A Harry Potter Birthday Party: Diagon Alley

Charlie’s Harry Potter Birthday party was divided into three main parts. I’m going to deal with the first part today: Diagon Alley.

How to Make Diagon Alley

I wish I had some better pictures, but you know how parties go: I was lucky to get what I got! After this picture was taken, we stuck the wands upright in a cauldron, which looked better, but we didn’t get a picture of that.

For the party, I boiled Diagon Alley down to three main points: you get a wand, you get a pet, and you get a spellbook. I’ve already posted how I made the owl puppets:

Easy Owl Hand Puppets

I also made some wands.

I used the popular hot glue on a dowel rod method. (Another version here.) Well, a lot of other people use chopsticks, which I was not able to find. I did find packs of long, thin dowels at the store which worked well, and I used a pencil sharpener to point the tips of the thinner ones and am exacto blade to point the tips of the thicker ones.

Let me tell you. While you are making them, these look so dumb. They look exactly as though you have smeared quite a bit of glue onto a stick. You may be worried. Once you paint them, however:

How to Make Diagon Alley

Wands. It’s magic, I tell you. The dowels came in a pack of about 8/$1, I believe, which means that including paint and glue these probably cost less than a quarter apiece. Score!

Finally, we printed and stapled spell books for each child.

How to Make Diagon Alley

Here’s where we printed them off from…theirs are much fancier. The kids all liked ours just fine, though!

We taped a black tablecloth to a table, printed off a sign that said ‘Diagon Alley’ (free font here) and taped it to the front, and set up our wares.

We had our party at a park, so we let the kids run and play until most of the guests had arrived. Then we set them loose on Diagon Alley and let them select their supplies. Once everyone was ready, we all lined up in a ‘train’ and pretended to be the Hogwarts Express, making train noises all the way over to where Hogwarts was set up.

Next stop Hogwarts!

(Looking for more? Check out these links!)

Harry Potter Party Invitations
Easy Owl Hand Puppets
Harry Potter Party – Hogwarts
Harry Potter Party – Honeydukes

Easy Owl Hand Puppets

Continuing with the Harry Potter party posts, today we’ll deal with Eeylop’s Owl Emporium.

I really wanted each child at the party to get an owl to take home, but yikes! The absolute best price I could find was for some cheap, very small owl plush toys at $1 apiece plus shipping. That would really take a bite out of the party budget since we were expecting up to 15 children at the party. Instead, I decided to sew felt hand puppets.

Easy Owl Hand Puppets

It was a bit time-consuming.

I’ve written before about my method for making hand puppets. I used Max’s hand this time, since he would be one of the oldest children at the party. Since you may not have a child handy when you make yours – or perhaps you’re just not in the mood to draft your own pattern – I’ve made a printable one for you.

Click to download Owl Hand Puppet PDF Pattern

I wanted there to be some variety, so I made four kinds. (I rounded the head for the snowy owls and the gray owls.) I was only able to get one pattern piece out of each piece of felt, but I decorated with scraps, so that meant that each owl puppet only cost me about fifty cents!

Easy Owl Hand Puppets

You can see that I used my sewing machine and just made a basic outline of each instead of sewing around each feather. Also, I used a glue gun to attach the facial features. If I was making one or two puppets, for gifts, I would have sewn the pieces of the faces on, but since I was making a round dozen for party favors – glue gun. Whew!

Easy Owl Hand Puppets

As I mentioned, I made twelve puppets but we were expecting up to fifteen children – I found a pack of six giant jumping frogs at the Dollar Tree and put those up as ‘toads.’ Most of the kids picked owls, but some did prefer the toads. If I’d had more time I might have done some kind of cat or rat toy (remember, Hogwarts students can bring an owl, cat, rat or toad) but I think most kids would choose an owl anyway. I think only two kids at the party chose the toad over the owl, but they were happy.

Stay tuned! More Harry Potter-ness ahead!

(Looking for more? Check out these links!)

Harry Potter Party Invitations
Harry Potter Party – How to Make Diagon Alley
Harry Potter Party – Hogwarts
Harry Potter Party – Honeydukes

Linked up at Tater Tots and Jello!

Harry Potter Party Invitations

Charlie has been reading the Harry Potter books lately, and like almost every child that does that, he has become slightly obsessed with them. I was not particularly surprised, then, when he asked for a Harry Potter birthday party! Unlike Max’s Ninjago party, a I think a Harry Potter party needs to be BIG and MAGICAL…and involves almost disgusting amounts of candy. I tried to find the simplest and least expensive ways to put together a party that we would all remember.

So to get started, here’s how we made simple Harry Potter party invitations.

Easy DIY Harry Potter Invitations

I looked around and obviously, the most popular way to go is to send a Hogwarts letter to the children you’re inviting. Charlie wanted to make paper owls and attach them to each invitation, then throw them at his friends so it would be like it was being delivered by an actual owl, but we (by which, I mean ‘I’) decided against that idea.

Instead, inspired by invitations here, I decided to go for a simple roll of ‘parchment’ tied with a lustrous burgundy ribbon. I adapted the invitation text from this website to suit our needs, and just printed them out. After we rolled them up (we rolled them around a broomstick to get a good curl) and tied them up, we labelled the outside of each scroll with a green marker to make sure we didn’t get them mixed up, since each letter is customized with a child’s name.

Easy DIY Harry Potter Invitations

I got a picture of the crest from Wikipedia, used this font for the header, and this font for the script. (They’re both free, because that’s how I roll.) I made the letters green, because that’s in the books!

I had to buy the paper for the invitations (thick, creamy paper, about $5) and the roll of ribbon (about $1.50) so I spent out of pocket between 6 and 7 dollars for the invitations, but I only used a few pieces of paper for them AND I have ribbon left over, so I probably used less than $2 of materials for them!

Stay tuned for more Harry Potter craziness, coming right up.

(Looking for more? Check out these links!)

Easy Owl Hand Puppets
Harry Potter Party – How to Make Diagon Alley
Harry Potter Party – Hogwarts
Harry Potter Party – Honeydukes