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.
Here’s what Patricia said about the party- “This Neon themed party was great because of its colours and light effects. The children had lots of fun with the flashing ice cubes and climbing the aerial fabric. We also used a hair gel and a coloured hair spray for both the invitation and at the party. The use of fluorescent colours made the party bright and happy.”
Items used in this party available in Kara’s Party Ideas Shop: Whirly Pops Candy Sticks Lollipop / Treat Sticks
This is what Abigail said about planning the party- “For my daughter’s 11th birthday we took the party to the local Roller Rink. My daughter wears these plastic neon green glasses just about everywhere we go, so clearly she’s got a thing for neon.
This is the first time I’ve had any of my kid’s birthdays at a venue, and even though it was just a touch tricky on the set up, it can be done, and it is SO worth it! We knew we would be working with picnic style tables, so we decided to style three, separate, fully functional tablescapes.
Since the party was at 10 am, we wanted to give these kids some fuel to skate the day away. We created neon popcorn boxes, filled them with cereal, and added a cute little sticker round to tie it all together. Fruit Skewers and mini muffins were the biggest hit of the day…until dessert. We also offered yogurt parfaits in cute little containers with a washi tape adornment. We went with mini birthday pennant banners for the tables to keep the decor centralized.
Of course this table is always the most popular at any party! We are particularly excited about our handmade Pushcake Stand… this was a huge hit and so easy to make! Homemade Brownie pops flew off the tray (we think its because of the super cute glitterstix). Roller skate shaped rice krispie treats with neon sprinkles was easily one of my favorite things. For party favors, we sent the kiddies home with neon shoelaces and boxes filled with neon sour gummy worms.. yummmm! Each table was sprinkled with handmade neon confetti and it really completed the entire look of the party.
We offered orange juice, water, and starbucks bottled coffees for the parents to enjoy. Neon washi tape on the straws doubled as flags as well as a spot for everyone to write their name on.
My amazing & talented assistant, Amber Pugmire recently threw her daughter a NEON GLOW IN THE DARK THEMED BIRTHDAY PARTY and I’m just dying to share it with you today! All I can say is- WOW, this party is so COOL!! There are so many darling details and ideas that you won’t want to miss!
Party details, DIY tips and full vendor list at the bottom of post…
Amber said this about planning the party- “I had so much fun planning this party for my daughter’s 11th birthday. Nearly a year ago, she found an idea for a Neon ‘Color Blast Party’ in an issue of the American Girl Doll Magazine and was immediately inspired. She also loves dancing, so when I suggested we make it a neon glow-in-the-dark girls’ dance party, she was sold.
Before the party started, we created a “club” atmosphere with black lights, a large rotating disco ball, and, of course, lots of loud music.
When the guests arrived, they were greeted with a selection of neon accessories to put on: socks, headbands, plastic bracelets, flashing rings, disco ball necklaces, and glow stick bracelets. There were also some extra white and neon clothes hanging up for anyone who needed them.
Once the guests were completely glowing, each girl had her picture taken (to be printed out during the party and then made into color pop art).
After that, the girls sat down for dinner. To eat, there was rainbow pizza and neon orange Cheetos. To drink, there was orange crush and lemon water (with lemons that were soaked in neon food coloring). For dessert, there were color blast cupcakes, luminescent cotton candy, multicolor brownie bites, neon sugar cookies, fluorescent push pops, energizing smoothie shots, and of course, neon birthday cake.
After eating, the girls danced, had their faces painted, colored and cut own their own color pop art photos, and had their hair wrapped with colored thread.
As the girls left, they filled goody bags with candy, including rainbow lollipops, candy dots, gummy frogs, gumball filled gumball tubes, colorful candy canes, hot pink wrapped buttermint creams, and sour gummy dots. There were also some shimmery silver pencils.
All of the girls had a blast. It was definitely a birthday party to remember!”
Photography- Kara Allen of Kara’s Party Ideas
Face Painting- Jamie Moffit
Neon Washi Tape- In the Clear
Printable Invitation- Eccentric Designs
Cake, Cupcakes- Dippidee
Disco Ball Necklaces, Light up Rings, Disco Ball / Spot Light- Amazon
Christina said- “Lauren’s 13th Birthday party was truly 13 years worth waiting for! The day was filled with all the things this teenage girl could dream of… volleyball, music, and FRIENDS! I was so excited to see the smile on her face as she and her friends stood in front of the camera with those teenage expressions. The decor was perfect for the occasion. I found the biggest hit of the party, mini volleyballs, at swimoutlet.com. Next, the personalized CDs with Lauren’s favorite songs were wrapped for each girl in a Garnish CD case.
The girls needed little entertaining since they were so engaged in gossiping about the latest middle school news. Meanwhile, they ate pizza in their own personal box and sipped raspberry juice from sweet shop lulu’s glass bottles and stripped straws.
We slowly wound the event down by eating the flavorful cake of Delicious desserts.”
Vendors and Credits:
Event Design- Christina from Something Chic
Photography- Thomas Nguyen Photography
Paper Design- Nellie Leis
Cake- Vickiey from Delicious Dessert
Desserts- Taren from Sweet Petit Desserts
Decor Items- sweetshoplulu.com, thinkgarnish.com, swimoutlet.com
Items used in this party that are available in Kara’s Party Ideas Shop:
White Gable BoxesBlue Striped Paper StrawsBerry BasketsTreat Boxes