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A *Brilliant* Harry Potter Birthday

I may be a muggle, but boy do I love me some Harry Potter. Our oldest read the entire series several years ago. John Paul just began book three and a few months ago, when he asked if we could do a Harry Potter themed birthday party, I’m pretty sure I even scared he-who-shall-not-be-named with my YES!

My Pinterest page got a workout and John Paul and I had an absolute blast putting all this together. Happy 9th birthday, John Paul!

Invitations
It all started with these. At first, I cringed a bit when I mapped all the addresses and saw where we would be driving, but you know what? The benefit that I never accounted for were all the smiles we got. People don’t just “drop by” other folks’ houses anymore. So, to see the sheer joy when we pulled up with an owl and an acceptance letter from Hogwarts was priceless. I got to know some great moms a bit better, we set up a few playdates and happily drove to the next house. It may have just been my favorite part of the party planning. The supply list? White balloon, sharpie marker, twine, invitations and about 30 minutes. I freehanded the owl using one I found on Pinterest, designed the letter and signed Professor McGonagall’s name.

Everything and more to love about HARRY POTTER and all things HOGWARTS. Browse FOOD ideas straight from Honeydukes, FAVORS inspired by the George and Fred Weasley, Hagrid-approved ACTIVITIES, a rocking QUIDDITCH match, free PRINTABLES. a GREAT HALL worthy of praise and filled with good eats and a 9 3/4 PLATFORM to greet your guests. Muggles welcome.

Everything and more to love about HARRY POTTER and all things HOGWARTS. Browse FOOD ideas straight from Honeydukes, FAVORS inspired by the George and Fred Weasley, Hagrid-approved ACTIVITIES, a rocking QUIDDITCH match, free PRINTABLES. a GREAT HALL worthy of praise and filled with good eats and a 9 3/4 PLATFORM to greet your guests. Muggles welcome.

Everything and more to love about HARRY POTTER and all things HOGWARTS. Browse FOOD ideas straight from Honeydukes, FAVORS inspired by the George and Fred Weasley, Hagrid-approved ACTIVITIES, a rocking QUIDDITCH match, free PRINTABLES. a GREAT HALL worthy of praise and filled with good eats and a 9 3/4 PLATFORM to greet your guests. Muggles welcome.

9 3/4 Platform
When the boys arrived, we recreated a bit of the 9 3/4 platform, along with a little broomstick parking for our Quidditch match. One of the moms painted a broom and added “Nimbus 2013” for her son to bring. *love* For the 9-3/4 platform, I purchased some brown fabric, dipped a large sponge in red paint and got to stamping. Just make sure you put a drop cloth down before painting. Fortunately, I took that advice from several other sources. We used an inexpensive tension rod to affix the wall to the door frame. I just couldn’t bring myself to cut the sheet, so we left it as is.

Everything and more to love about HARRY POTTER and all things HOGWARTS. Browse FOOD ideas straight from Honeydukes, FAVORS inspired by the George and Fred Weasley, Hagrid-approved ACTIVITIES, a rocking QUIDDITCH match, free PRINTABLES. a GREAT HALL worthy of praise and filled with good eats and a 9 3/4 PLATFORM to greet your guests. Muggles welcome.

Everything and more to love about HARRY POTTER and all things HOGWARTS. Browse FOOD ideas straight from Honeydukes, FAVORS inspired by the George and Fred Weasley, Hagrid-approved ACTIVITIES, a rocking QUIDDITCH match, free PRINTABLES. a GREAT HALL worthy of praise and filled with good eats and a 9 3/4 PLATFORM to greet your guests. Muggles welcome.

Everything and more to love about HARRY POTTER and all things HOGWARTS. Browse FOOD ideas straight from Honeydukes, FAVORS inspired by the George and Fred Weasley, Hagrid-approved ACTIVITIES, a rocking QUIDDITCH match, free PRINTABLES. a GREAT HALL worthy of praise and filled with good eats and a 9 3/4 PLATFORM to greet your guests. Muggles welcome.

Sorting Ceremony
We gathered the boys together for the sorting ceremony. We affixed a walkie talkie to the bottom of the stool and my husband was our “hat.” He was hilarious. The boys each received a house shirt with the applicable tie. At first, I thought I would have time to design these, but then I turned to Etsy. I printed the ties out on transfer paper using an inkjet print and then ironed them onto the shirts (just inexpensive Hanes t-shirts from Target). Lesson learned here? Use an injket printer, not a laser one. Um, yeah, I learn the hard lessons so you don’t have to y’all.

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Everything and more to love about HARRY POTTER and all things HOGWARTS. Browse FOOD ideas straight from Honeydukes, FAVORS inspired by the George and Fred Weasley, Hagrid-approved ACTIVITIES, a rocking QUIDDITCH match, free PRINTABLES. a GREAT HALL worthy of praise and filled with good eats and a 9 3/4 PLATFORM to greet your guests. Muggles welcome.

