The Ultimate Harry Potter Party – Party Food, Decorating & Activity Ideas

As many of you ‘Potterheads’ would know, July is Harry Potter’s Birthday month. So it was very apt that I finally share the photos of Emma’s Harry Potter themed Birthday Party. I’ve got lots of great budget friendly ideas for decor, activities and party food, all inspired by the Harry Potter books and movies.

Harry Potter Party ideas - Hogwarts Birthday Party - mypoppet.com.au

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If you’ve been following along, you may have seen my behind the scenes preparations for this Harry Potter Party which took me almost a whole month to put together. Emma is very obsessed with everything Harry Potter so she was very particular about all the details.

Of course I could have purchased many of the items ready-made, but because I like to make things wherever I can (I enjoy the creative process, and am pretty thrifty), I’ve pulled together much of the party decor on a budget.

Emma had some amazing ideas for making the party a really immersive experience, so it was decided that it would be a small intimate affair with only a handful of invitees.

The theme of the Harry Potter Party was based around the experience of being a Hogwarts student, with magical classes, proper Hogwarts robes and a feast fit for the Great Hall. I’ve included links to DIY instructions, recipes and printable resources so you too can easily put together a Harry Potter Party – no magical spells required.

Harry Potter Party Ideas

THE INVITATIONS

Harry Potter Party Invitation Hogwarts Acceptance Letter mypoppet.com.au

What’s more exciting that receiving a party invitation? Well, if you are a fan of all things Harry Potter, receiving a party invitation in the style of a Hogwarts Acceptance letter takes the cake. I created my own printable invitation, included a ticket for the Hogwarts Express, and sealed it all up with red wax, just like in the movie.

GET THE HOGWARTS LETTER HEAD TEMPLATE HERE

SETTING THE SCENE

I must admit that I got a little carried away with this part. I couldn’t resist creating a Platform 9¾ photo wall complete with vintage luggage and an owl cage.

My kitchen as transformed into the Great Hall with a stone wall backdrop, Hogwarts pennant flag, fairy lights and a big feasting table.

And I channeled Diagon Alley with several wizarding pop-up stores including Madam Malkin’s Robes, Ollivanders wand shop, and Honeydukes Sweet Shop.

I dressed as Professor Minerva McGonagall, Deputy Headmistress of Hogwarts, and Emma chose to dress up as Ginny Weasley. You can see her full Ginny Weasly Cosplay here.

PLATFORM 9¾

Don’t miss the Hogwarts Express! Head through the wall at Platform 9¾ to start on your journey to Hogwarts.

Platform 9 3/4 - photo backdrop - Harry Potter Party - mypoppet.com.au

To make the brick wall backdrop I painted a red plastic tablecloth with regular acrylic paint in a brick design. A few shadows and textures on each brick made the effect slightly more realistic.

The sign was painted by hand on a piece of cardboard. I based it off the design from the real Platform 9¾ sign at Kings Cross station in London.

If you don’t have time to paint your own backdrop you can purchase printed brick wall backdrops here.

Platform 9¾ sign DIY - mypoppet.com.au

I finished the scene setting with some old suitcases that I had lying around, (I use them to store fabric in). And at the last-minute Emma suggested that we needed an owl, so I quickly made one with a paper honeycomb ball and some paper plates.

Platform 9 3/4 - photo backdrop - Harry Potter Party - mypoppet.com.au

Platform 9 3/4 - photo backdrop - Harry Potter Party - mypoppet.com.au

Ready to board the Hogwarts Express.

Platform 9 3/4 - photo backdrop - Harry Potter Party - mypoppet.com.au

The girls had a ton of fun taking photos and selfies in front of Platform 9¾. There were a few silly photos too!

As a fun memento of the day, I printed each guest a copy of the cutest one on my mini photo printer. Their mums loved it too.

Platform 9 3/4 - photo backdrop - Harry Potter Party - mypoppet.com.au

Platform 9 3/4 - photo backdrop - Harry Potter Party - mypoppet.com.au

They must have taken a Fungiface Potion!

THE GREAT HALL

As much as a love my yellow polka dot wallpaper, it doesn’t really have a medieval castle vibe. To set the scene for the Great Hall, I painted a couple of grey plastic tablecloths with stone patterns.

Harry Potter Party Great Hall - mypoppet.com.au

I made a black banner from cardboard and glued on a Hogwarts Crest – download a hi-res copy here.

Hogwarts banner - mypoppet.com.au

The table was set with gold paper plates, silver goblets and candelabra. A piece of vintage flocked wallpaper made a perfect table runner.

Harry Potter Party ideas - mypoppet.com.au

I borrowed these candelabra, platters and silver goblets from my mother. She has a cupboard full of old silverware that was perfect for this occasion. If you aren’t lucky enough to be able to borrow antique looking table settings, try your local thrift store.

