party ideas harry potter

ready for a party?

We’re always up for a get-together with friends, and parties are no exception! Most of the time, we are a pretty casual family but every now and then we like to go all out. Our annual sangria party has evolved over time; we’ve assembled as much as we can from previous years and invite you to borrow any ideas that work for you. The theme party pages feature mostly original artwork (by me) that I created for our occasional blowout birthday parties. In case you are interested, Dane had the Lego party and Spy School party; Tate had the Harry Potter party and Transformers party.

new addition!

My darling friend, April, has allowed me to share her ‘murder-mystery’ game with you. There are twenty-five clues (two per page) and the print-ready files may be downloaded in two parts: Part One and Part Two. If you are curious about my winning answer, please send me an email ( and I’ll share my version of the events. Enjoy!

This is a blank piece of artwork you may use to create your custom invitation. The thumbnail will link to a PDF file; if you prefer to use a PNG file, please email me.

This is a sample invitation (the actual one we used for my son’s party). The font is called LUMOS and may be found for free on the Internet.

This is the Platform 9 3/4 sign (minus the word Platform as we did not use it). I mounted it on a piece of red foamcore with the HOGWARTS EXPRESS letters. All the letters to spell Hogwarts Express and King’s Cross Station may be downloaded hereherehere and here.

This is a plain ‘9’ sign in case you want to have several train platforms. My friend, Shana, painted bricks on a piece of fabric then cut a slit down the middle so students could enter Platform 9 3/4 as if by magic… isn’t that the coolest idea?

Here is a plain ’10’ sign for the other side of Platform 9 3/4.

This is the Ollivander’s wand shop sign. We purchased a number of thin dowel rods (10 inches long) and some wooden knobs. We assembled the unpainted wands and had guests select a wand prior to lining up for the Hogwarts Express. My dad played Mr. Ollivander.

This is the Madame Malkin’s shop sign. We used a roll of black tablecloth plastic and safety pins. I cut 3-ft lengths and used a stapler to create two sets of shoulder pleats (where they were pinned to guests’ shirts). My mom played Madam Malkin.

We attached this emblem on a black piece of felt, cut to resemble a hanging, notched banner. The Hogwarts banner was hung on the front of the canopy that served as the Great Hall. Please note that this is not my artwork and I am only providing it for your convenience.

The sign for the Great Hall (attached below the Hogwarts banner).

This sign was mounted on foamcore and attached to a wooden dowel rod. It was placed in the ground near the tree-lined edge of the park.

This sign was mounted on foamcore and attached to a wooden dowel rod. We also made three large gold hoops (from styrofoam florist’s circles) and mounted them on large dowel rods.

This sign was mounted on foamcore and attached to a wooden dowel rod.

This sign was mounted on foamcore and attached to a wooden dowel rod.

This is a fairly short version of a spell book with information gleaned from various Harry Potter sites. To download our Standard Book of Spells, please click here. I recommend printing all the classroom books on some type of parchment paper and adhering the cover images to something substantial (such as a binder or piece of heavy cardboard). This book was used in Spells & Charms class and in Defense Against the Dark Arts (we made two copies).

This sign was mounted on foamcore and attached to a wooden dowel rod.

This is a fairly short divination book with information gleaned from Wikipedia; mostly about reading tea leaves. To download our version of Unfogging the Future, please click here. We used a plastic tea set and real tea leaves (the fortunes were ‘drawn’ on the bottom of the tea cups and in the book using glue and real tea leaves). Each cup was filled with extra dried tea when the students arrived. They were asked to dump out the contents and ‘read’ their fortunes using the book. We re-loaded the tea cups before each new class arrived.

This sign was mounted on foamcore and attached to a wooden dowel rod.

This is a short book focusing mainly on potions ingredients (information gleaned from various Harry Potter sites). To download our version of Magical Drafts and Potions, please click here. The Potions class was the most fun to create. For detailed instructions on the Mandrake Restorative Draught, please click here [Note: The PDF file is 1+MB]. If you would like to view my maiden attempt at videotaping the experiment, please click here (Note: it’s very amateurish, complete with mistakes!).

This is the label for the Dandelion Root bottle (yellow-dyed baking soda). While making the instruction booklet, I had to re-create the experiment and re-sized the labels to fit new bottles. If you would like the set of smaller labels, please click here.

This is the label for the Mandrake Root bottle (plain white baking soda).

This is the label for the Phoenix Tears bottle (white vinegar).

This is the label for the Purified Water bottle (plain water).

This is a sample copy of the Hogwarts graduation certificate. You may download a blank version here. I recommend printing them on some sort of parchment paper. We handed out certificates after the cake was eaten and presents were opened.

This sign was mounted on foamcore and attached to a wooden dowel rod. Honeydukes was the final stop of the day. Guests picked up treats (Bertie Botts Every Flavor Beans and Ollivander’s Edible Magic Wands) along with their goody bags.

This is the label for the Bertie Botts jelly bean candy favors.

This is the label for the Ollivander’s edible magic wands (pretzel logs dipped in white chocolate and covered in sprinkles).


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dirt&sunshine: shared content by Kathryn Holland Besser is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.