Potions Class
I borrowed a cauldron from a neighbor and inserted some dry ice for a little dramatic effect. The boys claimed this as one of their favorite classes. There was an awesome idea on Pinterest to put a few drops of food coloring in each cup, let it dry, then add ice. When the boys came to class, we added “hippograf saliva” (Sprite in a colored bottle) to their cups and each cup turned a different color. For a little extra, we threw in some pop rocks. Why did I underestimate the power of colored Sprite and pop rocks on nine-year-old boys? Total hit. The best part is they really thought it was a potion and it wasn’t until we told them to drink it that they hesitantly took a sip. HA! So fun and so, so cheap.

Everything and more to love about HARRY POTTER and all things HOGWARTS. Browse FOOD ideas straight from Honeydukes, FAVORS inspired by the George and Fred Weasley, Hagrid-approved ACTIVITIES, a rocking QUIDDITCH match, free PRINTABLES. a GREAT HALL worthy of praise and filled with good eats and a 9 3/4 PLATFORM to greet your guests. Muggles welcome.

Everything and more to love about HARRY POTTER and all things HOGWARTS. Browse FOOD ideas straight from Honeydukes, FAVORS inspired by the George and Fred Weasley, Hagrid-approved ACTIVITIES, a rocking QUIDDITCH match, free PRINTABLES. a GREAT HALL worthy of praise and filled with good eats and a 9 3/4 PLATFORM to greet your guests. Muggles welcome.

Magical Creatures Class
Boys love to run, so we gave them their chance in Magical Creatures class. Michael’s had an assortment of mini dragons and jungle animals, so we hid them throughout the backyard and then set the boys off in search of them. Lesson learned? Supervise your 3yo when he offers to help hide the creatures. That little stinker found some good places. It’s a good thing he remembered where they were hidden!

Everything and more to love about HARRY POTTER and all things HOGWARTS. Browse FOOD ideas straight from Honeydukes, FAVORS inspired by the George and Fred Weasley, Hagrid-approved ACTIVITIES, a rocking QUIDDITCH match, free PRINTABLES. a GREAT HALL worthy of praise and filled with good eats and a 9 3/4 PLATFORM to greet your guests. Muggles welcome.

Quidditch
One can’t really call it a Harry Potter party with a Quidditch match, right? Oh, I wish y’all could’ve seen my oldest and I at Academy asking the store clerk, “Soooo, where’s your Quidditch aisle?” After we told him about the match, he helped us find a quaffle, two bludgers and a perfect golden snitch. We made the rules super easy (found from Flax & Twine) and the boys really did pick them up lightning fast.

1. The broom must stay between your legs at all times.
2. Pass the Quaffle from player to player. You can take no more than three steps with the ball.
3. If hit by a bludger, you must freeze for three seconds.
4. If you catch the snitch, you win.

Everything and more to love about HARRY POTTER and all things HOGWARTS. Browse FOOD ideas straight from Honeydukes, FAVORS inspired by the George and Fred Weasley, Hagrid-approved ACTIVITIES, a rocking QUIDDITCH match, free PRINTABLES. a GREAT HALL worthy of praise and filled with good eats and a 9 3/4 PLATFORM to greet your guests. Muggles welcome.

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We used two hula hoops, manned by parents as the goals for the quaffle. We teamed them up by house since we had four boys in each one. It worked beautifully and the boys had a blast. We completely lucked out with awesome, awesome February weather. 65 and sunny, no wind. Y’all do not know how much I prayed for pretty weather.

Everything and more to love about HARRY POTTER and all things HOGWARTS. Browse FOOD ideas straight from Honeydukes, FAVORS inspired by the George and Fred Weasley, Hagrid-approved ACTIVITIES, a rocking QUIDDITCH match, free PRINTABLES. a GREAT HALL worthy of praise and filled with good eats and a 9 3/4 PLATFORM to greet your guests. Muggles welcome.

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Everything and more to love about HARRY POTTER and all things HOGWARTS. Browse FOOD ideas straight from Honeydukes, FAVORS inspired by the George and Fred Weasley, Hagrid-approved ACTIVITIES, a rocking QUIDDITCH match, free PRINTABLES. a GREAT HALL worthy of praise and filled with good eats and a 9 3/4 PLATFORM to greet your guests. Muggles welcome.

Great Hall Feast
After all that house sorting, potion making, creature hunting and quidditch playing, I had some very hungry boys on my hands. We transformed our dining room into the Great Hall. We adorned the walls with the house flags made from felt and I crafted the Happy Birthday banner by scanning in the chapter pages from book one and then adding the letters in different colors. I removed all the chairs, added the table leaf and had them all stand for dinner. It made things so much simpler.

