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You guys. I am a big Harry Potter fan. I mean, not like a “Potterhead”, but I read the books as an early teen and was very much a big fan. As it turns out I am actually the same age as Harry Potter (which makes Harry 33 now in case you are wondering). When the first Harry Potter book came out and Harry was 11, I was 11. Then when the next book came out and Harry was 12, I was 12. In fact, my birthday is in August, not far from Harry’s.
So when my 9-turning-10 year-old asked for a Harry Potter party, my heart swooned. My heart and soul went into this party, more than ever before. And I am here to share it all with you. Keep in mind I can personalize most digital items you see in this post for you (usually about $7). If interested email me at email@example.com.
Harry Potter Party Invitations
Let’s start with invitations of course! I love how they turned out. It is sized at 5X7. If you’d like to order a personalized JPG file for $7 (payable via paypal or venmo @partylikeacherry) you can send the details to firstname.lastname@example.org. Or you can use the blank template to create your own invitation.
HOW TO EDIT THIS INVITATION TEMPLATE:
- Download the JPG file (all the free printables are available via a google drive link at the end of this post)
- Open in any photo editing software. (Canva is a great option).
- Add text and save new JPG file.
- Upload JPG file to wherever you would like to have your cards printed. Basic Invite makes lovely cards and has some really fun options like shimmer paper! Use code PARTYLIKEACHERRY to get a 20% discount. I also often print at Costco & Walmart. Since these are sized at 5X7 it will be cheaper to order them as 5X7 greeting cards rather than 5X7 prints.
- If you’d like a step-by-step video tutorial I have a few saved to my Instagram Highlights.
- Or if you want to skip all the hassle I can personalize this invitation for you! Just email the details to email@example.com and I will send you a JPG file ($7).
Harry Potter Party Activities
On to the activities! We had three main activities: Quidditch, Potions Class & OWLs. I’ll share all the details from those and more!
DIY Edible Sorting Hats
As guests arrived the first thing we did was sort them into their houses via our DIY edible Sorting Hats. To simplify things I only had two houses: Ravenclaw & Gryffindor. We needed two teams for Quidditch and two tables in the Great Hall, so two houses made sense to me.
I have a full tutorial on how I made these sorting hats saved to my Instagram Highlights, but here’s a brief run-down:
- Supplies needed: ice cream cones (sugar cones), flat large cookies (these are walmart brown oatmeal cookies), black frosting, brown sprinkles, m&ms.
- Frost the outer top of the sugar cone about 1/4 inch. Roll in brown sprinkles.
- Fill the sugar cone with red or blue m&ms (be mindful that the red ones are more scarce I discovered!)
- Frost the rim of the sugar cone and stick the cookie on top. Place cookie face down to dry.
This is what it looked like when they opened it and discovered if they were in Ravenclaw (blue m&ms) or Gryffindor (red m&ms). And then, they got it eat it :).
Once they discovered what House they were in they got to take a House Scarf to help identify who was who during the party (and Quidditch game!). The fleece for the scarves I got from Joann’s and just cut down the lines to make the scarves, no sewing necessary! Wahoo!! And makes for a nice party favor.
Pick a Wand at Ollivanders
We made our own DIY wands from jumbo chopsticks, hot glue & spray paint. Again if you want more details on that tutorial it is saved to my Harry Potter highlights on Instagram. But I will give you an overview here.
I ordered these 13 inch chopsticks from amazon, I actually thought they looked pretty cool and wand-ish as is, so I left some of them plain (the Phoenix Tail Feather core pictured above). With the rest of them I added hot glue in various patterns to look like the Harry Potter wands. I googled some images and just tried to mimic them. Once the hot glue dried, (I propped them up against plastic disposable cups as I worked) I spray painted half of them black (dragon heart string core) and half of them gold (unicorn hair core).
After getting their house scarves, the kids got to go to Ollivanders to choose their wand (or did the wands choose them??). These will be very important for Potions class. And also, another fun party favor for them to take home.
DIY Muggle Quidditch
The highlight of the party was definitely our rousing game of Quidditch. After they picked out their wands they also went shopping for their new firebolts! Now they were ready to play Quidditch! We played two rounds (which took about 30 minutes), and several kids wanted to keep playing!
Here’s an outline of how I adapted the game of Quidditch for our birthday party:
- Supplies needed: 1 snitch (golf ball spray painted gold), 1 quaffle (tennis ball), 2 bludgers (kickballs), Brooms & Quidditch goals.
