Woo!!!!!!!!! It's that time of year again!
POTTAH PARTAY TIME!
I can't even believe I made this one happen folks, honestly, I was a lazy slug about getting it done.
I was kinda over it. Now, don't get me wrong. I wasn't over Potter. I wasn't even over having a Potter party. I really loved doing them. It's just, you see, Darla was supposed to be here. *sniff* You all probably know by now that in the last year, I've become very good friends with the Whisk Master of Bakingdom, Darla. She was going to fly in, help me prep, attend the party, then we were going to head off to Indiana and check out some awesome The Fault in Our Stars locations (as described in the book). However............ The United States Coast Guard had other plans. They thought, hey, I know Darla was hoping to spend some time in Europe before her hubster retires, how bout we make that happen at the worst time ever? Dude. Thanks.
So, post-Darla depression set in.
Then one of my guests posted how excited she was about the upcoming party, and I realized I need to snap out of it and GET TO WORK.
Besides, this was my OWN 40th Birthday party. Yes, I threw a party for myself. So? ;)
So, without further ado, I present to you, Sugar Bean Bakers' Harry Potter Party the Second.
(Read about the original Epic Harry Potter party here , also, see ALL my Potter posts here.)
I did a few things the same way as last year, but since I had several of the same guests (but several new), I tried to mix it up a little.
Decor:I was a bit panicked in the end, and didn't get 1/2 the decorations out that I wanted, but I don't think it really bothered anyone much at all!
I made pennants last year. These are cheap and easy to make. They are simply felt in the House colors. No House crests or anything, simple but effective.
I also did 'floating' letters. I found a decent sized photo of a letter from the movie. I then took it into photoshop, selected the text only, then used that to print on my own envelopes. I used a red candle to drip onto the backs, then a faux Pirate Doubloon that Bean had to make the imprint.
I printed up some Wanted posters as well. I burnt the edges with a long handled lighter (not for kids to do, of course!)
For snackies I just did Nachos. Not Potter, no, but everyone loves.
For Butterbeer, I varied Darla's recipe. I used 2 liter bottles of Vanilla Cream Soda and added 1 Tablespoon of butter flavoring & then topped with canned whipped cream.
Wands:Like last year, Bean and I made wands. You can see the tutorial for that here. All of the wands were lovingly crafted, painted, and measured by us. We added Ollivander tags and the actual wand measurement, wood, and core.
Also, like last year, I had the people RSVP as a character. However, they 'weren't' that person when they arrived. Though dressed like them, they came as themselves. That way, the wand choosing and sorting put them into the houses in which they, not their character, belonged.
Wand Choosing Ceremony was done via "Spin the Bottle" method. I would spin a wand, and whoever it pointed to, was the person it chose.
I placed gems of the house colors (except Hufflepuff was clear. I couldn't find yellow gems) into the sorting hat. Whatever color they pulled out was their house.
This is my niece, the Hufflepuff (she was also Hufflepuff last year! It must be so).
Transformation:After the sorting, everyone "became" their character. Everyone got a cup of Polyjuice Potion
I then added a touch of the 'person' to the drink. (It was cotton candy, which dissolves right into the drink).
In attendance: Harry Potter, Hermione Granger, Ron Weasley, Molly Weasley, James Potter, Lily Potter, Baby Harry, Bellatrix Lestrange, Narcissa Malfoy, Katie Bell, Stan Shunpike, Nyphadora Tonks, Seamus Finnigan, Ginny Weasley, Luna Lovegood, Lavendar Brown, Pansy Parkinson, and 3 Muggles.
Unicorn Hunt:There was a unicorn injured in our woods! The Houses each set out to find 4 silver objects. A silver leaf, a silver twig, a silver flower, and a silver cluster of berries.
Before the party, I simply walked around our property and spray painted object. There were 4 sets of the items. The first House back got 20 House Points.
In true fashion, Slytherin cheated & Ravenclaw told on them. Ravenclaw was the first properly back (Slytherin brought back a non-silver flower!).
Needless to say, Slytherin did not win. If they'd had House Points at that time, I would have docked them! ;)
Last year I did a Horcrux Hunt and this year I wanted to have them still hunt something, but I couldn't think of what. Finally, a silver can of paint and the suggestion of having people walk around the woods spawned this idea.