On the menu?  Butterbeer (yum-O!), Slytherin Snakes, Bertie Bott’s Every Flavor Beans, Ollivander’s Chocolate Wands, sandwiches, cookies and golden snitch cake balls by the fabulously talented Polkadots. I know, when I saw those snitches I may have passed out, too. The kids kept asking, “Can we eat the glitter?” And I replied, “Only if you want to see what happens after you do.” I spray painted a styrofoam ball red to act as my quaffle, cut off the bottom and then stuck all the snitches in it. Way easier than making a cake and having it fall apart! Hedwig even adorned the table.

Everything and more to love about HARRY POTTER and all things HOGWARTS. Browse FOOD ideas straight from Honeydukes, FAVORS inspired by the George and Fred Weasley, Hagrid-approved ACTIVITIES, a rocking QUIDDITCH match, free PRINTABLES. a GREAT HALL worthy of praise and filled with good eats and a 9 3/4 PLATFORM to greet your guests. Muggles welcome.

Everything and more to love about HARRY POTTER and all things HOGWARTS. Browse FOOD ideas straight from Honeydukes, FAVORS inspired by the George and Fred Weasley, Hagrid-approved ACTIVITIES, a rocking QUIDDITCH match, free PRINTABLES. a GREAT HALL worthy of praise and filled with good eats and a 9 3/4 PLATFORM to greet your guests. Muggles welcome.

Everything and more to love about HARRY POTTER and all things HOGWARTS. Browse FOOD ideas straight from Honeydukes, FAVORS inspired by the George and Fred Weasley, Hagrid-approved ACTIVITIES, a rocking QUIDDITCH match, free PRINTABLES. a GREAT HALL worthy of praise and filled with good eats and a 9 3/4 PLATFORM to greet your guests. Muggles welcome.

Everything and more to love about HARRY POTTER and all things HOGWARTS. Browse FOOD ideas straight from Honeydukes, FAVORS inspired by the George and Fred Weasley, Hagrid-approved ACTIVITIES, a rocking QUIDDITCH match, free PRINTABLES. a GREAT HALL worthy of praise and filled with good eats and a 9 3/4 PLATFORM to greet your guests. Muggles welcome.

Everything and more to love about HARRY POTTER and all things HOGWARTS. Browse FOOD ideas straight from Honeydukes, FAVORS inspired by the George and Fred Weasley, Hagrid-approved ACTIVITIES, a rocking QUIDDITCH match, free PRINTABLES. a GREAT HALL worthy of praise and filled with good eats and a 9 3/4 PLATFORM to greet your guests. Muggles welcome.

Everything and more to love about HARRY POTTER and all things HOGWARTS. Browse FOOD ideas straight from Honeydukes, FAVORS inspired by the George and Fred Weasley, Hagrid-approved ACTIVITIES, a rocking QUIDDITCH match, free PRINTABLES. a GREAT HALL worthy of praise and filled with good eats and a 9 3/4 PLATFORM to greet your guests. Muggles welcome.

Everything and more to love about HARRY POTTER and all things HOGWARTS. Browse FOOD ideas straight from Honeydukes, FAVORS inspired by the George and Fred Weasley, Hagrid-approved ACTIVITIES, a rocking QUIDDITCH match, free PRINTABLES. a GREAT HALL worthy of praise and filled with good eats and a 9 3/4 PLATFORM to greet your guests. Muggles welcome.

Everything and more to love about HARRY POTTER and all things HOGWARTS. Browse FOOD ideas straight from Honeydukes, FAVORS inspired by the George and Fred Weasley, Hagrid-approved ACTIVITIES, a rocking QUIDDITCH match, free PRINTABLES. a GREAT HALL worthy of praise and filled with good eats and a 9 3/4 PLATFORM to greet your guests. Muggles welcome.

After some feasting and happy birthday singing, we sent the troops over to the party favor table.

Party Favors
The boys enjoyed a little taste of Weasley’s Wizard Wheezes by filling their bags with puking pastels, levitating lemon drops, pop rocks and, of course, wands. I’m only sad Fred and George weren’t on hand to pass them out.

Everything and more to love about HARRY POTTER and all things HOGWARTS. Browse FOOD ideas straight from Honeydukes, FAVORS inspired by the George and Fred Weasley, Hagrid-approved ACTIVITIES, a rocking QUIDDITCH match, free PRINTABLES. a GREAT HALL worthy of praise and filled with good eats and a 9 3/4 PLATFORM to greet your guests. Muggles welcome.

Everything and more to love about HARRY POTTER and all things HOGWARTS. Browse FOOD ideas straight from Honeydukes, FAVORS inspired by the George and Fred Weasley, Hagrid-approved ACTIVITIES, a rocking QUIDDITCH match, free PRINTABLES. a GREAT HALL worthy of praise and filled with good eats and a 9 3/4 PLATFORM to greet your guests. Muggles welcome.

Details
This is always my favorite part of the party. I’ve talked about this before. If party details were a love language, then it would mostly definitely be my top one. I must say that my husband was such a trooper. Every night the week of the party, after getting the kids in bed he turned to me and said, “What do you need me to do tonight?” I love you, sweetheart. Thanks for helping make this party so special for John Paul.

