Sunday, September 27, 2015

Harry Potter Hogwarts Birthday Party - Part II


The kids were then sorted into their houses.  Dave placed a house crest sticker badge in the hat before it was placed on their head.  Then it fell out as they removed it. I also gave them a bookmark that said a little description of what their house characteristics are. 

I put a picture of Albus Dumbledore on the mantle. 

I also put a little jar of Floo Powder.  All of these details were lost on most of the kids, but Maya and Ethen loved it.

Ethen got sorted into Ravenclaw.

Maya got sorted into Gryffindor.


In their invitation I put that they would be doing three classes: Potions, Charms, and Defense Against the Dark Arts.  For potions, Dave did a great job acting British (you can tell by the expression) and giving them a fun lesson.

I just put some labels on bottles I already had for a little decoration.

They mixed one tablespoon of bicorn powder (baking soda) with a vial of shrivelfig (vinegar). 

I loved their reaction as it bubbled over.

The next potion Dave taught he mixed himself because it involved flames. It was a basilisk regeneration potion.  He mixed one 4 teaspoons of wartcap powder (powdered sugar) with 1 teaspoon bicorn powder (baking soda) in a small shotglass.  Then he put it upside down in a glass bowl,  careful to keep it contained.  Then he poured basilisk venom (rubbing alcohol) around it, removed the shotglass and lit it on fire.  Basilisks emerged from the powder.


About an hour had passed at this point, so we moved into the dining room for lunch.  I set the table up using chargers under the paper plates and let the kids use glass goblets and silverware.  I served fruit/veggies and pizza.

 I also hung house banners above the table.

I made some candles out of rolled paper and put tea lights at the top and hung them from the ceiling for the floating candle effect.

We also had a birthday cake that Hagrid made.  It was delicious with whipped cream frosting!


The kids got to go out after lunch for a game of quiddich.  Dave made me these awesome hoops from hula hoops and plumbing pipe.  I just spray painted them gold.

He explained the rules to them because I knew I'd never get them straight.  They were divided into their houses and each team had 3.  There was one Chaser, who rode the broom and tried to throw the soccer ball into the hoops.  The beaters tried to knock them off the broom by throwing a dodgeball at them.  The rest of the kids ran around as seekers searching for the golden snitch.  This kept everyone engaged, turns were quick, and we rotated through all the kids.

Maya as a chaser.

 Ethen as a beater.

Seekers found the golden snitch!


I had them get their spell books and wands for Charms class.  They had to say "wingardium leviosa" to keep the balloon afloat.  This worked great, because if it fell on the grass it popped, so they really tried to keep it afloat.


I got a creepy thing from Party City that resembled a dementor, and turned it into a pinata by removing some of its head.

Dave raised it up and down by standing on a ladder.  It didn't survive the first hit.  We had to keep retying it to the rope, but eventually they beat it to death, yelling "Expelliarmus."


It was hot out, so it was nice to come in for some refreshing butterbeer at the Three Broomsticks.  I bought some butterscotch root beer from World Market (Dang It brand) and just made labels for them.  I put it in cups with whipped cream and butterscotch syrup.  I thought it was fabulous, but only a couple of kids liked it.  Wasn't a  hit.


We opened presents at this point, as it was nearing time for parents to come (a 2-hour party).  When their parents came to fetch them, I let them come to Honeydukes for some candy.  I made the jar labels with my Silhouette Portrait.

I made some Honeydukes stickers with my Silhouette Portrait and stuck them on candy bags.  I filled them with some of each kind.

Chocolate frogs came from Amazon.  They are cheaper to buy in bulk.  I made the boxes from a template I found on Pinterest, but they are empty.  I used my Silhouette Portrait to cut them out, and it saved me tons of time.  Drooble's Best Blowing Gum are just gumballs.

Chocolate wands are Pocky chocolate sticks from World Market.  Pixie Puffs are marshmallows.  Liquorice Wands are Twizzlers (in Gryffindor colors).

I thought it would be fun to include genuine British candy, so the Lemon Sherbets and Exploding BonBons are strawberry bonbons and lemon sherbets from the UK that I picked up at It's Sugar store.  The bonbons aren't good, in my opinion.  Haven't tried a lemon one yet.

