Behind the scenes at Hogwarts! (DIY)

Welcome to the next instalment in the Potter blogs! You may have seen that about a month ago, I threw a Potter Party for my sister, with a lot of help from the family. You may also know, from this blog, that I’m a big Potter fan!

Anyway, in my research to put together this bash, I spent a lot of time on Pinterest. As a result, I’ve been inspired to put together a ‘behind-the-scenes’ type post of some of the process.

Because, in reality, that was half the fun! 

The month or so before hand was spent with planning, making, creating, and truly embracing my creative side – something that I haven’t really done properly since finishing GCSE Art. I’m quite proud of some of the things we put together, and it also proves that sometimes, homemade works far better than shop-bought!

The Invites…

While my idea of Platform 9&3/4 tickets was quickly vetoed, we settled on Hogwarts Acceptance letters (albeit slightly altered), as our invitation.

(I think the main reason for this was Ruth’s excitement to use a wax seal…) but regardless of the reason, they turned out quite cool! We definitely made a couple for ourselves too as keepsakes.



Photobooth Props

No party is complete without a photobooth…and that called for some special Harry Potter props. After putting our artistic skills to the test for my Mad Hatter’s Tea Party, we decided to do the same for the Potter Party.

From the Honeydukes sign, to the Flying Car, nothing was too much to try and paint.


A personal favourite of mine, both to make, and the finished result, was Luna’s Spectrespecs. The vibrancy of the colours and patterns made it really good fun – and they’re just so unique!


We certainly HAD to finish off with a ‘wanted’ poster. I think this has got to be one of the most pinned ideas I came across, and it was definitely used well by people on the day!

For this, I used foam board, and painted the design onto it (after cutting out the middle). Some of the faces pulled were quite spectacular…and channelling their inner-Bellatrix.

The Wand chooses the Wizard…

‘Every Ollivander wand has a core of a powerful magical substance, Mr Potter. We use unicorn hairs, phoenix tail feathers and the heartstrings of dragons. No two Ollivander wands are the same, just as no two unicorns, dragons or phoenixes are quite the same. And of course, you will never get such good results with another wizard’s wand.’

J.K. Rowling, HP & the Philosopher’s Stone

We couldn’t pass up the opportunity to try our hand at making wands. And I was amazed at how they turned out.


The first stage was to use hot glue to ‘reverse carve’ patterns into the wood, by building up layers of glue around the chopsticks. It was interesting to see how many different designs we could come up with, and what worked well. After all, each wand is unique, so there was no ‘wrong’ way to do it!

Some of the wands were then decorated with beads and wool while the glue was still hot – in order to give a different texture.

Once they’d dried, it was time for Stage 2!

This time, we were experimenting with paint. Different shades of brown paint, and then accented with gold, and other lighter colours, to give the impression of wood grain. Some of them started to look really magical!


House Pride

We just had to have a few things that identified house – especially when a lot of the people invited are also big Potter fans!

First off, for those who didn’t know their house – they had the chance to get sorted on Pottermore. They then received a felt tie! (If they already knew their house, they just got given a tie.)


The other thing ‘house’ coloured, other than the plates and napkins, were these wonderful house banners. They made the entire room – and really felt like we were at Hogwarts.

I made these from large sheets of coloured card, which I found from Hobbycraft. I then cut out the right shapes and taped them together, to create the centre-piece! Both my sister and I have kept our respective house banners and have hidden them somewhere in our rooms – House Pride lives on!

Floating what’s?

To finish off this BTS of the Potter Party, we’ve got the floating candles, letters and keys!

The candles were made from toilet-roll tubes, hot glue and white paint – and then LED flickering tea-light candles for in the top. I strung them up with fishing wire – and they genuinely looked like they were floating!


The keys were also strung with fishing wire (Top Tip: if you’re looking for something to hang things by that’s pretty much invisible, use fishing wire! It’s strong, clear, and easy to use!) Ruth made little wings out of paper, and glued them to some wire, before wrapping that round the key, and bending into a flying position.


The final ‘flying’ thing was a set of Hogwarts letters. Just like the invites, at the top of the post, these were tea-stained, and then strung up with fishing wire. I managed to suspend them between the fireplace and the lights – which created a picture almost like the scene in the first film where all the letters were spewing out of the fireplace!

(Again, I will question why Harry ‘jumped’ for a letter, and didn’t get one from the floor…?!)

Other than that, minor issue, I was really pleased how this turned out. It rounded off my attempts to replicate things from both the books and the films, and do JK Rowling and Harry proud.

Before we knew it, the party was over, and everything had to be taken down. These things always seem to go by in a flash! That said, I’m so glad I did it – and I think we definitely managed to create some special (or, magical) memories!


“Whether you come back by page or by the big screen, Hogwarts will always be there to welcome you home.”



Behind the scenes Potter Party


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