My buddy Jayme, a fellow party lover, had her husband build this for her son’s circus party. I asked if we could borrow it and transform it a bit. Love the way it turned out. Oh, and those “wands” were just birch from Michael’s that my husband cut into one-foot pieces. A sidenote about that table that holds the wands and shirts. My paternal grandmother was a huge lover of books (especially all things Hogwarts) and gave us our very first Harry Potter book. In it, she penned a sweet note. When she passed away two years ago, my parents gifted us this table from her house. In a way, it felt like her spirit was there. She would’ve loved this party.

Everything and more to love about HARRY POTTER and all things HOGWARTS. Browse FOOD ideas straight from Honeydukes, FAVORS inspired by the George and Fred Weasley, Hagrid-approved ACTIVITIES, a rocking QUIDDITCH match, free PRINTABLES. a GREAT HALL worthy of praise and filled with good eats and a 9 3/4 PLATFORM to greet your guests. Muggles welcome.

Everything and more to love about HARRY POTTER and all things HOGWARTS. Browse FOOD ideas straight from Honeydukes, FAVORS inspired by the George and Fred Weasley, Hagrid-approved ACTIVITIES, a rocking QUIDDITCH match, free PRINTABLES. a GREAT HALL worthy of praise and filled with good eats and a 9 3/4 PLATFORM to greet your guests. Muggles welcome.

Everything and more to love about HARRY POTTER and all things HOGWARTS. Browse FOOD ideas straight from Honeydukes, FAVORS inspired by the George and Fred Weasley, Hagrid-approved ACTIVITIES, a rocking QUIDDITCH match, free PRINTABLES. a GREAT HALL worthy of praise and filled with good eats and a 9 3/4 PLATFORM to greet your guests. Muggles welcome.

Everything and more to love about HARRY POTTER and all things HOGWARTS. Browse FOOD ideas straight from Honeydukes, FAVORS inspired by the George and Fred Weasley, Hagrid-approved ACTIVITIES, a rocking QUIDDITCH match, free PRINTABLES. a GREAT HALL worthy of praise and filled with good eats and a 9 3/4 PLATFORM to greet your guests. Muggles welcome.

With some inexpensive yard stakes from Home Depot, a quick coat of black paint and a silver paint pen, I transformed these into directional signs with our favorite Hogwarts hotspots.

Everything and more to love about HARRY POTTER and all things HOGWARTS. Browse FOOD ideas straight from Honeydukes, FAVORS inspired by the George and Fred Weasley, Hagrid-approved ACTIVITIES, a rocking QUIDDITCH match, free PRINTABLES. a GREAT HALL worthy of praise and filled with good eats and a 9 3/4 PLATFORM to greet your guests. Muggles welcome.

Beyond all the party details, the shimmery snitches and the empty butterbeer mugs, a big hug from the birthday boy and a, “Mom, this was the best party ever” was all my heart needed to hear. It was a fabulous day celebrating a fantastic kid. John Paul, you are loved. Happy birthday, big man.

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Vendor Credits
Digital Harry Potter Tie Transfers: Chickadee Digital
Cookies, Cake Pops: Polkadots
Potion bottle printables: Over the Big Moon (free!)
Water bottle printables: Over the Big Moon (free!)

86 Comments

  1. Bonnie on February 19, 2013 at 7:45 am

    Holy Schmoly, Kathryn! That party was Magical! (And I’m being corny but also sincere.) You did an amazing job. Wow. You set the standard very high, my friend.

    • Kathryn on February 19, 2013 at 8:40 am

      Bonnie, your friend and her post provided some AWESOME inspiration. Thank you for sharing it many months ago!

      • Bonnie on February 19, 2013 at 2:28 pm

        Oh good! I’m glad that was helpful. I’ll have to pass that on to my friend, I know she’ll be happy to hear that.

  2. Michele Jacobs on February 19, 2013 at 8:12 am

    Wow! I know I am way too old for a Harry Potter party, but can you throw me one? This is amazing!

  3. Michelle F. on February 19, 2013 at 8:36 am

    Fantastic party! How loved your son must feel that you gave so much effort on his behalf. Now, can you please do a HDYDI on where you find the time to plan and create such wonderful party in such a busy life?! (Seriously…I’m not kidding.) You must have non-stop energy!

    • Kathryn on February 19, 2013 at 8:39 am

      Um, some seriously late nights is my only secret. It took a few days to recover but I am SO hoping another child wants this party. Next time would be a breeze! Pinterest and I became BFFs. At one point, I just had to stop because there were so many awesome ideas. It’s not often that I love the theme as much as my kids. Harry Potter renewed the wonder of reading to two of my boys. A priceless gift. So, while it was work it didn’t feel that way. I felt like a kid again 🙂

  4. Kathryn Cunningham on February 19, 2013 at 8:55 am

    I subscribed to your blog because of your Johnny Manziel post. It was wonderful to see the joy on your son’s face in the photo of him with Johnny Football.
    I just want to give you a big “atta girl” on your efforts for John Paul’s birthday party. You did a fantastic job and it all came from the love in your heart. Congratulations on a job well done.

