top of page


When Adam turned 10, I knew I wanted to throw him the most magical Harry Potter themed Birthday Party that I could imagine. Having read all the HP books and seen all the movies repeatedly, I wanted to transport our guests to the Wizarding World and give them a truly authentic experience. Due to the scale of the project, no simple Party Hall would do, and so my sister graciously agreed to allow me to use her large basement. I started planning a year in advance, researching to find ways to creatively fit my vision into my budget. Thanks to Pinterest, Etsy downloads, printables and affordable generic ink for my trusted printer, I was able to assemble a lot of the props and decorations myself.

As I made the invitation list, I made sure to reach out to each parent. I wanted to make sure that everyone had at least read or seen the first installment of the franchise. This way I could really impress them with my decorative skills and build up the suspense as they disembarked from the Hogwarts Express. I had one dad call me a few weeks later to thank me for getting his daughter to read more, it seems she couldn't get enough of Harry, Ron and Hermione...Win...Win!!!



What better way to set the tone and build up the anticipation than by sending Hogwarts letters via Owl Post. No attention to detail was spared and I even went as far as getting a description of each room in the address for each guest. Adam's classmates were already huge Harry Potter fans so I snuck into class while they were off to lunch, placed a letter on each desk and left a huge stuffed owl for them to find when they returned. Adam said they were bowled over and thoroughly tickled by the Owl Delivery...tee hee!!! Hogwarts Diplomas were also presented to each child at the end of the night as a keepsake.


The biggest challenge to truly evoke the feel of this magical world was covering the walls. I used two types of paper, a "Reclaimed Brick" and "Flagstone" to define the spaces. Unfortunately, I did not have any help when the walls were going up and it was really difficult manipulating those 4' x 50' reams of Bulletin Board Art Paper, but I pushed through, and the results were amazing! I prepped the walls with painter's tape at the borders or anywhere I needed to place the double sided mounting tapes to prevent damage.

Platform 9 3/4 was decorated with luggage and everything a young wizard or witch needs for Hogwarts. All Aboard the Hogwarts Express!!!

DIAGON ALLEY, with three taps of my wand, opened an archway in the brick walls. It truly looked like you could step right in and head straight to Olivander's where the wand chooses you. Time to go shopping for Hogwarts!!!

THE HONEYDUKES' CANDY CART could have been pushed by that little old lady from the Hogwarts Express and was laden with delicious treats: Chocolate Frogs, Bertie Bott's Every Flavor Beans and Dumbledore's beloved Lemon Drops just to name a few. That delicious cake I ordered was 3-dimensional and had the shops of Diagon Alley around the bottom tier while the majestic Hogwarts Castle adorned the top. The house ties hung from the sides waiting for the Sorting Hat Ceremony.

THE WHOMPING WILLOW TREE design totally stumped me and I had to call out the Big Guns for help. My sister-in-law is an immensely creative artist in her own right and so I called on her to 'Magic' this Masterpiece for me. Armed with a list of ingredients needed for construction, I went shopping then watched in awe as she shaped this tree with chicken wire, brown paper, mod podge, foam sealant and paint. While I learned a lot watching her technique and helping her with this and that, I would not have been able to pull off this incredible replica of the Whomping Willow and Harry's Stag Patronus. Special shout out to my nephew for helping with the Stag as well.

THE GREAT HALL featured tables representing each house color. Hand crafted centerpieces with candelabras adorned the tables and a Golden Snitch was on each plate setting. House banners seemed to float in mid air. My two favorite things about this room were the Dragons in the Windowscapes and the 'Moving' Portraits which I customized and printed. Once the children were sorted into their respective houses, they donned their Robes and Ties before enjoying their feast.



At 3 pm the doorbell started ringing to the Harry Potter theme song. The guests went to the family room for an informal meet and greet and once everyone arrived we all went to the basement together. Picture the soft glow of candlelight and Hedwig's Theme playing in the background as I lead them downstairs. As the lights went up everyone started Oohing and Ahhing. You know that scene in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory when they first saw the Chocolate River? This is what it reminded me of!!! The little ones were running here and there trying to take it all in! Adam, who was forbidden to see any of the decorations before the party, was utterly speechless. The party was officially started, and almost every parent stayed for the entire event. There were so many attendees, it would have been very hard to corral everyone into playing the Harry Potter themed games I prepared. In all the excitement I completely forgot that I had hired a magician until the doorbell rang and, Voila! there he was! The next hour and a half was filled with magic acts, complete with a Snowy Owl puppet and potions classes. The magician was so engaging, it allowed me a chance to catch my breath and see a little bit of the show. Hiring the entertainer was no doubt money well spent and highly recommended for larger gatherings.



People always ask how me two things about this party: how much did it cost and what did I do with all the decorations. My answer regarding the cost is always the same, "I have no idea and would never even attempt to add it all up!" This was definitely a Labor of Love and I would do it over again and again. I have repurposed a lot of these props and crafts when I transformed Adam's room into Hogwarts and also when decorating for Christmas. Our passion for the Wizarding World ensures that most everything has a loving and meaningful place in our home and in our hearts and it is certainly a decorative theme that will grow with him. What started as just a 10th Birthday Party for me turned into an imaginative, challenging and inspiring project that certainly got the creative juices flowing. I am immensely proud of how it all came together and I even have an accent wall in my bedroom covered in brick!


bottom of page