This post is a bit on the nerdy magical side of the spectrum. If you didn't know I am a HUGE Harry Potter fan. So this year I really wanted to throw a Harry Potter themed birthday party. I spent probably way too much time on Pinterest looking up menu ideas, decorations, and random fandom ideas haha. Birthday parties can get expensive, especially elaborately themed ones. But I want you to know that we spent roughly 200$ on everything. I repurposed items and craft supplies I already had, so the main expense was the food and cake decorating. No wizard tricks and magic, just creative planning! To learn how we did it keep reading!
Please ignore the poor quality of the photos, the lighting in the apartment is pretty bad, especially at night.
The entrance way goes right to our stair way, so we used brown paper to create Platform 9 3/4. I already had the brown paper from other craft projects. You can buy it in a huge role at Lowes or HomeDepot in the painting section. To create bricks I just used a thick red marker, you can use a sponge and red paint but I was crunched for time, and the red marker got the job done. Then with a black marker, I made the Platform sign. **The key to making life easy is, create one big brick wall and cut it in half AFTER.
Then as you go up the stairs on the left, I drew on more brown paper a cartooned version of Hogsmeade (based off of the Universal Parks). To save time and make it easier for guest to figure out it was Hogsmeade I bought the shop signs downloadable from an Etsy shop. They were 12 dollars, and included the downloadable PDFs for Hogsmeade and Diagonally. Plus I know it won't be my only Harry Potter themed event ever so I went for it.
If you turned to the right as you go up the stairs, there were "floating" candles. These simple candles are printer paper folded and taped into a cylinder form.
Another significant section of the decorations was the photo booth. The brown paper came in handy again (yes I still have another half a roll left!). I printed Umbridge's rules from the 5th movie, attached them to the brown paper, and boom backdrop. I found the graphics for FREE on Pinterest. For props, I saved time by buying the 3 dollar kit from Target, I did see downloadable props online if you wanted to save even more money! And because I am a big Harry Potter nerd, I brought out my wands, maps, and other themed items. *Pro tip keep your graduation gowns! They make great cloaks for photo booths!* The camera was set up on its stand with the hand-held remote so people could snap their own pictures!
Around the apartment and on the kitchen island, where the buffet was, I displayed my Harry Potter book collection, interesting rocks, old glass ware and small jars of "potions." The potion jars were labeled with another Pinterest free downloadable and filled with mixers of oil, water, and food coloring.
Pumpkin Juice - I LOVE pumpkin juice and found this recipe on Pinterest (HERE).
Adult Butterbeer - JM brother, made the butterbeers and they were amazing! I honestly do not know the recipe he used but there are many versions on Pinterest but if you want the exact one comment below and I will get it for you!
For Snacks and Entree:
Pettegrews Finger - Just regular pigs in a blanket.
Professor Sprout's Herbology Samples - A veggie tray.
Hogs Head Cornish Balls - I used frozen Swedish meatballs to save some time and effort in the kitchen.
Fish 'n Chips - Again frozen. We used high-quality beer battered fish and french fries from the frozen section. The beer batter fish was on sale last week which was a plus!
Mashed Potato Bar - This was a fun addition! I made a huge batch of mashed potatoes and set out a toppings bar that included everything from gravy to sour cream.
Pumpkin Pasties - Honestly the best recipe I have found on Pinterest in a long time! And super easy! Everyone loved them! LINKED HERE.
Pretzel Wands - Again super easy, I just warmed up baking chocolate (based on the bag directions) and dipped the end of the pretzel rod in the chocolate, sprinkled some gold stars and let them harden on parchment paper.
Birthday Cake - We are a house full of Gryffindors, so I had to do a red and gold Harry Potter cake. It had been a long time since I had decorated a cake with fondant but I am pretty pleased with how it turned out! The cake itself was a fun-fetti cake with chocolate buttercream.
It was such a blast! If you are planning a Harry Potter party, then leave any questions below!
If you are interested in other ideas that I did not use or other party themes check out my Pinterest Board!
I hope you have a magical weekend!