When my daughter asked for a Harry Potter party, I may have freaked out. I have thrown her Angry Bird parties, a Guardians of the Galaxy party and she finally asked me for a party that I was passionate about when I had the time and energy to devote to it. It got out of control from the very first steps of planning, but the kids had an absolute blast and it was worth every moment.
I am really lucky that my husband is a graphic designer, so he was able to make some awesome things for the party that you can download to! Just follow links below to download each thing.
The Great Hall was definitely the most important part of the decor. It was the thing that made the kids say wow! It started off with floating candles made out of paper towel rolls and small electric candles. Oriental Trading was nice enough to provide the lights for the floating candles and they were just the perfect touch.
I found the stone paper for the wall here. It was a large roll and more than enough to cover a large area. The banners absolutely made the room. I bought all of my banners at Hot Topic. They are huge and were perfect for the walls.
There was a house table for each house. I covered card tables with plastic table cloths from the dollar store. Each table had one black one and one that matched a house color.
For the potions class room, I covered the walls and my piano in black plastic tablecloths. It gave it a spooky look. I found bottles and jars all over and covered them with the potion jar labels my husband designed.
The Owlry was one of those silly little projects that I just HAD to have. I put a bunch of boxes under a black table cloth on a table and put a whole bunch of bird houses and owls all over. I also hung Hogwarts Letter from the ceiling on fishing line.
The Snack table was so much fun to make, there were Chocolate Frogs, Acid Pops, Cauldron Cakes and my favorite part, Golden Snitches. My husband designed Snitch wings for me and I printed them out and taped them to the gold Lindt chocolates to make the little candy Snitches. You can download the Snitch wings here.
For the house points, I bought four vases that were the same size and shape and filled them with water beads for each house. Green for Slytherin, red for Gryffindor, blue for Ravenclaw and yellow for Hufflepuff. Since the party was for my daughter and she is a proud Ravenclaw, Ravenclaw is winning, but it took everything I had to not tip it in favor of my house, Gryffindor. You can find water beads here.
In the bathroom I taped a picture of Moaning Myrtle to the mirror and wrote "The Chamber of Secrets has been opened. Enemies of the heir,.... Beware on the mirror.
I made sorting hats out of construction paper and filled each one with either blue, red, green or yellow M&Ms. The kids ripped them open at the party and that is how they were sorted into their houses. You can find the full instructions on making the sorting hats and get the free printable ties for the kids to wear after they are sorted here.
I made a large Dementor Pinata filled with candies and toys courtesy of Oriental Trading. The kids had to yell Expecto Patronum every time they hit the Dementor. You can find the full Dementor Pinata instructions here.
I set up a Quidditch course. Here is what you will need to play Quidditch:
broomsticks (see how I made affordable broomsticks here.)
Quidditch hoops (you can find my tutorial here)
a quaffle (a slightly deflated volleyball works great!)
2 bludgers (Bludgers in our case will either be foam balls or balloons)
1 Golden Snitch (a golf ball painted gold)
Here are some guidelines to playing Quidditch on the ground.
Each player must keep their broom between their legs at all times.
There are three Chasers on a team. Their goal is to get the ball through the hoops of the opposing team for 10 points each.
There are two beaters on each team. Their job is to knock people out of play with the bludgers. When a player is hit with a bludger they must touch one of their own team's hoops before resuming play.
There is one seeker whose job it is to find the Golden Snitch, that is hidden in the yard somewhere.
We had all of the kids meet at the front of our house for the party and then we took them around back through Platform 9 3/4. We made the platform by taping up brick paper (we used this here) and putting a Platform 9 3/4 sign above it. You can download the sign here.
After the kids came through to Hogwarts on Platform 9 3/4, the first thing each kid needed was a wand of course. I made all of the wands using chopsticks and hot glue. You can find the full wand tutorial here. Make sure to use chopsticks if you are making full size wands.
Since the wand choose the wizard instead of the wizard choosing the wand, each kid had to be blindfolded before they selected their wand.
After each kid received their wand, it was time for sorting. The kids would take turns coming up to the front and sitting in the chair. They would choose a paper sorting hat before sitting down and then I would place the large sorting hat on their head and they would rip open the paper hat to find out their house.
After they opened up their paper sorting hat to find their house, they each put on a paper tie matching that house.
After everyone was properly sorted, it was time for potions class. Each kid got a small potion necklace courtesy of Oriental Trading and they could fill it with whatever colors of sand they wanted. You can find the necklaces similar to what we used here and the sand here.
We strung each necklace with Baker's twine so the kids could wear them immediately. They loved that they could personalize them to their own favorite colors.
After potions class came Charms class. I blew up a balloon for each child and they had to practice keeping it in the air by hitting it with their wand and calling out, Wingardium Leviosa.
It was a really simple activity but the kids LOVED it.
After Charms class it was time for a break. We sampled Bertie Bott's Every Flavour Beans and the kids had to guess what flavor they thought they had.
After we had a snack, we headed up to the Quidditch Pitch only to discover that a Dementor was waiting for us. The kids had to vanquish the Dementor (pinata) with a large wand.
After the Dementor was gone, we got down to playing Quidditch. We broke up into two teams and picked a seeker for each time. The seekers had to go around the playroom looking for a hidden Snitch.
I think the Beaters had the most fun, they got to hit balloons at everyone.
When the Snitch was found, the game was over and we headed back downstairs to Hogwarts for cake and ice cream.
I had spent some much of my energy on other parts of the party that the cake was that farthest thing from my mind. I grabbed a plain chocolate cake from Costco (ask for one in the back) and made Quidditch hoops out of paper straws, wire and electrical tape. The entire cake came together in about 30 minutes.
After cake and ice cream, we did a silly photo booth for the kids while they waited for their parents. The kids loved all of the fun Harry Potter props. You can find the tutorial to make your own Harry Potter props here.
We took a picture of each house in front of their banner before the kids left.
This party was a lot of planning and prep, but the kids had an absolute blast and so did the adults. The verdict? I'd do it again, but not for a little while. My husband can only handle so many weeks of my house looking like Hogwarts.