Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Harry Potter Party

All the planning and all the prep for my son's Harry Potter birthday party made it a great success!  It was a lot of work, but I think that the results really paid off in the end.

It did take me a few days to finally put this up on the blog.  Honestly, I was dead tired.  :)

Without further ado, the pics from the party.

The very first taste of the Harry Potter theme greeted guests at the door with the "Hogwarts Express- 9 3/4" platform sign.  Gotta ride the train to make it in!  Once guests came through the door, the rest of the party decorations were in full view.

     I knew that I wanted to have the illusion of candles floating since I had seen it in one of the movie scenes in the dining hall at Hogwarts.  I had done a few Google searches and came across a picture in the Image search that showed "floating candles" but couldn't access the link and didn't have an explanation.  Looking at the tiny picture, I thought that I could come up with a way to have a similar effect.  Not sure if it was the same or not as what I had seen, but this was my take on it.
I took four eyescrews and screwed them into the ceiling (well, my husband did under my direction).  Two were on one side of the kitchen, two on the other.  The ones closest to the lights over the dining room table were closer together than the ones on the end I was standing to take this picture... putting the focus on the table.  After that, clear fishing line was strung two form two lines running across.

    I then took sheets of printer paper, cut them in half width-wise and then rolled each side up into a tube and taped it with clear tape in three spots down the seam.  I then used the Silhouette cutter to do a print and cut (I know, I know, I do this all the time) to make the candle flames. 

    For the flames, I drew a semi-rounded long triangle.  Then, I selected the triangle, flipped it vertically and had the tips of the flames touching.  Right clicked the mouse and selected "weld" to have it all be one piece.  Next, I drew another smaller long, rounded triangle in the base and made the fill color dark orange.  Removed the "cut" line from the smaller triangle (didn't want to cut that), copied it, flipped it vertically and put it on the top.   Finally to finish the whole thing off, select your entire double sided flame and use the replicate tool to make multiples.  Print it with registration marks and send to Silhouette to be cut.

Once cut, the flames look like this...

Put a glue dot on the base of one side of the flame and secure to the paper tube candle.  Another glue dot will go in the center where the thin points meet, which will rest on the fishing line and keep the candle from sliding.  Finally, secure the other side of the flame with another glue dot on the base of the other side... gluing it inside the candle tube.

   Repeat again... and again, and again.  You'll eventually have a row of floating candles (or two rows if you did it like me).

   Hedwig was in position over the dining room table on his chandelier perch. 

Photo taken before candle strings were added.

  And the table was set.  We originally had a skull on there, but it scared Scarlett so bad that she wouldn't go into the kitchen and took it from "Harry Potter" to uber-creepy seance.  I put it away.
   The chocolate frogs were made using Wilton milk chocolate candy melts and a candy mold found on Amazon.  The Gillyweed jar was a glass jar purchased at Hobby Lobby with some oregano from my garden stuffed in.  The liquid luck had been filled up and chilled the night before and the Harry Potter books had maps, general information on Hogwarts, spells, etc.

   My living room had a few decorations put up as well.  The "Wanted" posters (see previous post) were put up both in the living room and the kitchen, a Hogwarts banner and Gryffindor banner were hung from the ceiling,  the Nimbus 2000's were in the corner (ready for the "Find the Snitch" game later), and black balloons were thrown on the floor for fun.  The first Harry Potter was on t.v. for extra "Potter-ness".

Then there was the potion station with refreshment goblets.
    Before any of the guests arrived, my husband and I decided to do a test run of the fog machine for the "Find the Snitch" game.  I had never used one before and wanted to give it a go before the party started and we looked like stupid goobers.

Eureka!  It works!

   When all of the guests arrived and had a chance to settle in and munch on some snacks, it was time to pick teams for "Find the Snitch".   Two teams were put into the sorting hat and each child had to reach in and pick a team.
  We then booted up the fog machine and I explained the rules while the fog was forming.  The rules to the game being:

1.)  You must stay on your Nimbus 2000.
2.)  Watch out for the little kids.
3.)  The team who finds the most Snitches is the winner.

The Snitches they had to find?  (You guys will probably recognize these from my previous post.)
So everyone downed some "Liquid Luck" to help improve their chances of Snitch success. 

And the hunt began!  (This was the only picture I could use because the first game was too fogged out.)
After "Find the Snitch", we had the raffle for the Weasley & Weasley "Beetle Eyes".  Everyone (guests only) had to put their Hogwarts train ticket in the sorting hat and my birthday boy picked a name at random.  The Beetle Eyes were "Sixlets" candies.  Unfortunately, beetles are scarce in the winter.  :)

After the raffle, it was time for "Magic School".  The party guests lined up with their wands and brooms and were taught a few spells and tricks out of the Harry Potter book I made.

Then there was cake:

"Yay!" for Walmart cake!  I was too busy to add another project to the mix so I let this one slide.

You can still see some residual fog in the picture above.  Also, my younger son was sobbing almost the entire party because it wasn't his birthday.  (You can see how much it bothered me, I couldn't help but laugh my butt off at those crocodile tears.)

   Presents followed the cake and then it was time for everyone to go home.  Party guests got to take their wands, Nimbus 2000's, Harry Potter book, and Snitch. 

    Cameron was super happy with his party and it was a lot of fun to do. 


  1. Wow! It looks like he had an awesome party. Those little liquid lucks were so cute! Great job Mom!

  2. Thanks, guys! It was a lot of preparation, but Cameron was THRILLED. Made the work all worth it! :)

  3. after reading this my ten year old and seventeen year olds wanted to know why they could not be there big Harry Potter fans! Despite the fact we live in Ireland. dr

    Dream on I told them!

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  5. This is absolutely amazing :) I read all of your posts and I love that you shared this all!! Amazing mother with some kickass ideas :)

  6. I was wondering what you used for the liquid luck and the 'potion' refreshments?

  7. Hello! My almost 10 yrs. old son is BIG time into Harry Porter!!! I love all your creative ideas!! Would you mind sharing any of the invites and books you made?

  8. My daughter now wants a Harry Potter Birthday Party. So finding your ideas were wonderful. Thank you so much. Continued success and Thanks for the service that you and your husband and family give to all of us. God Bless.

  9. These harry potter party looks amazing. Everything is adorable especially the cake. It looks wonderful. Have been planning my son’s birthday party at one of LA event venues. Will be arranging captain America theme as he demanded it. Need to have ideas for the day.