- 1 seeker (looks for the snitch) and 1 keeper (goalie) is chosen. All other players can be chasers and beaters
- Officiator has both teams line up opposite each other in the middle of the field and throws quaffle up for a “jump ball” (a la basketball).
- Seekers can now begin looking for the hidden snitch and all other players (except the keeper) can now begin trying to score by throwing the quaffle (tennis ball) through one of the three rings guarded by the opposing team. All players (except the keepers and seekers) can also use the bludgers (kickballs) to hit players on the opposing teams. Players hit by bludgers have to freeze for 10 seconds and drop the quaffle if they have it.
- All goals scored award the scoring team 10 points each. After every goal, teams line up facing each other in the middle of the field as they did at the beginning. Game is over when snitch is found awarding the team that found it 50 points.
- Players must remain on brooms AT ALL TIMES!
I know this is different from ACTUAL Quidditch, but those are the rules I came up with that I thought would work well for our little muggle version.
The Quidditch goals were compliments of my Hubby. It’s not his favorite thing to do these random weird party crafts for me, but I try to limit my request to one per party ;). This time it was the Goals. He used PVC pipe, insulation and duct tape. Hula hoops would have worked better because the insulation hoops kept drooping. But hula hoops were not easy to come by in November. So we worked with what we could find. Pool noodles also would be an option (also not available in November).
If you want the full step-by-step on these DIY brooms check out my Instagram Highlights. I got 4 foot wooden dowels from Home Depot and cut them in half to make 2 foot brooms (3 foot brooms would have been better but they didn’t sell 3 or 6 foot length dowels at my Home Depot, I could have made 4 foot brooms but I was trying to do it as cheaply as possible). I spray painted the dowels black. Then, I pulled weeds from around our property (straw/hay would work great) and tied them on with twine. I also used Hot Glue to adhere the twine to the dowel. Finally I spraypainted the straw gold to give it a little shimmer and added the word “firebolt” in vinyl to the “handle” of the broom.
After Quidditch we headed over to the driveway for Potions Class. Thank goodness it was a nice day! I failed to anticipate that they would be thirsty after Quidditch (duh!) And wish I had had a cooler stocked with Gatorades ready for them. (You know, get orange Gatorade and call it pumpkin juice or red and call it Dragons Blood). So we just brought out some cups and a pitcher of water last minute.
We made lava lamps in these fun bottles I found at Hobby Lobby. I learned a few valuable lessons I’ll share with you. First of all, SO glad I did it outside! I thought 10 year olds would be plenty old to handle this. And they were…for the most part…
DIY WIZARD’S LAVALAMPS:
- Supplies needed: bottles or jars of some sort (old soda bottles will work or I got these fun potion jars from Hobby Lobby), vegetable oil, water, food coloring, alka setlzer tablets.
- Fill jar 1/2 full with flobberworm mucus (vegetable oil). Use a funnel. I suggest doing this before the party.
- Then fill jar another 1/4 full with Phoenix Tears (water). I suggest having the right amount of water premeasured in little dixie cups for the kids (idea from my sister-in-law, lesson learned the hard way. I gave them a pitcher to add their water…).
- Add 4-5 drops of dragons blood or beetle juice (red or blue food coloring)
- Drop 1/2 alkaseltzer tab in and cast the spell “wingardium leviosa” and watch the bubbles start to rise! I would only give them 1 tablet at a time. I gave them several and some of the boys just couldn’t resist popping 3 of them in there at a time (even though i said ONE HALF OF A TABLET). And then we had a big mess.
- Continue to add 1/2 tablets one at a time (bubbles for about 30 seconds) until you run out or the kids loose interest.
After potions class the students were ready for their OWL examinations. Since not everyone is a huge Harry Potter fan I told them they could work in groups. I made the O.W.L.s as much like an actual exam students at Hogwarts would take as I could. Not movie or book trivia but actual wizarding questions. It was fun to put together (free printable at the end of the post).
I got these fun quill pens to make taking the OWLs a little more fun. But don’t let the name fool you, they are not gel pens, just regular pens.
The last thing on the agenda was to head inside to the Great Hall for a feast. More about that under Food.