    • Kathryn on February 19, 2013 at 8:03 pm

      How could I forget you?! Thank you, it was such a fun, fun day.

  5. Nicole on February 19, 2013 at 9:01 am

    Seriously AMAZING! What a fantastic party. I was so looking forward to this post, and it was beyond all expectations. Way to go, Mom! He will remember this party forever.

  6. Bea on February 19, 2013 at 9:06 am

    My favorite party to date so far! It was just perfect!

  7. Connie Hayley on February 19, 2013 at 10:11 am

    When your kids are all in their 50s & 60s – they will remember the fantastic parties their fantastic Mom always managed to pull off! You amaze me still! <3 ya

  8. Victoria Falls on February 19, 2013 at 10:23 am

    I’m a big HP geek, so naturally I shed a little tear at the love poured into this amazing party. I especially loved the sorting, such a neat and I’m sure super fun touch! Wow oh wow. You made me want and need to reread my favorite books. So wish I could have joined in the fun. Great Job Team Whitaker! Is there a potion to make us into party superstars!? I loved JP’s reaction, so sweet. Thanks so much for sharing! btw, what/where is teh recipe for butterbeer!!!? CIao bella.

    • Kathryn on February 19, 2013 at 8:06 pm

      Victoria, if I could whip up a potion for HP, I totally would. Our hand at butterbeer (well, my mom’s!) turned out awesome. I found these top 10 recipes on yahoo and went with the first one. I used a butterscotch/carmel blend of syrup and I think that made the difference. We hardly had any left! http://voices.yahoo.com/harry-potter-top-10-butterbeer-recipes-473697.html

  9. Gabriel on February 19, 2013 at 11:22 am

    MAN OH MAN!!! that is AWESOME i think when we have kids we may need to hire you to assist us since you will have few left for yours 😀

    • Kathryn on February 19, 2013 at 5:21 pm

      You know where to find me. I’d love it!

  10. Dee and Betty Farnum on February 19, 2013 at 1:50 pm

    Happy Birthday John Paul……….looks like you had a awesome party…loved the pictures….love you and God Bless You!!!!

  11. Mary Lee on February 19, 2013 at 4:25 pm

    So I started blog stalking you when you posted your open letter to Johnny Football, as I am a huge aggie football fan. I have now decided we need to be best friends. What a fabulous party! I am a HUGE HP fan!! I may or may not have sent this link to my husband so he knows what my expectations are for my 30th birthday coming up this year! 🙂

    • Kathryn on February 19, 2013 at 5:20 pm

      Friends, indeed. You love my two favorite things! I hope your 30th birthday is spectacular. And, thanks for stalking. Happy to have you here.

  12. Katie on February 19, 2013 at 7:56 pm

    I’m dying! DYING!! I love it! My birthday is in June, please come replicate this for me?

    • Kathryn on February 19, 2013 at 8:04 pm

      Katie, please tell me your bday is June 11. Please? I’m a June baby, too. We do love our parties 🙂

  13. 7 Quick Takes Friday (vol. 208) : Conversion Diary on February 22, 2013 at 12:21 am

    […] one saving grace here is that my children have not yet been to one of my friend Katherine Whitaker’s kids’ parties. If an invite shows up in the mail, I’ll check the “politely decline” box, and […]

  14. 7 Quick Takes: It’s February Already? on February 22, 2013 at 5:46 am

    […] Harry Potter, baby! I finally blogged about our 9-year-old’s big day. To say it was the most fun party ever may be true. Quidditch, edible glittery snitches and pop rock potions made for one fun day. The birthday boy and I had a grand time putting it together. Mischief managed. Maybe. […]

  15. Stephanie on February 22, 2013 at 8:32 am

    WHAT! This is insane! I found this post from Jen Fulwiler’s Quick Takes this week, in which she described your superior birthday parties, and boy do you deliver, Kathryn! The snitch cake pops, the invitations, the cute little cupcakes…love it all. Have a good weekend!

  16. Ellen Thrifty & Chic Mom on February 22, 2013 at 10:13 am

    There are no words pinned it and put other mothers to shame 😉

  17. Charlotte on February 22, 2013 at 10:16 am

    What great fun! We love our birthday parties too and I’ve kind of been a little sad that with all the fun themes my kids have chosen, Harry Potter hasn’t come up yet. Reading your post makes me want to cry in my butter beer, now. 🙂

  18. Beth Anne on February 22, 2013 at 1:54 pm

    2 years ago I went to harry potter world in Orlando and some of the things you had at this party were better than some of the awesome souvenirs they have there 🙂 Ever since I first read one of the harry potter books I always wanted to play quidditch 🙂 Such a fun birthday party!!

