Harry Potter Themed Birthday Party!
The party theme…well, as you read above, was a Harry Potter birthday. Our oldest daughter became a HUGE Potter fan this year after reading the first book (and second, and third!! THIS YEAR!!!!), and, well, so is our youngest! While we discussed planning their birthday party, which at the time (months ago) was a Circus theme, I just didn’t feel all that excited over the theme. Soooo, I blurted out that we could try..Let’s go for a Harry Potter themed one instead..and they started going off on a tangent with ideas. <–my girls!
It was the best conversation to have with two little girls btw. I couldn’t of been any happier working with them on this theme over these past few months. WELL, second to planning my oldest’s Communion earlier this year. I think I need to take event planning seriously.
The plan for this was to keep it as simple as possible for wizards and muggles alike to enjoy. I figured not a lot of the party goers were Potter fans like we are, and I was right! I had to factor in a Fall time feel with a tinge of Halloween, so it made some sense to the muggles. I started by drafting a list of ideas my children threw at me, then started researching on pinterest till I was blue in the face for inspiration. Pinterest is such a great tool!
I wanted to create / craft as much as I possibly could to decorate the house and yard. I had decorated my house on the super early side for Halloween; this way there was that air of Fall, and it matched the monochromatic items that were set up all around for the party on the outside. I decided to decorate with more of the evident aspects of the atmosphere that surrounded Harry…i.e., Hogwarts’ Great Hall floating candles, potion classes, books, Hagrid’s, the flying keys, etc..
This is what I came up with:
The Save The Date
My husband was tasked with a lot of print projects this party. It was my plan, so he can see all the nutty details I put into a party and because I could have him draw out things in minutes versus hours if I did it on my own. (like I’ve said, I am not an artist, I just play one in my Mom life). He came up with this cute 5×7 card, that at about 5 weeks prior to the party I emailed to all of our family and friends. Then about 2 weeks prior, I sent it to the girls’ school friends’ parents through email.
The Invitation (click the link for more details)
This was a huge huge feat to achieve for this party because the movies lent such a major visual inspiration and Pinterest was an overload and wealth of ideas. So here are the elements broken down by area:
– Hogwart’s Great Hall Feast with Floating Candles
– Themed Photobooth
I started by creating a “have you seen this wizard” foam board cut out that I saw all over Pinterest. This was such a clever idea to get the kids taking pictures. Then I created a few hand held wand props for the kids to be silly. I set up the table off to the side, and set it up with ‘Muggle Studies” them. A cute way to make the fans chuckle.
– Potions Table (drinks)
I knew I wanted to represent the potions portion of the world. How I was going to use it didn’t come to me until I had finished the bottles. I kept thinking about having the kids make potions that were edible or fun to watch bubble and fizz, but then at the end of the planning figured we had enough to do with the other activities that I would set it up as an in case.
To start, was aesthetics. I had a shorty jam jar, two aranciata bottles then bought some faux vintage elixir bottles that would work real well as potion bottles. I had my husband create some vintage style labels. The bottles were wrapped in black jute then filled with what I could figure to work. All for free..colored water, colored sugar, baking soda and sea shells! Then I used a shoe box from a recent purchase that had a color interior as the housing. It worked out real well.
(inside the dragon scales jar were the seashells we collected on the Cape over the Summer! Super cute score!)
This table showcased water, wine and cups..next to it was the Luna Lovegood’s Lemon Juice station. This is where the kids were given color hiding cups.
Then I peppered in other fun ideas like:
flying keyswizard inspired book coversthe fat lady portraitMoaning Myrtleclass signageDaily Prophet posters
The Girls’ Outfits
The girls really were adamant about this. They wanted to dress up like a Gryffindor student…our oldest not anyone specific, but our youngest being Hermione, her very favorite heroine! Their outfits consisted of a Gryffindor robe, a crisp new oxford shirt, a scarlet and gold silk tie and any bottom we felt worked well and comfortably. These are being recycled for Halloween, which will be great if the weather is chilly! OH and they both had light up wands (Hermione and Harry’s)!
For this feat I went to EBAY! I love love loooooove me some Ebay! I found each child’s costume brand new for cheaper than I could anywhere else. Especially with Halloween so far off. (I like to have all my party items at least three to four weeks prior to the event so I know all fits and the kids are sure they want them). Through Ebay I also bought a Gryffindor colored tie, and a light up wand each. I bought the school styled white oxford through the Gap on super sale! And they wore bottoms they already owned, a black pair of pants for one and a grey mini for the other. Not only can this be used for Halloween, but aside from the robe, it can all be recycled in their wardrobe…but you know that robe will be played with for a LOOoooOOOng time.
I think we succeeded at keeping the food super simple for all the different eaters in our lives. Normally, I go all out Italian SuperMom with a million different things to eat, catered, then end up with leftovers for weeks..which we get sick of after one night.
We decided to have a simple BBQ with burgers (Malfoy Burgers, aka, cheeseburgers), hot dogs (Harry Potter Dogs), chicken wings (Hedwings), corn on the cob (Corn on the Crabbe) and a mixed greens salad (Prof. Sprout’s Salad). Scattered around were some veggie straws, Doritos and cheese rice cake poppers (aka, Weasley Chips). It was all a big hit cause no one felt left out. Phew!
Before, with the food..then I shifted the table for the desserts.
More fun treats! My favorite treat… Golden Snitches! (<–click link!)
They were Lindt truffles wrapped in gold foil and wings. Super cute. For my lactose intolerant friends I made a marshmallow version you can see in the above picture.
My husband really wanted to make the cake to match the theme. He pulled inspiration from the invitation he made for this event. He hand scultped the shape by using two rounds for the head (double layer) and two sheets for the body- red velvet, devil’s food and vanilla. The kids picked out the flavors, which was a fun way for everyone to be happy. From a photo he made the best Hedwig cake! Everyone enjoyed it!
This was an idea that my husband thought would be a big hit and make our kids die with laughter. It was a hit, but I think cause it was creepy! He shaped the body out of cardboard, and I crafted the rest… Here’s how it looked.
The kids had a great time beating this pinata down piece by piece, but she was hefty and tough to take down! Twenty-four kid whacking her to death proof! We had to intervene by spilling her candy guts after her head, arms and legs came off. It was a fun time!
It was such a fun day. The kids seemed to enjoy all the activities.. from the giant football themed jumpy, the face painting, photo booth, color changing drinks and just being together! I loved spending the time creating it all for my very special girls.
Looking forward to next year!
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