Wild & Wanderful

Happy Birthday, Harry [Louis] Potter!

Personal, Birthday PartyKaty McKinleyComment

Earlier this year, we decided to sit down and watch all of the Harry Potter movies with Louis.  We've been wanting to read the books to him but thought it might be a good way to introduce the wizard world and lay a base of information for him.

As expected, he LOVED them.  Even the scary parts...which is why we held off so long.  It can be super dark and intense, and I think it's scarier than other movies we've watched because it's kid themed.  So it hits home easier for littles while they are watching.  But Louis?  Not a problem at all!  Not even with creepy noseless Voldemort.  

Louis decided that his birthday party this year was going to be Harry Potter themed and we ran with it!  How could you not?  It's such a fun theme idea!

The great and hard thing about a HP party is that there are SO MANY things we could include in the party itself.  We wanted to start with a fun invitation to "set the mood" for the party.  And we thought that the "Undesireable No. 1" poster from Harry's want ad would be a fun way to kick it off.

Louis was turning 6, however.  So we decided to make a couple of changes...while keeping the same design idea.  We were afraid that non-Potterheads wouldn't get the reference so that's why we wrote "Harry (Louis) Potter".  It was our not-so-subtle hint that this was going to be a Harry Potter party. 

As always, I wish I'd taken more pictures during the party.  We had over thirty adults and children running around, having fun, and it's hard to remember to snap photos when you're visiting with everyone.  I did manage to get some solo shots of the birthday boy himself.

Can you believe that he's SIX?!!?  When did that happen?
I had full intentions of making some really cool Quidditch shirts for Bennett, Louis and myself...but time got away from me.  So I just thought a couple of graphic tees would be fun too.  Louis' "Snitches Get Stitches" cracks me up the most.

And although I didn't get better photos of our shirts, I did make some fun Harry Potter sayings for Bennett, myself, and my Momma.  I couldn't help myself.  

We like our parties to include as much fun for all the guests as we can pack into one evening.  Which means, we basically want to make it easy for everyone to dress up and be a part of the theme.  So all of our "party favors" were a ton of things the kids could play with during the party itself...and then take home after.  That way, they double as decor AND gifts.  Win win!

When you first walked onto the porch, there was a table with a mirror reading "The Chamber of Secrets has been opened", filled with goodies.  You've almost seen all of these on the blog already, too!  We had spell books, Harry Potter glasses, Gryffindor house ties, Quidditch brooms, and Olivander's magic wands.

Bennett gets full credit for the wands.  We bought some cheapie chopsticks on Amazon and he covered them in hot glue and paint...and created some truly magical props for the kiddos.  I can't tell you how many times someone "avada kedavra"-ed me, though.  I'm thinking we should have taught them one of the nicer spells, haha.

^^ I kept hoping that people understood the reference to the cake Hagrid gives Harry in the first movie...and not that I really don't know how to spell 'happy birthday'.  You never know, haha.

Birthday parties can create SO MUCH garbage for us, so we always try and limit that by at least having some reusable, washable glasses for both kids and adults alike.  And since we are a huge fan of getting kegs of craft beer for the grownups for our parties, mason jars with a cute themed sticker are perfection.  We also found some bright, cute colored plastic cups for the kiddos 

My Mom made and AWESOME "Sorting Hat" cake for the party.  Even though she fretted over it and it didn't turn out quite like she had envisioned, I think it's pretty freaking awesome.  I also find the scarf and glasses cupcakes darling.  

Strung up across most of the openings on our porch were these banners, made of envelopes and flying skeleton keys.  They almost didn't survive the crosswinds we kept getting on the porch that day, but they were super easy to make and provided for some extra theme-ing of the porch.  It's hard to decorate such a large space, so these banners helped extend my reach a little bit.

Additional decorations we included were a 9 3/4 sign and "brick" panels for our door.  It was actually the way in and out of the house...so it was a well used portal.  And of course we had to have some spells laying around.  "Accio" and "lumos" are probably the two most recognized spells (and shortest!) so that's why we thought they'd be cute as table decor.

We took some large quilting hoops, attached them to wooden dowels, stained them, and staked them into the ground for some Quidditch rings.  We aren't really ones to have organized events for the kiddos...we like to just let everyone run around and have fun, and do their own thing.  So we left out some ballpit balls, to let them target practice on their own account.

For whatever reason, my in-laws have this GIANT snake from years past.  So my mother-in-law closed off the doors to the dining room and hid Nagini under the table for the kids to find.  It was a hit, for sure.  They dragged that poor stuffed snake around in circles MANY times.

One of our fabulous friends brought over some homemade Butterbeer with them.  Yum.

Louis LOVED the Butterbeer.  I can't remember how many times he kept exclaiming how 'delicious' it is!

All in all, I'd say that we had a pretty darn successful birthday party.  Harry Potter would be proud!  I'm super glad that Bennett remembered to take some photos of people with our "Have you seen this wizard?" poster too!  I don't know why, but making face-in-hole posters are my favorite thing to do for parties (or anything) basically ever.  It's a fun photo op and provides for a little more silly antics.

A HUGE thanks goes out to all of the people who came, partied, drank all the beers, laughed all the laughs, and nerd-ed it up with us over our favorite Wizarding World.  We had a blast!  Happy birthday, Louis!!

I know it's a lot of information and photos in one post.  But here are as many things as I could remember to share with you, so you can have your own magical Harry Potter party!

TUTORIALS

DIY HP Spellbook + Printable HERE
DIY Quidditch Brooms HERE
DIY Gryffindor House Ties HERE
DIY Wands + 9-3/4 Wall HERE

FREE (personal use only) DOWNLOADS

HP Graphic Tee Silhouette Files HERE
Photoshop Birthday Invitation Template HERE
Hogwarts Crest cut/print sticker Silhouette File HERE
Mr. H Potter Printable Envelope File HERE
Have You Seen This Wizard? poster (24x36 file for engineering printers) HERE

EXTERNAL LINKS (FONTS / PATTERNS / FABRIC / SUPPLIES)

Font for Birthday Invitation found on DaFont.com HERE
Jolly Roger Raglan shirt pattern by Patterns for Pirates HERE
HP Inspired custom fabric from Vintage Lace
Round Harry Potter Glasses (set of 8) HERE
Skeleton Keys (for flying keys) on Amazon HERE
Assorted Color Kids Cups HERE