    • Kathryn on February 22, 2013 at 7:33 pm

      That was definitely the best part, Beth Anna. Quidditch was just such a blast to watch. We made so many great memories that day!

  19. Amy on February 23, 2013 at 12:08 pm

    Everytime I read the HP books, I imagine myself somewhere in the story. Well, this party would bring me fantastically close! I love, love, love all of these ideas, and I am hoping that my 15 month old little guy will be a HP fan one day so that I can bring that magical world to life for him!! Thank you so much!

  20. Lisa on March 2, 2013 at 2:03 pm

    Kathryn, I am in complete awe. This party decor looks amazing, and the party so much fun! You should be a professional party-thrower. 🙂

    • Kathryn on March 3, 2013 at 6:01 pm

      Lisa, I’ve had enough practice with all the kids! Thank you so much. I loved, loved throwing this party. Total blast.

  21. Laura on March 11, 2013 at 7:00 am

    Hi, Kathryn! Bonnie sent me a link to your party and said she had showed you my blog post about my son’s HP party a year ago. Now he is turning 10 and I can’t believe it. We are doing something totally low-key this year; I don’t think I’ll ever live up to the HP party of his 9th year, so why try?! LOL. You did a fantastic job on this party. I definitely love all your graphic design touches that just make it look that much more professional and perfect! The Ollivander’s sign is awesome in particular. I totally agree about personally delivering invitations. That was so fun for my boys, and for the boys who were there to receive their owl post in person. 🙂 Anyway, just wanted to say hello and great job!

  22. Carl on April 23, 2013 at 5:33 am

    I found this article whilst looking for other information on kids parties ideas however I have to say, this is a brilliant theme. I particularly liked the invites and the themed bottled water.

    Cheers

    Carl
    http://www.spaceworldplaycentre.co.uk/childrens-parties.html

  23. Caitlyn on June 2, 2013 at 8:43 pm

    That’s really cool, nice ideas there
    I’m turning 15 years old and I really want a Harry Potter birthday party, I just don’t want my friends to think my party’s babyish or something
    Any ideas
    Please help if you can

  24. […] Whitaker is the mom of five and a self-proclaimed party lover. She’s transformed her house into Hogwarts, invaded a bowling alley, recreated Paris and orchestrated a mother-daughter brunch with friends. […]

  25. LAL on July 8, 2013 at 12:08 pm

    So glad I found this! I did a HP party for my daughter last year and spent so many VERY nights working on all the details. She wants ANOTHER this year, (GAH!) but I was fretting “what are we going to do NOW?” Lots of things here we didn’t do last year, so I have some fresh ideas!

    • Kathryn on July 8, 2013 at 2:02 pm

      So happy you landed here, too! I hope your daughter has an awesome party. Love me some Harry Potter.

  26. HDYDI: 10 Party Must-Have’s on July 24, 2013 at 7:32 am

    […] Monday for 40% off from The TomKat Studio. You can pick them up at any craft store or via Amazon. They’re great when making your own food labels or thank you notes. I’ve even used mine to cut out unique shapes for colored banners, crafted from paint […]

  27. Beccah on August 6, 2013 at 4:25 pm

    Wow! Amazing! I am helping my next door neighbor with a Harry Potter party for her 11th birthday, and I needed all the ideas I can get. This helped SO much! Thanks for sharing!!!

    • Kathryn on August 6, 2013 at 7:04 pm

      Oh, good! I’m so glad it helped. It was THE most fun party to plan. We had an awesome time. I hope your neighbor’s party is just as fun.

      Happy planning!

  28. Sam on August 15, 2013 at 10:01 am

    My sister and I are throwing my nephew a surprise 11th Harry Potter birthday party… Your ideas are amazing! I hope our party turns out half as cute as yours did. 🙂

    • Kathryn on August 15, 2013 at 1:18 pm

      Y’all win the coolest aunt award! Have a blast. I bet it’s a party your nephew never forgets.

  29. Mustaches & Ties: A Little Man Party on September 27, 2013 at 7:01 am

    […] set up my Little Man board on Pinterest and enjoyed the holidays and four other birthday parties: Harry Potter, Avengers, Owls and Rainbows. To be honest, I did some mad pinning a few weeks before the party and […]

  30. Milly on October 12, 2013 at 9:38 pm

    Just a quick question. I was wondering how you made the invitations?

    • Kathryn on October 12, 2013 at 11:43 pm

      I used parchment scrapbook paper for the invite itself. The wording came from book 1, Harry’s letter, and I signed Prof. McGonagall’s name. Hope that helps!

      • Milly on October 13, 2013 at 1:00 am

        Thanks a heap!