I made some Every Flavour Bean boxes from a template also.  Again, I used my Silhouette Portrait to cut them.  They happened to fit 3 boxes of the Bertie Botts Beans perfectly.  Each kid got one box.  They loved exploring which ones were vomit and earwax flavors.  Nasty.  

We'll that's it!  Congratulations on making it to the end!

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Harry Potter Hogwarts Birthday Party - Part I


I'm no Potterhead.  I read the first book when it came out, and the story just never interested me.  But I have read the first two books aloud to my children, and they are really enjoying it. After attending the wizardry camp at the Houston Museum of Natural Science this summer, Maya decided to have her birthday party be a Hogwarts theme.

Now, I can't resist a good party challenge so I dived in.  I can see why people like it so much.  It's a whole world of fantastical and magical stuff. It gave me plenty of opportunities to get crafty.  There is so much information out there, and Pinterest is loaded with fun ideas.


I made letters of acceptance to Hogwarts, printed them on green parchment paper, and sealed them with a wax seal.  The letters described what the kids should bring, and an outline of the classes they'd be doing (party activities).  This let the parents know how they should come dressed.  It also included an express ticket from Keddington Cross to Hogwarts.

Maya helped me seal the invitations (which is why there are three hands in the photo).  I pressed a letter H into the seal for Hogwarts.

Then I wrote each child's name in green calligraphy.

I hung the invitations from the fireplace for special owl delivery.  I added an owl for special effects.  I asked the parents to place the invitation near the fireplace, and included clear thread to hang it if they wished.


I tried to involve the kids in my preparations.  I had them help me paint the signs.  I bought the plaques from Michaels/Hobby Lobby.  I cut out some vinyl titles with my Silhouette Portrait (which I used a ton for this party!  Such a great invention!)  After adhering the vinyl I sealed it with a clear spray so the letters wouldn't come off.


When the kids arrived the day of the party, I dressed up as Professor Keddington in a robe and black dress.  I told them I'd be their professor for the day to help them buy supplies for school.  I asked if any of them had any money.  When I got blank (and worried) looks, I instructed them that our first stop would be Gringotts Wizard's Bank.  It was on display in our front hall.

I got these pouches from Oriental Trading, and ironed on a logo I got online.  I used the Transfermations brand printable iron-on sheets from Michaels, but I wouldn't recommend them.  I ruined 6 of them because they stuck to the paper and tore.  I prefer the Up &Up brand from Target.

In each bag I put 4 plastic coins to spend at Diagon Alley.  I put a large chocolate golden Galleon and two smaller chocolate coins in their bags at the end of the party as a favor.


I transformed the front music room into Diagon Alley.  I moved the couches out and some little tables in.

 I got the chain from Home Depot and hung it with Command Strip hooks.


Most of the kids had at least some form of wizards clothing.  I had an extra robe and tie on hand for those who didn't.  I just hung them on a coat rack for display.

Here is a close up of the sign.  I hung it on the wall with Command Strips.


I got the cauldrons from Target.  I was lucky that this party happened right before Halloween, because it was much easier to find the things I was looking for.  These were perfect because they could hold all of their supplies.


I enjoyed recreating some things for the bookstore.  Here is a panorama of the display.

I made two coursebooks that they could take home and have fun with - the Standard Book of Spells and Magic Drafts and Potions.  I sewed a red ribbon bookmark in them.

I also printed some book covers and made a fun Gilderoy Lockart display, complete with an autographed photo of him.

I made some quills by putting some ink sticks from small pens (only the half size will fit) into feather quills.


The kids didn't get to choose their wands.  After all, the "wand chooses the wizard."  To recreate this effect, I taped a flashing light onto the bottom of the mug and pressed it as they chose the "perfect fit" wand.  The wands came from Oriental Trading.


Lastly, the invitation said that they could bring their own owl, cat or toad.  Only one child (besides Maya and Ethen) needed to adopt an animal here.

Whew!  That was the most intensive part of the party as far as preparation, but it was fun.  This was Maya's favorite part of the party.


After they were all equipped with their supplies they then proceeded to Platform 9 3/4.  We hung a brick sheet over our archway and they ran through to the other side.

 The sign was hanging from the arch on the other side

Here they are lined up ready to run through.

This post is getting longer than the party was!  I'm going to continue it in a second post.

Up Next:
Sorting Ceremony
Potions Class
Grand Feast in the Great Hall
Charms Class
Defense Against the Dark Arts Class