UPDATE: I am no longer updating this page. All of the ideas here and MORE, including FREE printables and tutorials, have been moved to www.potterpartyideas.com/ideas-by-book/
The internet is full of ideas for making your own Harry Potter birthday party supplies, but a lot of them are the same from website to website. You won’t find that here. I have created a list of the best and most unique invitation, decoration, and party favor ideas.
Under each category below, you will find links to the best ideas I found on other websites, a list of my own ideas from the books, and links to some of the best supplies available for purchase if you would rather save the time and purchase your supplies instead.
Since I can’t possibly link to each and every one of the great products available, you can also visit my Store through the link on the menu above and look through a variety of products. Looking through products is how I get some of my best ideas for my parties.
Harry Potter Birthday Party Invitations
Best Invitation Ideas From Other Websites
- An awesome snitch invitation idea. Scroll down to “Snitch Invites:” to read it. http://www.goodtoknow.co.uk/family/529315/harry-potter-inspired-party-invitations
- Some nice looking printable invitations. http://dirtandsunshine.com/harry-potter-party.html
- A cute twist on the popular “Letter From Hogwarts” invitation idea. http://peach-lemonade.blogspot.ca/2011/10/ultimate-harry-potter-party-invitations.html
My Invitation Ideas
- Hogwart’s Express Tickets: Send your guests a ‘ticket’ to board the Hogwarts Express at Platform 9 ¾. Add a ticket number and barcode to make your ticket look authentic. Look for pictures of train tickets for inspiration.
- Miniature Firebolts: Write “Firebolt” on the side of mini broomsticks (try a dollar store around Halloween or make your own.) Tie the invitations to the brooms, and on them, ask the guest to ‘fly on over to join in the festivities at Hogwarts’.
- Triwizard Tournament Party: First send out slips of parchment paper to all of the invited children. Explain in a letter that they are to write their names on the papers and send them back and that the Goblet of Fire will choose 8 (or however many children you have invited) students to participate in the tournament. When you receive the papers back, send the official invitations letting each child know that they have been selected as a Champion to take part in the tournament.
- Daily Prophet Invitation: Include various articles, but have your party theme be the large front page article. Word the article creatively to include the name of the guest as well as the details of the party.
- A Marauder’s Map: Create a map of your yard/home and make it look like the marauder’s map. If you can work the map into the activities for the party, as part of a treasure hunt for example, then be sure to note that in the invitation so that guests bring their map with them.
- A Sorting Hat: You could make a mini sorting hat and tie the invitation to it, or make a flat hat shaped invitation out of cardstock. Write: “Where will the Sorting Hat place YOU? Join us for a day at Hogwarts to find out!” Include images of the four house badges inside the card.
- Ministry of Magic Memo: Shape your invitation like a paper airplane and make it look like an official letter from the Ministry of Magic inviting a few special Muggles to experience a day at Hogwarts as a new program by the Ministry of Magic to improve relations between Witches and Muggles.
- DA Coin: Don’t put the date and time on the invitation. Instead, include a coin with a date and time stamped on it and let them know to check their coin for the time and date of the next Dumbledore’s Army meeting. Hermione put a Protean Charm on the coins in the story so that they would look like regular coins unless there was a meeting. If your coins are made of paper, write the date and time with white crayon and let your guests color over them with a darker color to reveal the information.
- A Howler: Send out invitations designed to look like howlers. Have the message state something like: “Some very important potion ingredients have gone missing and you are required in my office at ___ date and time to help sort out the matter. ~Professor Snape”
Best Invitations to Purchase Online
- If you need to save time, just order some nice, ordinary Harry Potter Invitations.
- Seal your homemade invitations with real wax and the letter ‘H’ for Hogwarts with this Alphabet Initial Seal Wax Stamp.
