Monday, August 06, 2012

Harry Potter Party!

 I have been working on this party for quite some time, from searching pinterest for great ideas to making favors to hunting thrift stores and making decorations and taking trips to the 99 cent store oh and all the crafts.

So this weekend it finally happened. And it didn't rain until after the party, woo hoo!

I still have some crafts to post, so I'm going to show you some of the things I've already posted or things where I don't have tutorials, or just fun things.

 I brought my fancy wooden table out to the deck and laid a baroque looking runner across it so I could set up my potions table scape. I set out the gold cups and napkins and I had a few candle stands and candy bowls that I set with crystal platters. I liked the height they gave and thought they would work really well when I brought out the candy for Honeydukes Sweetshop and the Cauldron Cakes.  But somehow, the sweets never made it onto the pretty table.

 I took some of my son's toy snakes and wrapped them in and out of the bottle, for just a little bit of added spookiness.

And how about that fantastic green glass bowl I found at the thrift store? I filled it with the Expecto Patronum and Dementor Stones activity.

 Here we have a photobooth set up that I made. I took out the navy sheet and pillowcase and bought some glow in the dark stars from the dollar store, but for a while, I thought I'd run out of time and not be able to put it up... but at the last minute, I tacked the sheet up to an unused corner of the deck and covered the ottoman with the pillow case, brought out the little railroad village rug and stuck those stars on the sheet.

For the amount of effort it took, this photobooth was really worth it.  If I'd had a little more time, I would have made a witch broom to go with it.

When the kids first got here, I had them choose their favorite owlet from amongst Pigwidgeon's Pals.

That is Ivy's christmas gift, Mrs Hoot Hoot inside the old birdcage, on top of the old suitcase, ready to travel to Hogwarts.

Then they got to pick their wand from the box sent from Ollivander's Workshop.

I made gift bags and wrote their names on the gift bags so that they would be able to keep track of their owls and wands and other assorted stuff. That was a good plan, because with all the running around that happened later, they really needed one place to put their favors. Here is a tutorial for the gift bags .

 While waiting for all the kids to arrive, they got right to work at Transfiguration Class, where they needed to turn a rock into a creature.

All I did for this activity was to go to the 99 Cent store and buy some decorative rocks (in gray and green glass) some paint, glue, feathers, markers, gems, pipe cleaners and of course, googly eyes.

Then I just put those all in a box and put it on a kids table covered with a silver table cloth.  They really loved it. Who knew?

 I also made some Hogwarts House Banners. I really like how they came out, so I'll try to do a tutorial later on, but I really just painted them free hand.

I kept staring at them during the party and going, "wow, I like those." Right now, they are living very happily up above G's bed.

Once a bunch of kids were all there, I brought out some balloons and told them that they had to keep them in the air with their wands and the spell, "Wingardium Leviosa" I didn't get any pictures of that because I was going another craft at that point.

ACID POPS! You can see how I made these and displayed them here. They were a big hit with the kids and with the adults. But the kids were still sweaty after the acid pops so I remembered that I had some Gillywater in the fridge.

What is Gillywater? Oh, no one knows, but it was in the books, and I found this site where they wanted an alternate Harry Potter drink and found an Invisible Koolaid that tastes like Koolaid but looks like water. I put it in a clear glass jar and filled their glasses with the magical stuff.

The kids really liked the Gillywater and it was so easy, I almost forgot about it until I realized how thirsty the kids were after running around.

I forgot about quite a few things during this party. I forgot to put out the chocolate covered flies/raisins. I forgot to make that broom so the kids could fly. I forgot to do the crystal ball reading with the meditation jars I made. I also forgot to hang up the floating candles, and I'm kind of bummed about that one, because I really wanted to see how they turned out.

Then they went back out to play again, off in the yard. It was a Wizard War, with their wands and another craft I made out of recycled coffee can lids that I painted with silver stars, lightning bolts and swirls of various types. They would fling them like frisbees at each other and then run around picking them up again, with cries of, "I'm loaded! Better watch out!"

