest Harry Potter party favor ever!

You can get the bee mold I used for the Fizzing Whizzbees in the Harry Potter candy mold kit available in our Amazon store, which also includes molds to make an assortment of chocolate Harry Potter themed chocolate lollipops. The kit even includes a bunch of sticks, bags, and twist ties!

And what trip to Honeydukes would be complete without grabbing some chocolate frogs? I made these with the chocolate frog mold that’s also included in our Harry Potter candy mold kit. And the frog boxes were made with a template included in our Harry Potter Honeydukes printables found in our Etsy shop.

The Honeydukes printables collection includes a round Honeydukes logo printable that is perfect for giant suckers.

And the diamond-shaped Honeydukes logo was the perfect addition to plain brown lunch bags to create sacks for the kids to hold all of the treats.

To get the party started, we first sorted the kids into houses. Each guest wore the sorting hat, which decided whether they were placed in Ravenclaw or Gryffindor.

Once the kids were sorted, it was time to attend classes! First was the Care of Magical Creatures taught by Hagrid.

If you don’t have a naturally bearded friend, you can use a caveman beard to complete the look. Make sure you give him a pink umbrella!

The kids really enjoyed Hagrid’s quick intro to animal care with one of horses out at our barn.

After the lesson, we let the kids unwind with a fun game of Quidditch. We made the goals from smaller hula hoops attached to inexpensive tomato stakes.

We used the quaffle that Little Jo bought at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, along with some straw brooms for the kids to “ride”.

The rules may have evolved throughout the game, but the kids definitely had a blast with it.

Next up, it was off to the dungeons for Potions with Snape. I decorated a corner of our basement by hanging black plastic sheeting along the walls, creating a perfectly dark and creepy space.

Then Professor Snape (a.k.a. McGeeky) showed the kids a few simple tricks.

For one of them, I used our potion bottle labels to decorate bottles, then filled them with tonic water. Snape turned on a black light and the kids marveled at how the magic potions glowed.

I used some mixed media techniques to make Little Jo a special book for recording her potions.

The final lesson of the day took the kids out of the dungeons and into the light for Herbology with Professor Sprout.

Class took place on our sun porch, where there are plenty of plants for inspiration. Professor Sprout told the kids about the healing properties of aloe, then helped them planted venus fly trap plants that they got to take home.

All of that activity caused some ravenous appetites! Heaping platters of food were served for dinner in the Great Hall.

For Harry Potter party favors, the kids got to take home a bag of candy from the Honeydukes stand. My aunt also made the the kids simple black robes, and we gave them wands and Harry Potter glasses. I couldn’t resist one last favor, though, so I used a Hogwart’s Crest cut file to stencil the crest image onto T-shirts for the kids.

I want to give a special thank you to everyone who worked so hard to help me with this part, and make it a forever memory for Little Jo.

Harry Potter party
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24 comments so far:

  • 1
    Peggi Clark 07/17/2013 at 4:31 pm

    Wow… there are some great ideas here. Maybe can use some for my 10 yr old’s b’day. Thanks

  • 2
    Kris Shea 07/27/2013 at 1:53 am

    Nice party! Can you tell me about the brooms – did you make them? buy them? any links?

  • 3
    Marlene Romero 07/31/2013 at 12:15 am

    Unbelievable party!! What great decorations and games. Wish we could have been guests! The kids must have had a blast! Thanks for sharing.

  • 4
    Jo 08/01/2013 at 11:06 am

    Kris, I purchased the brooms from a local party store. You can easily find them wherever they sell costumes, or look here on Amazon for simple witch brooms.

  • 5
    Tamie 09/27/2013 at 12:03 pm

    Great ideas. I think of apply this for upcoming Halloween. Thank you for sharing.

  • 6
    Kina 10/03/2013 at 12:06 am

    This is fantastic! I wish I would use these for my daughter, but she may be too old at 11. Hummmm… maybe I can convince her – however, we don’t have a horse or the open yard space, but this is wonderful – you are SO creative!

