Fair warning this post is long and filled with links! The amazon links are affiliate links. I’m also linking all the tutorials that inspired what I created. Special huge thanks to my amazing mother in law and sister in law (and my Aunt Linda and my own parents!) for helping with all the details and setup and execution. It was a crazy hustle to get everything done on the day of the party but Lilly had an absolute BLAST so that’s all that matters. My only regret is not being able to take more and better photos of every detail to show you! But I’ll explain everything as best I can.
The Harry Potter magic is so real in this house!
****I’m going to just try to break down everything I did. If you have questions definitely just shoot me an email! Happy to help share and spread the epic Harry Potter love we’ve got going on in this house!
First up, let’s talk about everything printed; invites, signs, bookmarks etc. I’ll share the links of my sources (click the links!) but my best kept (not so) secret is that I print EVERYTHING at FedEx. You can pop into a store and talk to them about paper and sheen options that fit your budget. Format everything on your computer then simply email it to your local FedEx store and they’ll print and let you know when it’s all ready! You will need to cut everything out -this paper cutter is legit a life saver- but it’s SO much cheaper than ordering all of these things from expensive print shops or invitation/poster services. Just for reference, the invites were printed on a heavier card stock with a matte sheen, the “have you seen this wizard” sign was printed on the cheapest architecture print paper possible. And all of the Diagon Alley shop signs were printed on a medium weight photo paper in color (of course).
I designed the invitation in photoshop. It’s pretty rough, but I may clean it up and offer it as a printable or downloadable file from my etsy shop. We’ll see.
CLICK HERE for the Have You Seen This Wizard poster. I double stick taped it onto foam core board then cut out the center hole. Easy peasy!
Next up were the Diagon Alley shop signs. I LOVE how cute they all are and how colorful! You can find them by CLICKING HERE.
The little bookmarks that were part of the part favors are from THIS SITE. Aren’t they adorable?! I must say all the kids wanted Harry and Dumbledore so plan accordingly, lol. I made chocolate frogs (yessss!!) out of melted chocolate and rice crispies. These are the molds I used. They were messy but so so easy. And I used THIS PRINTABLE for the treat boxes. I didn’t care for the paper I printed these on as it didn’t fold well but they worked none-the-less. The Care of Magical Creatures mini notebooks are $0.59 notebooks from walmart with a printed sticker on top! The sticker printables I made really quick in photoshop and had printed at FedEx too. The pens are cheapo pens from Office Max with a feather glued on to the top and gold washi tape wrapped around. We also added these Harry Potter Glasses to the party bags. Success! I thought the bags were totally perfect.
We filled the treat boxes with regular Jelly Belly Jelly Beans because the real Bertie Botts Every Flavor Beans were just too expensive for our budget. But a mini box of them would have fit inside if you can swing it!
Hmm, what else. Oh! The brick wallpaper backdrop! That was made using two widths of this brick roll paper, also from Amazon. It comes with a TON on the roll so you could really cover a big space with it if you wanted to.
Terrible photo but you get the idea. The boxes are all wrapped in brown craft paper and tied with twine (the boxes are amazon boxes from everything I ordered- ha!). The birdcage is from our local craft store and the owl is one of the girls stuffed toys. I wish I had a better picture of all the felt banners my mother in law made. She used iron on paper to make each house logo and then felt and ribbon for the actual banners. They were amazing!
Next up would be the wands I guess and the ties. First of all, the ties. Time consuming but easy! My Aunt helped me knock these out one night while we were chatting. They each have a snap clip on the back. Here’s the tutorial I used (sort of- mine are not quite as perfect!)
Now the wands- maybe my favorite thing of all! These were SO much fun to make. I could literally make wands all day. All you need for these are chop sticks, hot glue, and acrylic paint. Any assortment of beads also adds to the charm but isn’t completely necessary. Hopefully the pics explain what I did but you basically just goop the glue on all different ways (dots, spirals, giant blobs) and carefully let it dry- you can spin the stick gently in your hands to make the glue do cool things or hold it at different angles. It dries fairly quickly. Sticking beads into the hot glue creates a cool marled effect once the wands are painted. Lilly did most of the painting actually which she LOVED. We just used a variation of brown, gray, tan and black and mixed whenever we felt like it. It was the perfect project for her.
Aren’t they so fun?! And so cheap too- just an extra bonus.
