Sunday, April 30, 2017

My Harry Potter Themed Party

Being the Harry Potter geek that I am, I had to throw a Harry Potter themed party for Christmas/my birthday last year (yes this is quite an over-due post). I ended up prepping this all by myself (the boyfriend was sick and slept the whole day) so didn't take as many pictures as I should have but it ended up going fantastically and I was really pleased with everything. Of course I have Pinterest to thank (link to my board with my inspirations) for most of the ideas but all in all, it was a lot of fun and now all my friends have a Pottermore account, wand, Hogwarts House, and a Patronus!

If you're into Halloween and have lots of props packed up, you'll have an easy time prepping the house. I borrowed a giant spider from my boyfriend's parents and shoved it right on the floor (was going to hang it but it was 6 ft long body not including the legs) so that was a nice touch. We also had candles lit all around the house (yes fire hazard but they were all safely placed and no kids running around) and I had used red lipstick to write on my bathroom mirror with the signature "The Chamber of Secrets has been opened again..Enemies of the Heir Beware" which was great and spooked some of my friends haha. I also had a corner of the wall decorated for photos so here's one of my friends being cheeky (he's dressed in his house colors if you can guess..)
I made a few wands for photos and just for fun and it was actually so much fun to make and decorate them. I used wooden chopsticks as my base and a hot glue gun to create the designs. Definitely be careful - I burned myself a few times. I watched a few Youtube videos (just search DIY Harry Potter wands) and looked up some pictures of main character's wands for inspiration and help but really it's not hard at all and have fun with it! The hardest part was probably painting over the hot glue because sometimes it would rub off? I used acrylic paint so not sure if that made a difference or not (I think that's what most people do). It took multiple coatings (with drying in between) to get the wands to satisfactory state but overall my friends were really impressed and I was really happy with them!
Can you guess which wands were inspired by which character's wands?!
I had a little stand set up to be a photo booth (hence the polaroid camera included) with the wands and the books!
Onto food! I set up a table with drinks and candy all Harry Potter themed. Because my party took place in the late afternoon, our real dinner food was normal pasta and salad but I did set up the dining table pretty nicely as well (unfortunately didn't take a picture of it) with candles and other sorts to make it look like a Harry Potter feast. If you're looking for real Harry Potter food rather than candy and what not, I'd suggest some sort of pie or pot roast in addition to possibly a soup and salad. Real food ideas were harder to come by on Pinterest and online but when in doubt, just go with anything British!

A lot of the containers I got from Michael's Crafts Store so I'd suggest checking them out if you're looking for some ways to add magic to your party. I got the test tubes ($1 each), light bulb jars ($1.99 each if I recall correctly), mason jars with handles ($2.99 each), and the milk jars (not sure how much these cost, have had them for a while). The Ferris wheel in the back is actually a cupcake holder I bought online from Ebay for less than $20 a while ago. I didn't have time to make cupcakes to actually fill it with but it does spin which is pretty cute haha. The chalk board signs are supposed to be to label cheese I think but their pretty multi-purpose. I got them from Crate and Barrel but I'm sure you can find them online for cheaper as well.
The powdered dung beetles were just jello mix (actually the yellow one was lemon flavored Gatorade powder) that people were to mix/create drinks with. I looked it up and you can use jello mix for this purpose so you can use it as an option if you have jello mix lying around (like I did). If not, you can also just get powdered Kool-Aid or some other powdered drinks and let people have fun! I also made pumpkin juice (see image below; there's only one filled since I had the others in the fridge) using this recipe. It's not bad but you do have stir it frequently or else the pumpkin mix sinks to the bottom. If you're too lazy to click the link (you do have to scroll down through all their photos to get to the recipe), here's the ingredients (just mix it all together)
  • 4 liters apple cider or apple juice (what I used)
  • 1 small (15 oz) can pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 c. sugar (you can add less depending on your preference)
  • 2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice (I just mixed cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and clove)
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
Not pictured, but the mason jars with the handles in the back were filled with Butterbeer (what's a Harry Potter party without butterbeer?!) which I made by mixing Root Beer soda (1 L bottle) with a hearty squirt of salted caramel extract (don't shake it to mix it...seems obvious but it went over my head). Then I added a scoop of vanilla ice cream into the jars and poured the soda+caramel mixture in. I can't drink soda but all my friends said it tasted really good so I think it went well? Haha.

A lot of people use Ferrero Rocher as snitches but I didn't have time to make wings and stick them on so I thought, hey golden eggs are a thing and shoved them into a parfait glass I got from a thrift store haha. I didn't take up close pictures of the two jars next to the golden eggs but you can see them on the sides of the photo. The one of the left was filled with gummy worms (Target brand cause I'm cheap) labeled as "dragon worms" and the one on the right had Bean Boozled Jelly Beans (their pretty expensive) on the top layer and then regular knock-off Jelly beans (again Target brand) on the bottom to fill the jar up. Take note that the jar STUNK like smelled SO bad when we opened it and those bean boozled jelly beans do NOT mess around when it comes to the nasty flavors! Had I had more time, I would have created the actual Bertie Bott's Every Flavor Beans box (here's a template ad another one) and put them in there because I think that's so much cuter. Next time though...!
Of course I had to make macarons with the Harry Potter theme! I used an edible black marker (this is the set I have) to draw the designs and used my basic macaron recipe (blog post here) with some dyed a certain color. I'm pretty proud of my HP font too :) By the way, I got inspiration for these designs from a Pinterest photo I saw so not taking credits!
I also made some chocolate frogs (got a cheap mold for less than $5 on Amazon) and was going to fill one with some ghost pepper shavings..but my mom saw the ghost pepper and freaked out and said it was going to burn a whole in someone's esophagus and threw it out the day before my party. So buying another one wasn't an option so I used some normal hot peppers and hid them in 2 of the chocolate frogs and gave them to my friends. Boy were they surprised haha!

So that about wraps up my Harry Potter party and everything it entailed. I apologize for not having more photos but hopefully this gave you some ideas on how to throw your own Harry Potter party! Have fun with it and embrace your inner wizard/witch! <3

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