A few years ago, I had the idea of throwing my Mum a Harry Potter bonanza! I say bonanza and not party because we didn’t have a lot of people round but it was a very magical day and she enjoyed it immensely! Some of the ideas I’ve seen online didn’t suit what I wanted for her day and I thought some of you might be in a similar situation so I thought I’d write about some of the ideas I had that went down a treat!
These ideas can be done using really simple methods or they can be done by going the extra mile, they can suit the situation you’re in. They can also be converted into things for a large group or for a small group. Let’s get started!
(I have had to crop and blur the photos where faces, names and other things are for the privacy of my family and friends)
- The layout of the day This was really important for me, I didn’t want to just throw a party when her friends arrived, I wanted the whole day to be an experience. This can be done very simply, it just requires some preparation. I wrote a Hogwarts acceptance letter for her (which you can actually print out instead) and I did another letter for her explaining what the day was about. I also bought a mini Hogwarts trunk from etsy that was filled with lot’s of mini things like spell books, Hedwig and a potions set! (I also added Haggord’s keys)To top it all off, I dressed up like Hagrid to wake her up and surprise her! (But I called myself “Haggord”.)I also made a timetable to loosely base the day off. It’s good to let who your throwing a party for know what they’re in for and it’s a nice little help for you as well. This also went really well with the school theme! Just don’t be too strict with the timetable, if a few things don’t start or finish at the time you want them to then it’s okay.
- Themed food There are LOADS of Harry Potter related foods out there, but these are the ones I found easiest and tastiest. As this was for my Mum and I was living with my parents at the time, I had to prepare all the food the night before, so having easy food was very important. In the morning, I made her a poached egg very much like the one Ron had (or didn’t) before his first Quidditch match in the Half Blood Prince.
“Drapple” is an inside joke in the fandom so it’s a fun but healthy addition to the food!
Cockroach clusters- melt some chocolate and mix it together with popcorn
Weasley’s Dragon Roasted Nuts- recipe here: http://inliterature.net/food-in-literature/2013/09/harry-potter-weasleys-dragon-roasted-nuts.html
Just plain old Chicken and ham sandwiches, Professor Mc Gonagall gives these to Harry and Ron in “The Chamber of Secrets” (the book) as they weren’t allowed into the great hall for the feast. This is a great one for testing the die hard fans knowledge!
I’ve got a friend who makes very nice pumpkin pasties but I simply didn’t have the time nor the talent so I just got Cornish one’s and called them “(not so) pumpkin pasties”!
Another one for if you want an excuse to add some more “normal” food. The weasley’s family owl Erol crashes into a bowl of crisps at lunch time in the Chamber of Secrets
My Mum likes to imagine that cauldron cakes are just a more magical way of saying pancakes, so I just filled up a plastic cauldron of American style pancakes. You can find lot’s of Halloween decorations to put food in at your local supermarket. Fortunately, we already have lot’s of these kind of things!
Of course I couldn’t miss out Hagrid’s legendary rock cakes (also just from the books). Hagrid is constantly making these for when Harry, Ron and Hermione come over, little does he know that they’re rock hard and the kids can’t eat them! Luckily, mine turned out edible! Here’s a good recipe: http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/rock_cakes_03094
The little lightning scar sign reads “Harry’s Favourite” as every fan of the Harry Potter Books will know that he loves this sweet treat! Luckily, you can buy nice ones that aren’t overly expensive and it went down really well.
For a drink, I made lot’s of orange juice, put it in a glass jug and told everyone that it was Pumpkin juice! Everyone likes to pretend sometimes and let’s face it, if you’re throwing a Harry Potter party everyone there will be kids or big kids! And of course, I couldn’t leave out jelly beans and sherbet lemons!
Then I put up this cute little sign over the oven and made Butterbeer for everyone. Here’s our favourite recipe: https://secretmenus.com/starbucks/secret-menu/butterbeer-latte-hot/ Warning: it’s SUPER sickly, so you might want to thin it out a bit if you don’t want everyone bouncing off the walls!
After dinner (which was the left over food we didn’t eat from lunch) we had this amazing cake made by a close friend of my Mum’s! (it was personalised with her name)
- Decorations Obviously for any themed party decorations are a really important part. I had a lot of fun with these! Obviously there are some things that I’ve shown you already, all these things can easily be made on a computer but I drew all of my decorations to give it an extra personal feel, here goes!
So I introduced this after my Mum had breakfast. it’s just brick wallpaper pinned to the walls. It looks a little silly but it’s a great touch for the day! If you’re throwing a party, why not cover your door with this wallpaper instead?
Through the brick wall was this little sign I drew! (the Caution ghost crossing was just conveniently still up from Halloween)
Next, I made my Mum go down the stairs sitting down as if it were a train. Because of this, I made this sign of the adorable trolley lady!
