Throwback Thursday (Saturday?) Continued – Harry Potter Party Part 2 – “It is our Choices that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities” – Albus Dumbledore
I would just like to take a moment here and thank my mom, Jacki Rathbone, for all of her hard work! If it wasn’t for her, I would have had to miss out on a lot the evening of the party. She stayed and decorated while my husband and I went to pick up the kids. And remember the limo fiasco? Yes, that put us a little behind dealing with that. But when we returned, my mother had transformed the party room with all of the décor. I am telling you if you think I have a gift – well – it isn’t anything like my Mama’s. She has to be the most incredibly talented crafty person I have ever met – including Martha Stewart. Ok, so I haven’t met Martha Stewart. But if you make her crafts, see her on TV, and follow enough of her tutorials, you feel like you just know her. But anyways, yes, my mom is supercraft woman of the world. And she had about 80% of my décor finished putting up by the time I was back. It saved me loads of time. So, thank you mom!! You are my hero!
Food, Bottle, and Cup Station
Besides the Honeyduke sweets table, we also had a side table for sweets, snacks and drinks. This table consisted of cupcakes, chocolate fountain with bananas, Nutter Butters (the best chocolate-dipping cookie yet), pretzels, marshmallows, and thin wafer chocolate chip cookies. We also had a pumpkin roll cut up for our “pumpkin pasties”. The cupcakes were wrapped in my two different themed wraps. The “cauldron cakes” were to have gone on the Honeyduke’s sweet shop table, but I ran out of room!! So they got mixed into the other cupcakes tier. Also, I had some extra help that day with my setup, and silly me! I didn’t leave any notes… on anything. Yes, my poor Mama had to shuffle through my totes and my mess. How she ever figured out what was what, I shall never know. She had no idea that the “boiling bubble” toppers went with the cauldron wraps. And the other toppers went with the other wraps. Oh well! If there is anything I have to stress about planning parties is don’t get STRESSED out over the small stuff! It isn’t worth it! Mess ups are going to happen. Perfect is NOT going to happen. Especially when you try to incorporate as much detail and items, and themed décor as I usually try to pack in. That’s me, I tend to go way overboard. Not so much in extreme decorating, but overboard on the details – too many details. Details that I place in with meaning, and most don’t ever even catch the symbolism for the item. The other end of the party table held the cups and bottle station. I also brought our Keurig and setup hot chocolate, coffee, cider, etc. since I knew it would be cold and would be nice to have something to warm us up. The tables were covered in black netted cotton “creepy” cloth. The bottles were my favorite part of this station. I saved back (and washed well!)and repurposed rootbeer bottles and starbucks bottles. The rootbeer bottles were used for our butterbeer and the starbucks bottles were used for our pumpkin juice. I created both using a distressed parchment background and vintage frame (taking from thegraphicsfairy.com site for free) with an old vintage font to give it that old “creepy” bottle feel. The straws were bought from a cute Etsy store called The Shindiggity Shoppe. She has some really great party items – go check her out! We also had a small back table with chips, dips, pizza, and chili. That was going to be our “feast” for our banquet. I wanted some warm items since the night was to be so cold.
On the wall directly across from the bottle and cup wall, we had the “Owlery”. I ordered these adorable stuffed owls for the kids to take home as party favors from one of my private suppliers. Also on that favor table were the handcrafted wands that I made. These turned out really cute and the kids loved them. However, looking back I would construct them a little differently as the end pieces kept popping off and I would have to hot glue them back on. Kids can be really rough on some things – no matter how well they are glued and tied!! I followed this tutorial here loosely, but then added my own embellishments, ideas, & flair. My husband and I had fun looking for the embellishments. We usually make “dates” to go shopping and find little things to give detail to the party. It makes the parties that much more special since we get to spend the time together picking things out and planning together. Most of the embellishments were from Michaels jewelry pieces department and some were from the rock/marble department. I did use some marbles and rocks that I had gotten from the Dollar Tree. I also made “quill pens” by taking pens apart and using just the insert pen/ink part of the pen (whatever that is called) and then cutting the ends of feathers and inserting the refill up into the feather and placing just a dab of hot glue to secure the pen at the tip. You can find a tutorial here from Design Sponge. Again, looking back, I might just glue feather to the ends of some pens as having just the refill part made the pens hard to write with. Taking the focal point of the “owlery” table was our Hedwig. I found a cute cage at our local At Home store. And I ordered Hedwig on Amazon.com. The end candle holders were just some I had taken from home to add a touch to the table. I made a small “snitch” piece that I was going to use for a game, but when you hit being a teenagers, well, the games kind of go out the window as you just want to sit around and talk. We did play a mini game to receive their wands. After all…the wand chooses the wizard. We had the kids draw numbers and we numbered the wands and then called them out to match them with their wands. That was a hit with the kids! I think they liked the idea of having their “own” wands. I made signage with different saying from the books – most from Dumbledore. I could have made SO many more because there are just way too many good sayings in the books!! The wands sign I did not create. I found it online as a free coloring page (here) and I just brought it into photoshop and added some character and color. It was just too cute a page! The banner on the front of the table read “Owlery” and was done in the same wizard themed graphics carried throughout everywhere else (banners, water bottle wraps, cupcake wraps & toppers, etc.) The black silhouette owls around the room were a package from the Dollar Tree.
The Enchanted Ceiling
Over the top of the banquet table, we hung some plastic tablecloths that I had hand painted (more like splatted) with blues, purples, and mostly whites, to represent the starry night sky that was in the Great Hall in the book (& movie). I guessed at the room space since I was not able to measure it ahead of time, and came up a little short for covering the ceiling. But it gave a good enough effect and was fun either way. We also hung lit foam pumpkins (that we carved – from the Dollar Tree), and “candles” that I had made from transparent off white cardstock, battery operated tea lights, and hot glue made to look like wax dripping down the candle. These were to represent the suspended by “magic” pumpkin lanterns and candles from the books (and movies).
The Banquet Table
The banquet table were draped with black plastic tablecloths and adorned with metallic gold plastic tableware. The plates and bowls were from Party City, the black utensils and napkins were from the Dollar Tree. The plastic toy rat (our Skabbers) was also from the Dollar Tree. You can find some spectacular seasonal decorations and deals at your local Dollar store. NEVER underestimate a cheaper store for not having supplies you may need. The Dollar Tree is one of my favorite places to check out first for good finds! The table was also laden with golden goblets. This was one of our favorite finds! We were able to find this whole lot of goblets at a local resale store. Again, on certain items (especially those you can wash good!!) don’t hesitate to checkout your local thrift and resale shops. Some of my greatest finds have been from thrift stores. My husband and I call it “treasure shopping” and we have a great deal of fun and make some great memories out searching for “treasures”. We were able to get all of these for only 50 cents apiece! And I will be able to reuse these pieces for many other parties and occasions! The utensils were wrapped in my napkin wrap graphics that matched the other party décor. I ordered the candelabra and mini candle sticks off of Amazon.com. The golden chocolate coins were also from our local Dollar Tree.
I will make one last post to complete my Harry Potter party “series” on Monday. The last post will feature my “potions” bar. And before anyone gets all funny about that word – let me remind you – its MAKE BELIEVE. No real potions. No real mixing – unless you consider the mixing up of the pumpkin juice or the butterbeer! Or perhaps the addition of whip cream? Come on! Life should be fun, let’s not get too serious!!
Here is a close up of some of the printables from the party. All of these are available via custom order. You can contact me via email to setup a listing and payment. Or you can convo me through my Etsy online shop. And as always, if you are interested in having a sweets table styled or small event (décor) planned, please contact me via email or Facebook)