  31. Lisa '93 on October 18, 2013 at 3:44 pm

    BEST PARTY EVER!! I am making my 5 year old wait until she is 6 before we start reading the first one together (as she will still need help w/ the reading, not to mention I LOVE this series). I only hope she asks for a similar party one day.

    • Kathryn on October 18, 2013 at 5:18 pm

      Thank you, Lisa. I’m hoping another kiddo wants to do this again – it was that much fun!

  32. Stacey Funt on October 28, 2013 at 8:54 am

    THANK YOU for sharing!!!! What a fabulous party you put together!! My son’s Harry Potter party for his 10th brithday is this Sunday and I can’t tell you how helpful your website has been!! the invitations were a huge hit. We dripped wax on the back of the envelopes to seal and tiede to the balloons. I am not going to the full extent that you did but I did get the iron on ties from Estsy and made the T-shirts. We only did two houses since we didn’t want to put anyone in slytherin. We made the wands from the birch at Michaels’ as well. We got a great sorting hat on amazon.com and bought rings for the boys for the houses as well. I am making my signs now. I bought a brick wall covering also on amazon.com that is like a huge plastic table cloth. I printed out a 9 3/4 sign to hang on it and it looks fabulous! We are going to show the first movie at the party. Afterward, they will go through the 9 3/4 brick wall to the basement. We will do the wand selection at Daigon Alley and then have the hat sorting ceremony. We’ll probably think up one more thing and then have food and cake before going outside for Quidditch. The whole party is four hours since the movie is so long. I bought a cake kit for the Hogwartz castle also at Amazon. I got a frog candly mold on amazon as well and will make chocolate frogs. THANK YOU AGAIN. Your ideas were fabulous.

    • Kathryn on October 28, 2013 at 9:02 am

      Stacey, that sounds like an awesome party! I’m so happy to hear the ideas were a help – I copied many of mine from some great sites. Have a blast!

  33. Strike the Date, It’s a Bowling Party! on February 5, 2014 at 7:31 am

    […] birthdays in Texas are tricky. Last year, we were playing Quidditch outside and drinking butter beer. This year school was cancelled because of “snow.” I’m super glad we went the […]

  34. […] Directions to Hogwarts.  Send your guest to the proper place with these signs made out of yard stakes and black paint by Team […]

  35. Patty Probert on March 10, 2014 at 8:16 am

    Hello! I’m planning a HP party for my soon to be 8yo son..I’ve been scouring Pinterest for ideas and your party ideas are truly fabulous! Thank you for sharing. Can you tell me how you made the gift bags? I can see you hand stamped the names but is the tie a printable? I love the tie theme!

    Thank you,
    Patty

    • Kathryn on March 10, 2014 at 8:49 am

      Patty, thank you! I hand stamped the names and for the ties, I used the printables from Chickadee Digital (linked at the bottom of the post). Instead of printing them on transfer paper, like I did for the shirts, I printed them on cardstock, cut them out and taped to the bags. Perfect fit! Have a blast.

  36. Moiza on June 9, 2014 at 11:09 am

    How did you do the water bottle labels!! They are amazing…. really great ideas for my daughter’s 10th birthday party I’m planning. Hope I can do half as much as you can.
    Thanks

  37. A Relaxing Spa Birthday Party on June 19, 2014 at 7:30 am

    […] especially with the littlest spa patron. You may recognize that photo booth setup from our epic Harry Potter party. I sewed some new side panels and the husband cut out a new header and spray painted it pink. This […]

  38. erika on August 4, 2014 at 3:00 am

    WOW WOW WOW!!!!!! This party looks amazing! Do you adopt other muggles? If so, my birthday is coming up! I’ll be 34….but I could always use another mom to throw me a party like this!

    • Kathryn on August 14, 2014 at 2:12 pm

      LOL. I would seriously throw this party again in a heartbeat. I loved it!

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  40. It’s Fall Y’all on October 6, 2014 at 8:17 am

    […] that room gets a fair share of love. It’s been filled with rainbows, transformed into Hogwarts’ Great Hall, loaded down with food for various holidays and we’ve shared some serious Sacrament […]

  41. Harry Potter Party – 20 Ideas | The Party Supplies on November 14, 2014 at 11:06 am

    […] Directions to Hogwarts.  Send your guest to the proper place with these signs made out of yard stakes and black paint by Team […]

  42. Kendra on February 8, 2015 at 6:23 pm

    This is all so beautiful Kathryn! The platform nine and three-quarters entrance is brilliant, and so is your birthday banner. Those little images are so recognizeable!

    • Kathryn on February 10, 2015 at 10:35 pm

      Thank you. It’s entirely possible I had more fun planning this party than all my other ones combined. Long live Harry Potter!

  43. ash on February 20, 2015 at 7:50 pm

    THIS IS MY DREAM PARTY. but I’m in high school oops. Hogwarts shall always be my home.

    • Kathryn on February 20, 2015 at 9:40 pm

      No shame in that. Love us some Harry Potter!

