My friend, Maria, and I have our birthdays on the same week. We thought it would be fun to have a Harry Potter themed party and invite our geek girls!
I used the evite service Punchbowl so I could design my own invitations. There wasn’t much customization on the envelopes but I was able to insert a stamp graphic! For the first time in my life, I was happy some guests forgot to RSVP, because I really wanted to send Howlers! It was a really fun way to chase down those last-minute responses!
I love to use little details to create ambiance at my parties! I’m a huge Harry Potter fan, so this was a dream come true!
I really wanted to set the scene for when guests arrived. We made “Keep Out: Forbidden Forest” signs for the trees across from Maria’s house. My husband has these great crows for Halloween we put around her yard. The front door had a “no brooms allowed” sign, with brooms parked outside & a stack of newly delivered Daily Prophets!
There are several images easily found with an image search for Daily Prophet and Quibbler covers. I wrapped the Daily Prophet print-outs around real newspapers and tied them with twine. I taped the Quibbler print-outs on top of magazines. It was really effective for practically no money. Our guests loved them!
We also hid an ipod in the bathroom playing Moaning Myrtle. Many thanks to acciothemagic for compiling these audio clips! All you have to do is download and play!
Guests were told the sorting ceremony would begin promptly one hour after party start. We had food set up so guests could mingle and eat. Pretty much everyone came by the sorting ceremony start!
Maria did an amazing job on the food! The Polyjuice Punch was a hit!
We rang a bell to call all guests into the Great Hall to begin the sorting ceremony, aka Maria’s living room. We put house buttons into the sorting hat and had guests pick from it. We even marked one button from each house to denote who would be Prefect (aka team Captain). We had marbles in the house colours which we dropped into the jars under each house banner as points were won throughout the evening.
Not all of our guests were familiar with Harry Potter, so we choose games in the theme of the wizarding world that didn’t require knowledge of the franchise to play.
- Who Am I?: Botticelli has always been one of my favourite games. We decided the Who Am I version would be easier to play and explain the rules. One player would come up and turn their back while the rest of the players saw a card of the name of someone in the magical world. The player then asks yes/no questions to try to guess who it is. We tried to use names that would be familiar to all in the room even if they hadn’t seen or read the source. For example, most people would know Harry Potter even if they’ve never read it. Others we used were: Rumplestiltskin, Glinda the Good Witch, Elsa, I Dream Of Jeannie, Gandalf, Genie from Aladdin, Tinkerbell, etc READ FULL RULES HERE
- Hunt for Horcruxes scavenger hunt: my husband hid representations of each horcrux in the yard while we were playing Who Am I. Maria & I had a TON of fun “hunting” for these representations! We ended up with a $1 plastic goblet spray painted gold (Hufflepuff Cup), plastic Harry Potter glasses, a rubber snake, the ring and locket off of Wish) you need about a 2 month ship time on these but they are dirt cheap), a journal I set on fire to make it look destroyed, and a child’s play tiara for the diadem. We told the guests what the objects were so muggles wouldn’t feel disadvantaged, adding that if you see smething that doesn’t belong in a yard, it’s a horcrux. Extra points if anyone accidentally found a real snake. For safety, we had one person from each house go at a time. It got uncomfortably competitive! 😀
- Quiddich pong: we sadly ran out of time to play Quiddich Pong, but Maria & I had a lot of fun setting it up & playing so we could establish rules. We had each row of cups equal house points instead of drinking. As it turns out, you do not want to play Maria in Quiddich pong, for she is the master. There is a great article on it here.
I am a cake decorator by trade, so I adored making this cake! The candles are “wands”. They were so cute when they lit up! The Marauder’s Map was made with an edible image printer.
All in all, I was really happy that almost all our guests came dressed up and seemed to really enjoy the night! I was worried people wouldn’t be into it, but they were seriously so competitive! It was great!