So we celebrated CJ’s birthday and also held his dedication a few months ago. We decided on a Harry Potter themed birthday which turned out to be a success. Here are some of the ways we incorporated the theme…
I’m very happy with the way this turned out considering that I only used MS Paint to make this. I simply used the Harry Potter and Lumos fonts which you can download for free online and used the 4 main house colors for each letter. It so happens that CJ’s full name used all the colors evenly which I think is what made it look really nice. The word ‘Turns’ used the Lumos font and I simply selected and flipped it vertically. We used the monogram in a lot of the items for CJ’s birthday. I just wish I used a black font for “Turns 1” instead of grey because when we have to print it a bit small, it became a hard to read.
For this event, we decided to get an event stylist because I just didn’t have the time or the capacity to DIY this. Styled by Deiz did such a great job in decorating the venue.My biggest concern with our theme is that it might be too “dark” for 1st birthday. To get away from the “dark” vibe, we opted to use the main house colors as much as we can.We were hoping for long tables to get the Great Hall vibe but Queensland didn’t have them. Instead, we asked for the kids’ table to be lined up to look like a long table and advised to use black table cloths instead.For the regular tables, we had 3 tables each using the Gryffindor (red table cloth and gold runner) and Slytherin (green table cloth and silver runner) colors, and 2 tables each using the Hufflepuff (yellow table cloth and black runner) and Ravenclaw (blue table cloth and bronze runner).
Deiz also added some drapes in the main Hogwarts colors.
The main stage was decorated mostly focusing on Quidditch where Deiz used our crochet dolls as part of the decor too, while the entrance was decorated a bit more like Platform 9 3/4.
The registration table had most of our DIY stuffs and there was also a sorting hat.
As added decors, I printed out some Harry Potter inspired items such as these. My initial plan was to put them on a cork board and tack them all up so that it would look like the usual school notice board. I also printed out some signs for the bathrooms. But, our events coordinator got to the house to pick up the items quite late and a LOT of things were not discussed. I saw the printouts on a random guest table when I got to the venue and I couldn’t find the cork board. I handed them out to one of the coordinators and that’s when they put them up around the area. I guess it still looked nice this way…
Wands were given to kids upon entry. I had this whole vision of gathering the kids around a table and spreading the wands, then blindfolding them to choose their wands (because it’s the wand that chooses the wizard and not the other way around). I read this idea somewhere online and I thought it would be nice to do but that did not exactly pan out.The hubby DIY’ed the wands and then painted them (I helped a bit). We’ve done this before for the Harry Potter table on our wedding but we had to do quite a lot this time to make sure all kids get one.Most people use chopsticks or rolled up paper and then a glue gun to make the designs. I found chopsticks to be too thin/small so we used these sticks that can be bought somewhere in Quiapo. These ones were actually thicker than what we used for our wedding before but it was the only choice we had and it wasn’t so bad.
– House Ties
Another DIY item. Deiz mentioned this during our initial meeting and I thought it was a great idea but I wouldn’t be able to make it. I suck at crafts. Luckily, I have people who loves CJ so much and would do almost anything to make his party a success (a.k.a. my mom). She made these using felt and some ribbons for the accent. Then she used a thicker ribbon to be able to tie it around the kids’ collars (we asked the kids to come in white collar shirt, though not everyone complied :P).
Sorry for the poor photo. Our photographer didn’t get to take photos of these during the event for some unknown reason so I got one that was uploaded in FB by my MIL.
And these were the ties after my mom finished everything. The only close up photos I have of these. 😦
My mom made spell books for the kids so they can start practicing the spells using their wands.
I downloaded a template I found online and just printed it out. My mom then used the leftover felt from the neckties to use as a cover. I found another template for the cover which I printed out on parchment paper and my mom burned the sides and stuck it on the cover. She just used ribbons as a bookmark.