Harry Potter Party ideas - mypoppet.com.au

DIAGON ALLEY

Half the fun of getting ready for a new school year at Hogwarts is going shopping for your, robes, books and wand. I created a mini Diagon Alley pop-up to help each guest get kitted out for the party.

Harry Potter Party Ideas - mypoppet.com.au

Emma was very keen for each guest to have her own robe and wand to use during the party, and then to take home as a gift. I don’t know what I was thinking when I agreed to that one, making 5 robes was quite a commitment. I think it was worth it in the end, the girls really had fun immersing themselves in the Hogwarts spirit.

GET THE DIY HOGWARTS ROBE INSTRUCTIONS HERE

I set up a corner of the room as a robe and wand shop with old books and knick knacks to help set the scene.

Harry Potter Party robes - mypoppet.com.au

Pop in to Madam Malkin’s Robe Store and get fitted for your Hogwarts Uniform.

Harry Potter Party robes - mypoppet.com.au

Emma and I made a dragon’s egg from an old Ferrero Rocher Easter Egg package.

Harry Potter Party robes - mypoppet.com.au

Emma made a big ceremony of presenting each guest with their robe and magical wand from Ollivanders shop.

GET THE DIY HARRY POTTER WAND MAKING INSTRUCTIONS HERE

Harry Potter Party - Ollivanders wand shop - mypoppet.com.au

Sign for Ollivanders Wand shop was hand painted onto cardboard.

Harry Potter Party Ideas - honeydukes

As you can imagine, Honeydukes Sweet shop was very popular. In fact, I had to re-supply my candy stash twice in the week before the party, as the sweets just magically kept disappearing!

My sister loaned me the variously shaped glass candy jars which made the display very authentic.

Harry Potter Party Bertie Botts - mypoppet.com.au

I painstakingly made several boxes of Bertie Botts Every Flavour Beans with this printable template. And of course no wizarding sweet shop would be complete without Chocolate Frogs. (Kept safely under glass so they don’t bounce away.)

Harry Potter Party Ideas - honeydukes

At the end of the party each guest was let loose in Honeydukes and got to choose some candy as a take home treat.

HARRY POTTER PARTY ACTIVITIES

Every party needs some fun and games, and we had a great time taking some magical classes inspired by those at Hogwarts. Spells class, Herbology, Potions and Flying lessons were all on the timetable.

SPELLS CLASS – PETRIFICUS TOTALUS MUSICAL STATUES

Harry Potter Party Ideas - Spells class - mypoppet.com.au

Time to test out those wands! The girls had fun seeing who could master their wand swishing technique. We also played a game of musical statues where the participants dance around to music and then freeze Petrificus Totalus, when the music stops.

HERBOLOGY CLASS

herbology class - harry potter party ideas

Herbology class was quite an easy activity to set up. Each student planted some herb seeds into their own little terracotta pot to hopefully grow their own herbs at home. It would also be fun to plant a small succulent cutting.

I only needed to purchase some small plant pots from my local nursery, all the other items were from my own garden and shed.

herbology class - harry potter party ideas

The girls were super creeped out by my Doll Head Planter which I found quite amusing.

herbology class - harry potter party ideas

FLYING LESSONS

Emma had the wonderful experience of ‘flying’ on a real wizard broom when we visited Harry Potter Studios in London. In the movie they used green screen magic for the flying effects.

During our flying lessons, I also used a little bit of photography magic to capture the moment when the girls ‘flew’. We didn’t have a Nimbus 2000 on hand so a regular old broom had to do.

Harry Potter Party Ideas - Flying lessons - mypoppet.com.au

How to capture a Flying Lesson photo

  • Have your camera on a tripod
  • Set camera shutter speed to fast setting – over 1/250th second is best for the perfect freeze frame
  • Set camera to continuous shooting mode
  • Get your subject to jump and hold the shutter button down the whole time
  • Pick the image that looks the most like they are flying

Getting the perfect shot can sometimes take a few tries, but the results are delightful. I also printed out a copy of each girls flying photo to take home with them as a fun memento of the day.

POTIONS CLASS

Harry Potter Party Ideas - Potions class - mypoppet.com.au

Potions Class is much more fun when Professor Snape isn’t running the show. The girls loved making some fizzing concoctions and had a great time making lots of sparkly mess.

I downloaded some Wizard Potion Labels from this site and printed them onto sticker paper and stuck them onto old and recycled jars.

Instead of cauldrons we just used empty jam jars and plastic spoons to mix up the magical potions.

