Fun Favors From the Epic Harry Potter Party

Halloween is coming!

(Please consider some of these ideas for non-candy treats to support kids with food allergies through the Teal Pumpkin Project.)

The Cursed Child was just released!

And I am only #243 on the library waiting list. 🙂

And the new Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them comes out next month!

http://www.fantasticbeasts.com/

What better time for me to share my daughter’s dream birthday, The Epic Harry Potter Party!

Two months later, her friends are still talking about this party!

These inexpensive favors doubled as supplies for activities. Plus, the act of “shopping” for them in Diagon Alley became an activity in itself!

party-favors

This is a selection of the party favors. (Our best DIY wands were taken! These were leftovers!)

I hate the idea of buying plastic junk that just gets thrown away.

At least this way, I knew nothing was wasted; everything was used.

They received a high-end shopping bag (white paper lunch sack) for their trip through Diagon Alley, guided by my birthday girl. I expected to manage this myself, but everyone had more fun this way!

The kids wrote their names on the bag with a marker rubber-banded to one of the quills. (We called it a Muggle Training Quill.)

welcome-to-diagon-2-logo

All of this fun, shiny stuff came from the dollar store! The silver star was a pre-cut party decoration, 5 for $1. They also had rolls of colored foil gift wrap for $1 each. Purple foil wrap made banners. Gold & blue wrap were cut for LOTS and LOTS of stars to plaster everywhere!

My daughter ended up escorting each guest, less work for me!

The birthday girl handed each guest a few plastic gold coins to “shop” for their school supplies.

First stop, Ollivander’s!

ollivanders-wand-shop

My kitchen utensils spent the day in a cardboard box so I’d have a wand holder!

The Ollivander’s sign was wood grain contact paper painted in black.

It’s hard to see my faux shelf.The first container on the left has “Phoenix Feathers”, the middle containers have “elm”, “holly” and other woods, and the last jar has “Unicorn Hairs”.

On the shelf, I have a “wooden” cup of quills.

qt-cup-smaller

The DIY wands were a modification of methods on Pinterest.

The popular rolled tube method used a TON of glue and took FOREVER.

Instead, I used a wooden dowel with popsicle sticks, glued in a 4-sided box, to thicken one end.

Enough room at the end of the popsicle box created a base to affix a plastic jewel. Like other online methods, a few drizzles of hot glue formed designs that we painted a base color and highlighted in metallic paint. We added glitter too!

wand-in-progress

This unfinished, half-painted wand illustrates how the parts fit together. There are prettier versions of wands online, and I made those for my own kids. I didn’t have time to make a fancy wand for all 20 kids at the party! This was a handy short-cut.

The quills came from A. C. Moore, which sold them for a fraction of the price as Michael’s! 

They were $2 per package, and I used a 50% off coupon. Each pack came with 10. (I went back for a second package, as our guest list ballooned!)

That’s 10 cents per quill!

When was the last time you bought a kid something for 10 cents, and they loved it?

Apothecary area

In the book, wizards “FaceTime” each other through the fireplace. The flames turn green!

Passing the Apothecary, wave hi to our special guest, Harry!

On to Flourish & Blott’s for spellbooks!

flourish-and-blotts-with-words

The black wire basket on the far right contained the books. Kids chose what color they liked. I made the faux bookshelf, and wrapped a few of our existing books.

The birthday girl made the blue Care of Magical Creatures book cover herself and taped it to the back of one book. It’s not “perfect”, but the whole point is to make it fun for her, right?

Because I wasn’t satisfied with other printable spell books, I made my own!

I’m happy to share! Just contact me, and I’ll send you the files.

(Copyright concerns and what-not, but it’s OK if I send to you for personal use.)

Other books had cool fonts for the spells with descriptions in… Arial font? Huh?

Do you think a real spell book uses Arial?

This was not acceptable.

None of the Word fonts were quite right. (Vivaldi seemed cool, but my kids couldn’t understand the complex cursive.)

If you’ve never downloaded a font, you’d be surprised how easy it is to install!

One file prints the front. The papers go back in the printer. A second file prints the reverse sides.

Patience is required! It can be confusing if any pages get mixed up.

The first page and last page print on the same paper like a real book. Only print one copy at a time!

If you get one book printed correctly,  you can photocopy the rest.

(More efficient use of ink too!)

Using a normal staple all the way into the middle of a page was tricky. The office store near my house allowed me to use their special, extra big stapler for free.

They also let me use their paper cutter at no charge, which was a big help. The holographic paper I loved from the dollar store (20 sheets for $1) was a bit smaller than standard paper. Each book had to be be trimmed a smidgen.

Last stop in Diagon Alley: Pottage’s!

Pottages cropped view.jpg

Notice the Harry Potter DVD next to the big cauldron!

Oriental Trading sells these cauldrons for $4 per dozen. That doesn’t include shipping, though, so look for a coupon for free shipping. I ended up buying other items for free shipping, but they were organizational items I needed anyway.

The plastic bags were strategic: they were going to use them for mixing potions later. 

They had their cauldrons in their paper bags with all their other items. Later, they were mixing baking soda and vinegar for “Potions” class, and I rinsed the cauldrons out.

The paper bags would’ve disintegrated if damp kettles went inside. Plastic bags kept them from soaking all their other stuff.

Finally, ready for Hogwarts!

platform-9-75

There are Platform 9 3/4 signs that people hang with the brick, but in the book, you wouldn’t see that sign through the wall! So I created my own Muggle view!

Lots of parties used the brick wall trick. They used an old sheet and stamped it with a sponge dipped in red paint.

Not having any old white sheets, I used a shower curtain.

The plastic worked well. Paint mistakes easily dabbed up with a wet paper towel.

It didn’t fray. The kids couldn’t tear it up.

And a sneak peak into our Hogwarts Dining Hall!

Hogwarts Dining Hall logo.jpg

Unfortunately, I never got a shot with all the food out! I couldn’t keep my kids from devouring everything! I’ll still share what we served!

I hope you’ll check back for more in the series about our Epic Harry Potter Party…

  • Activities to control the chaos of 20 kids!
  • How I got the “party-planner” look for a fraction of the price
  • Harry Potter party decor that nobody else is doing on Pinterest!

Follow Me so you don’t miss anything!

Maybe you can adapt & reinvent my ideas for your next party, even with a different theme!

And just in case the new Harry Potter book, somehow escaped your radar, The Cursed Child, is J.K. Rowling’s (she’s the HP author) play about the adult life of Harry Potter. It’s a two-part show in London. Boy, I’d love to go back and see that!

Instead, I’ll have to settle for the book, which Rowling co-wrote with two other individuals, who also collaborated on the play with her. I’m curious to see if the old style of the original books shines through.

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