Here’s the site where we got the idea from: http://zitzmanfam.blogspot.sg/2012/02/harry-potter-spell-and-creature-books.html
I wish we could have done the Magical Creatures book too but I already got my mom to do so much DIY I was afraid to add more on her to-do list and we were running out of time.
– Bag Tags
I found templates of school IDs online and asked our souvenir supplier if she can make a bag tag out of the templates. This is one of the samples:
We just removed some of the fields like the Height, Eyes, Hair, Head of House Signature, etc. Of course, we got them for all 4 houses. 🙂
We had her print the monogram at the bank to customise the bag tag for the party a bit.
– Hand Sanitizers
For the adults, I opted for hand sanitizers that were labelled to look like potion bottles. I saw some samples online and asked the supplier to make something similar.
Excuse these photos again. These were all we were able to keep and take photos of because our photographer did not take closed up photos of them. 😦
We were going to have a group game for the adults so I was trying to figure out what to give them as prizes when I saw some Harry Potter mugs online. I had our supplier design the mugs in different Harry Potter-related designs on the front and then the monogram at the back.
Each mug had a different design. They were so cute I wanted to keep them all.
– Prize wrapping
For the kids’ prizes, Deej wrapped them up and put some labels that looked like Hogwarts class schedule. Aren’t they cute?
- Photobooth props
I had some really nice photobooth props in mind which we didn’t really get to do. I saw some photos online which I really liked but they were only available overseas so we couldn’t avail them.Our events coordinator, Deej, volunteered to make the photobooth props instead and I showed the samples to her. I didn’t get to see the props but most of what I saw in the photobooth pictures were signs like “Keep Calm and Carry a Wand”.
I saw a wedding guestbook online that uses a painting or a drawing of a tree and the guests are supposed to put their thumb prints on the tree to make it look like colorful leaves.Deej saw the same photo and suggested we use the same idea on the Whomping Willow Tree. She had a friend draw the tree for us and then we used the main house colors again for the stamps.I wish we could have put a sign on the table to explain it a bit more… I thought about it a bit too late but something like “The Whomping Willow lost its leaves, please help it get them back by stamping your prints…” or something like that. There wasn’t even a sign at the registration table to identify this as the Whomping Willow.
We went with the typical Hogwarts letters for the invitations. Our supplier has made something similar for someone else so she didn’t have to do much anymore. I just gave her the words we used which is something I just tweaked from the samples I found online. I wish we could have made those owl balloons to go with them but we never had the time to even try making one.The invitation had 2 pages, the 1st being the letter of invitation from Hogwarts and the 2nd being the map to the venue which was fashioned after the Marauder’s Map.
- Candy Buffet
I think this deserves a completely separate post (click here). 😛 We DIY’ed the candy buffet (aka Honeydukes) and I think it was such a huge success though a couple of things happened which got me really disappointed.I made some chocolates fashioned after the Harry Potter sweets like chocolate frogs. My cousin made some apple-flavored butterbeers. Then, we just bought the usual candies and named them after the other sweets or I just made up names for them entirely.
- Cake, Cakepops and Cupcakes
I found a quidditch-designed cake online and asked our supplier if she can make something similar and I think it turned out really great. We used the monogram as part of the decor for this one as well.The cupcakes were decorated in different Harry Potter designs and the base fondant of the cupcakes used the basic House colors again.Unfortunately, the photographer didn’t take photos of the cakepops and I didn’t even get to try one so I can’t even remember what they looked like. 😦
- CJ’s outfits
I got CJ a Gryffindor scarf and had a robe made for him. I was going for a quidditch robe but we ended up with the usual black robe. The seamstress threw in a Slytherin-print beanie too. 😀
I had fun with his cloth diapers too. I bought a set of Marauder’s Map-inspired print from Bum Heroes and CJ also used his Expecto Patronum cloth diaper by Lily&Luna (photo from Bum Heroes).
Then, before ending the party, he used his Gryffindor-inspired Birth Stat cloth diaper that was customised by Baby Lamb (photo from Baby Lamb).