There will hopefully always be a kid who wants a budget Harry Potter party. The Harry Potter books are too wonderful to keep for one generation. Every year a new muggle discovers this magical series and the request goes out: “I want a Harry Potter party for my birthday this year.”
The good news is, a budget Harry Potter party is actually a really easy theme to pull together. The books are so rich with fun that the games and decorations almost take care of themselves. You’ll see what we mean as we walk you through how to put together a kick-ass Harry Potter party on a budget.
Note that all of these printables are intended for personal use only.
Harry Potter invitation
The invitation to attend Hogwart’s school of Witchcraft and Wizardry was despatched by owl delivery (just pop it into a kraft envelope and glue a picture of Hedgwig on the back.)
You can download and print this completely editable Harry Potter invitation here.
Harry Potter party games
It’s a good idea to make your party into a Harry Potter storyline. This is lots of fun for the kids and it gives you a structure to work from.
The kids have been invited to attend Hogwarts, so that’s exactly what they should do! This is how Max’s Harry Potter party unfolded…
Welcome to Hogwarts
The students arrived at Hogwart’s Castle and were requested to knock three times to be considered for entry.
Download the free Knock Three Times sign here.
Hogwarts uniforms for young wizards
Once their name was checked off the roll, the kids were invited to change into their Hogwarts uniforms.
You can download and print the School Uniform sign here.
You can buy Harry Potter costumes for cheap from places like Kmart or discount stores. If you don’t want to go to that expense, you can either buy a bolt of black fabric and pull together your own (there’s a good tutorial here), or simply instruct each of the party guests to come dressed and ready to go.
Let the games begin
To build excitement, offer a sign-up sheet for the upcoming House Competition and Potions Class. It’s fun to make a Hogwarts’ notice board and include the sign up sheet there. All the guests signed up at Max’s party (I think this would be true of any party!).
Up can download the sign-up sheet for the house competition here.
Click here to download the other items to create the noticeboard.
Sorting the houses
Next the Sorting Hat decided who would be a Gryffindor, a Slytherin, a Hufflepuff or a Ravenclaw. Add all the kids names to the Sorting Hat before the party (we used an old witches hat from Halloween). Allocate the kids to a house before putting their names into the hat – name on one side of a slip of paper, house on the other.
To bring the houses together, each student received a house badge to wear on their robe.
You can download the house badges to print onto board and cut out here.
Attach a safety pin to the back of each badge with a hot glue gun.
Quidditch House competition
Bringing quidditch to life in the backyard proved problematic. If you’ve got loads of space, you could paint a handball gold and throw the kids out there with sticks for brooms and a couple of goal posts.
We simply don’t have the space for that at our house. To create the excitement of quidditch, we made a treasure hunt race to see who could find the quidditch snitch first. Each team had a different set of clues that sent them on a hunt all around the house and garden.
Gryffindor stumbled on their final questions, mistaking the white wishing chair on the front verandah for the lounging lizard chairs on the back verandah (it’s a common mistake). Their error cost them the snitch and they limped home in fourth place. The medals went to the Ravenclaw boys in first place followed by the lovely Slytherin girls and the Hufflepuffs in third place.
Click here to print the medals.
Wand training (and lots of Harry Potter party food)
After the excitement of the competition and a bit of mad free play involving rock climbing in the Forbidden Forest…
… it was time to use their wands to burst the floating bubbles.
Then it was over to the chocolate fountain to coat breadstick wands with chocolate and dip them into cauldron pots of surprise sprinkles. The wands were washed down with a magic potion drink (two drops of food colouring dried on the bottom of the glass, covered in ice, lemonade turns coloured in the glass!).
Following dinner of Oozy Parcels (sausage rolls) and Goblins Fingers (mini-hot dogs with tomato sauce), we hit the dessert table for the real food!
The sparkler-ladden cake made it’s entrance and Max barely got a look in as the candles were blown out by his over-excited friends.
A refreshing drink of Butter Beer saw everyone ready to settle down for more classes.
Our butter beer was simply lemonade with a small drip of food colouring and a tiny dash of chilli added. You can find recipes for ‘real’ butter beer all over the web. Try this one.
You can download the butter beer labels here.
Owl training class
After downing the butter beer, it was time for owl training class. Professor Lucia taught the kids how to make their own Minstry of Magic memo owls.
Next we settled in for Professor Moody’s Potions Class.