  • 7
    Karen 11/20/2013 at 12:48 am

    My goodness! This looks absolutely FANTASTIC!!! There has been a massive amount of work by everyone!
    Well done!!

  • 8
    Jody 01/02/2014 at 7:48 pm

    Absolutely CLEVER and BEYOND amazing! I wish this idea was around a decade ago when my now grown son was into HP. LOVE the candle idea. GENIUS!

  • 9
    Louisa 04/26/2014 at 9:07 pm

    You have done am amazing job ! My son would love this! I’m doing my son a harry potter themed room and have got lots of ideas from this. Can I ask though we’re did you get the suit of armour from I’ve looked everywhere but can’t find one :(

  • 10
    Chica 04/27/2014 at 12:22 pm

    Louisa, the suit of armor came from a store called Garden Ridge.

  • 11
    Gwen 06/16/2014 at 7:50 am

    Wow, wow..wow. I think this is the best HP party I have seen. (Must have cost you a small fortune)
    My daughter is 16 and would LOVE this party lol. You’re never too old for Harry. Even this Mum would be there with bells on if invited.
    What a wonderful Mum you are :D a party that will always be remembered.

  • 12
    jess_the_ultimate_potterhead 11/25/2014 at 5:50 pm

    where in the WORLD did those quiddich goal posts come from?!?! i have been trying to find some for ages but they aren’t anywhere. Did you make them? if so, how? sorry, im a huge potternerd and i cant live without quidditch. normally i have to get my sister to run around the house so i can pretend to be a seeker and catch her. yeah. its really sad. please reply asap

  • 13
    Chica 11/25/2014 at 6:43 pm

    Jess, we made the quidditch goals by attaching small hula hoops to inexpensive wooden stakes. Hope that helps!

  • 14
    LAURA 02/20/2015 at 11:27 pm

    How did you get the candles on the ceilings to hold onto the clear thread – and hang in the air? Or maybe a better way to put this is how did you attach the clear thread to the candles?

  • 15
    Chica 02/22/2015 at 1:40 pm

    Laura, we just used clear tape to attach fishing line to the candles, then attached the other end of the line to the ceiling with push pins.

  • 16
    Emily 02/23/2015 at 4:32 pm

    Such a good idea! I would love this party!!!

  • 17
    Aidan Kutsov 05/30/2015 at 10:42 pm

    I totally love this party idea, I am currently slipping the link to my sister to bring this idea up to my dad for my sweet 16 party upcoming.

  • 18
    Karen 07/18/2015 at 8:01 pm

    Great party! I’m doing one fore my son this fall. Could you tell me where you found the Fizzing Wizzbees Candy label? I’ve looked everywhere for a template and cannot find one. Thanks!

  • 19
    Chica 07/22/2015 at 8:42 am

    Karen, the Fizzing Whizzbees label is part of our Honeydukes printables collection available on Etsy.

  • 20
    Barb 08/12/2015 at 11:51 pm

    We had a Harry Potter party for my daughter’s 17th birthday, which was pretty cool, but not this cool. Hope I get to throw another one for my grandbabies someday.

  • 21
    SJM 02/17/2016 at 7:58 pm

    Simply fabulous! I am soooo inspired and in awe!

  • 22
    Rocio 11/28/2016 at 8:04 am

    This party is amazing! Congratulations!

  • 23
    Jamie 11/30/2016 at 3:21 am

    This is awesome! I’m currently working on making my nearly 19 year old daughter a Very Potter Christmas, and I’ve been struggling with what all that should include. You have seriously given me some very good ideas and resources that I fully intend to use. Thank you so much!

  • 24
    Jo 12/02/2016 at 3:36 pm

    Jamie, what a great idea to give it a Christmas spin!

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We are two best friends sharing our creative journey. You never know what we will be into each time you visit. We could be throwing a unique party, refinishing a flea market find, or whipping up a new cupcake recipe. We invite you to join us for the ride as we tackle life one project at a time!

Please visit Chica and Jo at http://www.chicaandjo.com for more DIY projects and clever ideas!