How about the cake next, yes? Oh man. I loved this cake. I really, really loved it. It was SO simple as far as decorated cakes are concerned but was just the right amount of whimsical and on-theme to work beautifully for the party. The scarf is just rolled out store bought fondant (if you can order or find this brand it is SO much better than Wilton), and the glasses and lighting bolt are black royal icing. The figurines are THESE amazing creatures also from amazon. If you haven’t seen them before I’m so sorry for the collection you are about to want to accumulate!
I take no credit for the cookies we had made for this party. My friend Nicole is AMAZING with cookies and she whipped them up special for Lilly (the sorting hats revealed colored frosting inside!!!!! I mean, just insane!) I let her totally do anything she wanted and they turned out even more perfect than I could have hoped. I also made some chocolate cupcakes with chocolate frosting and just added Gryffindor colored sprinkles to keep it easy.
Once of the biggest hits at the party (though there were many) were these little “liquid luck” potion bottles I made up before the party. I took some liberties on the color but luckily I don’t think any of the kids have read or seen up to that part in Harry Potter so they were none the wiser. I shoved a gummy worm into each bottle then filled each one with sprite. They turned into these floaty, cloudy, colored bottles of liquid that I swear the kids just died over. I’m not sure why they loved them so much but they were a HUGE hit. And all the kids got to take their little bottle home so that was a plus. I used these bottles. These are from our local craft store. Can’t find anything similar on Amazon, sorry!
This pic kills me. HA, Sally. Oh and that reminds me- we put out little mini cauldrons of popcorn too just for the kids to snack on while we passed around dinner (catered trays of chicken fingers and french fries!).
In this pic you can see the two little projects we made. The first one is pet pygmy puffs (colored pom poms with googly eyeballs inside condiment containers with paper grass as a bed) and DRAGON SNOW GLOBES. These were one of my favorite things. For these you need mini jars (these worked perfectly), some plastic dragons, glitter, and glycerine.
OH! The great hall table candles how could I forget! My mother in law made ALL of these candles bless her heart. They took her forever but were SO worth it. They really made the room feel like the castle since we couldn’t do too much else to it. They’re all made of paper towel or TP tubes, dripped with hot glue, painted white, then glued in an electric tea light. SO cool when they were all finished and hung up!
Here’s one more photo where you can see the candles…
Which brings me perfectly to… QUIDDITCH. Yes, yes we did. Now it is prudent to note that this game got INSANE with a whole bunch of boy and girl 1st graders. It was totally crazy. The kids got SO sweaty and popped a ton of the balloons (so bring extra!) but it was so much fun! Brandon made the goals out of quick set cement and wood with brackets at the top to hold the hoops. I made those just by wrapping gold duct tape around three hoola hoops. Again, this was pretty cheap and easy and they were really sturdy.
I also have to give a nod to my Dad who brought on his wizarding charm like no other when serving and presenting the dry ice PATRONUS PUNCH. Grandpops are the best. You guys. It was amazing. The kids were SO impressed and just desperate to taste it. We used blue juice (can’t even remember what kind), sprite, white grape juice and luster dust <—– the key ingredient that makes it swirly and sparkly. Obviously the dry ice is key too. Just please pinterest/google/research making dry ice punch on your own and make sure you do it SAFELY.
I forgot to snap a pic of it but the other drink we made was “butter beer” which was confusing to the kids who aren’t familiar with Harry Potter. I heard quite a few “no thank you, my parents don’t let me have beer” to which I had to quickly explain- HA. Oops. Sorry parents! We kept it super simple and used cream soda, vanilla ice cream, whipped cream and caramel drizzle.
I think that about covers it. If you see something I missed let me know in the comments! Our party lasted 2.5 hours and we were going strong up until the very last minute with zero down time and no time to open presents (which I prefer). Eating dinner, doing the two projects, watching the punch be made, playing quidditch and just running around with wands took up all of our time. I’m not sure I can do another party of this DIY-magnitude ever again, but it sure was fun for our entire family and one of those parties I’m sure all my girls will remember forever! Again, special huge thanks to my parents, my sis in law Haley, my mother in law and Aunt Linda. Everyone else who helped. It was SUCH a fun day for our sweet little Lilly (and ok, me too. I totally had the best day).
All of our HP shirts are from Target.
Awesome gold glitter table runner is THIS ONE.
Love this party? Be sure to pin it and save it for later!