Harry Potter Birthday Party Decorations
Best Decoration Ideas From Other Websites
- These dragon eggs are a great decorating idea. http://www.ivillage.com/12-easy-ideas-wizard-worthy-harry-potter-birthday-party/6-b-139571#139573
- Free printable signs and wizard books for use in your decorations or activities. http://dirtandsunshine.com/harry-potter-party.html
- Rather than a 9 ¾ sign, have Platforms 9 and 10 http://itsthelife.typepad.com/my_weblog/2011/03/harry-potter-party-platform-9-34.html
- I’ve seen the brick wall curtain idea all over the place, but this site has a tutorial for making a really nice one. http://myharrypotterparty.blogspot.com/2009/03/platform-9-34-brick-wall.html
- Make your own brick castle walls. http://potterpartymania.blogspot.com/2009/10/hogwarts-party-decorations.html
- Nothing too new or different here for but it is all very well done and the photos are great for inspiration. http://www.britta.com/hogwarts/decor/index.html
- Looks like this was part of a library event, but if you have some painting skills (and a good printer for Harry and Hedwig), this would be an awesome decoration for your party. http://www.flickr.com/photos/acplinfo/905079348/in/photostream/
- Create your own antique books. http://designdazzle.blogspot.com/2009/07/making-decor-out-of-books.html
- If you are looking to decorate with some of the darker creatures from the Harry Potter world, try making these Dementors: http://www.overthebigmoon.com/tutorial-making-ghosts-and-dementors/
My Decoration Ideas
- Flying Snitches: Blow up gold balloons with helium and attach paper ‘wings’. Let them float around the room. If you prefer your snitches to be more correct in size, buy light plastic balls from a dollar store, paint them gold, glue on wings, and hang them from your ceiling.
- Letters From Hogwarts: Hang a bunch of letters from your ceiling (like the ones that Mr. Dursley wouldn’t let Harry open.)
- Enchanted Ceiling: Cover your ceiling in plastic glow in the dark stars and at some point in the party make a point of darkening the room so that the stars can glow. This could also be used for an astronomy class.
- Broomsticks: lean a couple in odd corners of the rooms.
- Great Hall: If you have the space, rather than choosing one house for your decorations, set up each corner of your party room in the colors of one of the four houses, complete with balloons, streamers, and the house banner.
- Floating Candles: Hang battery tea light candles from the ceiling by fishing line (it’s clear) and turn them on for the party. If the switches on the bottom are too obvious, glue or tape on a circle of white craft foam or heavy cardstock to cover it.
- Herbology: Have a variety of odd looking plants set up in a corner of the room labelled with names from the books and a sign saying Herbology or Professor Sprout’s Greenhouse. Be careful to choose house plants that are not poisonous, or to put any poisonous ones up on a high shelf where they can not be reached and put warning labels on them.
- Moaning Myrtle: Record Moaning Myrtle’s voice from the various parts of The Chamber of Secrets Movie. Leave some blank noise between each clip and play the sounds from a hidden location in your bathroom. Guests will be surprised to sit down and hear Moaning Myrtle talk to them.
- Owls: Hang stuffed owls from your ceiling, some could even have rolled up parchment attached to their feet as if they are carrying a letter to someone. For added effect, scatter some loose feathers around on the floor, and even a couple lying on shelves or on the table.
- Care of Magical Creatures: Try setting up a wire cage or cages with different creatures in such as the blast ended skrewts or the pixies. Change stuffed animals or creepy Halloween props such as large rats to look like the creatures from the books. Put up a sign warning students not to reach inside the cages.
- Gringotts: Have a tall table or a desk in a corner with a sign saying Gringotts on it. If you have a goblin costume, have a helper act as a goblin. If not, have a sign saying closed or out for lunch. Place old metal dishes full of chocolate coins on the desk.
- Umbridge’s Decrees: Make your own decrees from Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix and hang them all up on the same wall.
- Umbridge’s Office: Cut out the centers of paper plates and paint the leftover outside circles pink. Print out pictures of cats and tape them into the pink ‘frames’. Hang them on the walls around a desk. Place all kinds of pink things on the desk.
- Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes: Set up a shop and give out a variety of joke items and toys as the party favors. Create a U-No-Poo poster.
