The last of my busy October finished up with a Harry Potter themed Halloween party on Saturday (which was technically in November …). I have wanted to host a party like this for a long time, so ideas had been brewing for what seems like forever. But the time or the house hadn’t been quite right the last few years, and so 2014 was when it finally worked out.
The last week of October I worked on decorating the house with various Harry Potter themed decor. I made little areas of the house to represent some different scenes and concepts from the books and movies. There was an owlry, which was made on a whim when I found small feathered owls at Michael’s in the Halloween area. And I made flying keys from The Sorcerer’s Stone puzzle area where Harry goes to fetch the key to unlock the door. I borrowed an idea from my friend, Amber, to open the Chamber of Secrets in our half bath. And some silly paper spider decorations made me think of the acromantulas that live in the Forbidden Forest, so they adorned a window near our patio door. Guests walked through our front door, which was labeled with a sign for Platform 9 3/4. And of course, it wouldn’t be Hogwarts without the floating candles in the Great Hall, so I used LED candles, fishing wire, and thumb tacks to great effect in our kitchen.
Upon arrival, party goers were greeted with Harry Potter music at the door, and we had set out a table for sorting everyone into their Hogwarts houses.
I made a bunch of cake pops, and dyed the batter blue, red, green, and yellow to match Ravenclaw, Gryffindor, Slytherin, and Hufflepuff respectively. The cake pops were decorated as snitches – with successful wings this time! – and each guest ate a cake pop to determine which house they were in. Then they took an appropriately colored ribbon from the bowl and pinned it on their person somewhere. The Sorting Hat oversaw the entire process. Below, Dave gets sorted into House Slytherin.
We had lots of desserts and sweets available (there was some real food as well, I swear …). Here is the display, which included chocolate frogs, Bertie Bots Every Flavor Beans, Pumpkin Rice Krispy Treats, and Cupcakes. We added candy corn for good measure, some savory snacks including loaded deviled eggs and cheese and crackers, and Amanda brought some cute vampire bite cookie treats.
I was surprised by how many folks enjoyed eating the Bertie Botts Every Flavor Beans! I even tried a few myself – sad to say I ate two rotten egg ones … they were the worst HAH! Grass flavor was actually not bad.
I didn’t photograph all the various alcoholic concoctions that we made, sadly. I mixed up some butterbeer (6 oz cream soda, 1 oz caramel vodka, 1 oz whipped cream vodka, 1 oz butterscotch schnapps; then mix a bit of butterscotch schnapps with marshmallow fluff until it is pourable, and pour it on top), which was sweet but quite good. At my husband’s request I made candy corn jello shots – orange jello with whipped cream vodka, pineapple jello with vodka, and vanilla pudding. You had to eat them with a spoon, which is a little sad I guess, but they were still gone by around 9 pm.
I had a large pitcher of SoCo punch – doubled the recipe. This has become a staple for us at parties, and I have even made it at Orkfest once. It too was gone pretty quickly, so I moved on to my third mixed drink of the evening, orange creamcicles. They are so good. I put cute Halloween straws in those, and for those who were interested, my husband dropped some dry ice in them to make them fog a bit.
Hmmm, can’t see the fog well … maybe this is a little better?
And my personal favorite part of the evening was a photo booth. We rearranged our dining room a bit to accommodate this. We hung the homemade frame on the lights, moved the table and setup a tripod for my camera, with a timer setting. And I bought a few silly props for folks to play with if they waned to.
I was really glad I did this because it was a great way to get photos of everyone’s costumes. Folks were really creative – minions from Dispicable me (complete with lights, wigs, facepaint, megaphone, and “Beeeeedooooo” noises), Dharma initiative employees from Lost, Super Mario characters, and lots of fun Harry Potter ones – I was a Hufflepuff quidditch player, Hannah was a Ravenclaw, Jamie a Gryffindor, Amanda was Lunda Lovegood, and another friend came as Bellatrix Lestrange. But my favorite two Harry Potter ones were from our friends Diane and Ben, who came as Professor Trelawney and one of the Hogwarts moving photos (Barnabus, I think he said the name of the guy was) – they are at the bottom right below. Here are a bunch of photos displaying the costumes from the night.
And for fun, I made a small montage of some additional photobooth shots. There were really too many to showcase them all here, but at least you have a sample.
We did take some group photos, and here is what we wound up with.
I didn’t take any very good shots of my Hufflepuff Quidditch costume. I made the robe last minute (last Wed night?), using some stash fabric and by modifying the same pattern that I used to make my Breyna costume way back when. That was the only portion of my costume that I made – I had the white leggings, and I bought a long black tunic and some black gloves, armguards, and shinguards to complete the look. even with more time, I can’t imagine I would have done much differently. The shoulders of the robe are a little wide, but it was an easy costume, and more comfortable than one of my more elaborate convention cosplays.
Well, I’ve droned on about my weekend long enough. It was a blast – thanks to all who made it out, everyone looked great in their costumes!! 😀