Sunday, January 22, 2012

Our Harry Potter Party - Introduction and Preparations


INTRODUCTION:
On October 1, 2011, our son turned 6 years old. Over the previous 6-8 months he had become borderline obsessed with Harry Potter. He had seen all 8 movies. By the time he turns 7 he will begin reading the books.

And I have to admit - my husband and I (although probably more I) are big fans as well.

So when he chose the Harry Potter theme, I was so excited that I could really geek out and run away with this theme.

So I started scouring the internet and found so many wonderful sources. I will include them as often as I can to show you where I got my ideas. I found them mostly via Google and Pinterest. In the end though, it was up to me to put this shindig together and make it work for us.

So over the next 6 days I will be documenting that party and all of its elements in full detail. I hope this series can help you construct your own Harry Potter party using the tools, recipes, and tips that I provide.

As always, feel free to comment, question, and participate! I am always around to respond!

INVITES:
For the invites, I scoured the internet for the wording.  I wanted it to look like a letter for Hogwarts.  This is what I came up with.


Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry
Headmaster: Albus Dumbledore
(Order of Merlin, First Class, Grand Sorc., Chf. Warlock, Supreme Mugwump, International Confed. of Wizards)

Dear Wizarding School Candidate,
We are pleased to inform you that you have been invited to a Harry Potter birthday party in honor of Patrick [last name withheld] at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.  Please note that any wizard attire is welcome, but certainly not required for entrance. Term begins on October 1, 2011 promptly at 3:00 PM and will last until 5:00 PM

The location of the party can be found via Platform 9 ¾ at King’s Cross Station. If your parents are Muggles, a Memory Charm with make the platform appear as [address withheld]. If you need further directions to the party, please notify me at once.

We eagerly await your response via owl post by no later than September 29th. If you do not have an owl available, you may use the Muggle telephone system and RSVP to [phone number withheld].  

Yours sincerely,
Minerva McGonagall
Deputy Headmistress

PARENTS ARE REMINDED THAT FIRST YEARS ARE NOT ALLOWED THEIR OWN BROOMSTICKS


I printed it up on parchment paper (purchased at your local office supply store or even Walmart) and prepared them for delivery.


So one of the first things I ever saw when I looked at Pinterest is probably what made me sign up myself.  It was this method of delivery for our Harry Potter party invitations.  I LOVED the idea and knew we had to do it regardless of how crazy our neighbors thought we were.

Here is a picture of the idea as presented on Pinterest:


Here is our execution.  Our local florist was almost out of white balloons (what?!) but we got brown ones and improvised.  Here is Patrick ready to deliver the invites.









Deliveries successful.



And awesomely enough, we did get one response by owl.  Check it out!


SCHEDULE:
I am a bit controlling particular when it comes to my kids' birthday parties.  I love to have a schedule, even if only in my head.  I need to know where the party is going.  We opted to do an afternoon party (3 pm - 5 pm) that did no overlap meal times or naptimes for the little ones so we only provided goodies and snacks and not a meal.  Yes, this was absolutely intentional. So here is how ours went:
  • ARRIVAL: Guests arrive. Immediately they are sorted into a house and allowed to chose a wand.
  • OWLRY/POTIONS: Guests have their choice of either decorating an owl, attending a potions class with Snape, or doing both with time permitting.
  • PRESENTS: If we open presents in front of everyone, this is when it happens.  We skipped it at this time to have more time to play - and because they were engrossed in Potions class. Later we opened them after the party while some really close friend stuck around to hang out.
  • CAKE: Here is the time to have cake and ice cream and yummies
  • STOMP THE DEMENTORS: Time to run off some of that sugar and give adults (who aren't playing) time to socialize.
  • HORCRUX HUNT: Time for an organized game
  • SWEET SHOP: Time to visit Honeydukes and fill their goody bags with candy before going home. (yep, you're welcome, parents).
 DECOR:
I had some great ideas but honestly, ran out of time and wasn't able to put everything together exactly how I wanted.  So, I will show you where my inspirations came from and, when applicable, our execution of it.

The Entrance:

Another Pinterest find.  This is what it would ideally have looked like:


But since I searched the whole town for brick printed fabric and found none AND since I didn't have time to make my own (with fabric paint and a sponge, which would have done it), I went with streamers.  They didn't hold up well, but oh well... This was our result:


The red streamers were supposed to reflect the idea of a brick wall (although they didn't because they started ripping and fell down).  The sign I was proud of.  I basically used some fonts in MS Word and created both the 9-3/4 circle and the Hogwarts Express letters (colored gold).  I cut them out and glued them to a red piece of posterboard. Not high tech, but it worked.

I had the sorting table and the wand table, which you will see in another post.  Also I created a banner that said Happy Birthday Patrick.  I downloaded the Harry Potter font from Mugglenet and printed each letter really large and spaced out on yellow paper.  I "created" a lightning bolt by taking the "P" in that font and editing it in MS Paint and used those between each word and on the ends of the banner.  I cut each letter out and hung them on red thread across the living room. 

You can kinda/sorta see it going on in the background here if you want an idea of what I'm talking about.

Patrick's friend and carpool buddy. She was really getting tired of her mom's photography at this point, it seems! But you can see the banner in this photo. =)

The garage was our owlry and potions class.  I knew a lot of mess was possible likely so I didn't want that happening in our house. Worked out perfectly.

So - I hope you've gotten a good feeling about how we kicked this whole thing off.  Tomorrow we'll talk about the wands, sorting, and owlery.

By the way...if you want some ideas, I have an entire Pinterest board dedicated to Harry Potter party ideas. Some I used and some I didn't but you might find something PERFECT for yours!

6 comments:

  1. ChocolateLady017/16/2012 5:26 PM

    Can I say a huge "thank you" from England! When my son announced that he wanted a Potions Party for his birthday in just two weeks time, I have to confess I nearly had a coronary - but thanks to your wonderful blogs and your generosity in making your hard work available to all, I am really excited about it. Isn't the internet amazing!

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    Replies
    1. I am so excited for you and for your son's party! And very glad I could help out. As much fun as I had planning it, I recognized that it was a lot of hard work, and I wanted to save someone else the trouble. I'm so very glad it worked! I hope your son and his friends LOVE his party. Have fun and yes...the internet is amazing!

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  2. Chocolatelady017/17/2012 5:52 PM

    He is sooooo excited about taking his scroll invitations into school tomorrow - though what state they will be in by the time the parents get to see them, I have no idea!

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    Replies
    1. Awesome! Ours held up much better than I expected them to - even after lots of little hands handled them. Best of luck!

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  3. (BEWARE. THIS POST IS IN ALL CAPS BECAUSE I AM LITERALLY THAT EXCITED ABOUT IT!) WE ARE DOING A HP PARTY THIS FALL FOR A JOINT BDAY AND I'VE NEVER BEEN MORE EXCITED... I STUMBLED ACROSS YOUR BLOG SOMEHOW RELATED THROUGH PINTEREST AND I HAVE BEEN READING IT FOR WHAT SEEMS LIKE HOURS. I AM NOW MORE EXCITED THAT YOU HAVE HP POSTS!!!!!!!!!!!!! THANKS!!!!!!!! LOVE YOUR IDEAS (I THINK I'VE PINNED MOST OF THOSE FROM PINTEREST) BUT I LOVE TO SEE HOW YOU MADE THEM WORK FOR YOU- MORE IDEAS!

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    Replies
    1. Have fun! Ours was a BLAST!

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