I’ve been a Harry Potter fan for a very long time. After the first movie, I was hooked. I saw each movie at the theater and it was always the most exciting thing ever. If I could relive moments from my childhood, I would definitely choose to see each Harry Potter movie again for the first time. Don’t worry your Potter-filled heads—I did read the entire series, too. Three times. I’ve seen all the movies more times than I can count. Now I have a Harry Potter-themed tattoo, so you could say my fandom hasn’t died down.
One of my good friends, Madelyn (had to give her a shout-out), hosted a Harry Potter party last year to celebrate Halloween and to put it frankly: It was the best. I’ve decided to share some party tips and tricks with you to pass on my new-found Harry Potter party wisdom.
Here are some things you’ll need to throw the best Harry Potter Halloween party ever.
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1. Floating candles
To make real-looking floating candles, you’ll need a lot of empty toilet paper and paper towel rolls, white paint (and a paintbrush), a hot glue gun, and some electric tea light candles! Before you start, be sure to set down newspaper so clean up is quick and easy. Using the hot glue gun, mimic a “dripping wax” look by creating thick lines of hot glue at the top of the empty rolls. Let the glue dry. After, paint each roll white. Once all is dry, stick an electric tea light candle in each roll and light it up. Then, use clear thread and tape to hang the candles from the ceiling and voila! You have floating candles. (Feel free to scatter them around on shelves, too.)
2. Moaning Myrtle
Ah, Moaning Myrtle. Her story is tragic, her voice is annoying, her permanent location (the bathroom) is less than ideal—she’s an icon, really. Simply print out a picture of Moaning Myrtle and tape it to the inside of your toilet seat… it’ll give your guests a little surprise when they need to use the facilities.
3. Chamber of Secrets
Take a red lipstick—any one will do—and leave a message for your guests on the bathroom mirror! Let them know that the Chamber of Secrets has been opened… again.
4. Potion bottles
Simply save your empty bottles, remove their label, pop a “magical” one on them instead, and you’re good to go! If you want to get really fancy, check out how to distress glass bottles here.
5. Daily Prophet bulletin board
DAILY PROPHET, GET YOUR DAILY PROPHET HERE! Create your own Daily Prophet bulletin board by printing out Daily Prophet articles and taping them to the wall.
6. Dumbledore’s Army picture
Print out this picture of Dumbledore’s Army and frame it. Done and done.
7. Free Dobby station
Get a sock. Put it on a surface. Next to it, place a sign that says “FREE DOBBY THE ELF.” You’ll be providing your guests with an extremely fun photo session.
7. Hogwarts House crests
Proudly display each Hogwarts House crest in your home by printing them out!
8. Restricted section
Have a room that you don’t want guests to enter? Make it fun (and obvious) by creating a restricted section. Cut out strips of paper and link them together by looping them through one another and taping the ends. Then drape your chains across the door!
9. Harry’s Hogwarts letters
Remember when Harry receives letters from Hogwarts for the first time? As a refresher, Uncle Vernon tries to sabotage Harry’s chances of going to Hogwarts by keeping his letters from him and as a result, hundreds of letters fly through the fireplace and flood their home. Create that same “flying letter” effect in your home by printing out this template and following the instructions. It makes for a really great photo backdrop.
12. Marauders Map
Make your own Marauders Map! Just print out this template and follow the folding instructions. Mischief managed.
13. Christmas lights
Just because they make everything look better and more magical. Hang them wherever; have fun with it.
Food and Drink
1. Golden Snitches
Don’t those Ferrero Rocher chocolates remind you of something? Golden snitches, perhaps? Print out these wings and tape them onto each chocolate. Easy peasy.
It isn’t a real Harry Potter party without some butterbeer. Here’s a great recipe that’ll take 10 minutes to make.
3. DIY wands from chopsticks
Save your chopsticks and turn them into something a lot more fun! Follow these instructions and you’re good to go.
3. Polyjuice Potion Jello Shots
Everyone knows how to make jello shots, right? Make them polyjuice-style using this recipe—they’re delicious with or without alcohol.
4. Bertie Bott’s Beans, chocolate frogs, and jelly slugs
These are easy to buy! No preparation or work needed. Here’s where to find them.
5. Sorting Hat cupcakes
You know how people like to do a gender reveal when they’re having a baby? And a lot of the time they’ll cut into a cake to expose blue or pink icing inside? Well, this is like that. Except instead of blue or pink icing, each cupcake will contain the color of a Hogwarts House—red (Gryffindor), blue (Ravenclaw), green (Slytherin), or yellow (Hufflepuff). As your guests bite into their cupcake, their house will be chosen… like the Sorting Hat but tastier.
Featured image: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone © 2001 Warner Bros.
Photo credits: Madelyn Ward and Jessica Mizzi