Monday, August 12, 2013

Harry Potter Party: Diagon Alley

This is the third post in a series about my daughter's Harry Potter Party. You can read other posts about the Invitations and Costumes and about the Guests Arriving. You can also read about Katie's Hogwarts Acceptance Letter.

Once our guests had arrived, crossed the lake, entered Platform 9 3/4 and had their photograph taken, they entered Diagon Alley to receive all their Hogwarts Supplies. We set up Diagon Alley in the office just off our entryway.

We put our two computers underneath their desks and covered the desks with black plastic table clothes. This gave us lots of room to place our Hogwarts Supplies. I found the signs for the different stores here. I made the Diagon Alley sign by using Harry Potter font and printing the page out on Parchment paper.

We gave each of our guests a small bag of galleons to spend on supplies. The galleons were cheap plastic pirates coins that I bought at a party supply store. They were also given a small gift bag to put all their Hogwarts Supplies in.

They each bought a potions goblet for 2 galleons. I picked up the cute goblets at Hobby Lobby for $1.99.

They also bought an owl for 2 galleons. My daughter and I found the owls at our local Dollar Store.

We were so excited since they were the only "Halloween" type items that they had in the store in the middle of July. The beaks and the eyes on the owls were originally black and difficult to see with all the black feathers so we added the googly eyes and the felt beak with hot glue.

We found the cages at Hobby Lobby on sale for 50% off. They were just $4 a piece. That was a little bit expensive but since the owl was one of their main party favors, I felt that it was worth the expense. The guests loved their owls. By the end of the party, all the owls had names and had even been out of their cages to play with each other a little bit.

We picked up these other owls for our display at a thrift store for $0.50 a piece. They had originally been Kohls stuffed animals (the ones that you can buy as you leave the store to help support literacy or some other cause.) We were so excited to find them. They are perched on a chair and foot rest that are piled up in the corner and covered with a blanket. We hung our Nimbus 2000 that we already had from the ceiling with invisible fishing twine.

The robes on display in Madame Malkin's are some old Halloween costumes that we had. There is even a Batman cape and a vampire cape but you can't tell when they are draped across the chair.

The wand-choosing ceremony was one of the highlights of the party. I got this terrific idea here. I had purchased our light-up cups here.

Then Dumbledore held a cup while each girl picked a wand.

If "the wand chose the wizard", the cup would light up. It was illuminated by a little button that you could push on the bottom. If the "wand didn't choose the wizard" the cup didn't light up and the girl had to choose again. The guests had so much fun choosing their wands.

The wands were made by my son Joseph and his cousin Tyson. They are cute 15-year-old boys that have started a wand-making business on their own. They use only beautiful hard woods. Each wand is unique and different. They make them one at a time using a lathe. They sand and stain each wand by hand. I paid them $5.00 for each wand. They would love to make wands for others at this price if any readers are interested. Just email us at:

Joseph also made this gorgeous hand-carved wand for his sister Katie for her birthday. He has inscribed on it the words, "Love is magic" in Latin. I don't know if you can see it but it is so cool!

He made this wand for his older sister Shannon. She dressed up like Bellatrix LeStrange for the party.

The hand-carved wands made out of twigs are $10 and if you want an inscription added to a twig or a machine-tooled wand the cost would be  $20.

The wands can be shipped within one week of your order. The shipping costs are just a flat rate of $4.95 no matter how many wands you order. The boys have a PayPal account and their wand business is called, "The Wizard Collection."If you are having a Harry Potter party in the future or would like to give your child a quality handmade wand in their Christmas stocking just let us know.

The party guests were thrilled with their wands.

My kids made the other fun props in our Diagon Alley.

Don't you love the Hand of Glory that Melissa created? She put a rubber glove on her own hand and then covered the glove in paper mache.

Once the paper mache was dry, she removed the glove and there was the hand! She painted it and set it up on display in Diagon Alley. We also had posters that the kids had printed off the internet. They put up the time turner we bought in Harry Potter World and then made a remember-all by putting water and red glitter in a clear glass ornament.

Once the guests had purchased all their Diagon Alley supplies, it was time to go to the Great Hall to get sorted. Stay tuned for our next post about the sorting hat ceremony.

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