April 11, 2010

Welcome to Hogwarts!

The party was amazing.  AMAZING!  (If I do say so myself...)  The kids had a wonderful time, the parents were blown away, and I didn't even end up with migraine!  My husband and I spent countless hours planning, creating, and preparing for this party; It was worth every minute.

Upon arrival, children were escorted through the front door, which had been transformed into Platform 9 3/4.  I made a Platform 9 3/4 sign by painting a piece of wood red, then using my Silhouette to cut "HOGWARTS EXPRESS" from sparkly gold paper.  I Mod Podged the letters to the board, along with a Hogwarts crest that I found on Google Images, then printed and cut.  I used a bowl to draw a circle on the board, painted it white, then drew and painted the 9 3/4 with black paint.  I think it looks pretty close to the sign from the movie!

The brick wall was made from a light blue sheet that I picked up at Goodwill.  My husband cut it to fit our doorway, then drew the bricks on with a Sharpie.  He also cut the slit for the kids to run through.  I spray painted it red, keeping the spray can at a bit of a distance so as to create an uneven look, like bricks.


I made this flag to hang outside our house.  Sort of like balloons for a regular party, right?  The how-to for the flag can be found here.

Inside our house, the kids found The Great Hall, with a nighttime sky on the enchanted ceiling.

In the books and movie, robes are a must-have at Hogwarts.  I sewed a robe for each of the kids, nine total.  They took me about a half-hour each, although eventually I just assembly-lined them, doing all the ironing at one time, hems at one time, etc. 

After they had their robes, the children were taken to Ollivander's Wand Shop.  There, they could choose a wand.  My husband carved unique patterns into all of the wands.  Didn't he do an incredible job?

The kids decorated their wands with markers.

They also could choose Phoenix feathers or dragon scales for the core of their wands.  My husband drilled holes into one end of each wand.  The kids stuffed them with feathers and small jewels (dragon feathers), and then I sealed the holes with hot glue.

Next was the Sorting Hat.  I created this hat using crumpled brown paper bags.  I hot glued torn pieces of the bags to a black witches hat that we had in our dress up clothes.  I tried to make the face look like the hat from the movie--My son loved it, but I'm not so sure.

I thought long and hard about how to have the Sorting Hat speak.  We thought about walkie-talkies or recordings.  But eventually, we decided to go with a baby monitor.  We hung a the speaker-end of the monitor inside the Sorting Hat, then put the other end in our basement.  My husband went downstairs and spoke into the baby monitor as the Sorting Hat, so it sounded like the hat was talking.  It worked perfectly--One of the dad's even asked me afterwards how we did it.  Success!

After being sorted, we went to Potions Class.  Each child got a small ceramic cauldron (found at JoAnn's).  The first potion contained an explosive clear liquid (water), jellyfish serum (bubble solution), and fire rocks (dry ice).  The kids were amazed by this.  

We had to rinse out the cauldrons between potions, so the kids spent the time stupifying each other.  We brought the benches for our picnic table inside and covered them with Dollar Store black tablecloths (same for the table).  It really added to the look of The Great Hall.

The next potion was a mixture of water and Iocane Powder (cornstartch).  This went unbelievably well.  Everybody had fun mixing, then being shocked that their solid turned "runny."  One kid said, "It's like a solid liquid!"  Yup, you got it.

This made a huge mess, so I was very glad that we had put down the tablecloths.

After Potions was over, it was time for a little QUIDDITCH!

Everybody got a broom, made from sticks and brush, found on the side of the road, courtesy of my hubby.

We had three foam balls, all red--One large one that was the Quaffle and two smaller ones that were the Bludgers.  The kids were separated into two teams.  They had to try to get the Quaffle through one of the hoops, but if they were hit by a Bludger, they had to drop the Quaffle.  They also had to stay on their brooms.

The rings were made by spray painting hula hoops that were nailed to wood, stuck in the ground.  There were three on each side, just like in real Quidditch.

That's a Bludger.

Prior to the party, I spray painted a golf ball gold, then hid it in our yard.  We chose a Seeker from each team, and rotated the Seekers each time a team scored--Those kids were responsible for searching the yard for the Golden Snitch.  Here it is after being found.


