Our Harry Potter-themed birthday party

I might have mentioned once or twice in passing that we are quite fond of Harry Potter, both the books and the films. Even the children, young as they are, have been exposed, though always under close supervision, to the first three. Philippa is an avid reader and is making her way through the first book and discovering how much more there is to the story. They are both fascinated by the wizarding world and so we decided that a Harry Potter party for Philippa’s 7th would be perfect for both of them. We kept it a surprise until the week before, to keep the excitement in check. We scaled back the numbers this year and Philippa thought long and hard about who she wanted to have at her party. Not always as easy thing to do, but she handled it all very well.

As for the party, I have a lot of ideas and I revel in the details, but I am also thrifty, resourceful and aware of my limitations! In cake-making especially, my execution falls far short of the vision in my head! Still, we’ll get to that in a minute. The invitations were created by Brian, using a great background image of Hogwarts, a Harry Potter-style font and the Gryffindor colours. We included a password on the invitation – Sherbet Lemons. As the guests arrived, they saw this:

Platform 9 3/4

Platform 9 3/4

We had to recreate the platform the day after the party, as I forgot to take a picture. The two panels of brick-patterned wallpaper should meet up in the middle and the children walked through to get onto platform 9 3/4, just like in the book. Well, as much like the book as I could manage! Once past this, they reached the garden gate to be greeted by the Portrait of the Fat Lady, or in our case, the two Portraits, as both girls wanted to make one! Grandma, Pip and Milly stood at the other side of the gate and took turns to ask the password to allow entrance to the grounds.

Portrait of the Fat Lady, as drawn by the 7 and 4 year olds

Portrait of the Fat Lady

The Quidditch Pitch was probably the first thing they saw, but once everyone had arrived, we sorted them into houses in the Great Hall. We chose Gryffindor, naturally, and Ravenclaw, so the banners on the Hall and on the Quidditch goals are in the colours for those houses. Made by me, surprise, surprise. Brian constructed the Quidditch goals using hula hoops, plastic pipes and black tape. We did have to add more tape as the sun heated up and softened it, but it all worked brilliantly. We decided brooms were just too dangerous, and we had 5 players per side, a soft red Quaffle and no Bludgers.

DIY Quidditch pitch using plastic pipe and hula hoops

Quidditch pitch

The Great Hall, Hogwarts, aka gazebo in the garden

The Great Hall, Hogwarts

Milly and the sorting hat

Milly and the sorting hat

In the morning, Philippa had received her Hogwarts letter, which she thought was pretty cool. She was also given a hand knit Gryffindor scarf and a cape in Gryffindor colours, so she was all set!

As for refreshments, we made pumpkin pasties, cheesy biscuits in the shape of a flying car, licorice wands, pumpkin juice (actually assorted orange-coloured fruit juices), munchies in a cauldron and for the cake I did Tom Riddle’s diary, complete with a basilisk fang! The idea was great, but, as I said, my execution didn’t quite live up to the image in my head! Still, Pip understood and was happy with it.

The game a Quidditch was a blast, even though most of the children knew little about HP. I was dressed up as Professor McGonagall, as I am apparently too old to be Hermione. Mum was Madam Hooch and together we refereed, kept score and did the announcing for the match. Using a Golden Snitch which I knit using gold and silver yarn (pattern available at Knitted Toy Box), two of the Dads ran around the garden and had to be caught. I shouted myself hoarse, Gryffindor won the coveted (Dollarama) Cup and everyone had a great time.

Golden Snitch, knit using gold and silver yarn

Golden Snitch

The little goodie bags contained a vial of bubbles, Bertie Bott’s Every Flavour Beans, Sherbet Lemons and a Golden Snitch, lovingly and very patiently knit for each child by my utterly fantastic mother.

Hand knit snitches for the goodie bags


All in all, the party was a hit. I’ll be keeping all the decorations I made and I’m pretty sure we’ll be having another one in the future.


~ by Pip 'n' Milly Creations on June 6, 2011.

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