Category Archives: party ideas

Harry Potter Party Revisit 4: Feast and Party Favors

harry potter party feast

I’ve had a lovely time thinking back to my daughter’s 8th birthday party and I thank you all for sharing in my reminiscing!

She’s officially 14, but still loves both Harry Potter and magic, both of which make me one happy mom.

harry potter party feast 02

Hogwarts Feast

How do you have a feast fit for Hogwarts? Simple, fill it with Harry’s favorite foods! A few sure-to-please Muggle foods are a good idea for those picky eaters!

harry potter party cauldron cakes

Cauldron Cakes

Easy & fast!  Instead of frosting, try using a cookie scoop to add frosting to the top. I think white would be even better, giving the idea of smoke or steam!

Use black licorice for handles,embellish with the magical decorations of your choice and sprinkle on Pop Rocks (“fire crystals”) when you serve.

harry potter party food
Fun Sides Dishes:

Black olives, carrots, celery and a Wizard’s Crystal Cheese Ball.  I recommend serving crackers to spread the cheese on instead of the star shaped crackers listed with the Cheese Ball recipe.  They were very time-intensive to make and the kids had a hard time managing them.

harry potter party feast 03
Pumpkin Juice

  • 46 oz. 100% apple juice
  • 2/3 cup packed pumpkin blended on high

Refrigerate before serving. Shake or stir before pouring into glasses or goblets. It’s very good!

Treacle Fudge

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup evaporated milk
  • 3/4 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 4 oz. unsweetened chocolate
  • 2 tbs unsalted butter
  • 1/3 cup light molasses

Melt chocolate and butter in heavy saucepan.  Add milk, sugar & molasses. Cook to softball stage. Pour into buttered 8×8 pan. Cool before cutting. Best if used within a day or two.
Links for other magical foods & recipe:

harry potter party party favors
Favors
Party favors can be made well ahead of time, and I highly recommend it.

Your guests will get to take home the results from their classes, but on the way out, what better than a bag of candy from Honeydukes?  The bags are easy to make with regular brown lunch bags, word processing software and a printer.

harry potter party party favors choc frogs

Suggested Fillers:

  • Bertie Bott’s Every Flavour Beans
  • Droobles Best Blowing Gum (bubble gum of your choice re-wrapped in wrappers made in your word processor)
  • Dumbledore’s Favorite Lemon Drops & Bertie Bott’s Every Flavor Beans* – (I bought these in a large box and split them into smaller containers I made myself.   Here’s a fun selection of printable boxes.
  • Last, but not least, Chocolate Frogs complete with wizard cards! I used candy molds and milk chocolate chips to make these.  The wizard cards are those wizards that Harry and Ron come across on their frog cards on the Hogwarts Express during their first trip to Hogwarts! I reworded historical information found on the Internet (except for Dumbledore). His listing comes directly from Sorcerer’s Stone. They’re printed on business cards and attached to the frogs with a piece of ribbon (frogs are wrapped in clear cellophane).  Print your own Wizard Cards on business cards.

harry potter party gift invisibility cloak
A fun gift Elena received… an invisibility cloak from friends Katie & Anna!

Also see

As always, if you make any pattern or craft from Sewhooked you can share your photos by adding them to the Sewhooked flickr group!

Happy crafting

also available on The Leaky Cauldron – Crafts

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Harry Potter Party Revisit 3 – Classes

harry potter party transfiguration

The bulk of our Harry Potter party all those years ago was the classes.  Once the kids were in the house and had their uniforms, we were ready to go!

harry potter party classes
Charms – do homework like Harry!

  • feathers with angled points (a utility knife works for this)
  • India ink*
  • parchment paper (available in craft stores)
  • plastic tablecloth (to protect work area)

Dip quills into ink to write on parchment. They used india ink to dip their quills and wrote on parchment. While the kids write, discuss the place of quills in history and what it means to “blot” your paper, a phrase seen in the Harry Potter books. More information on quills.

*India ink stains, so make sure the kids are aware and being careful. Younger kids may need aprons or old shirts to protect their clothing.

harry potter party classes transfiguration
Transfiguration-make your own owl

  • Felt owl bodies, pre-made*
  • felt face pieces (see above link), pre-cut in a variety of colors
  • feathers
  • glue
  • google eyes

Use the spell Strigiformes (“nocturnal bird of prey”) to transfigure a pile of supplies into an owl. Have the listed supplies out for students to choose from. After gluing owls together, leave to dry overnight.

Potions– Make Butterbeer!

  • plastic goblets or cups
  • root beer (½ cup for each student)
  • butterscotch syrup
  • vanilla ice cream
  • cookie scoop

Prepare ahead of time: Scoop ice cream with cookie scoop, placing scoops on cookie sheet. Harden in freezer for at least two hours before party.