I actually made these shields ages ago, but again, I’m sure you can print off your own from images online and stick them onto cardboard. I also had the sorting hat and our stool, my Mum was in Hufflepuff!
In the same hall, I made these “Floating” candles. Roll up some thick white paper, stuff orange and yellow tissue paper down the top and tie them with fishing wire. Because our ceiling is white, I stuck them up with white tac.
Even though my Mum’s in Hufflepuff, I decorated our living room to look like the Gryffindor common room as it’s shown and described more in the films and books. On the back of the door is the Notice board. I found this Proclamation poster at comic con.
I made these additional notices with a quill and ink. “Quidditch Tryouts start Saturday Come to the quidditch pitch at 10am sharp! No first years!”
“Second Hand spellbooks for sale… A history of magic- See Ryan Henry (13 Sickles)”… Fantastic beasts and where to find them for 5 sickles -see Podric Piles… The standard book of spells- Make me an offer! -Angus Motlart
“Reminder No magic is to be used in the corridors! -Argus Filch.”
I got some red candles and red potpourri to dot around the room. I also had a quill and ink so I displayed it here.
A gryffindor sign I got from etsy (it had a background of white cloth which I cut off) and a broomstick.
Crookshanks which I got from the Harry Potter studio tour and an Owl which me and my Mum call “Erol” I also got more red pillows for our living room.
To magic up our electric fire place, I drew this lively fire to stick on the front.
A Harry Potter card set which we already had and a chocolate frog box from the Harry Potter studio tour
I put this grumpy Moaning myrtle Ghost on the under side of our toilet lid!
- Activities It’s no party without things to do. We watched Harry Potter ( I forget which one) during lunch time but that’s not all we did! For a lot of these, I had to ask for other people’s help but if you are doing it all on your own, with enough time I think you could do it.
In the morning before going through to platform 9 3/4 we went to Gryngotts so she could buy the rest of her supplies. This was my brothers room. I laid out these coins I made on his carpet and as he’s got a reputation in our family to be a little grumpy in the morning, I told my Mum to beware the dragon! She loved it!
After Gryngotts, I told her that I’d gone to Madame Malkin’s to get her robes and gave her a robe that a good friend from church made. Next, it was Ollivanders which was in my room. I laid out a dark sheet over my bed and put three wands on it. Then I pointed a lamp at the wands and turned it on so that’s all you could see. When my Mum waved the wrong wands I played some breaking glass sounds I downloaded onto my i-pod which I kept behind my back. When she got the right one, I played the music that plays when Harry finds his wand in the Philosipher’s stone. My Mum absolutely loved this!!
After we went on the Hogwarts express and got sorted, we played gobstones! This is just like normal marbles (I drew a circle on the ground with flower) but when you get someone’s marble out of the circle you dip your hand in water and flick the water in your opponent’s face! This goes down a treat!
After that, we played Quidditch in which someone hides a snitch and the “seeker” has to go and find it. I had planned a game where my Mum had to shoot balls through hoops in the garden but it was raining. After Lunch we had Potions!
I gave my Mum a potions book and some ingredients and she made some potions in a cauldron I bought from a cute shop called Magically in Stratford Upon Avon.
Then, it was onto Herbology. My Mum’s friend did this as she know a lot about plants. It was a lesson based on re-potting mandrakes! I called our teachers similar but silly names to the professors at Hogwarts, this was Professor Sapling!
We each had a pot and a little potato on a leaf (this was the mandrake)
We then put our potatoes in a pot with a some kind of seed or nut.
Then we covered them in “Magic soil”
On the top we put some leaves and berries and a peg with a name we chose for our mandrake. Every plant did have some kind of meaning but I’ve forgotten it but I think even without knowing what the plants are for, this is a really fun activity!
Then our professor gave us little pots filled with nuts and seeds for us to eat. Our professor told us it was a potion made by mandrakes to stop us being petrified!
Next up was divination class with my brother (a.k.a. Professor Treloony) who prepaired the lesson by doing some research into reading tea leaves. (My Family don’t drink actual tea, so he got us herbal tea instead which works just as well)
If we saw a shape on Professor Treloony’s list in our cup, he’d tell us what our fortune was!
After classes were done, we were ready to sign up to Dumbledore’s army with a real quill and ink!
After we had cake, we had a small show of Dr. Filibusters wet start no heat fireworks!
At the end of a day at Hogwarts, we were all qualified witches and wizards, so we did some magic with sparklers!
Here are our Mandrakes after four weeks of being in their pots!
So there you have it. A great day and fun for everyone. I hope you found this list helpful, if you have any more suggestions or experiences from Harry Potter parties you’ve been to then please leave them in the comments, I’d love to read them!!