Monday, January 21, 2013

Harry Potter Birthday Party - Tips, Treats and Favors

I'll be having quite a few Harry Potter themed posts coming up with tutorials and resources to throw an awesome Harry Potter party that's inexpensive and your kids will love.  I thought I'd do an overview of the whole party in case I get distracted by some other crafting interest to get you excited about whats coming.  The battery on my camera died shortly after the party started, so there aren't many in-progress pictures...but with 15 kids to keep busy, there probably wouldn't have been many anyway.

Here's what we did...

Most of the decorations were in the form of props for the kids to use and eat or play with during the party and then take home as favors.  Although I did make the "brick" wall for platform 9 3/4 as well as a set of house banners.  We also used our Harry Potter books as decorations.

Of course every themed party starts with a fun invitation.  These are the invites we sent, most of them hand-delivered to the kids at school.  (Click here for details about the invitations and links to all the resources I used.)

I met all the kids (12-2nd graders, plus my kids) in front of the elementary school when school was over.  They were each handed a Hogwarts Express ticket.
Then we walked over to Platform 9 3/4, located at the entrance to my husband's science classroom at the school next door.
Once inside they were greeted by the Hogwarts house tables, with a banner and a scarf for each child.
We lined them up and had them sit on a stool in front to be sorted into their houses.

Then it was time for potions class.  We had four different "potions" experiments set up around the room for the kids to try.

Then my husband (the potions master) did some advanced potions for the kids.

Then we headed off on foot again to a little church building right behind our house where we had the rest of the party set up.

We had house tables set up there too.  Once all the kids were settled, we had potions books and wands ready.  Each child got to choose their own wand, and the kids got to practice casting spells from their spell books.  (Click here to see how to make the wands.)
Then we took them outside for a quick game of "Seek the Snitch."  It was pretty much like an Easter egg hunt, but with them looking for snitches instead of Easter eggs.
Finally we brought them inside for snacks and treats.  We had Dumbledore's Lemon Drops, Bertie Botts Every Flavor Beans, and Chocolate Gold Galleons on the table with the wands and spell books.

For the "birthday cake" we had Cauldron Cakes and Golden Snitch Cupcakes (tutorial here).
We also had chocolate frogs and butterbeer to drink...but I didn't manage to get any pictures of those.

Instead of having all the kids bring presents, we just asked each child to bring a wrapped book for a book exchange. Each child brought a book and then each child got to go home with a book.  They also each got a Hogwarts Library Bookplate (follow link to print your own) to put inside their new book.

I had also brought a wizard robe and other items for the kids to dress up as a Hogwarts student and have their picture taken for a photo booth...but the camera died in the middle of the party and we ran out of time Katie will just have a really fun Hermione costume to wear next Halloween.

Whew...It was a lot to put together, but the kids had a blast.  I'll be getting up tutorials and/or links to where I found the ideas in the next week or so.  If there's on aspect of the party, you're especially curious about, let me know and I'll to do post about that part first.

I have lots of Harry Potter inspired gifts and fun things in my shop.  The selection is always changing.

See these links for more details about other Harry Potter themed crafts we've done...and be sure to check back because I'll be adding more as I get them written up.

Gryffindor Deathly Hallows Quilt


 Hogwarts Crest Quilt

Slytherin Quilt - Green and Silver
 Slytherin Quilt

 Giant Monster Book of Monster Cushion (No Sew)

Golden Snitch Birthday Cake
 Slytherin Quilt


Granger-Lovegood 2016 Election Shirts 

Potter - Weasley 2016 Election Shirts 


Lumos and Nox Quilt

Harry Potter Party Overview


 Hedwig Necklace

Accio Book Tote Tutorial - Freezer Paper Stencil 
Harry Potter Shirt - Freezer Paper Stencil

Easy Harry Potter Wands 

Printable Hogwarts Library Book Plates

Printable Harry Potter Valentines

Easy Harry Potter (Hogwarts) House Scarves

Golden Snitch Necklace

Golden Snitch Cupcakes

Ron Weasley "I'm a Keeper" Shirt - Freezer Paper Stencil

Ginny Weasley's Golden Snitch Skirt
DIY Quidditch Association Shirt - Freezer Paper Stencil (Boy Version)
DIY Quidditch Association Shirt - Freezer Paper Stencil (Girl Version)
Harry Potter Wizard Robe in 15 Minutes from a T-shirt

Harry Potter Family Themed Costumes

Harry Potter Inspired Charm Ornaments

Harry Potter Printable Spell Books

Harry Potter Printable Dementor Themed Chocolate Bar Wrappers Books

The Hermione Skirt
Dementor's Kiss-Away Free Printable Party Favor or Valentine

DIY Hogwarts Robe for 18-inch Doll

Hermione in the Library - CraftingCon Post

Harry Potter Potions Ornaments

 Harry Potter Robes with Oly*Fun

 The Wand Skirt

 Always Doe Pillow

Deathly Hallows Pillow
 Deathly Hallows Pillow

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  1. Looks amazing - especially like that the kids got a "potions" lesson! We did a Harry Potter themed birthday last year and they are so much fun to organise :)

  2. Can I just say that I would love this birthday party for myself haha. I keep crossing my fingers my son will love reading Harry Potter one day so I'll have the chance to "borrow" some of your ideas (he's only 2 now so I think I have a few years to go). I love your ideas and I'm sure the kids felt like they were stepping into Harry's world.

  3. Polly, this is amazing. How fun to start out with potions in Eric's classroom. Everything looks like it was wonderful - looking forward to your tutorials to see how you did it!

  4. Looks awesome!

    I am hosting a Party Party on Mums Make Lists for birthday party posts, pins and pics and would love for you to link up x

  5. Wow. That looks like such an amazing party. Those wands are so detailed. And I love the snitches

  6. This is amazing! Such a great party of a bunch of young Harry Potter fans! I love how your husband gave a potions lesson - what a great idea to make a fun party I am sure all the children will remember! Your attention to detail and fun is wonderful! Thanks for sharing!

  7. What a fun party! I hope my five year old loves Harry Potter someday so I can do this too!

  8. How fun! Love this SO much! I am a huge Harry fan :)

  9. So cute - I pinned it for the future so I can hopefully do this one day for my kids!

  10. LOVE Harry Potter. I hope one of my kids wants a Harry Potter birthday party someday. I am going to make sure to pin this. Thank you for sharing all your wonderful party creations. visiting you from Sugar Bee Crafts (

  11. Super cute! I am definitely pinning this one for when my boys are a little older. :-)

  12. Love how all of this came together--and how you had so many locations you could use! I posted about our party from the weekend just today (and linked to yours too :)

  13. I absolutely love every.single.thing. about this post. Like everything.

    I love Harry Potter and now I cannot freaking wait until I can start reading it to my daughter so that I can throw her a HP party.

    love it love it love it!!!!

  14. Thanks so much Polly! Do you still have the Spell book doc somewhere in your files? I'd like to make one like yours if possible.


    Kelly Ellenwood
    Beacon, NY

  15. Hi there. I LOVE THIS PARTY!! I'm actually planning a back to school party right now for my kids!! I was wondering too, if you had the Spell book document that you would mind E-mailing me. I can't tell you how much it would help!! Thanks so much! Nikki:)
    alohaqt4 at yahoo dot com

  16. This looks like it was such a fun party! My son wants a Harry Potter Birthday Party as well! I am so glad I found your blog, you have some fantastic ideas. I too would like a copy of your spell book if it is available. You can post it or email it to me at


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