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.
MADAM MALKIN ROBES
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.
POTAGES CAULDRON SHOP
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.
FLOURISH AND BLOTTS BOOKSELLER
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.
EEYLOPS OWL EMPORIUM
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.
PLATFORM 9 3/4
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.
Grand Feast in the Great Hall
Defense Against the Dark Arts Class