Sunday, January 23, 2011

Harry Potter Birthday Party

My son Andrew had his kid party on Saturday morning at our house to celebrate his 6th birthday.  It was a Harry Potter theme and we had 16 kiddos attend.  I'd been totally absorbed with decorating and planning all the details for the last 2 weeks.  Majority of the ideas came from my favorite birthday website, Birthday Party Ideas, and then lots of google searching for Harry Potter images.  I really loved how everything turned out and the kids had a blast!!  Here's my birthday boy:

I made the 4 House banners and a black Hogswarts banner out of broadcloth and printed a crest to iron on.  I made 2 sets of banners and hung them up.  I made a few hanging candles and strung them up with fishing line.

I went out shopping at thrift stores for old bottles and glassware to make potions bottles.

On my larger table, I had some candles, books, birdcage and owls, along with several potion bottles.  On the wall, I put up small pictures of all the characters which we later used for a character guess-who game.

Here's a closeup of all the cool potion bottles and decorations.  I used lots of those battery operated tea light candles, they created a cool effect throughout the house.

I printed out some potion labels I found on the web.  It was cool figuring out what ingredients to put in the bottle and making a gross potion name to match.  Here's my potion bottles:  Bloodworms (spaghetti), Bat Eyes (raisons), Mermaid Scales (shredded coconut), Dragon Wings (cabbage leaf), Gillyweed (moss), Ear Wax (lemon drop candy), Spider Guts (yellow raisons), Owl Poop (black beans), Blind Cat Eyes (moth balls), Goblin Pee (pickle juice), Red Blood Cells (pimentos), Leech Juice (coke), Volcanic Ash (pancake mix), Rabbit Hearts (beets), Frog Livers (capers), and Troll Blood (beet juice).  The Owl Poop and Goblin Pee were the kid's favorites!!  In kindergarten right now, anything having to do with poop is hilarious.

When the kids arrived, I put them in our living room and they watched the first Harry Potter movies and snacked on jelly beans in cute little black cauldrons while we waited for the rest of our guests to arrive.  Then I gathered them all up on our stairwell to do a sorting ceremony.

I called down each child and they got on a black robe (an XL mens Tshirt cut down the middle with an ironon crest on the pocket and a little velcro dot to hold it together on top).  I put on the sorting hat (a witch hat covered with brown fabric), and they picked out a House card out of a hat.  Then they received a button that had the House crest on it which helped them know which group they were in.

After getting sorted, we played a character guess-who game.  I taped a picture of a character on their back and I made a checklist of all the characters in a small notepad.  I gave them a feather quill pencil I made to write with.  They were supposed to look at each person's picture and check off the ones they found.  It was a little bit hard for a bunch on kindergarteners to read all the names, but they had fun anyways.  Next they picked out a wand (dowel rods painted brown) and they got to cast some spells on each other.  They enjoyed acting silly, pretending to fly, and freezing!

Then on to the fun part - the potions class!  We did this in the garage in case we spilled anything.  The first potion was an invisibility potion.  Start with dragon blog (red cabbage juice), add moon flies (plastic flies), add dried bones which makes it turn green (laundry detergent), add scorpion stingers (cloves), add snake venom which makes it turn pink (vinegar), add volcanic ash which makes it bubble up (baking soda).  Then stick your finger in the potion and rub some on the back of your hand which should make you disappear.  We turned off the lights when they did that and it was dark in the garage, so we all laughed that the kids disappeared!!  Our second potion we got to drink.  We started with Sprite, added magic fizzy dust (grape koolaid), then added fire sparkles (pop rocks) and it fizzes and crackled while they drank it all up.  They all thought the potions was the best part of the whole party.

After pizza, we had birthday cake and ice cream.  I get all our cakes at the local Randalls grocery store, they make the best chocolate cakes!  They watched the rest of the Harry Potter movie and they were all captivated by the movie.  It was a great way for them to wind down.

I didn't have any goody bags, but they had lots of things to bring home including their black robe, house crest buttons, a wand, a HP key chain, a little notepad and their feather quill pencil, and a small black cauldron full of jelly beans.  I was hoping we could do a relay race with the brooms but we ran out of time.

I had the hardest time making a fake fire to put in the 3 large cauldrons I bought.  I looked at tons of pictures on the web, but I just could not get it right with all the tissue paper I had.  This one looks more like a gift bag than a flaming hot cauldron.

So instead, I used shiny glitter strips in the cauldron, which didn't look too bad.  One day I'm going to have to figure out how to make fake fire!!!

Overall, it was an awesome party.  Andrew loved it and loved having all his classmates in his house.  Thankfully birthdays only come once a year, because otherwise I'd be dead from party stress!!  In June, we have a trip to Disney planned and will stop at Universal Studios to see the Wizarding World of Harry Potter for the first time.  I think we're all going to LOVE that!!!


  1. WOW Linda! Awesome I want you to throw my next party. Happy Birthday Andrew!

  2. OMG!! How amazing! It's like being there. You didn't miss a single detail. If they never heard of Harry Potter before I guarntee you just make them a fan!!

  3. that's a party Andrew will NEVER forget!!! I'm with Lisa, I think you may have missed your calling. I used to work in a bookstore and your Harry Potter Party was even better than the ones we threw there!

  4. Hi there over the ocean! i read this in germany and want to thank you for this beautyful ideas and for your work to post it!

    Thanks a lot


  5. How cute was that! What a marvelous job you did - creative and fun. I especially liked our sorting hat. The kids must have had a ball!

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  7. wow! that's an awesome birthday party to throw for your kid! thanks a lot for the idea and well don! :)

  8. Can you please tell me where you got the crests? Your party looks amazing!!

  9. Hi!! Great party-thank you for some wonderful ideas. I am thinking for the "fire" using orange tulle......

  10. Thank you sooo much for the fantastic ideas! It has been a huge help for my son's upcoming 5th birthday! I will be posting about it on my blog and will link to you for the credit of your ideas. Thanks again :)

  11. I have a question: (absolutely wonderful party by the way!)

    -Did you allow siblings? If not, how do you politely ask that only your child's friend come (and not his/her siblings)?

  12. what a fantastic idea with a low budget on hand:))) hmmm, i wanna try this for my sister who's also turning 9. I wish I had money that time. It's just few days from now....hmmmm.....=time,pressure,budget-constraint=