Harry Potter Birthday Party

01 May 2014

My newly turned seven year old is a hands-on party planner.  Each year, we sit down together and think of ideas for what he wants to do.  I think that is why I love planning his parties so much, he challenges me to figure out how to make his crazy ideas work.  We have been reading the Harry Potter books at our house.  Finn and I started over Christmas break, I read the Sorcerer’s Stone aloud to him.  The second Potter book, The Chamber of Secrets, we’re almost through, alternating me reading aloud and him reading it to himself.  The rule we have in place is, you read the book before you can watch the movie, so he’s only watched the first movie and a lot of the party has those elements.  I’m not going to lie, it did my heart proud when he told me that he liked the book much better than the movie.  We focused mainly on the lighter, more kid-friendly, newly discovered wizardry coolness rather than Voldemort creepiness for this party, though, my sisters are trying to convince us to do another one for Halloween.

And by ‘convince’ I really mean, it’s already decided in my head that we need to do another party soon!

Hogwarts Express Ticket Invitations

I created these Hogwarts Express-inspired tickets telling his friends to come to platform 9 3/4 for the party and packaged them in silver shimmery envelopes that I found on clearance at Target a couple years ago.  I used the Birmingham and Magic School fonts downloaded from dafont.com and the fancy antique frame from Graphic’s Fairy and printed them on 110-lb cardstock at home.  I added an official looking, faux Hogwarts seal to the ticket and sent them out.  I only wish I had thought to order the USPS Harry Potter stamps in advance! 

Hogwarts Ticket Birthday Invitation

Harry Potter Birthday 019 Hogwarts Ticket Invitation

Potter Party Décor

I told Dave that I wanted to paint a faux brick wall across our French doors for the kids to walk through, just like you find at Platform 9 3/4 in the Harry Potter books.  After that, he ran with it and I was relegated to helper when he asked.  He did a tutorial that I will post next week, he’s not super crafty so he claims if he can do it, you definitely can too.  Needless to say, it was a BIG hit with the kids, they ran through it a ton.  I told Dave after the fact, that I wish we had thought to iron something on to the back where we cut it, to stiffen the fabric even more so the bricks would stay straight.  It held up beautifully regardless, and we can definitely reuse it for future parties.

Harry Potter Party Train Platform

Harry Potter Brick Wall Harry Potter Party

I decided at eleven pm, the night before the party, that we HAD to do the envelopes flying out of the fireplace.  Harry’s acceptance letter arrives from Hogwarts and his muggle {non-magic} aunt and uncle try unsuccessfully to hide it from him, until the owl post drops tons of letters that arrive in spectacular fashion down the chimney and out the fireplace.  I used 110 lb cardstock, cut to 5x7, and printed the address {from the RPF forum} on each.  Then, I printed the Hogwarts seal on round stickers to attach to clear fishing line that my incredibly patient husband taped from the ceiling to the fireplace.  It was my favorite part, there were letters flying everywhere. 

Harry Potter Envelopes in Fireplace.

Harry Potter Envelope Harry Potter Envelopes out of Fireplace

The dining room was our ‘Great Hall’ and the table was set in fancy Hogwarts finery.  We had Hedwig in her cage on the dessert table.  We had a ‘dragon egg’ at each place setting {though I was reminded by Finn that dragon eggs are NOT sparkly} along with a golden snitch made with a Ferrero Rocher candy and wings I cut out of vellum sitting atop a ‘house cup’.   We had flying keys {velum wings glued to metal keys I found at Michael’s in the bin section} hanging from the chandelier.  I printed the Hogwarts crest, cut it out, and attached it to a black felt banner and draped it over the painting that lives in our dining room, then had the house colors in plain felt banners hanging next to it.  The centerpiece was a few books from the series, tons of potion bottles, battery operated candles, Horcrux items like the Ravenclaw diadem and other things like Dumbledore’s pocket watch and Hermione’s Time Turner. 

Harry Potter Dragon Egg Mini chocolate frog 


Harry Potter Centerpiece Flying Keys

Hogwarts Crest Harry Potter Potion Bottles

Harry Potter Favors + Activities

There are some ingenious ideas I saw with the sorting hat, like sticking a baby monitor into it and having the hat ‘announce’ the house as the child puts it on their heads.  I also found some adorable ideas about dividing kids up by house and using house points throughout the party.  We skipped the hat, he had just a small group of friends {seven, one for each year} and the kids weren’t super familiar with the story, so the House sorting wasn’t really important to us this time.  Instead, we incorporated a little sorting in the form of plastic rings with the house crest on them, I put a little card in the pillow box that had the sorting hat rhymes from the first year sorting at Hogwarts.  {Did you know that the sorting hat sang a different song each year?}

Sorting Hat Rings

My sister Lyndsey and I made wands using a mixture of techniques and suggestions found online.  I’ll have a tutorial for you next week on just how we did them, each one was different and the kids LOVED them.  We made ours a little colorful, even if the ‘real’ Potter wands aren’t, and packaged them up in kraft wrapping paper that had gold stars on it.  I printed Ollivander stickers {from RPF} on full sheet label paper and cut them out.  Then I used Union Jack washi tape and some black and white baker’s twine to close up the packages.  The kids’ favorite part was letting the “wand choose the wizard” and unwrapping to see which they’d end up with.

