I was so excited for the April issue of Parenting Magazine! I had the honor of styling a Harry Potter themed birthday party for both the Early Year and School Year April issues!
Being a part of the editorial advisory board for Parenting has been fabulous! When Sabrina James (Style & Fashion Director) asked me if I would like to work on another fun project for them I just couldn’t resist! I will admit, when she asked if I would do a Harry Potter party my first thoughts weren’t all warm and fuzzy. It was a party theme outside of my comfort zone, and a theme I had never done. But now, it’s one of my most favorite parties to date!
If you haven’t yet, be sure and grab a copy of the April Parenting Magazine to see the full spread along with other fabulous parties styled by The Tomkat Studio & Oh Happy Day!
Photography by Valerie Hart.
The party was set out on Harry Potter inspired items like an old steamer trunk, some vintage suitcases, a british inspired telephone booth shelf and a book themed end table.
Candles were hung from the ceiling with fishing line to create a floating candle effect.
Old books are an easy way to stage a lot of the party food/decor. They go along perfectly with the Harry Potter theme, too.
The printable lightning banner, paper ties, argyle cupcake wrappers, invitation, Hogwarts Express sign and food labels/place cards are all part of the Harry Potter printable collection in the Kara’s Party Ideas Shop.
This Harry Potter fill-in-the-blank invitation is a simple download from Kara’s Party Ideas shop. Roll it up and attach it to a white balloon, acting as the “delivery owl” from Harry Potter. Use a black permanent marker to draw an owl face onto the balloon. I weighed down the invitation with a vintage key.
Since children will be watching Harry Potter at the party, provide a fun popcorn bar! This one included caramel corn, original corn & kettle corn. Parmesan seasoning and salt were set out for added flavor. Find the wooden scoops, signs & popcorn baskets in the Kara’s Party Ideas Shop- www.KarasPartyIdeas.com/shop
Cream Soda acted as “Butter Beer” at the party. To create the foaming effect simply add vanilla ice cream to each drink.
Hogwarts Express Sign
Bring the feel of the Hogwarts Express Train Station into your party with this printable sign available in the KPI shop.
Butter Beer Candy Favors
Small glass salt and pepper shakers perfectly resemble mugs, so they were filled with butterscotch candies and labeled as “Butter Beer Candy Favors”. A vintage key was attached to the top of each jar with twine.
If a few simple steps, make these darling owl glasses for the kids to wear at the party.
- Pop out the center eye pieces of inexpensive glasses or sunglasses (available at the dollar store).
Attach white and brown feathers to each side of the pair of glasses with hot glue.
For the nose, cut a diamond shape piece out of orange card stock and make a crease down the middle. Glue the piece in-between the eyes of the glasses with hot glue.
Hanging Key Activity
These darling chocolate keys were made with a key candy mold from the KPI shop & melted chocolate. The keys were hung from a broom with twine. A child held up the broom as children tried to eat the keys with their hands behind their backs or at their side.
Party Activity- Magic Potion Station
Clear plastic gumball tubes from the KPI shop were filled with lemon lime soda. Three small honey jars, also from the shop, were filled with different flavored Koolaid drink mix. Koolaid is perfect because it’s a very light color, so the children can’t tell what flavor it actually is. The kids spooned the Koolaid into their tube of soda & watched in amazement as their color was revealed!
These darling HP inspired printable ties are available in the KPI shop and are simple to print and cut out. Attach the ties to inexpensive elastic headbands and put the ties on guest as they arrive at the party.
Candy Stick Wands
Rock candy sticks from the KPI shop were placed in an owl vase as “Candy Wizard Wands”.
Make this cake with fondant or gum paste pieces, cut to resemble leaves or feathers, and layer the pieces up the side of the cake. This cake was made by the talented Marcee, owner of Dippidee.
Easily make these cute owl cupcakes with vanilla icing, mini vanilla wafers, chocolate chips, almond slices and cashews. The argyle cupcake wrappers are from the Kara’s Party Ideas Shop here.
Golden Snitch Gumballs
Gold gumballs from the KPI shop were put in a jar and labeled as “Golden Snitch Gumballs”.
Golden Snitch Cookies
These were made with store bought banana cream cookies and yellow card stock. Simply cut the card stock into wing shaped pieces and insert the ends of the “wings” into each side of the cookies.
Simply make these with a frog candy mold from the KPI shop and melted chocolate. The frogs were set a top of an open book for added HP charm.
Party Favor- Truth Serum
Cute miniature glasses with cork lids from the KPI shop here were filled with water, mimicking “truth serum”. What mother wouldn’t love her child to come home from a party with this! The tags are part of the HP printable collection in the KPI shop.
Inexpensive children’s graduation gowns look just like Hogwarts gowns! A gown was given to each child as they arrived at the party. The gowns are available in the Kara’s Party Ideas online shop here.
This is what Polyana said about the party- “Lucas is a lucky little birthday boy whose grandma is an event planner. When Lucas turned five, Carol (his lovely mom) and her mom planned a Jurassic Park themed birthday party in green, orange, and brown, turning the park pavilion into a playful “Jurassic Land” display. The decor was right down dino lane, with a fern-covered dessert table and active volcano cake surrounded by dinosaurs. Also loved the themed details, from the goody bags to the dinosaur piñata to the kids dinosaurs hats which later on got them running around acting like dinosaurs. This party was roarrrrtastic!”