Quidditch took a lot of energy, so it was time for some food!  Cake time!  My son wanted a Golden Snitch cake--No pressure there, right?  This is what I came up with:

I have a lot of pictures from the making of this cake, so I'll post a how-to sometime in the near future.  In case you're wondering, though, yes, the wings are edible too!
Edit: Here's the how-to on the cake.


This was the coolest part of the cake by far--It was filled with Jelly Bellies, i.e.. Bertie Botts Every Flavor Beans!  When I cut the first piece out of the cake, the Jelly Bellies all spilled out too.  The kids (and adults!) thought that it was pretty amazing.  One of the dads was completely incredulous that I had made the cake--He told me that it was "just so magical."  Talk about a compliment!

We also served Butterbeer.  It was Cream Soda (CAUTION: Be sure to buy non-caffeinated soda!  The first time my husband bought it, I checked the can and it had caffeine.  Can you even imagine?!?), mixed with Butterscotch Syrup.  I served it in small Ball glass jars that I had put in the freezer before the party, and then sprayed some Ready-Whip on top.  I liked it, so did a few of the kids, but I'm not sure I'd make it again...

So that's our party!  I forgot to take any pictures of the invitations--They were invitations to Hogwarts, printed on parchment paper, then sealed with red wax and the Hogwarts H.  I'll see if I can scrounge one up for pictures.  I think the reason this party worked so well was because of all the prep-time.  We also kept each activity to 15 minutes, so nobody got bored.  Everything moved quickly and fluidly, because of the preparation.  My son said that it was the best party he'd every been to, and, pardon my lack of humility here, I'm going to have to agree with him!

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42 comments:

  1. WOW! I love Harry Potter, and I am SO IMPRESSED at the attention to detail that you guys had. What a wonderful party...and wonderful memories for your cutie-pie!

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  2. My god! You are amazing. I can't believe you did all that! You're totally right to be proud of your work, I'm sure it was the best party ever.
    At each photo as I scrolled, my husband heard "oh my god babe, look, she's like Superwoman! This is so cool!"

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  3. wow, i'm gonna have to do that for isaiah's next party, he is soooo into harry potter. thanks for the ideas!! :)

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  4. This looks so incredibly fun! I don't doubt it was the best birthday party ever.

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  5. Wow. I love how much you did for the party. It makes me want to go to one just reading it. I love Harry Potter. What a fun party for kids and adults!! Great idea with the cake and the sorting hat. How cool! Thanks for sharing at 'Look at me, I'm SO Crafty!' at Fun to Craft.

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  6. fantastic job! I love all the activities inside - I am sure the kids had a blast and I can't believe you set up Quidditch outside - awesome job!

    Kim @ http://frostmeblog.blogspot.com
    party inspiration

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  7. the Quidditch game is AWESOME-my boys would love it!!! Great job!!

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  8. This looks amazing. :) It looks like everybody had a great time, and all the work you put into it clearly paid off. Good work on setting the standard for next year! ;)

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  9. I like how you had activities that were like the movies. Potions, how cute!!! Great creativity.

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  10. I love this! I'm one of the food & party editors for CafeMom, the largest social networking website for women. I'd love to feature this on our Monday morning kids' party post.

    I couldn't find an email address on your page, so I hope you get this! Please email me at bdrye@cafemom.com.

    Thank you so much, and I look forward to hearing from you!

    Best,

    Brittny

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  11. thats a great idea for HP party!! Love the cake...you hollowed it out a bit after cooked then added jelly beans...? Very cool!

    http://sugarswings.blogspot.com/

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  12. This is an azmazing party. I have a 4 yr old who loves Harry Potter already - I may have to play with some of these ideas. She likes to play Quidditch - and I like your hoops for that!

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  13. That is SOOO amazing! I cannot imagine the amount of time and creativity that went into that party! I've NEVER been to a party like that before - you would be a hero around here!

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  14. Oh!!! What a fantastic party, hugs for all the wizard.

    Hugs
    Charo

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  15. Thanks for sharing! We are having a Harry Potter this summer. Thanks for the inspiration!

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  16. Unbelievable! It is no wonder that parents thought it was magical! Just the posts were phenomenal! You thought of everything!