Best Decorations to Purchase Online
- If you have extra money to spend on an amazing party, cover your walls with Flagstone Gossamer like this person did: http://www.britta.com/hogwarts/decor/index.html
- A ‘real’ acromantula, also known as a Giant Spider, would be sure to impress your guests.
- Put this Glow Star Gossamer (or regular Star Gossamer) up on your ceiling for a quick and gorgeous enchanted ceiling for your ‘Great Hall’.
- With some adjustments, this Flaming Table Torch could make a great Goblet of Fire. Even left as is, it would work great to give your room the feel of a castle.
Harry Potter Birthday Party Favors
Best Party Favor Ideas From Other Websites
- I think these Butterbeer cupcakes would make great favors if individually packaged and sent home with the children. http://amybites.com/?p=623
- These suckers look like something you would find in a wizard candy store. http://www.instructables.com/id/Vampire-Blood-Lollipops/
- Send home Hogwart’s ‘diplomas’ after your guests complete their Hogwarts courses. http://www.flickr.com/photos/frostedevents/5237573760/in/photostream/
- Make some amazing edible wands that actually perform ‘magic’. http://www.instructables.com/id/Magic-Edible-Harry-Potter-Wands/
- Have the children make their own spider pops to take home. http://potterpartymania.blogspot.ca/2009/10/transfiguration-class.html
- Print these ties on cardstock and let your guests color them before pinning them to their shirts. http://www.activityvillage.co.uk/hogwarts_house_ties.htm
My Party Favor Ideas
- ‘Real’ Wands: This is similar to how I made wand for my own children. Take fancy wooden dowel rods and carve the tips into rounded points. Drill holes into the handle ends of the wands. Provide the children with a selection of cores for their wands. Silver pipe cleaners can be dragon heartstrings. Red feathers can be Phoenix feathers. Once they have chosen their cores, seal the ends by gluing on a small circle of felt or craft foam. Supply paint, glue, glitter, etc… and let them decoration their wands.
- Wand Carrier Cards: Use your computer to print out wand carrier cards. Include the children’s names, ages, and blank spaces to fill in wand length, wood type, and wand core. Leave a space for them to sign their cards. Once they are finished, cover them with contact paper or clear packing tape.
- Stuffed Familiars: Stuffed rats, cats, toads, or owls would make great party favors.
- Photos: Set up a booth or display complete with props and costumes for individual or group photos of the children. These can be printed immediately (or use a Polaroid camera) and added to the favor bags.
- Chocolate or Candy Snitches: – Wrap round chocolates or gumballs with gold foil and attach gold leaves made of paper or craft foam.
- Blood Worms: If you are setting up any potion jars as decorations (such as a Professor Snape’s Potion Ingredients), a really neat favor to send home would be a small jar of ‘blood worms’. Fill small baby food jars and send them home as favors. Find the recipe here: http://www.theidearoom.net/2009/09/jell-o-blood-worms.html
- Soaps: Make frog, rat, broomstick, or other wizard item shaped soaps. You can use candy molds from a craft supply store.
- Dragons: Spray paint plastic Easter eggs, the kind that open in half, with gold or rock textured spray paint. Put toy dragons inside.
- Placemats: Make placemats with house badges printed or painted on them. Include the words that the Sorting Hat sings for each house. Cover them in contact paper and send them home with the children after the party.
- Quills: Attach large feathers to pens with hot glue to give out as quills.
Best Party Favors to Purchase Online
- These Harry Potter Bandz would be great as party favors or they could even be worn as a creative way of separating guests into the four houses.
- This is the exact same Chocolate Frog Mold that I used to create my Chocolate Frog favors and they turned out amazing, very realistic. When filling with chocolate, tap the mold to remove air bubbles.
- Order these cute Pen Quills and after the Hogwarts classes are over, let the guests keep them.
- What is a Harry Potter party without Bertie Bott’s Every Flavor Beans? Buy them individually or By The Case.
- A lot of great favors can be stuffed into a pinata and this Yellow Lightning Bolt definitely fits the theme!