Girl's Harry Potter -8yr- Cauldron Cakes
Linda in Naperville, Illinois USA
My daughter is a HUGE Harry Potter fan (as are we) & for her 8th birthday, we had a Harry Potter party.
INVITATION: We printed a Hogwart's letter on fancy ivory 7x5 card stationary (entire letter on card - no need to fold). I got the Hogwart's crest & heading for the top of the card via internet. Using green MagiK font, Dear xxxx We are pleased to inform you that you have been accepted at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry for a special pre-term session and celebration banquet in honor of the 8th birthday of one of our first year students xxx. This special session is scheduled for 12:00 - 3:00 Saturday xx August 2011. Students are required to meet at the Kings Cross Station Platform 9 3/4 which will be disguised as a Muggle home located at xxxx. There you will find a magical door visible only to Hogwarts students friends and families. The password is "Flibbertigbet". We await your owl no later than xx August. If you are unable to reply by owl please reply via the Muggle electronic postal system at firstname.lastname@example.org or Muggle telephony system at xxx-xxx-xxxx. .". I placed the invitation in the envelope with an owl (pheasant?) feather inside as well as stuck in the back seal. I printed the address using the same font & sealed with a red wax-looking Hogwarts seal that I printed from the internet on to sticker paper. Finally I stamped an owl on the front.
DECORATIONS: I drew an owl on a white helium balloon & attached to mailbox. At the front door we had a sign that said platform 9 3/4 (alivans.com) & a large trunk with an owl in a bird cage broom & packages wrapped in postal paper & twine. Behind the door we had a brick wall for the kids to run through made by drawing bricks on a large dark red piece of fabric with a fabric sharpie. As you come in the door we had a large motion-activated witch’s broom & a large cauldron with mist coming out of it. In the foyer we had tables set up with black cloths & signs printed from the internet floating via fish wire from the ceiling representing some of the stores in Diagon Alley (Gringotts Madam Malkins Owl Emporium Olivanders).
On the tables we had items for each child: Pouch with Galleans (gold coins from party store) trick-or-treat sized cauldrons (party store) capes (haloheaven) baby owls (burger king kids meals) quills with green ink (home made) & little black binders (dollar store) with a Hogwarts crests on the front that were filled with spells charms potions muggle quiddich word searches etc. that I printed from the internet (wiki). A week before the party my daughter & I made really cool wands out of paper. (Roll up regular paper on a slight angle with one end wider. Spread glue to close last 3rd as you roll. Let dry. Cut ends & fill large end with tissue. Make designs on wands with glue gun. Spray paint entire wand & use metalic pens to highlight the designs made via the glue gun. Paint tip silver). We displayed the wands in a Cauldron on the Olivander table with an extra wand floating under the Olivander sign with fish wire. We had stuffed owls everywhere Hogwarts & House banners Harry Potter items potion bottles little cauldrons with LED tea lights photo snow globes from the craft store with Dumbledore & Voldermort's photos that were supposed to be crystal balls In the powder room we had a picture of Moaning Myrtle on the mirror that I printed from the internet onto transparency paper & we had a recording of Moaning Myrtle from the movies playing continuously on our ipod in the cabinet.
In the dining room we had LED candles hanging from the ceiling with fish wire & clear thumb tacks and 2 battery operated fire bowls on the wall. We had a black disposable tablecloth with gold chargers & clear plastic plates and got gold plastic gobets & utensils from OT. We used a Triwizard cup for the centerpiece & floated a snitch over the dining room table with fish wire. Going into the family room we had a portrait of the Fat Lady on the basement door we had the forbidden forest Beware of Fluffy was posted on our bedroom door & going into the kitchen we had Leaky Cauldron. A witch’s hat was the centerpiece for the kitchen table & we floated a wand over the table using fish wire. Over the kitchen island I had a Honeydukes sign hanging from the light with fish wire so that it looked like it was floating.
On the island I had different sized candy jars with Harry Potter cotton candy bubble gum (Alivans.com) bean boozled jelly beans (party store) in Berties draw string bags that I found on ebay swirl lollipops zotz Owl Droppings (chocolate chips) & black licorice wands w/white icing & sprinkles (would have prefered pretzel rods but couldn't find any that were safe for the kids with nut & sesame seed allergies). I also made chocolate frogs (mold from amazon). I wrapped the owl droppings & frogs in lollipop bags & sealed with Honey Dukes card labels that I made. We had gone to Wizarding World for spring break so I had one of their chocolate frogs. I scanned in the box changed it a little shrunk it & printed boxes on card stock for the frogs. I also made my own wizard cards to fit in the box using the sample. I had each of the house heads + Dumbledore. This was very time consuming as it was a challenge to line up the front & back of the cards! I also made wizard cards with the kid's photos that I had from the class photos & wrote "Thank you for celebrating my birthday with me" on the back. I snuck those into their pre-made Honey Duke goody bags. In the backyard my daughters swingset fort/playhouse served as Hagrid’s hut & we put pumpkins & stuffed dragons out there. On the patio table we had a smaller motion-activated witch’s broom. We also made a quiddich field with 3 dollar store hoops on each side held up with PVC pipes. Finally We made a CD of the most familiar Harry Potter music & played that throughout the house.
