Wednesday, 10 February 2016

Harry Potter Inspired Party - Part One!

I love preparing for my childrens' birthday parties.  I just sort of wish that I didn't have to actually run the party.  Normally how I've planned it in my head is lot better than how it actually turns out.  This year something exciting happened, the party worked better than I had imagined it possibly could.  Even though some of the children hadn't read the Harry Potter series (they are only 8 year olds), they still seemed to be happy to be at Hogwarts!

To stop myself from running out of time I decided to write a timetable for the day:

Get supplies in Diagon Alley 16:30
Sorting in the Great Hall 16:45
Spells Exam 16:55
Charms Class 17:05
Quidditch Practice 17:20
Herbology class 17:40
Magical Beasts and their Care Class 18:00
Dinner in Great Hall 18:20
Defence Against the Dark Arts Class 18:40

As you can see we had a lot to fit in!

I created a lot of supplies for the day, and I wanted the children to have access to some of them throughout the party so we created our Diagon Alley.  As they arrived we handed them a list of the supplies they had to find:


Hogwarts Carryall bag

Quidditch Practice Rules

Mini Book of Monsters

Standard Book of Spells

Herbology Handbook

Maurauders Map


Owl Pack



I had made each child a bag that was to be used to carry their supplies and also serve as a party bag at the end.  I was lucky to fund some suitable material - it was that disposable table cloth material, in a charity shop for 50p a metre.  I think I used 4m.  I topped the bags with some black cotton tape.

For their textbooks I used a lot of free printables that are available on the internet.  Honestly it was hard picking out which ones to use.  For the Standard Book of Spells I found one here.  We didn't do Divination for the party, but we've printed out the "Unfogging the Future" booklet from there too and it is a lot of fun.  We printed them out as leaflets and then I simply hand sewed up the spine to create them individual books (luckily I wasn't doing this for too many kids otherwise it would have got quite dull).

I created the Herbology Handbook using information from a variety of sources, I customised the information to the seeds I had bought for the Herbology lesson.  I used a couple of books I had bought for the kids and searched "magical properties of____" for seeds that weren't included in these books.  I also searched online for black and white pictures of each of the plants so they could be included in the book.

I had a lot of fun creating the Mini Book of Monsters.  Firstly I found some reduced fluffy pencil cases and bought them all - 6 in total.  The next job was to find notebooks that would fit inside the pencil cases and allow me to create the number I needed (14).

At one point I didn't think it was going to be possible, I thought I was going to have to abandon the whole project.  Then I came across these little notebooks in sets of 12 and as an added bonus each pack was only £1.

I dissected the pencil cases, and cut them into three separate book covers, stabilised the notebooks with old cereal packets, cut and sewed felt into tongues and teeth,  then glued it all together including the googly eyes using a glue gun.  I won't lie these were shedding fur the whole time up to, and during the party, but I think they look awesome!  The idea was from here.

I didn't need the Marauders' Map for any of my planned activities, but I saw this and I couldn't stop myself from adding these to their party bags.  It was satisfying work to fold these up, the instructions are so good, they are super easy to create and very effective.

For quills we simply washi taped some craft feathers onto pencils.  The children were still calling them quills throughout the party!

The broomsticks were created using the tube from the inside of a roll of wrapping paper and fringed newspaper.  We had done this for a friend's Harry Potter party too, so I knew it would work.  I added some jute string to cover the sticky tape and they were done.  The trickiest part of this project was finding enough tubes!  Although effective, they do not stand up to a lot of wear and tear, several had to be repaired during the party!  We have some made out of plastic tubing for the kids to play with and these are a lot sturdier.  If I'd known I was going to be doing this party I'd have been stocking up on cheap brooms at a Halloween sale.

The wands were made from cheap (and I mean cheap - something like 99p for a billion) chopsticks. You add glue with a glue gun to create the handle and then paint them.  I've also added beads in with the glue to make fancier wands, but for mass production I would recommend as little glue as you feel you can get away with.  I do think some of the very simple designs are very effective.  I let my kids pick the colours to paint them.  You could organise it so you had enough colours for one for each child, that way they would always know which wand was theirs.  Or alternatively have them all the same, so it doesn't matter.  My husband made a cool wand holder for the "Olivanders"  shop and we attached an old cupboard door to hide the holder.  I thought it looked brilliant.

The owl packs were so each child could create their own owl that would wait in the Owlery during the party in case it was needed for any postal work.  It also meant that the children had something to do whilst we were waiting for everyone to arrive and collect their supplies.

We also got them to have a photo shoot if they were waiting so we could turn them into thank you gifs that looked like Azkaban Wanted posters.

There were so many other things I wanted to do as well - I wanted to make robes and scarves and chocolate frog wrappers, and a hundred other cool things I had seen online, but in the end I felt that this was probably enough!  I had also run out of time and money to spend on more things.

No comments:

Post a Comment