Just before you need it, warm root beer in the microwave or stove top, making sure not to get it too hot.  Each child receives a goblet approximately 1/2 full of warm root beer. Serve ice cream scoop with tongs, allowing each child to add his or her own. Serve butterscotch syrup in from a “potion bottle” or cruet.  Enjoy!

harry potter party care of magical creatures

Care of Magical Creatures
– You have received special permission from the Ministry of Magic for your students to raise dragon eggs (very important, as it’s against wizarding law to own a dragon!).

  • Plastic or craft eggs that open
  • homemade slime
  • small toy dragons or charms (I like these)
  • acrylic craft paint, in a variety of colors (authentic colors can be found in Fantastic Beasts & Where To Find Them)
  • clear acrylic sealant

Prepare ahead of time: Paint eggs using craft paint, covering with sealant once dry. Allow to dry overnight. Fill with a small amount of slime and a small toy dragon. Placed the eggs in a small cauldron filled with polyfil before the guests arrive.

During the party: Explain that you have received special permission from the Ministry of Magic to raise dragon eggs for your Care of Magical Creatures class. Dragon eggs need to be kept warm, so keep near a fireplace if available.  When it’s time for the eggs to hatch, have each child reach in a choose an egg.  Their eggs then “hatch.”

The important part of this project is the suspense of what’s in the egg. During our party, the kids asked me dozens of times if it was “time.” When I finally announced the dragons were hatching, they were all very excited. They enjoyed the dragons and the slime!

harry potter party classes herbology
Herbology-grow a magical plant!

  • small terracotta pot or small plastic cups
  • Jiffy soil pellets
  • herb or bean seeds
  • plastic spoon

Have students add soil to their cup or pot. Add a seed and water gently. Explain to the students that they need to add 1 spoon of water to the plants each day. They then wave their wand and say the spell “Exerceo” (roughly translated means grow or cultivate). Pots should be kept in a warm, sunny place, like a window.

harry potter party classes dada

Defense Against the Dark Arts
– fight off Dementors using the Patronus Charm!

  • Long, dark cloak or “death” costume
  • willing actor to play a dementor
  • wands (see Diagon Alley from the last post)

Your students will be learning the incredibly advanced Patronus Charm. The Patronus charm creates a Patronus, or protector. A silver-colored being (each is different, according to who does the spell) races out of the wand to ward off Dementors. The charm consists of thinking of a happy memory and the saying the words “Expecto Patronum.”

Have the students think of happy memories.  They can do this privately or as a group.  Once they start practicing the charm, that’s the cue for the dementor to make it’s appearance.  The dementor should back away in fear, eventually fleeing as the students perform their charms. While a very simple “class,” this was the most popular at our party!

As always, if you make any pattern or craft from Sewhooked you can share your photos by adding them to the Sewhooked flickr group!

Happy crafting

also available on  The Leaky Cauldron – Crafts

Harry Potter Party Revisit Part 2 – Diagon Alley

harry potter party students 01

I’m continuing on with the Harry Potter party revisits today.

For our party, I chose to provide cloaks, hats and wands, all which came from Diagon Alley. Instead of going to Diagon Alley, our student’s packages were delivered “by owl” during the party!  The children received a cloak, student hat, and cauldron when they enter the door, all wrapped in brown paper and string, with labels from the appropriate Diagon Alley stores: Ollivander’s, Madam Malkin’s, etc.

harry potter party diagon alley

Student Uniform:


Cloak

  • 1 – 1 ½ yards of inexpensive black fabric per cloak
  • 20” – 24” elastic for each cloak (depending on age of the child)
  • black or gold decorative button

Hem fabric at each end, making one of the hems wide enough to slide the elastic through.   Add a Hogwarts or House crest to the left front of the cloak using the stencil.  The crest can be stenciled, made of felt, painted, embroidered, or a printable iron on transfer.  Commercially available patches are available from Whimsic Alley.

Pull elastic through one of the hemmed ends, stitch together ends. Tack the two side of the fabric together so they will stay closed. Add decorative button on top.

The children that attended our party were 5 – 10 years old. The cloaks were all approximately the same size, but I did ask for height measurements and made them to measure.


Wizard Hat

Wizard Hat Illustration

  • Black Felt
  • hat that fits and holds it’s shape without stretching too much (like a fleece hat)
  • paper large enough for pattern (freezer paper works well)

On paper, trace around hat. Extend top to a point. Cut out template. Cut out two pieces of felt in the same shape. Stitch, trim & turn inside out. Test the hat first, to make sure it fits before making the rest in case you need to make adjustments.

Wands

  • 12” dowel rods (available pre-cut at craft stores)
  • sand paper
  • acrylic craft paint
  • clear acrylic sealant
  • foam brush
  • egg carton

Gently sand the dowels to make sure they’re smooth. Poke a holes into the bottom of the inverted egg carton. Inset the dowels into the holes. Paint each dowel a different color. When dry, flip and paint the other end. Repeat with sealant.

Optional: before sanding, trim dowels to different lengths, sanding the rough edges off of the ends.