Harry Potter Party Ideas - Potions class - mypoppet.com.au

Suggested Potion Ingredients

  • Bicarbonate of soda
  • White vinegar dyed with a few drops of food colouring
  • Dish washing detergent
  • Dried herbs
  • Glitter
  • Rock Salt
  • Flower petals

Harry Potter Party Ideas - Potions class - mypoppet.com.au

Recipe for magical fizzing mixture

  • 2-3 heaped spoons Bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 spoon dish washing detergent
  • glitter, herbs or crystals as required
  • top with white vinegar and watch it fizz!

Best to do this activity outside as it can get really messy.

Harry Potter Party Ideas - Potions class - mypoppet.com.au

Harry Potter Party Ideas - Potions class - mypoppet.com.au

HARRY POTTER PARTY FOOD

You can’t have a party without party food! I was inspired by some of the food described in the books and movies, and created some easy recipes worthy of a Great Feast.

Harry Potter Party Food ideas

Clockwise from top left – Pensive Jelly, Pumpkin pasties, Fruit platter, Chocolate golden snitches, Butterbeer cupcakes, Treacle Tart.

Harry Potter Party Food – click links for the Recipes

Butterbeer Cupcake recipe - mypoppet.com.au

Butterbeer Cupcakes – Inspired by the famous Wizarding Drink, Butterbeer!

Harry Potter Savoury Pumpkin Pasties on a silver platter - mypoppet.com.au

Pumpkin Pasties – Just like the ones on the Hogwarts Express Food Trolley

East Treacle tart recipe - mypoppet.com.au

Treacle Tart – Harry Potter’s favourite food!

THE CAKE

I’ve always been so fond of the scene in the first movie where Hagrid tells Harry he is a wizard, then presents him with a clumsily, but lovingly made, and slightly squashed birthday cake. It’s a really sweet moment, and Harry appreciates it so much because it’s the first birthday cake he’s ever had.

Harry potter Birthday cake - Hagrid - mypoppet

Emma deliberated for a long time about her Birthday cake. She had seen some very fancy ones on Pinterest which I don’t think I could have executed very successfully, so I’m glad she finally settled on Hagrid’s one.

The skill level required was very low – I used a packet cake mix and frosted it with some basic butter icing. I put it in a white cake box, just like in the movie, but I don’t think anyone got the reference.

Harry Potter birthday cake

Harry potter Birthday cake - Hagrid - mypoppet

Emma LOVED her Harry Potter party and I must say, I really enjoyed organising this for Emma’s birthday, maybe a little bit too much!

I’m hoping she’ll remember it for many years to come. It’s been a few months since the actual party and she is still enjoying her robes and wand.

The signs for Platform 9¾, Honeydukes and Ollivanders now decorate her room, and the backdrops were donated to Emma’s drama teacher for use in the drama room.

If you are a Harry Potter fan you may also enjoy the following posts:

I hope I’ve inspired you with my creative Harry Potter Party craft, decor, food and activity ideas. If you have any questions leave a comment below and I’ll answer back as soon as my Time Turner allows.


4 Comments

  • Priscilla says:

    Wow, you are THE Harry Potter party queen! Fabulous job! I’m sure the girls had a great time. The details are perfect. I think the flying lesson photo is extremely effective, but my favorite is the brick background of the train platform. Thanks for posting!

  • Kate Nancarrow says:

    Spectacularis Magnificentium!
    You are a wizard and a wonder to put that all together. I did enjoy reading about all the glorious details. You’ve done some swell parties before Cintia – but you really win your wand for this one. I have a dear friend, who went home to England for his 40th birthday and his adorable parents had dressed their whole house and themselves in Potter Theme, as amazingly and insanely as you did! He is a much loved only child Peter Pan Man. They did a cool thing to evoke the floating candles in the dining hall with tubes of paper and the battery fairy lights hanging by fishing line from the ceiling. That always struck me as genius! One day I will have saved up so many ideas that I will have to ensure my 2yo falls deeply in love with Harry Potter so that I might execute them or some of them! I’ll bookmark your brilliant work for my future self to thank my past self for. Sorry to rabbit on – I just really, really love what you do and that you’re another mum who goes above and beyond for the pure joy and pleasure of it. Hey! You’ll love this – I had my 16yo dress up in a costume I’d made of Duggee (abc kids show which is adorable and you would love if you don’t already Emma’s prolly a bit beyond it!) to be our entertainer at his 2yo’s sister party. It was the best. We’re totally making the most of our big gap between kids there and it’s so surprisingly wonderful. Good golly I’ve written a chapter of an unpublished novel! Basically, yay you! Loved the post.

    • Cintia @ My Poppet says:

      Thanks Kate, I’m glad you enjoyed the post. I’ll be sad when Emma gets ‘too old’ for fun themed parties – but on the other hand, if your 40yo friend is anything to go by, I have many years of party creativity ahead of me!

      It’s so fun that your teen wants to participate in your 2yo’s party, he is a gem.

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