ACTIVITIES & GAMES: 1) Arrival - Hagrid met the kids in the front & handed them their supply lists. When everyone was here they ran through the brick wall one at a time picked up their money from Gringotts & purchased their supplies. 2) Wand Choosing - 2 kids at a time were handed wands & told to point to Halloween chandelier & say "Lumos". If chandelier lit that was their wand. (remote control outlet thing) 3) Sorting Ceremony I had a scroll with their names & called one by one to the stool. We placed the sorting hat on their head & played a tape recording behind their head assigning them their house. (We had them sorted before they arrived). We handed them cupcake rings with whichever house they were sorted into. 4) Group Photo - kids stood under Hogwarts banner w/their wands (sent with thank you cards) 5) Feast 6) Hagrid ran in & gave each kid egg to hold until ready to hatch (toy dragon & homemade slime inside a plastic Easter egg spray painted w/stone paint) 7) Divination Children told fortunes using photo snow globe crystal ball & handed funny Harry Potter home-made paper fortune teller cooties 8) Transfiguration We made pygmy puffs using styrofoam balls feather boas (haloheaven) & googly eyes 9) Potions We made Polyjuice Potion & Felix Felices. Cards w/potion info inside each test tube (test tubes from OT). HP themed labels for ingredients which were edible items such as lemonade custard powder food glitter & pop rocks. 10) The kids opened their dragon eggs 11) Trip to Honeydukes 12) Quiddich We combined houses for 2 teams each with 1 keeper 1 seeker 2-3 chasers & 2 bludger throwers (bludgers were red yellow blue & green bean bags purchased at party store). We hid the snitch somewhere in the yard & the seekers had to find it while the chasers tried to get the quaffle into the goals. If they were hit by a bludger they had to drop the ball. The chasers & seekers were on brooms. Thankfully no one got hurt but for safety reasons that I didn’t think of until the party was over I don’t think I would have them on brooms again. Quiddich was so fun & the kids loved it! At the beginning of each activity (7-12) we asked a couple HP trivia questions related to that activity & awared house points.
We had other activities planned such as Herbology Guess the Animagus (take turns acting out your animagus while others guess) and Patronus & Dementors (secretly choose a Patronus & Dementor; try to get behind your patronus while avoiding your Dementor) but 3 hours came so quickly we couldn't do it all. If I had it to do again I wouldn't bother with the dragon eggs. It was fun watching the kids anticipation in opening their eggs but it didn’t really add much.
COSTUMES: Since my daughter has been Hermione for the past couple of Halloweens she wore her costume and my husband & I wore our matching Hogwart’s robes. I also had a Professor McGonagall hat & since my husband was playing Professor Snape I made a Slytherin crest sticker for him to put over his robe’s Hogwarts crest. My mom was Madam Malkin who ran the shops in Diagon Alley. She wore all black with a witch’s hat. My dad wore black & played Mr. Olivander. Hagrid wore earth tones & Professor Trelawney dressed like a fortune teller with skirt scarf & a lot of beads. Our Golden Retriever wore a little sign that said Help. Transfiguration Error. I’m Stuck & we told everyone that she was really Ron Weasley.
PARTY SNACKS: The feast included Mac & Cheese Chicken Legs Corn on the Cob & fruit cocktail all served on gold chargers or in cauldron or silver mixing bowls. We also had Cauldron Cakes pumpkin pasties (sugar cookie dough spread in cupcake pan filled w/pumpkin pie filling & bake) licorice wands butter beer cookies (sugar cookies w/butterscotch glaze) Butter Beer (IBC Cream Soda topped with mixture of ¼ C heavy whipping cream 1 tbsp powdered sugar & 1 tsp vanilla butter and nut flavoring). We also made pumpkin juice that only one person was willing to try. (I would probably skip it if I had it to do over).
CAKE: Cauldron cakes - devils food cake baked in sphere cupcake pan (amazon). After it cools dip bottom in quick hardening chocolate scoop out middle top fill with frosting & sprinkle w/gold food glitter pipe with frosting & poke black licorice for handle.
FAVORS: Kids used their remaining gallean to purchase pre-filled bags of candy from honeydukes (frogs bernie beans lollipops owl droppings zotz etc.) and items from zonkos (squirt rings broom pens with Hogwarts printed on them tattoos. All zonko items were from OT). Bags were pink or green lunch bags (Michaels) with printed Honeyduke label. They also got to keep their cauldrons capes owls quills binders wands house rings fortune tellers & pygmy puff. The kids especially loved the binders & wands and were running around casting spells from the binder. "