Kelly has a HUGE pop up tent so we were thinking we could make a sort of Great Hall inside the tent. I have this great old chandelier that I found at the dump (this is its 2nd time being used as a birthday party decoration, 1st time it was part of a Mermaid grotto) It just so happened that the toilet paper rolls fit right over the old fake candles that no longer work on it. I figured that would be really cool to hang from the middle of the tent, we tied it right up there with twine and turned on the lights and it looked AMAZING! We hung the floating candles randomly around it and our great hall was starting to be a reality!
Wanted Poster Photo Booth
We got the Trophies from Dollar Tree, the Spell book gift boxes and the potion magnets are from Oriental Trading Company. (along with the plates that are pictured, they were really cute!)
Don't they just look adorable and criminally insane?
In our game we have only made a half court as a full court would not fit in our yard along with the party, The kids had just as much fun though. They kind of just made up their own rules once we told them this was only a half court game.. and you know.. since the Golden snitch wasn't flying around on its own.
Learn to Make Your own Giant Golden Snitch
We started by looking around on pintrest for some ideas. I personally LOVED the "floating letters to Hogwarts" but we sadly didn't get to do that. (search for it, they are great) We found a few ideas that we really liked and so it began.
This thing was so. much. fun. photo booths usually are. But this one was extra fun because it was portable and hilarious. The kids looked so crazy in it along with a lot of the adults. We had plans to make a few more props for it but we ended up running out of time but the two pairs of glasses from Dollar Tree we had were all we needed.
This was a pretty cool decoration, and it was fairly big. We felt that the best way to decorate for this party was to set up little "scenes" all over the yard. Our first scene was the 9 and three quarters scene. Problem here was time. I never got around to making the 9 and three quarters sign I had planned due to kids and jobs and such, BUT Harry's Luggage alone still looked cool enough thank god.
How to Throw a Magical Harry Potter Party
I bought a box of 12 Ferrero Rocher chocolates at Walmart for about $4.99! If you know me at all you know I think that is WAY to much for some candy BUT they are perfect golden balls and this way of making snitches is much faster then the cake pop route. Spending a little more money to save me a lot of time is toatlly worth it sometimes.
I hope you found some of our tips, tricks, and ideas useful in throwing your very own Harry Potter party! Always remember that having fun is the number one priority in throwing a great birthday party! fool around, be crazy, be creative!
Clicking the buttons below will take you to the item on the Oriental Trading Company website, sadly it looks like they no longer sell the Book of spells treat boxes
Last but not least is the cake. I do not attempt to make my own cakes anymore because much like my cupcakes they usually come out looking very bad.
I usually buy my cakes from the Stop & Shop Bakery and they always look really great. In the past few years I realized its easier to get a photo cake with a photo I print off with whatever I want on it instead of trying to find a "kit" that works that is offered by the the bakery.
We used what we had to best recreate what Harry Potter brings with him to school.
First up was his owl, Hedwig. Harry carries Hedwig to school in a bird cage. Just so happens I bought a big bird cage at Goodwill for $3 on a half price day while I was planning Ava's (6) Princess Tea Party (I used this birdcage as a centerpiece for the tea table at the tea party) We also got lucky again because My oldest son Travis insisted on buying this Hedwig backpack from universal when we went a few years ago. We stuffed the bird with news paper and were done.
The trunk and the briefcase were both things I found and kept thinking I could do something cool with. I love big trunks in my house. This trunk since its roll in this party has been holding my kids "must keep" art work at the end of my bed. Trunks are my go to way to hide my clutter (and display my awesome trunks)
The Butter Beer was pretty good, but the kids would rather drink juice boxes, even when offered a scoop of ice cream with it. It was also very hot out and the kids were playing in a pool alot of the time so maybe they just were not feeling it. I don't know. The adults on the other hand loved it (especially me) it tasted just like the butter beer from the castle at Universal.
Our recipe was our own made up freestyle mashup of what we thought was in Butter Beer. We read a few recipes in the weeks before the party but we never wrote any of it down and when it came time to make it we let Jesus take the wheel.
These were very easy and VERY cute but a little pricey, but they are Ferrero Rocher and they are SO GOOD! I don't think I know anyone who doesn"t like them!
Harry's Luggage Scene
Qudditch is a sport in the wizarding world. Matches are played between two teams of seven players riding on flying broomsticks, (three Chasers, two Beaters, one Keeper, and one Seeker.) Using four balls: A Quaffle, Two Bludgers, and a Golden Snitch. Six Goals are situated on top of poles of different heights, three on each side. Kelly got these great brooms from Iparty on sale for only $8!