These are the spell discs I made. No tutorial. It's just painted directly on the plastic with silver craft paint. Frisbees would work very well for this and could also serve as favors for the kids to take home, but I had a dozen coffee can lids that I'd been holding onto (I use them for paint palettes sometimes) and when the brainstorm came that is what happened. I'd been thinking they would be used in a Wizard Duel where two kids stood apart and tried to throw it at/to the other kid, but the kids turned them into a wizard war and then ran their little butts off and got all sweaty.

I really tried to alternate slow paced, sit down activities with running around, because it would keep the kids from getting bored or worn out. So after Wizard War, I got out the Butter Beer. No photos of that, because I was too busy serving and by the time I was finished, everyone was pretty much done.

The next activity was the Expecto Patronum spell with the Dementor Stones.  That was a lot of fun and very cool when they were opening them... I mean, working on their spell. You can see how that worked here.

Once we finished the Expecto Patronum, I asked the kids what they wanted to do next and if they were ready for the candy.

Silly me.

They practically herded me into the kitchen to get the candy. I wisely didn't have it sitting out for most of the party, not only because some things would melt in the heat, but also because they would have been snitching candy the entire time.

As it was, they all wanted to be "helpful" when it came to the candy, and offered to carry the candy back out to the deck. Aww so sweet. I gave them the sugar mice and the chocolate frogs to take out.

But by the time I brought the main tray out, they'd set everything up on the little coffee table I'd put out there, kid height, instead of the pretty potions display table where I had all the nice cake stands and such.

Oh well. There was no orderly civilized Honeydukes Sweetshop line. No, it was mass, sweet, chaos. A free for all.


Then I brought out the cauldron cakes but that was kind of anticlimactic after the candy. I thought they were great, but the kids were mostly sugared out.

And then they spent about an hour pulling each other around in a wagon. That wasn't part of my party planning. Perhaps in their imaginations, it was the flying Ford Anglia that Ron wrecked.

Anyway it was a lot of fun and some things were definitely more worth the fuss than others.

The wands were worth it.

The owlets, sadly, not quite as fun. Unless they took them home and loved them quietly. So not quite worth it.

The Acid Pops were great... for adults and kids. Worth it.

The chocolate frogs? They were cool, but the kids didn't love them that much and the adults didn't bother much with the candy. I would have made fewer chocolate frogs. Not so worth it. Better for an adult party.

Sugar Mice? Also cool, but I will probably eat more out of my fridge than all of the kids combined. So I'm glad there are left overs, because those are mine. But perhaps not worth it for the level of time consumed in making them. Also better for an adult party.

Honeydukes Sweetshop/table of candy. TOTALLY worth it. Maybe better to just get candy from the store instead of making some of it, though. Most of the home made candy was more trouble than it was worth.

The Gillywater/Invisible Koolaid? Cheap, easy and fast. Beloved by kids. Worth it.

The Butterbeer? Tasty, but very sweet, done soon, with no refills. I bought too much ice cream and cream soda. Maybe not worth the stress. Adult party. Spiked with real booze.

The Expecto Patronum/Dementor Stones activity. Really cool and worth it, though it took a while to craft.

Cupcakes? Worth it, because you need cake and these were tasty and not that hard, although a little stressful. But it could have been any cake really... so not necessary. Also, i had trouble with the heat and the melting of chocolate. Again possibly more for an adult, indoor party.

Those flying disc spells? I painted them months ago and just stuck them in a cupboard and the kids played a lot with them, so Worth It. Same for the balloons which are always fun.

Gift bags, easy and worth it. Really I had been planning some sort of difficult craft for making cauldrons and the bags worked fine.

The Pet Rocks/Transfiguration. awesome and low maintenance and just the cost of the dollar store items. Worth It.

And as for the banners and the potion bottles? I really liked the way they looked and I think they added to the Harry Potter feel, so worth it. And G gets to keep the banners.

Also, the photo booth was pretty easy, so that was worth it too. I've got pictures from it.

It seems that I got wrapped up in "cool projects" that would have been better for older party goers but were kind of lost on little kids who like koolaid, running around and candy. Hmm. Well, live and learn there, Ro.

Boy, I also have a lot to post on this party. If you click the links, you will find my tutorials and recipes to many of the crafts and foods, and you can decide for yourself which ones might be worth your time and effort.

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