Home-made Harry Potterfest

Home-made Harry Potterfest

Statistics show that the people who celebrate the most birthdays live the longest.

Food

We love to host our friends, but I hate figuring out appetizers or snacks.  I prefer whipping up a meal in bulk, and we’ve found that people love showing up without worrying about dinner beforehand.  Since one cannot survive on Bertie Botts every flavor beans and chocolate frogs alone, we came up with a dinner menu fit for the Great Hall.

Decorations

Front Door: We covered the exterior of the door with a brick-patterned plastic and a Platform 9 3/4 sign that we were gifted to help set the scene.  We left the plastic loose on the side so that people could still get to the door handle.

Music: “Harry Potter” on Pandora.  It played amazing scores from all the movies.

Floating Candles: We put small electric tea lights into hanging glass globe plant terrariums, and we hung them from the ceiling air vents using fishing line and Christmas ornament hooks.

Hanging Broom Sticks: We used the fishing line to hang up three broomsticks as well, one over out kitchen island and two over the quidditch pitch.

House Banners: We were gifted lovely Hogwarts house banners that we hung over the curtain rod using Christmas ornament hooks.  DIY: Print the Hogwarts house logos, and then glue them onto the correct color fabric.

Harry Potter Books: We displayed all 7 of the original Harry Potter books in the living room.  For fun, we added a stuffed animal Hedwig and the card birdcage from our wedding.

Wanted Posters and Printouts: We printed “Restricted Section” signs on some of the bedrooms.  We printed some of the Wanted posters and newspaper clippings to hang on the walls.  We also hung up a Hogwarts movie poster.

Additional fun Halloween decor included a cauldron, a pile of spell books, a spooky potion carriage, small haunted trees, and a couple fall pumpkins around the food.  We put some plastic spiders around the food, too.

Clothes

Celebrating my 28th birthday in style.

We ordered two of these Slytherin robes, and then aimed for a schoolkid style.  I wore a skirt, a white shirt, a Slytherin tie, and a cardigan underneath, plus black flats and a time turner necklace.  Michael wore a Slytherin tie as well, along with an untucked white shirt and a vest.

We asked guests to wear their school colors.  For the guests who weren’t as familiar with Harry Potter, we helped them figure out what house they were in.  “You’re a Hufflepuff.” “What about …” 10 minutes of discussion later… “I think I’m a Hufflepuff!”

Games

Quidditch Beer Pong

We were gifted homemade hoops from our Buy Nothing group.  We set up beer pong the normal way, and then put the hoops in the middle.  During the game, if you sent a ball through a hoop and into the cup, you got an additional cup removed, defender’s choice.

See detailed Quidditch Beer Pong rules here.

Pin the Luggage on the Flying Car

We painted a car onto a poster board, glued on a photo of Harry and Ron, and then printed out a bunch of images of “old suitcases” and other wizarding items.  Everyone got a chance to pick an item, write their name on it with a Sharpie, and put a piece of tape on the back.  Then they were blindfolded, spun around twice, and sent toward the car.  What items made it to Hogwarts this year?

Dobby Sock Toss

In our house, birthdays mean shipping boxes abound.  I grabbed a long one, cut three holes into the front, cut off the bottom so that the sock would roll right out if it made it into the box, and then painted the whole box black.  We have plenty of unmatched socks laying around, so I knotted a clean one up for throwing.  A glued-on photo of Dobby added to the overall effect.  Free Dobby!  Support SPEW!!!

Harry Potter Trivia

We decided on three rounds of 10 questions each.  Then I searched high and low for fun Harry Potter Trivia.  I tried to choose easy questions and hard questions, and also tried to find questions that could be worth multiple points.

We stopped the beer pong about an hour in to do the first round of trivia.  We passed out pens and answer sheets, and announced the questions with flourish.  Then participants traded sheets and scored each other while simultaneously shouting out the answers.  The second and third round came later in the evening.  This was definitely one of the most fun events.

House Cup

We wanted to add a little bit of competition to make the games more fun.  I printed out wizard coins and then created a small bank.  I also printed out deposit slips.  We could ask for “deposits” if we ran low on coins, so we didn’t have to print as many.  At the end of the night, everyone deposited all their coins.  It was really easy to figure out the winner.

Ravenclaw was the house cup winner this year!

Exchange rate: Galleons were worth 10 points, Sickles were worth 5 points, and Knuts were worth 1 point.

Clothes: one Knut for every Harry Potter item (wands included) or school color item worn.

Quidditch Beer Pong: one Knut for every cup removed.  The winning side removes 10 cups, so they get one Galleon.  If it was two teams of two, both winning team members got a Galleon and both opposing team members got 1 Knut for every cup removed.  Unlimited opportunities for earning coins.

Pin the Luggage on the Flying Car: No coins for hitting the wall, one Knut for getting the luggage anywhere on the flying car, one Sickle for getting the luggage within the window, and one Galleon for putting the luggage directly on top of Hedwig.  Only one chance to earn a coin.

Dobby Sock Toss: We glued a coin next to each hole, and that was the payout for getting the sock through the hole.  The largest hole was a Knut, the medium hole was a Sickle, and the smallest hole was a Galleon.  We added a rule that if someone got the sock into the smallest hole all three times, Dobby would be free and the payout would be an extra three Galleons, but no one even got the sock into the small hole once.  Payout only for the first three tosses.

Harry Potter Trivia: One Sickle awarded for getting between 5 and 9 points, one Galleon awarded for getting 10+ points, and a perfect score earned an extra Galleon.  We had three rounds of trivia, so there were three opportunities to earn coins.

It was much easier to play as individuals for scoring purposes, and since there was low Hufflepuff and Gryffindor representation, it made the game more fair.  The wealthiest wizard took home the house cup.

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