Get things off to a magical start when your guests arrive by covering your front or living room door with a Platform 9 ¾ ‘brick wall’ (just make sure you leave the door open to avoid any accidents from enthusiastic party-goers!)
How to do it:
Get a beige tablecloth or sheet and cut to the size of your doorway.
Use a Burnt Sienna shade of acrylic paint – or try mixing red, orange and black until you have a dark red-brick colour – then dip rectangular sponges into the mixture before printing onto your sheet. Alternatively, just paint the entire sheet then draw the brick lines on with a black Sharpie!
Leave to dry before fixing to the doorway with drawing pins, and cutting a vertical slit down the middle, leaving about a foot at the top.
Now to make your Platform 9 ¾ sign! There are a few ways to do this: either blow up a high-resolution image of the sign, print it off and stick onto a rectangular piece of cardboard; or draw the Hogwarts Express lettering and 9 ¾ circle onto a rectangular canvas, then paint the lettering in gold and the background reddy brown.
Of course, as true Potter fans will have already noted, the sign should only visible once guests walk through the wall! Write ‘Platform 9’ and ‘Platform 10’ onto A4 card, stick them either side of the brick wall, then hang your Platform 9 ¾ sign where it can only be seen once they’ve entered the wizarding world!
Almost every Harry Potter party will be serving Butterbeer (here is a good child-friendly recipe); but why not go one further and make a batch of Polyjuice Potion, too? This one won’t win any prizes for nutrition, but it’s sure to go down a treat with your guests!
How to do it:
For an easy, non-alcoholic punch, put two litres of frozen lime sorbet into a large punch bowl (if you can’t find lime, lemon will work too).
Slowly pour in two litres of lemonade – watch out as it will foam and bubble up, but that all adds to the effect (prepare it just before serving)!
Add a few drops of green food colouring and stir until it turns a lurid green. For extra authenticity, you could then label the potion with these cool chalkboard labels.
We love the idea of assigning each guest a character that they’ll turn into after drinking their potion – give them an envelope containing a character’s name, and they have to act like that character for the next 30 minutes until the potion wears off!
Wow your guests with these fun, sparkly Golden Snitch cake pops – although they do take a bit of effort to prepare, we think this is one recipe that’s more than worth the elbow grease! Just make sure you save yourself one before they disappear quicker than a real-life Snitch…
How to do it:
The first step to creating basic cake pops is to make a plain sponge cake or buy a ready-made one (no judging here). Then make a vanilla cream cheese frosting by creaming together 80g softened unsalted butter and 40g cream cheese, before adding 200g sifted icing sugar and 1tsp vanilla, and refrigerating for 30 minutes.
Crumble the cake into a bowl to make fine crumbs, then add 1tbsp of frosting at a time, mixing it into your crumbs until you have a moist, fudgy and pliable texture. Wrap the mixture in cling film and chill for an hour, before rolling into balls. To make life even easier, why not get this handy cake pop baking kit?
Dip a cake pop stick into each ball, then coat your cake pops with yellow candy melts that have been melted in the microwave for 1-1 ½ minutes. Before this sets, roll each cake pop in edible gold sprinkles. Cut the wings out of white fondant, then cut a slit into the side of each cake pop and insert them gently.
Turn your living room or kitchen into the Great Hall at Hogwarts by making your very own Enchanted Ceiling!
This one’s nice and easy to make, but will make a great impression when your guests look up and see the candles floating magically above their heads – it’s guaranteed to get a few ‘ooooh’s!
How to do it:
First off, you’ll need to buy some electronic tealights – around 10-12 should be enough to achieve the desired effect, but you can use more if you wish.
If you really want to pull the stops out, add fake dripping wax using liquid glue! Suspend from the ceiling with clear fishing wire.
That’s right, you can make you very own Quidditch pitch in your back garden (if you have enough space, of course!) and it’s not as difficult as you might think!
How to do it:
Get six plastic hula hoops and spray them with gold paint, then nail them to wooden sticks of three different heights. Stick these into the ground, three hoops at each end, and there you have it: your very own Quidditch pitch!
You’ll also need three foam balls – a big one for the Quaffle and two Bludgers – and a broomstick for each player. Oh, and don’t forget to make a Snitch by painting a golf ball with this gold acrylic paint and hiding it in the garden! Split your party into two teams (or four if there’s enough people – one team for each house) and choose one person to be the Seeker – when they find the Snitch, the game’s over!
If you want to go all out and make your own trunk to store the balls in, take a look at our collectible Quidditch set for inspiration!
We hope these DIY projects have inspired you to throw your own Harry Potter party! For more fantastic game and craft ideas, visit the Bloomsbury website and download their free event kit for the 2016 Harry Potter Book Night!