Sunday, October 16, 2011

Gabe’s Harry Potter party

  I love Harry Potter.  I always liked the books, but after reading them with my boys at night (we have read as far as Prisoner of Azkaban), I now love love love them.  I wanted to throw Colin a Harry Potter party for his 8th birthday, but as you may well remember, I was due with Carina on his birthday and I had a feeling that I really shouldn’t plan something big – a feeling that was validated when I had an eight day old baby to take care of on his birthday. 

So here it is, Gabe’s birthday, and I got to use my creative side, which is normally pretty untapped.  I had such a good time getting ready for it.  My top secret project, which was accomplished over several nights the week before the party?


I made a wand for every kid – our own little Ollivander’s.  This may sound like bragging, and maybe it is, but this picture doesn’t even come close to capturing how cool these wands were.  I really wish I had taken the time to make sure I got a better picture because I was so tickled with how well they turned out.   I used this tutorial, and while I wouldn’t say it was super easy, it was super do-able.  I am definitely not an artist, and it was not hard for me to make each one look pretty cool.  All you have to use is paper, Elmer’s glue, a hot glue gun (a project for you Roy!) and paint.  I added a wooden dowel  inside each one to make them a little sturdier but it isn’t necessary.   I would definitely make these again if the occasion arose.  They were well worth the effort.  Gabe didn’t see them until the party, and since he has been wanting a wand for a really long time, he was a happy guy.  Anyway, here are tons of pictures, because I love these things. 

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I know that is not the most flattering picture of Mr. Ollivander, but I had to show you platform 9 3/4 right behind him….the kids walked through there to get inside Hogwarts.

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Now for the second big surprise of the evening, brought to the kids by my wonderfully creative mom.  I gave her a plain witch’s hat a couple of weeks ago and asked her if she could turn it into a sorting hat.  I told her it just needed to look old and beat up, but I should have known she would go way beyond that.  Here is what she came up with!



This was her real gift to Gabe!  A labor of love.  Isn’t it awesome?

Each kid got to take turns being “sorted.”  The plan was to tape my phone inside and have my brother Bobby call it and talk into the ear of each student.  At the last minute the tape unstuck and the kids were getting really restless so we threw the phone under the stool.  In retrospect, at that point we should have just used a baby monitor because it would have been louder.  Ahhh, oh well. 

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The kids mostly loved it – I had asked the parents if anyone had house preferences beforehand. However, I wrote Nolan’s down wrong (even through I knew long ago that he is a die-hard Hufflepuff and Levi reminded me – and see his scarf?) so he was disappointed when he was sorted into Griffyndor. The hat ended up saying he had made a mistake and switching him.  They I noticed that my birthday boy was sobbing because he was the only boy in Slytherin, and his cousin Santi (who I could just hug forever for this) kindly said he would switch from Ravenclaw to be in Slytherin with Gabe, so the hat switched him as well. Whew. It was intense. By the way, Bobby was awesome as the sorting hat – he has all the Harry Potter lingo down and knew what each house is known for.

The rest of the party we just pretty much let them play and eat pizza.  I tried to make butterbeer but it wasn’t that great due to not knowing where to shop for cream soda. Three stores didn’t have anything but IBC and I wasn’t about to use that for all 13 kids because it is so expensive, so we used a little cream soda, with butterscotch topping mixed in, with a lot of root beer and then whipped cream mixed with butterscotch on top.

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We had a fire outside, the kids had a good time and we sent them with little goodie bags:

Chocolate frogs, licorice wands, and Bertie Bott’s Every Flavor Beans (Jelly Bellies)


It was good, but I think it was a little too much for Gabe.  It was one of those “it’s my party and I’ll cry if I want to” type of nights.  Hopefully he won’t remember the good of it. I was exhausted by the end.  Preparing for the party was fun, but actually executing it made me appreciate the merits of slapping down a bunch of money to let Chuck-E do the work for you.


Just in case you are dying to know, Carina got Griffyndor :o) She was pretty pumped about it.IMGP0326


James said...

Truly a labor of love. Hopefully you haven't raised the bar too high for following parties; that would be a tough act to follow.

lindsey said...

I totally understand wanting to shell out the money to chuckie cheese... I felt the same after Lily's party (which was 13 days before Leslie was born) I didn't even do that much for it, but what I did was too much for 8 and a half months pregnant. Anyway the party looks like it was a blast! I must admit I do not like Harry Potter, but the wands and hat are awesome. THe party favors are great too.

Kelly said...

I love that you did this! So creative. I bet it feels like the day after Christmas when it was all over with all that preparation! He'll never forget it though. Good job mom.

mom and grandma of BOLTON BUNCH said...

That does sound very extensive. I have never read the books (but have tried more than once) and can't sit through the movies, so I know ZIP about HP, but I love what you came up with.

Christie said...

Amazing. It would be so much fun to be able to do stuff like this with you and mom. Been starting to work on Halloween costumes and it would be so much better with others who like to do stuff like that too.

Bubb Rubb said...

Amazing Katie. Very nice job.

Olivia Carter said...

OH my GOSH! That party is amazing! Those wands are to DIE for & I love how the hat turned out! SOOO CUTE! I saw one girl who made buttons for each house and the kids had to just draw one out at random- she said it didn't go over well because NO ONE got what they wanted- I like your way MUCH better. And if Scott had been in there he'd have been in Sliterian. He's a DIE HARD fan of them!

Em said...

that is just too cute. i love all of the details. send me good vibes to have the energy when my kids are old enough to remember!!

Anonymous said...

Katie, those wands were awesome. I was just a little disappointed I didn't get one. Thanks for putting so much effort into the party. The kids loved it.