Thursday, April 23, 2015

Harry Potter Party - The Decorations

Where to start was not the question I kept asking myself as I planned this Harry Potter themed birthday party. It was where to stop that I struggled with.

I had pins and lists and printouts of crafts and foods and favours that I wanted to make for the party. In the end a few of the more labour intensive (goodbye fake brick wall entrance) and expensive ideas were struck off the list but that didn't mean we weren't working until the last minute.

The party was to start at 5pm on Friday night so my day was spent doing final prep.  We were surprised to find out that many of the kids coming to the party had neither seen the movies nor read the books. That meant that a lot of the amazing little touches might go over their heads.  But they wouldn't be missed by our girls.

Some of our favourites:

Spiders Flee Before It

Apparently there is a basilisk loose in our home because all the spiders are clamoring to escape...

A bag of dollar store spiders and some double sided sticky foam was all that was needed to create this illusion. Hubby had the brilliant idea of adding some black paper in the corners of the rooms as the holes the spiders were either coming from or heading for.

Platform 9 3/4

While we dropped the idea for a brick wall - we finally found a use for this amazing silver trunk we can't seem to find a permanent home for. I just printed out some initials and the Hogwarts crest for added authenticity.

The Platform 9 3/4 sign was downloaded from here. It prints on 2 letter size pieces of paper and we glued it to a piece of foam core from the dollar store.


This was the first thing the kids saw when they set the scene. I thought "Hedwig" in her very small cage was a nice addition.

Class Signs:

The girls wanted to help us create some of the decorations and we needed to find something that didn't require precise cutting or gluing.  So we let them design and decorate the classroom signs.

These were just printed in black and white, cut out and glued onto cardboard "scrolls" that hubby freehanded.  After they were glued on the girls used pencil crayons and their Airbrush markers to decorate them.  We hung them over each entrance way.

Floating Candles:

This was one of the first Harry Potter craft ideas I saw and I was the most excited about.  You can find a very detailed technique here.  Or you can follow our very simple instructions.

1. Collect toilet paper rolls and ask others to save theirs for you.

2. Buy LED tealight candles at the dollarstore

3. Wrap toilet paper rolls with white printer paper (NOT cardstock) and tape it down. Freehand a dripping wax pattern around the top.

4. Secure LED tealight to inside of toilet paper roll with masking tape. The top of the tealight should be even with the top of the tube.

5. Wrap fishing line or white thread around the "wick" of the candle and hang from the ceiling using push pins.  Best to hang them in a darker area of the house like a hallway to get the best effect.

6. Turn LED lights on with a chopstick.

7. TA-DA!!!! Floating freakin' candles.

this is the best photo we were able to get of the floating candles in the dark. it really doesn't do them justice.

The Cakes

Usually we do cupcakes for birthdays. And I thought about doing that this year and either using cupcake toppers or turning them into little cauldrons or something.

But the in end my girls each asked to have their own cake. A 2 layer cake - one chocolate and one vanilla - with different coloured frosting for each. And the writing on the cakes were to match that of Hagrid's cake for Harry. Spelling mistakes and all.

Considering this was my first time making a two layer cake - let alone TWO of them - I think they turned out pretty great!

Little Touches:

Happy Birthday Banner
I got the banner at Target and used my handy dandy stencils to outline the letters.

Potions bottles with handwritten labels
The kids wrote on chalkboard labels from Target and stuck them on dollar store bottles. "Gillyweed" "Felix Felicis" & "Polyjuice Potion"

Owls in cages...

Drink labels - found here:

Gryffindor Colours for the food table:

It was a lot of work but when we put it all together we were quite happy with the final product. 

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