Harry Potter Party Decorations
I had SO much fun with the decorations for this. My main focus was on the entry way and dining room. The entry way you’ve already seen most of. This is where I set up the sorting hats, scarves, wands & brooms.
The sorting hat I borrowed from a friend and those wonderful vintage suitcases and birdcage are my mother in law’s.
Great Hall Decorations
For our dining room, I was on a mission to transform it into the Great Hall. I debated for a long time as to whether to have one long table for all the children to sit at, or to break it up by houses. I couldn’t resist staying truer to the book so in the end I decided to break it up with one Gryfindor table and one Ravenclaw table.
One of the first things I knew I wanted was REAL tablecloths. You can’t have plastic tablecloths in the Great Hall! So that was one of my splurge items. These are the ones I ordered, and I was very happy with the quality. I also knew right away that I wanted house banners. I was going to make them originally, but after finding these on Amazon for about the price that it would cost to make one myself I decided to just buy them!
At each place setting I put a gold charger, white plastic plate (from wedding section at walmart), and gold plastic utensils (also wedding section at walmart) wrapped in their house color napkin and tied with a sorting hat. The sorting hats I made from little wooden witches hat from the Dollar Store. I painted them brown and then added their names and the sorting hat face in vinyl. They also each got a fancy glass to drink out of (a big highlight for the kids, and none were broken!!).
Each place setting also had a chocolate frog made from these molds. Hard to say if they were more excited about the chocolate frogs or the fancy glasses. The random gold pillar things I used as a centerpiece I found at Salvation Army. Then I threw a little gold tulle and some battery operated candles from the dollar store.
On the ceiling I hung the star backdrops I had saved from the space party. The Great Hall ceiling is bewitched to look like the sky so I thought that was a fun touch. (The best way to see that is with the video at the beginning of the post, details on how I made those over on the space party post) I also hung battery operated candles that I got from the dollar store (it was around Halloween), but there are similar ones here. I used fishing line and 3M hooks. I was worried the 3M hooks wouldn’t hold since the candles were pretty heavy once you added the batteries, but they did! For a few days too! You can check out my Instagram Harry Potter Highlights (have you gotten the hint to go follow me on Instagram yet? 😉 if you want to see more details on how I hung them. It worked out really well and when the light was off it totally looked like they were floating!
Harry Potter Party Food & Dessert
I didn’t get any pictures of the dinner or the kids eating it, whoops! But here’s what was on the menu:
- Cheese platter
- Fruit (I layered strawberries, blueberries and grapes in clear plastic cups so they were single serve)
- Chocolate pudding (I also put these in single serve plastic cups)
- Pumpkin Juice- I vaguely followed this recipe. The kids loved it!
For dessert we had a beautiful snitch cake by my mother in law and some house cupcakes. To make the cupcake toppers you can print these house crests on 2 1/2 inch diameter stickers and put a tooth pick in between. I also used my cricut to cut 3 inch diameter circles as backing.
This is the snitch she used for the cake topper. Isn’t it gorgeous?
I also had some more chocolate frogs on the dessert table and some empty candy boxes that we had from our trip to Universal Studios. If you’re interested in a banner like the one hanging above the dessert table I’d be happy to customize one for you ($7 payable via paypal or venmo for digital file only). Just email the name to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Harry Potter Party Shopping List
Not an exhaustive list, but some of the items I recommend as you are shopping for your party:
- Tablecloths (great quality!)
- Chocolate frog molds (we got a few different kinds and these were the coolest!)
- House banners
- Wands (chopsticks)
- Sticker labels
- Wands (here’s an option if you don’t want to make them yourself)
- Potion bottles
- Have you seen this wizard photo booth (this looks fun!)
- Fun Hogwarts stickers (would be great favors!)
- Snitch cupcake toppers
Harry Potter Party Free Printables
While I am trying to make a side hustle from my blog, I do like to provide as much as possible for free, so I can’t leave you without some free printables to help you as you prepare for your Harry Potter Party.
All the above free printables can be accessed with the “download here” button below. I’d be ever so grateful if you took a second to follow me on social media (Instagram/Pinterest/Facebook) before you download, thank you!
Thanks so much for stopping by, and I hope it is one magical day for your little birthday kiddo! I LOVE when readers share photos from their parties! You can tag me on Instagram @partylikeacherry (but if you are a private account I won’t see if unless you DM me), you can email me photos to share or use the hashtag #partylikeacherry. Thanks guys!