This unique SPY THEMED ELEVENTH BIRTHDAY PARTY was submitted by Michelle Paige.
I love so many of the creative ideas in this secret agent spy party! A few of my favorites are:
The exploding bomb shaped cake
The laser beam obstacle made out of red crepe paper
The sunglasses, magnifying glasses (to decipher clues) and Nerf guns given as party favors
Items used in this party available in Kara’s Party Ideas Shop: Balloons Paper Lanterns Cupcake Liners Crepe Paper Streamers Favor BagsHere’s what Michelle said about planning the party- “As my son gets older, parties get a bit harder to plan and organize. This year my 11 year old requested a SPY Party. We went with a black and red theme. Laser beams were created with red crepe paper. Magnifying glasses, dark shades and secret agent notebooks set the scene. The bomb cake was made using a sports ball cake mold, covered in marshmallow fondant. The fuse is black licorice. The snacks were given cool spy titles like: explosives, dynamite sticks, laser hot bullets and packets of adrenaline.
The boys enjoyed the activities of deciphering codes and being sent on ‘missions’ to locate the missing weapons and ammunition (NERF guns). All clues were typed in size 2 font, requiring the use of a magnifying glass. I even put clues inside the fortune cookies. One of the favorite activities was the laser beam training. The boys challenged themselves to crawl through the beams (crepe paper) without touching them. Target practice and free shooting were also hits.”
Items used in this party available in Kara’s Party Ideas Shop: Balloons Paper Lanterns Cupcake Liners Crepe Paper Streamers Favor Bags
This remarkable PETER PAN THEMED FOURTH BIRTHDAY PARTY was submitted by Kenna O’Brien of Miss Party Mom Event Planning.
There are so many incredible ideas in this Peter Pan party! A few of my favorites are:
Both the ice cream cone and the fabric teepees
The embellished Tinkerbell, Indian, Captain Hook and Peter Pan favor bags hanging from twine on clothespins
The desert table that was set up as the children’s bedroom complete with the window backdrop, the bed, Nana, and of course Peter Pan and his shadow
This is what Kenna said about planning the party- “I threw this party for my son after a year of him talking about his “Peter Pan 4th Birthday Party” (he’s definitely the son of a party planner!). He pitched me a lot of ideas, including the cake with flying characters! I love how much he is in to Peter Pan so I really wanted to try and turn our backyard in to a Never Land the best I could. We had a wood cut Scull Rock, turned our play structure in to Captain Hook’s ship, had a water table as our Mermaid Lagoon, an official tee pee Indian Camp, a tarped out Crocodile Creek (with a blow up croc!) and improvised with “Peter Pan and the Lost Boy’s Pub” (the kids eating area). I hand made my kids costumes, (Peter Pan and Tinkerbell) and my son loved yielding his sword!
Some of my favorite decorations were the mini favor bottles, Pixie Dust for the girls and a Never Land Treasure Map for the boys…the kids really loved them and they were the first to go. I hand made all of the character favor bags- which were another favorite.
We had a treasure hunt where kids took the maps from their place settings at their food tables and set out to hunt down X’s, which they then turned in for pirate treasure! We also had a treasure chest pinata full of candy and jewels!
I wanted the entrance in to the backyard to be the Darling Nursery so I designed the dessert table to look like you could be right in their nursery! This was fun. I had a striped backdrop from another party so we hung this up on a PVC frame as the wall and went from there. Our Darling bed had a “cupcake quilt” on it, and vases full of Tinkerbell Wand Cake Pops” and “Peter Pan Oreo Pops” The table focused on the window scene in Peter Pan and I used my son’s Peter Pan plush dolls for this- which he loved.
The sign pointing to each “land” was a combined effort between my husband- who built it, my friend Hannah who did the illustrations and I did all of the lettering. It cost us nothing as we used scrap wood and already had the paints!
“Peter Pan & The Lost Boys Pub” was a large piece of wood set upon some palettes and draped with burlap. My husband cut up a tree stump and seating for 14 was born!
The cellophane rainbow was a friend’s idea and wasn’t as hard as I imagined it would be to make. We put some batting for clouds at the bottom and our ‘Welcome to Never Never Land’ scroll sign in the middle to welcome everyone in.”
Items used in this party available in Kara’s Party Ideas Shop: Burlap Nut / Candy Cups Popcorn Boxes Favor Bags Glass Spice Jar Striped Paper Straws Jolly Roger Partyware RicRac Ribbon
A few of my favorite ideas in this vintage train party are:
The train shaped cake
The muslin favor bags stamped with “coal” and filled with wooden train whistles
The food lined up in containers and displayed as a train car
This is what Jamie said about planning the party- “My oldest turned 4 on St Patty’s Day. I usually start the birthday party planning process after Christmas, and this year he picked trains. This is actually the second time we have done trains (we did choo choo I’m 2, in 2011). I wanted to go for a big boy train party this year so I used ‘Vintage Trains’ as the theme.”