Harry Potter Day 2015!

Well July 31st has come and gone and once again we had a wonderful birthday party for our favorite wizard!

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This year we had our craft activity and Quidditch going on at the same time: my plan was that people could take turns doing both activities and so neither would end up overwhelmingly busy – ha HA.

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We had four crafts this year:

Dragon Eggs

More than anything, I wanted to make these beautiful Dragon Eggs:


Gryffindor colors egg

I found the idea at this awesome blog, and started planning how I would make these on MUCH larger scale.  Last year, we had well over a hundred kids, which means I have to have enough craft supplies for that many participants.  These dragon eggs are made from Styrofoam eggs and painted thumb tacks.

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I’ve now made several: it’s super fun and I find it very relaxing; and for me, a few packs of thumb tacks and Styrofoam eggs are pretty cheap.

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Enough Styrofoam eggs and thumb tacks for over a hundred is NOT cheap.  Also not the safest.  Also each thumbtack is individually painted.  I considered buying and spray-painting some 10,000 thumbtacks, but ultimately came to my senses.

Ravenclaw colors dragon egg

So I abandoned that idea and am keeping it in my back pocket for a teen program one year, but we’ll see. The one thing I added from the tutorial was the ribbon: I used a plastic crochet needle to thread the ribbon through the middle of the egg, and then tacked over it.  Dragon Egg Christmas ornament!  I’ve tried two different egg sizes so far “hen sized” and “goose sized”.  Both are awesome, but if you’re going to make it an ornament, I’d stick to hen sized eggs, as the goose egg is bigger, heavier, and all-around too much for a Christmas tree.  I also have an Ostrich sized egg that is awaiting decoration, but I’m holding out to find something a little bit bigger than thumb tacks, as I think they will a) look too small on such a large egg, and b) take for frickin’ ever.

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IMG_0260Instead, I ordered an outrageous number of plastic Easter eggs, like you would use for your standard Easter egg hunt.  I spray painted them silver, gold, and cream, bought a TON of Sharpies and glitter stickers, and let the kids go nuts on decorating their eggs.

Paper Roll Owls

Easy Peasy Hedwigs!  It does not take long to gather up a BUNCH of toilet paper rolls, then cut some letter-sized paper in half, get some googly eyes and other decorations and owl it up!  PS – you can also make paper roll minions this way, suuuper easy!

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Golden Snitches

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Every kid needs his own Golden Snitch!  Ours are made out of small styrofoam balls – we had 1 inch ones and 1.5 inch ones – gold tissue paper (because we know better than to trust kids with glitter EVER AGAIN), white paper for the wings (could also easily use white craft feathers!), dowels to hold the wings on and glitteries to decorate.

  1. Stick a piece of dowel right through your styrofoam ball.  You could also stick a very small piece of dowel in each side, but be careful to line them up nicely.  Toothpicks might also be a good option here, although considerably less sturdy, of course.snitch 1
  2. Attach your wings.  If you’re using feathers, you’ll probably need to add some glue.  I’m pretty sure we taped ours down and it worked great!snitch 3
  3. If you’re doing paper wings, like we did, jazz them up!  We used scissors to make the paper more flighty!snitch 2
  4. Now it’s time for the gold.  I saw a lot of similar tutorials online where they dyed the balls with glitter glue and food coloring, or painted them (don’t try to spray paint styrofoam, take it from me: it doesn’t work), but that was toooooo messy for our purposes.  We used gold tissue paper, wrapped it around the ball, secured with tape and twist off the ends. Beautiful. snitch 4 snitch 5
  5. Finally, decorate!snitch 6

Mini Marauders Maps

I think this was my favorite craft of the year.  HUGE thanks to Britta Peterson who created this little beauty AND provided it for free on her blog, Britta Blvd.

Last year, Harry Potter Day was awesome but very stressful, and very prep-heavy.  When I found this printable, foldable Marauders Map, I did a happy dance.  Ready made craft!  It is a tricky fold, so best for older kids and up (or younger kids with LOTS of help).  There’s a point in the tutorial where it actually says “this is the tricky part” – look closely at the pictures provided and you’ll be fine, it might just take a few tries.  If, like me, you’re using this for a program, make sure a few people have figured the fold out in advance, so they can help the program participants.

 Mini Marauders Map

Mini Marauders Map Mini Marauders Map

Treats

I only did one treat this year, cauldron cakes.  I used Duncan Hines chocolate cake mix, and made a ridonkulous number of cupcakes.  When the cupcakes were not quite done, I poked them with a toothpick to collapse each cupcake top, leaving a depression for the icing and making them more “cauldrony”.   I used vanilla icing with food coloring to make the “potions” for the cauldrons.  The cauldron handles are Twizzler pull-and-peels – not what I would suggest, they are not sturdy enough to push into the cupcakes or stand up nicely.  Use red vines or something similar.  Also black licorice looks better but is YUCKY!  I don’t even like the smell, so I used red.  I also made some butterbeer: it was clear cream soda (so happy I was able to find clear this year! last year I had to use pink), a dash of artificial rum flavoring, and caramel flavoring (normally I would use butter or butterscotch flavoring , but I couldn’t find any at my local grocery store – normally I would drive around looking for it, but this year I just didn’t have time – plus, the caramel ended up being delicious), and a little bit of orange food coloring.

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