A Harry Potter Family Birthday Dinner

Hello wizards and muggles.

I am the only September baby in my family. I knew early on this year that I wanted to have a Harry Potter birthday party after participating last year in The Estella Society’s Harry Potter Readalong. I thus created a Pinterest board for party ideas (here). Note: Because we were unable to celebrate the August birthdays of the husband and my SIL, this became a Harry Potter Family Birthday Dinner. When it came to start party planning, I had to haul ass because I had gotten the weekend mixed up until my mum had corrected me one phone call. I went to Target three times, Michael’s twice, and once to Party City, Daiso, and Costco. *sighs…typical Stef* However, I was able to pull it off with a bit of help from my awesome mum and terrific SIL!

I’m really super proud of this partay. This was the first time I’ve ever gone all out for such an occasion! So grab a seat, pull up, and enjoy the blow-by-blow account.

But first! Please play this video while you’re reading the rest of this post.

Raise your right hand and repeat after me, “I solemnly swear that I am up to no good.”

Good.

Welcome to the N to the L Crew’s

(source)

DECORATIONS

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I found vinyl tablecloths in the house colors at Party City. They were really cheap, about $1.99 each. I asked my SIL to layer them over one another on the tables. She did an excellent job.

This brick one you see here, I ordered for $14 from Amazon. My mum cut the long piece into pieces (There is actually some leftover.) to cover these tables.

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The house banners are printed out from here. I used white cardstock that I had on hand for card-making to print out these shields.

I saw this idea here and knew I had to do this for our bathroom mirror!

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I bought the cheapest, red lipstick I could find at Target and used that. Now I need to get it off, LOL. Any tips?

I saw this example on Pinterest and so created one on Word with cardstock. It was too late to order a vinyl decal for the Porcelain King.

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I would have loved to put on Moaning Myrtle but I wasn’t sure if my toddler niece and nephew would get freaked out. That’s why there are no scary decorations.

When I saw #23 in this pin, I knew I had to do it!

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People used real envelopes to make the flying envelopes. I didn’t have any and didn’t want to waste paper so I copied/pasted the image of the back of an envelope from here. I was able to fit three to an 8.5 x 11 piece of cardstock. Then I was faced with the challenge of hey, it’s Friday night before the party; I don’t have time to hand-address all 18! To solve that, I created another Word doc with Harry Potter’s Under the Cupboard address, aligning the text in the center. I printed out a dummy copy to see how they placed. I made minor adjustments and then refed all of the printed out envelopes to print on the other side.

Now you can’t have a Harry Potter party without wands, right?

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I followed this link’s instructions. I bought cheap chopsticks from Daiso, the kind that you get eating at a sushi restaurant. I used a mini, hot glue gun to glue down beads we had at home. There were alphabet ones in the stash so each wand was labeled with a person’s name and a heart. I combined gold and Raw Umber acrylic paint together to paint the wands. They were sealed with Krylon Crystal Clear. If you make these, I would advise you to not start the day before the party. The paint didn’t dry quickly for me and it was a warm day in the east bay. I gave it at least five hours before spraying the Krylon.

GRUB

Many of the Harry Potter ideas I looked at had named dishes going with the theme. So I went with that, creating a table with Word – typing in the names. I printed out the cardstock and cut them apart. I also used my calligraphy stamp set for the embellishments.

Appetizers

Through one pin, I saw someone had a dish called Kreacher’s French Onion Soup.

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My mum talked about the French Onion soup she had made once when she had company over for dinner. I asked her to make it for the party.

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I think I’ve mentioned this recipe before in a What’s Cookin’ Good Looking? post. I actually had sharpened my knives beforehand and of course cut a finger. After washing the blade, my mum took over.

Because our monthly family dinners are potluck, I asked my pregnant SIL to bring a hot spinach dip:

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I don’t know what recipe she used but it was good and different from what we’ve had in the past. Cupcake and Jellybean give it a thumbs up.

Main Dishes

I used this recipe to make the Shepherd’s Pie.

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The first time I made it in a casserole dish. I used the slow cooker for the party because I didn’t have room in the oven. I doubled the contents but probably didn’t have enough potatoes. However, it was still good. Kid approved.

I thought it fitting to make this recipe for the party since Hogwarts is filled with wizards from different cultures:

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Next time though, I would use stew meat. I had this in the oven for a couple of hours, using Costco beef chuck that was cut for Carne Asada so the meat really broke down and sucked up the broth. However the flavors were there and really tasty.

SWEETS

My original dream was to have Ohana Bakeshop make the Harry Potter cake, but I asked her too late as she was already booked up. Plan B was to bake the cake Hagrid brought Harry on the island. However, time was short so I made these cupcakes (this recipe) instead.

I used this idea from here to make the Quidditch posts. I bought yellow pipe cleaners from Michael’s and the straws are from Daiso. Here is the link where you can print out wings for the snitches and how to assemble them. My daughters put them together. The cupcakes were lemonylicious!

Some time ago I researched desserts that were eaten in the UK. Victoria Sponge Cake is a popular one. I asked my mum to make it:

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I had sent her two recipe links and she used one. I never knew it was made with jam inside. It was a winner!

What is a Harry Potter party without Bertie Bott’s Every Flavor Beans?

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No, I didn’t actually buy those on Amazon. I was worried vomit and booger would actually taste vile. I found Jellybelly’s jellybeans at Target in the packaged candy aisle.

And this pin gave me the idea for this sweet dish:

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The 10 of us had fun among this ambiance while feasting on this spread. It was a magical experience!

As J.K. Rowling once said, “It is important to remember that we all have magic inside of us.”

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Mischief managed!

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32 thoughts on “A Harry Potter Family Birthday Dinner

  1. I love this!!!! You did a fantastic job! How fun must that have been to plan and then finally enjoy with your family? I love a good theme party and this looks amazing! Now I want to have a Harry Potter themed party. Lol. Happy belated birthday!

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  2. This is AMAZING! You are clearly a party-planning wizard. 😉 I love how you captured soo many great details. This entire post brought a huge smile to my face. I’m currently re-reading (er, I guess technically I’m listening this time around) to the books, and I’ve been reminiscing on my too-short trip to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter last fall.

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  3. This is awesome!!!!! I absolutely love all the little details and how full out you did the theme but nothing looks impossible for my uncrafting self. The Tornado’s birthday is the 29th of December so I always try to make some kind of theme that isn’t Christmas. This year you will be my inspiration (though he’s a bit young for Harry Potter) and I’m holding on to all the ideas for when I do get to do a Harry Potter themed party.

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  4. Oh, my! The music is perfect to have on as I read through your marvelous post, Stefanie. You really outdid yourself. That was one elaborate party. Everything was so great! Perfect decorations and EXCELLENT food! Wowl. All your guests must have enjoyed it to the max. What a production!! WONDERFUL!

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  7. oh my gosh, you are the coolest mom ever fro throwing such an amazing HP party!! I love the snitch cupcakes, and the wands are so impressive. Every details is so amazing!

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