Speaking of House Points:
This is the photo from last year. I failed to take one this year. The gems are the same we used for the sorting. They are inexpensive and widely available (and reusable!). Except that pesky yellow. The vases are actually from the $1 store. I liked the 'hourglass' shape.
While they were off hunting, I set up Florean Forestuce's Ice Cream Parlour.
Florean Fortescue's Ice Cream Parlour:Since Florean gave Harry Strawberry and Peanut Butter sundaes, I made up some peanut butter sauce. Easy stuff. 1 cup Peanut Butter, 1 cup water, 1/2 cup brown sugar. Heat the PB in the microwave for about a minute, stir in the water and sugar until glossy. Store in fridge, but take out a while prior to serving so it isn't too thick. Other than that, they were all toppings from the store. Caramel, Hot Fudge, Butterscotch, and marshmallow fluff.
I made the labels in Photoshop, again, quick and easy. I like things simplistic. 1, because that is just my personal style, 2, because I think that's how Wizarding World things would be, and 3, and most importantly, ink is expensive and I am cheap. Ha.
Patronuses:While everyone ate their sundaes, it was time to find your Patronus! I printed up different animals photos from a Google search (I recommend using cardstock or gluing to cardstock, I did the latter) and cut them out.
Since patronuses are represented in the movies as a little bit of a bluish white, that is the color I chose. The person would hold the light in their hand, and I would shuffle the cards. When it changed to pure blue, I stopped shuffling, and the patronus was chosen.
Trivia & Quotes:Next, I went right into Trivia. Trivia was played for House Points. It was book trivia, not movie. Some (most) of the trivia was super easy. The hard stuff? I also read quotes and they had to guess the speaker.
One that stumped them all:
"You know, Minister, I disagree with Dumbledore on many counts...but you cannot deny he's got style."
Who knows it? Hint: It's not who you think it is!
Potters To Potters:Next we played a game I like to call Potters to Potters.
It's played in Apples to Apples style.
I typed up a bunch of little things. Like 'Molly baked Rock Cakes', 'Hagrid wore his hairy suit', 'Voldemort made horcruxes', Lavendar drew fog hearts', etc. Then I passed out slips that all started with 'because'. Each team got 5 to start, then drew another after every turn. Examples, 'because Molly said so', 'because Ron had to follow the spiders', 'because Draco stole Neville's remembrall', 'because Hagrid shouldnta said that', 'because Dudley only had 36 presents', etc. I typed up quite a few of theses (at least 100).
As a House, they chose which one to go with the prompt. I then chose which I thought was the best or funniest answer. Ravenclaw RULED at this game. So much that the other teams whined a bit. It wasn't pretty. Heehee.
Each right answer gained them 1 House Point.
Catch A Key:
|Credit: I saw this idea on Kara's Party Ideas|
Even the best laid plans go awry. I had made up chocolate keys to play "Catch a Key". They were to be on string, suspended, and 1 member of the house would try to catch it using only their mouths. I molded them with a piece of a straw in the top to make the hole for hanging. I totally forgot. It was on my list and everything. I didn't hang them up early because it was hot. Oh well!
After Potters to Potters we did Potions. We did this last year and it was a big hit, so I did it again.
This is actually the 3rd time I've done this. I first did it 8 years ago at Bean's 8th Birthday party (our original original Big Fat Harry Potter party ;)).
You cannot see them all here, but I actually had 8 jars. Names I used: Salamander Blood, Neem Oil, Leech Juice, Dragon Blood, Moondew, Valerian Syrup, Nettle Wine, & Ginger Root Juice. They were simply 1 quart of different flavors of Kool-Aid. The leftover quarts went into the drink dispenser to make the Polyjuice.
There is approx 1 teaspoon of koolaid powder in a packet. So, I added 1/2 teaspoon and 1/2 cup sugar to each jar, then placed the other 1/2 teaspoon and 1/2 cup sugar into the drink dispenser. No waste! The smaller containers, Crushed Scarab Bettle was purple nonpareils, Lacewing Fly was Turbinado Sugar, Crystalized Mandrake Root was red sanding sugar, and Moonseed was coarse gold sugar. Syrup of Hellebore was honey, and Acromantula Venom was maple syrup. Everyone had to add some Nightshade (pop rocks). It will pop and sizzle in the drinks. Hint: keep tightly closed until ready to use. The least bit of humidity will make it clumpy.