Harry Potter Wands Harry Potter Party 014

Ollivander's Wand Packaging

After they unpackaged their wands, we played “Stupefy” Tag.  We yelled, “Stupefy!” and they had to freeze in place as if stunned.  If they had their wands up or pointing at someone while frozen, they could, “Ennervate!” their friends, who in turn, could “Ennervate!” everyone else.  They loved this game and we could have played it for an hour, but they needed a little juice box refresher before moving on to classes.

Please note these are definitely outside classes where they could make a big mess and we could just hose it off… I wouldn’t attempt either in the house.

First, was Herbology class where they got to scoop Dragon Dung {potting soil} and plant Mandrake {zucchini} seeds or Devil’s Snare {black beans} in a little cup to take home.

Harry Potter Party 329 

Then, on to Potions class!  We started with a quick chat about safety of not going near anything until we gave the OK that it was safe to do so.  We bought dry ice at the grocery and Dave did some experiments and {very carefully} used metal tongs to add it to potions to make them fog.  We also added a little Dawn and food coloring to some warm water to make a spectacular bubbly mess, then we let them stick their wands into the bubbles which popped in spectacular fogging action.  Then, we let them add the food color of their choice to some baking powder and pour vinegar into it to make their own foaming potion that went everywhere.  They refilled the vinegar several times until they were sure that all of the baking soda was gone and there were lots of squeals and shouts and wand waving.  

Harry Potter Potions Class

Harry Potter Food + Sweets

So, one of the ideas that Finn wouldn’t budge on was the ‘feast’ we were going to have for lunch.  He wanted roasted chicken because that is what they eat at the start of term banquet.  Despite my protests that maybe roasted chicken might not be the most child friendly idea, we went with it and added some strawberries and carrot sticks. 

Since Finn hasn’t read about Honeyduke’s Sweet Shop yet, he just wanted have the sweets from the tea cart on the Hogwarts Express.  We did Bertie Bott’s {box pattern RPF} Every Flavor Beans, mini Chocolate Frogs, cupcakes, Pumpkin Juice, Butterbeer, and of course, the mis-spelled, HAPPEE BIRTHDAE cake, that Hagrid brings to Harry… the one he made and likely sat on.  The Every Flavor Beans that we sent home were color changing Starburst beans only in the good flavors.  My friend Stephanie made these gorgeous Harry Potter-inspired cookies that included Harry’s glasses, scarf, house ties, golden snitch, Hedwig, sorting hats, & quidditch brooms.  I LOVED them.

Harry Potter Party Desserts

Harry Potter Cookies Harry Potter Every Flavor Beans

Harry Potter Birthday Cake

Butterbeer 024 Mini chocolate frog

There *might* have been a slight incident when mid-birthday singing, his little sister blew out his birthday candles on his behalf and we had to pause to re-light them.

Harry Potter Party Relight

At the end of lunch and cupcakes, we had them do a challenge with the Bertie Bott’s.  The flavors were totally gross and crazy, things like ear wax, dirt, and soap were at the top of the disgusting list.  If they tried one, they earned a bag of gold coins from Gringott’s, the Goblin run, Wizard bank.  The girls all randomly chose good flavors and the boys wanted to go around a few more times to try all the gross ones.  One of Finn’s buddies didn’t even spit them out!  I made the little bags by ironing they Gringott’s logo onto little muslin bags I picked up at Michael’s.  I ordered the gold coins from Amazon.

Harry Potter Every Flavor Challenge Gringott's Bag

Want a TON more Harry Potter Party ideas?  Follow my Harry Potter Pinterest Board!.

Harry Potter Birthday Party

I would like to say a special thank you to the amazingly talented peeps at the RPF Harry Potter forum.  Many of the printables I used were created by these unbelievable artists who do it for the love of Harry Potter and put them out free to other forum members to use and enjoy. 

Sources {all Amazon items are affiliate links}:


wesley's mom (sue) said...

What an AMAZING party! You are the best mom EVER!! I want you to come and throw a Harry Potter Party for me.

Elise Albright said...

HALLOWEEN. Yes. It's on. I'm going to learn to sew so I can make my own Beauxbaton outfit.

Emily said...

My kids would DIE of happiness. What could you ever do to top this?!? Amazing! I agree, I want you to throw me a HP party!!!

@JessEsco said...

I expected nothing less than amazing. Well played! Now I can't wait for Tate's :)

Muirs of C'dale said...

Amazing! You win the prize, I can't wait to hear about it from Jocelynn! (from J's Grandma)

Abbi and Karri said...

Michelle Amazing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! So sad we missed it :( She would have been in heaven. Finn's 7th bday was magical!

Just A Normal Mom said...

This. Is. Amazing.
Will you throw me a birthday party? ;-)

Ashton Billings said...

This is one of the BEST party ideas I have EVER seen!! My grandmother and my mom have always been these super crafty type people and I don't understand why or how I didn't inherite ANY of it, but for some reason I didn't so I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE when I see things such as this and they are explained in ways that even someone such as I couldn't screw it up!! LOL Sounds like it was an AMAZING party and I just have to give a HUGE shout out to someone that I think is prolly one of the most AMAZING kids ever - HAPPY BIRTHDAY FINN!!!

Jessica @ Wanting Adventure said...

You are incredible! I am an events planner and couldn't have pulled this one off. That is adorable. LOVE IT!

Marty Carew said...

Great Job with the party, love the wands and all the label making very authentic, will get lots of ideas here!

Beth Marks said...

Great Ideas! I just had a question about making the brick wall (I couldn't find the tutorial on your site)... It looks like your husband taped off the Mortar lines, did the brick paint get applied with a sponge like other tutorials suggest? And what kind of paint and how much did you all end up using?

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