I found a cute picture on pintrest somewhere of these cupcakes that looked like owls so I tried to recreate them myself... I'm not the best cupcake maker and they did not come out looking like the photo I saw. Poor Kaiden always gets the shaft on his birthday cupcakes because it is always so hot on his birthday so they always melt and get everywhere. These guys started to melt and looked so angry.
Potions Class Scene
The Giant Golden Snitch
I LOVED the idea of these floating candles. We found a few versions of these on pintrest. Making them was very simple. I took some toilet paper & paper towel rolls and hot glued around the tops while creating drips (to look like a melted candle) Once they were dry (which didn't take long) I painted them off white. Punched a little hole in each side and ran some fishing line through. When we hung them up we simply placed a battery powered tea light into the top (the fishing line held them in) and boom. Floating candles. I plan to reuse these for Halloween!
We let everyone make a game of choosing their wands (because choosing a wand is a big deal) so we had the kids dump them out onto the table so they could really look at them all, pick them up, feel them. The kids took it very seriously, Because its not you that chooses your wand... your wand chooses you.
Don't forget to share!!!
*One 2 liter of Root Beer
*One 2 liter of Cream Soda
*One package Butter Scotch Candy
*Two Sticks of Butter
(give or take, add as you see fit)
*Ice Cream (Butter scotch or vanilla)
The Giant Golden Snitch is a pinata. We didn't use it as a pinata though, we just used it as a decoration instead because we throw and attend way more children's birthday parties then any normal family should (siblings, step siblings, cousins, step cousins, family friends, school friends, seriously.. its ridiculous) and because of this we have WAY to much candy. We gave out little gift boxes that looked like spell books filled with fun little toys instead. My reason for making it even though we were not going to use it as a pinata was because I thought a giant Snitch would look awesome as a decoration and I wanted to write a tutorial on how to make one of my homemade pinatas since so many of our birthday parties have these great pinatas but I've never done a tutorial on them. I'm not going to lie, I was a little upset we didn't get pictures of the Snitch being smashed open but the birthday boy is loving it because he brought it right upstairs and hung it from his ceiling.
A Game Of Qudditch
When my soon to be 9 year old started to read the Harry Potter books Kelly and I crossed our fingers, held our breath and prayed for him to fall in love with the story so we could throw him this party... he BLEW right through all the books (up until the Deathly Hallows) and just about begged us to throw him a Harry Potter birthday for his upcoming birthday. Little did he know this was exactly what we were hoping for and we had already started planning it! (Don't judge us)
We used a combination of party favors, Halloween decorations and food to decorate our great hall tables.
In my opinion, these cupcakes came out terrible. I'm the type that tries to use food as a decoration as much as I can. But these just didn't cut it in my book... although they did all get eaten. (at least they have that)
Learn How To Make These Youself
Kelly made the photo booth as she usually does. It was made with a foam poster board from Dollar Tree. She used her Cricut explore air to cut vinyl lettering to read as Sirius Black's wanted poster. She then cut out the photo window with an xacto knife and we were ready to let our wizards get crazy.
So the few recipes we read said to cook the butter scotch candies and the butter in a sauce pan. Kelly's Mother was helping us set the party up by this point and suggested we melt it all in a bowl in the microwave (we were really crunched for time at this point due to the rain) So into the microwave they went.
We microwaved them a minute or two each round, we would stop and stir every few minutes and add more butter until it was completely melted and smooth.
Once this was done we realized we were going to need to use a large sauce pan after all to mix in the soda. So we poured the candy/butter mix into the pan and SLOWLY poured the two types of soda into the mix. We mixed it all up, poured it into our giant glass mason jars and allowed it time to cool in the refrigerator before serving. We kept a few of the butter scotch candies out to put on top of a scoop of ice cream that was to be served with the butter beer.
Next we wanted to set the tables up side by side, we had 4, one for each house. We picked our table cloth colors based on the house colors. Red for Gryffindor, Green for Slytherin, Yellow for Hufflepuff, and Blue for Ravenclaw. We used each house table for something different. Ravenclaw was the gift table, Gryffindor was the Goodies table, Slytherin was sweets, and Hufflepuff was snacks. We did not plan this out, it kind of just happend that way.
The Forbidden Forest borders the Hogwarts grounds. It holds many secrets and is home to many different magical creatures like Unicorns, Centaurs, Werewolves and of course Aragog. Aragog is a giant spider who is friends with Hagrid and lives in the forbidden forest. We focused on him for the forbidden forest scene in the yard because it was pretty cool and fairly easy.
To make this we used three 2x4's (one longer then the others) and three hula hoops (one larger then the others) We then spray painted them gold.
Chasers score by sending the Quaffle through any of the 3 goal hoops. Each scored is worth 10 points. The game only ends when a teams Seeker catches the Golden Snitch. Catching the Golden Snitch is worth 150 points. Only way to win without catching the Golden Snitch is to score more then 150 points using the Quaffles.