Here is another photo from before the party that I posted on Instagram.
Divination with Trelawney:
Once Snape finished with us, we had to head off to Trelawney's.
It was a Tea Leaf reading day.
For the crystal ball, I used a pillar candle holder base and a round candle holder. I inverted the round one onto the pillar holder and put a color changing LED inside.
Here's another photo
This was a lot of fun. You use, of course, loose leaf tea. Some of the people drank it, but lets be honest here, we are Americans. We like our tea in bags. Once they poured (or drank) it down to the dredges, you swirl the cup 3 times, then drain it completely. What is left is your reading.
You hold your cup by the handle and read clockwise from there.
I'm no tea leaf reading believer, so I mostly made stuff up. LOL.
I printed a guide I found on the net that gave a lot of explanations. Last night I could see very little in this cup. Now I totally see a crescent moon and a wolf. Must look that up ;)
We were needed in Dumbledore's office after that.
This was it before the party started:
By this time though, it looked like this:
I used bubblegum machine capsules that I bought on Bake it Pretty. The lids were yellow, and I didn't think that quite fitting, so I gave them a quick spray of silver. In the bottom of the tub, I placed submersible LEDs.
Everyone fished out a memory and read them aloud. Some of them were, 'First Christmas at Hogwarts', 'Meeting Ron for the first time', 'Sirius' Death', 'Lockhart taking away his own memories', 'Christmas at the Burrow', etc. This is always a really fun event (we did it last year too).
I had a few people who had to leave, so we skipped right to Honeyduke's (this would have been the very last event so no one had to worry with their sweets packages).
(please ignore my messy couch in the background)
This was very much a WATCH OUT, GRABBY HANDS situation. I snapped the photos I could. LOL.
|I found the awesome dementor here|
Molds: Frogs - Toads
They also got Butterbeer bottles. These were empty. I bought them at a local store for $10/24. They are sold for home microbrewing. I got the corks at a hardware store, and of course, designed the labels in Photoshop.
The last 2 things we did took place back outside.
Divination with Firenze:We traveled to Firenze's Classroom. You know Dumbledore enchanted it to look like the forest complete with campfire.
Centaurs, as you know, put a lot of stock in the movements of the heavens. I printed out star charts from here. They looked at them by the fire, then laid in the grass and gazed up. This was a quiet, peaceful time. It got us ready for the very last moment of the party.
Salute to Dumbledore:A salute to Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore.
In the 6th movie, after he falls, McGonagall raises her lumos lit wand to the sky. Soon, the whole school follows. While many people found this movie moment cheesy, I found it beautiful and moving, so of course, I wanted to recreate it.... but how?
Then, it hit me. Sparklers. I hoarded a pack from 4th of July (honestly, I always have them on hand, we light them for birthdays, New Year's Eve, etc), and waited. I was so excited for this. Though it only lasted about a literal minute, it was my favorite moment of the entire party.
So, there you have it. My 2nd (but definitely not last) Harry Potter Party. I hope it's given you some inspiration to do your own!
One note, if you are planning a party like this, I strongly recommend a list and a clipboard.
(sorry for the less than stellar photo).
Though I varied from my list, and even forgot something, it was a lifesaver. To it I had clipped trivia, quotes, Potter to Potter, Patronuses, and the star charts. It made it so much easier to keep track of everything!
This party took about 3 and a 1/2 hours. You could easily make it shorter by taking out things, of course, or longer by extending the trivia/star gazing/Potter to Potter time, or allowing them to eat before moving forward.
Oh, House Cup?
Winner: Ravenclaw, then Hufflepuff, Slytherin, and lastly, sadly, since it was my house, Gryffindor.
Better luck next year, Gryffindor!
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P.P.S. Click here to see my other parties like Doctor Who, Alice in Wonderland, Mary Poppins, Zombies, Star Wars, and more!
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