Harry Potter party
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.
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, using a set of Harry Potter Honeydukes printables we found on Etsy. We used these all over the party space!
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 the printables. 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 from the Harry Potter Honeydukes printables from Etsy.
The Honeydukes printables collection also 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, they were off to Ollivander’s Wand Shop, where they made their own wands. This was a really fun party activity for the kids, and you can get the supplies all at once in the Wizarding Wand Making Kits we sell on Etsy.
After that, 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 the 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.
A great addition to Snape’s area is one of our potion making kits, straight from Mr. Mulpepper’s Apothecary. This really helps set the scene, and also makes for a unique birthday gift for the guest of honor. Check out our Wizard’s Potion Making Kits, complete with all the trimmings, on Etsy.
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.