We used a lot of fake spider web and all the big ugly fake spiders we had in our combined Halloween decorations along with one giant furry one (Aragog)
Once they were all painted and lettered I screwed them onto a large stick from my back yard with the help of a drill and my mother in law. I then painted over the screws (because I felt the silver was to much) and went over all the faces of the signs with a few coats of polyurethane.
The game starts with the referee releasing all four balls from the center circle. The Bludgers and Snitch are bewitched to fly off of their own accord, but the Quaffle is thrown into the air by the ref to signal the start of the game. (Just like basketball)
Did I mention it was pouring while we set all this up? It was terrible, the tent was leaking, everything got soaked and we had to delay the party an hour because of it. The sun eventually came back out though, we were so happy... and soaked.
Harry also brings his Nimbus 2000 broomstick so he can play on his Qudditch team. Kelly bought a few of these brooms for the Qudditch game we planned to set up but we thought leaving one here when nobody was riding it was perfect.
The scarf is Mine. I bought it at Universal along with the hedwig backpack lol. It was far to hot to wear all day, so I didn't mind giving it up (I did wear it for a few pictures)
This scene was made up of Halloween decorations, The photo booth glasses and some Qudditch accessories (brooms, Qudditch rule books, Qudditch history books) We wanted to hold some kind of "potions class" but we ended up having enough activities going on, so we didn't really need another, but having this kind of set up at your Harry Potter birthday party along with a science project of sorts for the kids to do I think would be a lot of fun! I wish we could have fit a science project in! You can find lots of easy projects to do with the kids on pintrest
We attached this thing which I believe is some kind of hanger for a broom or a mop. Kelly bought them at Ocean State Job Lot. The hula Hoop fit right into it perfectly but I would suggest going to home depot and getting some kind of more solid clamp. Although this way worked it didn't take hits well and with kids throwing balls at it, it took a few hits and the hula hoops would tip over.
The Forbidden Forest
We also gave the kids these cute little gift boxes that looked like Spell books! They were so perfect ! We put a tiny bag of candy to look like a treat from Honey Dukes, Little trophies for the quidditch cup, a foam art kit that made a potions bottle magnet, and a Deathly Hallows key chain.
We set the gift boxes on this big Book that was actually a box. Kelly and her sister found it at our local "treasure island" it made for a great decoration, much better then all the boxes just sitting on the table.
Kelly also got this castle back drop off ebay. Most of the kids stood in front of it with the photo booth. We were a little disappointed with it to be honest because it came in one piece and had to be cut apart when it advertised being 7 pieces. We cut it apart and it all worked out.
I used my Cricut explore air to cut out the little golden wings out of card stock I painted gold. I used the same wings as the ones used in making the golden snitch pinata. I then hot glued them VERY lightly onto the gold tin wrapper and DONE! I had a dozen perfect candy snitches.
1. Floating candles and Great Hall
2. Wanted Poster Photo Booth
3. Harry's Luggage scene set
4.Giant Golden Snitch
5.The forbidden forest
6.Witch way sign
7. Potions class scene
9.Wands and Goodies
10.Golden Snitch snacks
13. The Cake
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We saw a few versions of this great sign on pintrest Kelly found some of the wood I used to make this sign and I had some of the wood left over from a home improvement project.
I started by prepping the wood, I distressed some, and painted others. I then made the decals on my cricut and transferred them on to the wood.
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Witch Way Sign
We used a few Halloween decorations to try to make our Forbidden forest scary (because it is a scary place) The smaller children seemed to love it in this corner for some reason (my guess is because that creepy guy in the ground talked)
Once it was dry we were all done! We set it up next to the forbidden forest and got poor directions to all our favorite Harry Potter spots. (I say poor because the Forbidden forest was pointing away from the forest lol) I have high hopes I will be able to sell this at my next event as a Halloween decoration.
Floating Candles & The Great Hall
I also used a left over piece of the painted gold card stock and cut out some lightning bolts, I doubled them up and glued and tooth pick into the middle
These are the deathly hallows key chains. They were bought on ebay. It represents the Deathly Hallows, the triangle represents the cloak of invisibility, the circle represents the Resurrection stone, and the line inside the triangle represents the Elder Wand. Pretty cool stuff. The older kids LOVED these!
It all worked out and the kids had a lot of fun with it (even though our hoops were a bit floppy) They were definatly a great decoration and really made the party feel very wizard-like.
Golden Snitch Snacks
Wands and Goodies
We wanted to give the kids something to go home with other than candy and junk. I read a few tutorials on how to make these great wands out of chop sticks and hot glue and I was in! it looked so easy. This is also where I decided to write my first tutorial.
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