Throwback Thursday (Friday) Continued – Harry Potter Party Part 3 – “I open at the close”

Throwback Thursday (haha – Friday) Continued – Harry Potter Party Part 3 – “I open at the close”

The final write up on the Harry Potter will be my favorite decorative piece of the party – The potions bar.


I don’t know what it is, but I absolutely love vintage bottles.  In fact, I loved vintage before it was cool to love vintage.  There is just something so mysterious and wonderful about old dusty bottles with their tattered weathered labels.  I seriously could just sit in awe looking at them.  And I just love when I see scenes or decoration pieces with potion cabinets or dusty old shelves with cobwebs.  I don’t know – it just fascinates me.  The problem is, I didn’t have a lot of old creepy dusty bottles just lying around.  And because everyone has jumped on the bandwagon of “vintage” they are hard to find and when  you do, they are expensive.  So what is a girl to do who needs creepy old bottles?  You make them.  My husband and I went off on one of our little treasure hunts dates.  This has to be one of the most fun dates I can remember yet.  We stopped at every little resale and thrift and flea market around looking for little glass bottles or vials.  They needn’t be old.  They just needed to have character.  We found one little thrift store where we struck it rich with bottle supplies.  Up to this point I had been trying to keep my little bottles at around or less than $2 no more than $3, and for larger bottles, less than $5.  We came across some really neat shaped bottles, older medicine bottles, whiskey bottles , old aspirin bottles, iodine bottles, and a really cool squarish tall bottle.  Yes, squarish is a word – I made it up.  We really scored when we would come across COLORED vial bottles.  Those were harder to find.  And while searching for the bottles, we also came across the black shelf seen in the photo.  Brilliant!  This would be our “potions cabinet”.  It worked out beautifully.  Upon checkout, we found that we had spent and gathered quite a few more bottles than I would have originally thought and budgeted for. And as I exited, the clerk only then decided to present me with an entire box of mini bottles of all shapes, colors, sizes – all for $1 each.  It was unfair, it was cruel, but I had just got finished agreeing with my husband that that was all that we needed for the display and to reign in so as not to go crazy crazy over budget.  However, I decided at the time, that I could resell the pieces and make a PROFIT – after I was done finishing them.  Hahahaha!! Do you think I wanted to part with it when all was said and done?  It is packed away with the rest of my Halloween décor.  Enough said.  I also repurposed some old apple cider vinegar jars, two different spice racks and even an empty vitamin plastic bottle – yay gummies!


The next step to those bottles came about two weeks out from the party.  I spent several nights working on the bottles – taking time on each one.  I had designed vintage looking creepy labels, but once placed, I knew they needed more wear and tear.  So I wet and scraped, wrinkled and painted, wrapped, glued and dusted.  Finished bottles – masterpieces!  At least to me anyway.  I loved those bottles.  I used some cheesecloth and stained it with paint and wrapped.  I used twine around others.  I hot glued drips and painted to look like old wax, spills, or boiling over. And keys!!! yes, I embellished several bottles and my entire tables with the unbelievably gorgeous vintage mini keys.  This had to one of the items the kids went nuts over! The keys can be purchased online at Glowberry Creations.  They really accented the bottles wonderfully.  (I also even glued some skulls on a few – I know – I live on the edge.)  This has to be one of the best and most fun craft projects I have done to date.  I am completely in love with the finished project.  And because I loved it so much, it became one of the focal points for the room.  I made it the official drink station and put the beverage dispensers on the bar with it.  We served butterbeer on one side and pumpkin juice on the other side.  The butterbeer recipe I used I found on Pinterest and can be found here.  However, I found it incredibly INCREDIBLY sweet.  Maybe I did it wrong.  Maybe it’s just sweet.  I don’t know because Mr. Potter and I never had the chance to mosey on up and chuck a few down together.  And before all of you who have never (and would never) read Harry Potter have a breakdown and think I might have gone and broke my church’s “no drinking” policy for volunteers – please note that Butterbeer is simply cream soda hyped up with unconscionable amounts of ice cream, butter flavoring, and basically just one big fat load of sugar.  It is the kind of drink that makes ones teeth hurt just looking at it.  But I love the way it foams up and just looks delicious!


If I remade this again, I think I would definitely use the clarified butter instead of imitation.  But I used this recipe here.  But I DID NOT use rum 🙂

The pumpkin juice was slightly more odd.  I am thinking it would have been better later to have cooked the ingredients ahead of time to give the chance for all of the ingredients to blend better and be more distributed throughout.  As it was, it was just odd.  I kept adding seasoning and I think it would have been a stronger flavor if the ingredients cooked and then were chilled and then served.   But I didn’t.  So it wasn’t.   But either way the pumpkin juice seemed to go over well enough to get drank.  I could not locate the recipe I used, but this one sounds good.  And in fact I have just come across this recipe here that sounds quite a bit tempting!


The other part of the potions bar that I loved was the Potions banner that I made.  I used my printable graphics and then embellished them into a second layer with some crepe paper backings.  Add some gold glitter, and it was just the touch the bar scene needed. I also loved the way my mother tied the crows to the top of the dispenser and old potion bottle rack.  They looked ready to jump right at you.


Well, in the end, all things – even good ones – must come to an end.  And when this party was done planning, styling, and having, I was almost as sad as the last line in the last chapter of that last book – as sad as if I had lost a good friend.  And if you think that is silly – read the books.  Only one who has entered into the world of Potter, can fully understand the gripping nature of its tale.

Ok, Ok, enough of that sappy goop.

 I had ALL these wonderful games, intentions, décor, & more that could have been done with this  party.  But in the end, my daughter is a teenager.  And although, she is a secret Potterhead just like me, most of her friends either had not read, had read forever ago (remember it was evil to me for many a year), or just weren’t that interested in Harry Potter.  Many of my wonderful pins went untouched and undone.  I could probably plan 5 parties and not entail all that which could be done in a Harry Potter party.  That being said, I am going to share my Harry Potter Pinterest board link here with you.  Go and find your inspiration!!

P.S. Oh, and I almost forgot, I made witches and wizard party hats.  The kids didn’t even touch them.  I also made a printout of a “Have You Seen This Wizard” Poster.  And off to the side on some chairs, I had “Weasley’s Wizarding Wheezes” trick shop.  I had a box of Muggle magic tricks and popping candies setup up on some seats.  I also had a sign “Pottages Cauldron Shop” on front of some seats and set the kids cauldrons (their party favor “bags” to take home their goodies”)



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