Sample Wand Names:

  • Unicorn Hair, Willow, 10 inches
  • Unicorn Hair, Yew, 11 inches
  • Phoenix Feather, Maple, 11 1/2 inches
  • Dragon Heartstring, Cedar, 11 3/4 inches
  • Dragon Heartstring, Ash, 10 3/4 inches
  • Phoenix Feather, Redwood, 12 inches

Include wand names on an Ollivander’s label, printed on parchment and attached by string to the brown paper package. Cut and paste to make your own labels!

Ollivanders: Makers of Fine Wands since 382 BC

Every Ollivander wand has a core of a powerful magical substance. We use unicorn hairs, phoenix tail feathers and the heartstrings of dragons. No two Ollivander wands are the same, just as no two unicorns, dragons or phoenixes are quite the same.You will never get such good results with another wizard’s wand. (from Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone)

The kids chose their wrapped wands from a cauldron , or rather their wands chose them!   Each wand was unique, which made it easier for them to keep track of during the party.


Cauldrons

You can purchase black plastic cauldrons from your local party store and many grocery stores during Halloween and St. Patrick’s Day. If your party is during a different time of year, try searching online for a party supply store. Cauldrons are great for decorations or party favors. We had one for each child. This is where they stored all their things from the party when it was time for them to leave. They also had a great time using their imaginations making potions once we were done with our “classes.”

Also see:  Part 1, Invitations and Decorations

As always, if you make any pattern or craft from Sewhooked you can share your photos by adding them to the Sewhooked flickr group!

Happy crafting

also available on The Leaky Cauldron – Crafts

Harry Potter Party, Revisit Part 1 – Invitations and Decorations

harry potter party diagon alley

My darling daughter turns 14 later this week.  That’s her, on the front right.  She’s next to her little brother. who himself just turned 11 this past  December and is now old enough to attend Hogwarts.  It was February of 2003; Order of the Phoenix had not yet hit book stores and there were only two HP movies so far.

While I sit and try to absorb these amazing thoughts and all the years my family has loved Harry Potter and the ways we’ve chosen to express that appreciation, it’s easy to remember when birthday parties were much more important than birthday presents.

I thought I’d take this week leading up to my daughter’s next step towards adulthood and relive a little of that young girl fandom love by sharing how we sent our kids and their friends to Hogwarts for a Very Magical Sleepover.  Maybe the next time you feel like having a little adventure, you can go to Hogwarts, too!

Invitations

The invitation you use is the best way to get your party started!  Create a letter from Hogwarts to the prospective “students” using the format of Harry’s first letter.  Be sure to include party time, location, and what to bring (if it’s a sleepover, etc) and where to send reply “by owl” (email, phone number, etc.)

We printed our invitations on yellow parchment (from the local craft store) using the Lumos font and printed in, what else, emerald-green ink! These were rolled into scrolls and sealed with wax. I got the parents of the kids invited involved by hand delivering each invite so the parents could tell the kids an owl had stopped by with a letter for them!

To use the swirly and signature graphics, right-click and save!

You’ll need:

  • parchment paper
  • Lumos Font
  • image – Professor McGonnagall’s signature (from the American editions of Harry Potter)
  • image – “swirly” (also from the American eds.)

Here’s a sample letter:

HOGWARTS SCHOOL of WITCHCRAFT and WIZARDRY [Lumos Font]
LETTERSWIRLY
Headmaster: Albus Dumbledore
(Order of Merlin, First Class, Grand Sorc., Chf. Warlock, Supreme Mugwump, International confed. of Wizards)

We are pleased to inform you that you are invited to [reason for party], a Very Magical Sleepover [what we called our party]!

The party will be at [location], [location address]. It will take place [day, date & time].
Please bring your sleeping bag, pillow, pjs, toiletries, and any other muggle items you may need.
Student Uniforms will be provided.

We await your owl by no later than [RSVP date] (or you can call [name, phone and/or email]).

Yours Sincerely,
McGonagallsig
Minerva McGonagall, Deputy Headmistress

Decorations
harry potter party decorations potions

Decorations can be simple and inexpensive.  Be creative and use what you have on hand. Look at thrift shop and dollar stores for interesting “magical” items,  potions bottles, interesting looking props, out of season Halloween costumes and decorations.

These are some of the decorations we used for our party:
Great Hall Enchanted Ceiling

  • Navy Blue Plastic Tablecloth
  • Glow in the Dark Stars
  • Low Temp Glue Gun
  • thumbtacks or push pins

Glue stars on plastic tablecloth in a random pattern. Use thumbtacks to hang over the eating area.

Potions Bottles

  • Empty Spice Bottles
  • chopped celery (dragon claw)
  • whole nutmeg (bezoars)
  • Pop Rocks Candy (fire crystals)
  • Food coloring (colored water for various potions)

Fill the empty bottles with a variety of contents.   These are just suggestions, use what you have on hand for your own variety.

Party favors, class supplies and the feast, all add to the atmosphere.  More on that in the next Harry Potter Party revisit!

As always, if you make any pattern or craft from Sewhooked,  I’d love to see a photo. Email me or add it to the Sewhooked flickr group!

Happy crafting

also available on potterparties and The Leaky Cauldron – Crafts