At our home, we LOVE Pinterest. All caps kind of love! Many times the Pinterest ideas I heart are WAY out of my league though. But still my girls and I pin away, hoping one day we’ll gain enough DIY levels to finally tackle those project bosses. Until then, we stick to the easier DIYs, like printing and cutting out! We’ve had a couple Harry Potter themed parties and since Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them just came out (and was completely amazing!!), Cherry wanted to celebrate her birthday with another Hogwart’s party. This one I think was our most successful to date so I thought I’d share a little of what we did for those of us who aren’t so DIY savvy (or perhaps are but just don’t have the time!)
For the Hogwarts School Section of the party, Cherry wanted to bake some sorting hat cupcakes like these awesome ones with m&ms inside. Those were hella complicated and way outside my skill set. Instead we did something more like these by Sugar Bean Bakers. Obviously ours are still not even that fancy, but Cherry was so happy with the way they turned out because she helped make them all, so I’ll take that as a win over having the perfect cupcakes.
Easy Sorting Hat Cupcakes (for the level 1 DIYer 😉 )
- Chocolate Cake Mix (don’t forget your eggs, oil, and water)
- Vanilla Frosting
- Chocolate Frosting
- Multipack Food Coloring (Red, Yellow, Green, and Blue! So perfect!)
- Ziploc Bags
- Cupcake wrappers
- Cupcake Toppers (plus tooth picks and double-sided tape if you’re printing your own)
Make the cupcakes according to the package directions. While the cupcakes are baking download, print, and start assembling your toppers. You’ll need a printout, toothpicks, and double-sided tape. Here’s the print we used: Hogwarts Cupcake Toppers . After they’ve printed, cut them out. You’ll need 2 circles per topper. On the wrong side, apply double-sided tape, put one toothpick tip in the center of the topper and apply the other side of the topper. So easy peasy I had the student witches do this!
While letting the cupcakes cool, take out 4 ziploc bags and fill them each with 1/4 of the vanilla icing. Add 12-15 drops of food coloring to the bags, one for each house: red/Gryffindor, yellow/Hufflepuff, green/Slytherin, blue/Ravenclaw. Close the bag and mix/mash well (this part is great for the students as well). Once cupcakes are cooled, cut out a hole in the center of each cupcake. Snip off a corner of the ziploc bag to create a make-shift icing bag and fill the cupcakes with each color while snacking on the cake holes you just cut out. If you’re baking 24 cupcakes you should have 6 of each color for each of the houses.
Next fill another bag with chocolate icing and cover the cupcakes, swirling the frosting so that the inner frosting is completely hidden. Finish them off with your cupcake toppers and admire! Now, you need a sorting hat. You can certainly buy one if you’re planning on having many Harry Potter Parties to come or make one if you’re DIY savvy and/or have the time. If not, great! Just print out this Sorting Hat Coloring Page, have your Harry Potter fan color it in and stick it to a frame base with some wall mount putty (so that you don’t have to hunt down an empty frame!)
Simple Harry Potter Snacks and Labels
Definitely get your Harry Potter fan to help you out here too, it makes it 10 times easier! Many of our ideas came from Pinterest: like Professor Sprout’s Veggie Garden, the Witch’s Brooms, and the Hufflepuffs. We also printed out these wings for the Golden Snitches which use either gold packaged Lindor Truffles or Ferrero Rocher chocolates. Then we just found some other easy snacks, like jelly beans, popcorn, and candy canes. After trying 4 different Butter Beer recipes from Pinterest over the past year, this Hogsmeade’s Finest Butter Beer has been our favorite. We changed up 2 things this time and loved it even more! The first was to trade out the Werther’s Originals for some Butterscotch Topping and the second was to add about 1 1/2 C milk after taking the butter beer off the heat, both to cool it quicker and to tone down the sweetness. We topped if off with whipped cream and it was oh so decadent!
To make all the signs I popped online and downloaded the Magic School and Parry Hotter free fonts and installed them (I got the others while I was at it, but didn’t use them here). Then I could simply type up the sign names, set the font, and print! I cut them out and attached them to some leftover yellow-patterned scrapbook paper, though you don’t really need that (I just thought it was a great way to make the party more Hufflepuff themed!) I folded some white card stock into a triangle and taped it to the back of the little sign to make them stand up on their own.We also used yellow plates and cups to fill up with the veggies and popcorn, and had black napkins (all from the dollar store) to continue the Hufflepuff theme.
Yellow and black crepe streamers and balloons along with these simple star gift bags were scored from the dollar store as well. You could pick colors from all the houses or just the house that your Harry Potter fan belongs to like we did here, the dollar store typically has all the house colors (red, yellow, green, blue, and black) so it’s super cost effective pick these simple items up there. Cherry’s awesome Hufflepuff banner and Harry Potter books finished off the simple decor. Last but not least, we printed up some fun House Crests, Hogwarts coloring sheets, and activity sheets. Our party ended up super chill, they watched the first movie (always a great idea!), opened gifts, played charades, and chatted a ton (preteens 😉 ).
Great Harry Potter Printables for Tweens
- Hogwarts Crest
- Gryffindor Crest
- Hufflepuff Crest
- Slytherin Crest
- Ravenclaw Crest
- Spells Crossword Puzzle
- Harry Potter Word Search
- Hogwarts Motto Challenge
One last thing I did was to print out a guest sheet that let each ‘student’ write their name, the house they were sorted in, their pet, and their favorite class. I typed up and printed a list of the Hogwart’s Curriculum so they had some classes to choose from. It ended up being an activity all in itself as our wizarding girls discussed what each class was (mostly to explain them to our muggle guests) and what would happen in certain classes. Plus the guest sheet was great for the girls to look over and see where everyone would be in Hogwarts! We spent hardly anything on the party (about $10 at the dollar store and then about $25 for the food) and just 3 hours of prep time for everything, including the baking. Plus, I think Cherry and Apple had almost as much fun prepping for the party as they did throwing it! We’re pretty relaxed when it comes to hosting parties. What kinds of parties do you like to throw? How far do you go for your party?