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  17. Wow this is AMAZING!! Great job :)

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  18. This is crazy ingenious! Love it! It looks like your boy is younger, but I think my soon to be 11 year old and his friends would love it! I'm so bookmarking this!

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  19. Oh my goodness! What an amazing party! You're kids are so lucky!!

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  20. so so cute! I'm 28 years old and I wish this party was for me! ;) very creative. I bet you put the new hp part of universal studios to shame!

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  21. Can I fly you here to Singapore to help me with my own HP birthday party??

    I love what you did for the kids ♥

    AWESOME!!!

    (Cammie aka Dawnfarie on LJ)

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  22. Love it! Great ideas - I'm planning a Halloween party & I love these ideas.

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  23. This is so awesome and impressive! I love the quidditch game part and especially the cake! it's brilliant! lucky kid with great mom! :)

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  24. This is so cute - I love it so much!

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  25. This party was AMAZING looking! I was looking around for princess party ideas wince that is what my will-be-4 year old wants this year and I ran across this. She is pretty set on princesses this year, but I may use some of your ideas for my husband's birthday in February.

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  26. you must of put a lot of dedication IT WAS AMAZING i really want a harry potter party even though i'm ten years old i was just looking on the web for a Hogwarts party with everything and i came across your web i've loved harry potter since i was three i've had a crush on him when i was four and i still LOVE IT ITS THE BEST MOVIE I HAVE EVER WATCHED THANKS ALOT

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  27. That's AMAZING! We just got back from Universal Studios Orlando where we visited Harry Potter's world of wizardry and I think your world sure gives them a run for the money! So creative and inventive - from the train station bricks (LOVED that!) to the Golden Snitch cake! You're amazing!

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  28. This looks like a party I may have to throw in the future! It's right up my alley! I'm all about birthdays being an adventure, not just a party! I'm sure it was unforgettable for everyone there!

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  29. So CUTE!!! Found you through Today's Creative Blog -- I'm bookmarking this for my birthday party ideas folder -- I've had a Harry Potter file running for the past year but you've got some of the best ideas yet!
    My daughter (age 7) was Hermione this halloween and wants to have a potter party when her friends are a bit bigger and will be old enough to read the first book -- she's read it three times but we aren't letting her read the rest until she's a bit older! : )

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  30. Love it!!! My son wants a Harry Potter party for his 8th birthday in 2 months. Your ideas are so perfect, looks like my planning is over, lol. Thanks for sharing :)

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  31. What a wonderful party!!! My daughter (who'll be 15 in Sept) would have loved to be a guest ;o). So cool!!! Well done :)

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  32. Unbelievably amazing! Well done!

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  33. WOW! What an awesome party! I love Harry Potter, so I would be one of the adults at the party swooning! Your kids are sure lucky to have an awesome mom & dad like you! (btw- found the link to your party on Pinterest.)

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  34. This is by far the BEST home made themed birthday party i've ever seen (maybe because i love HP lol) Congrats on your amazing work!

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  35. Another adult who found the link to your party on Pinterest! And all I can say is, "I wish I could have been there!" What a great party! What lucky kids! You are SO creative! And how wonderful that hubby helps too!

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  36. What an incredible party! We are having a Harry Potter themed party on Sat and I want to use all of your ideas but will be thrilled if I get myself organized enough to do 2! Thanks for sharing all the great ideas :)

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  37. A-MA-ZING! I'm planning a Harry Party right now & just finished with invitations that sound very similar to yours. I can't wait to use some of your ideas - hope you don't mind!

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  38. This is fantastic!! It's going to help me plan my Harry Potter Party (July 30th; Harry's birthday). Thanks so much!!

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  39. Just finding this and I am so glad! We are doing a HP party for my daughter in a month! GREAT ideas for the quiditch!!! Thanks so much!

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  40. Thanks for the great post on your blog, it really gives me an insight on this topic.
    marbles from jennamarbles

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  41. Just wondering - how did you make your robes? Is it a cape or one with sleeves? Did you follow a pattern/tutorial or make it up yourself? I'm planning a Harry Potter bday party for our son and trying to figure this all out! :)

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I can't wait to hear what you think!

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