  44. marty c on March 28, 2015 at 3:37 pm

    Wonderful party with plenty of cool ideas. Absolutely love the broomstick parking sign and brooms idea. Nice added touch I haven’t seen before .

  45. […] did rock it out at your tenth birthday party. What fun it was to transform the house to Hogwarts again. You loved the details and helped with each and every […]

  46. Jaime H on May 19, 2015 at 7:37 am

    We are having my son’s 9th birthday party this year HP. I love all the details at your sons party. I know it was years ago but was wondering where you got the mugs you had at your grand fest? Where they mason jars?
    Thanks for your help!
    Jaime

    • Kathryn on May 19, 2015 at 7:39 am

      Those were mason jars! And we just threw another one this weekend. I’ll be posting details soon. Have fun!

      • elizabeth lawlor on September 23, 2015 at 2:07 pm

        where did you find the fabric for the house banners? so awesome!!

        • Kathryn on September 28, 2015 at 8:52 am

          It’s just felt that I cut and made into banners!

  47. Nora @ Savory Nothings on May 21, 2015 at 1:51 am

    This is AMAZING, Kathryn! Can you please do my next birthday? 😉 I’m always embarrassed to admit it, but I am THE biggest Harry Potter fan. I have read every book at least ten times. Yes, ten. Here’s to hoping I’m raising at least one huge fan so I can make awesome parties like this one happen!

  48. […] you haven’t been to Hogwarts, Whitaker style, then go here first for take one (where we played Quidditch, searched for magical creatures and even made our own brew in potions […]

  49. […] and plenty of stunt spectaculars. But we love Harry, especially our oldest. A lot. Just check here and here. This post is all about navigating the two Harry Potter worlds, located in Universal […]

  50. […] at this point I had to stop. Like Harry Potter, the ideas were endless. The cupcakes and cookies (all donated by my favorite bakers) alone almost […]

  51. A Stellar Star Wars Birthday Bash - Team Whitaker on January 29, 2016 at 8:24 am

    […] neck and whispered, “This has been the best birthday, ever, Mom.” Which, after the epic Harry Potter shindig, my day was […]

  52. Hosuni on July 4, 2016 at 3:08 pm

    The luckiest boys ever for such an awesome birthday party!! Did you make the Happy Birthday banner yourself as well? Could you please share how did you make it? Thank you for sharing!!!

  53. Hosuni on July 4, 2016 at 3:10 pm

    The luckiest boy ever for such an awesome birthday party!! Did you make the Happy Birthday banner yourself as well? Could you please share how did you make it? Thank you for sharing!!!

    • Kathryn on July 5, 2016 at 5:35 pm

      It was GREAT fun to plan this party! I did make the banner. I just scanned the first page of each chapter from book one and then printed/cut out. For the letters, I found the free HP font online (a quick Google search should bring them all up), printed out “Happy Birthday {child’s name}”, in a font size that would fit on the chapter pages and cut out. Yes, it took time, but I’ve used that banner twice and plan to use it a few more times, so I felt like the time was worth it!

  54. […] guest left, John Paul looked at me and said, “Best party, Mom. I think it was more epic than Harry Potter.” Highest compliment ever. Happy birthday big man. I would do it […]

  55. Carmen Tydings on March 2, 2017 at 11:10 am

    Kathryn,

    I am going to be stalking your Pinterest board. My almost 10 year old has decided to have a Harry Potter birthday…..next month! I love the idea of the owls! Do you have or would you be willing to share the letter you sent?? Thanks so much!!

    • Kathryn on March 3, 2017 at 1:48 pm

      I am SOOOO jealous! The letter I took straight from book one, just editing a few of the things to let them know when to arrive for the party.

  56. Ana on September 22, 2018 at 12:44 am

    Hi There! Your idea of a Harry Potter party is so amazing and cool! I just turned 21 over the summer and had a Harry Potter 21st party. I had chocolate frogs on my décor table and I actually dressed up in my Gryffindor outfit. Now I have a Gryffindor themed room in college plus my college roommates and friends all love the Harry Potter theme!!!! I really like your ideas and I am gonna print out the printable labels for our college Halloween showcase competition! Thank you,

    Ana, 21, College Senior

  57. 2015: A Year in Review - Team Whitaker on March 20, 2019 at 6:04 pm

    […] posts that cracked the “official” top ten and here they are for your reading pleasure: A Brilliant Harry Potter Birthday, 7 Things I Wish People Knew About Prematurity, A Mom’s Letter to Her Teenage Son, HDYDI: […]

  58. 2014: A Year in Review - Team Whitaker on March 20, 2019 at 9:33 pm

    […] A Brilliant Harry Potter Birthday {thanks to St. Pinterest, this party lives on as my most popular party, EVER} […]

  59. […] lets her children read the books. I’ve shared my love of HP before. Shoot, I even threw my most epic party – ever – in the name of this great wizarding series. It’s true that once upon a […]

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