How to: Harry Potter DIY party

DIY parties aren’t for everyone, but they are for me! Although when the tween hit double digits, I knew it would be the last party I’d DIY for him. This was already stretching it as by this age, the trend was to have it out, at a one-stop venue.

During that time, he was really into Harry Potter. He had blazed through the books and the movies. So, it was a no-brainer as to the theme: a Harry Potter DIY party. I thought it a nice theme as at 10 years old, the children could do a lot more in terms of crafts, solving clues and treasure hunting on their own.

Harry Potter DIY party

With the theme in place, I kick-started research and planning. I needed to cover decorations, activities, games, and party favours. Food was catered, as that would be the only area where I refuse to get in to.

Harry Potter DIY party - planning
Notes for the party

Accio decorations!

The decorations that I finalised on were flags and banners, which were hung from the walls and used as backdrops. All I had to was to hop on to Shopee and voila, I had my decorations sorted. Not exactly DIY but hey, we did hang them up!

Harry Potter DIY party - decorations
Harry Potter decoration

Activities to keep the little Muggles occupied

Coming up with activities for a Harry Potter DIY party took a little longer as the activities had to be age appropriate and things that 10 and 11-year-olds (both boys and girls) would like, and could manage on their own. As with any DIY-er, my next stop was Pinterest.

After discussions with the tween, we agreed on: broomstick pencils, bookmarks, ‘Create your own Patronus’ and Herbology. These were the sort of activity that were ‘free-flow’, where the children could pop in and out of, as and when they were up for it throughout the party. Also, all of these items doubled as party favours – win!

Broomstick pencils were easily sorted. I replaced the Kraft paper with felt, and the twine with black rubber bands, as I used the tween as a guinea pig and he managed this combination on his own. Paper was tricky as he could trim it too easily and so would trim it too much and split the paper in half. He also didn’t have the dexterity to tie the twine round the paper to hold it in place on one end of the pencil. I did have to prep and cut the felt in to squares but that was easily done.

Harry Potter DIY party - broomstick pencils
Broomstick pencils

The bookmarks were based on the colours of the four Hogwarts houses, although I couldn’t get the exact colours, they were close enough and the tweens certainly didn’t mind. This involved a bit of work as I had to measure and trim the coloured papers in to strips (hello paper cutter!).

Harry Potter DIY party - bookmarks

Create your own Patronus’ was basically letting the tweens pick their own animal charm(s), which I ordered off Shopee, and making a bracelet or necklace out of it.

Harry Potter DIY party - Patronus
Create your own Patronus

I bought plant pots along with planter signs, soil, and a variety of seeds for Herbology. I had the children put their name on the planter signs (to keep track of the pot owners), filled the pots with soil, and let them pick which seeds they wanted in their pot. To keep them guessing, the seeds weren’t labelled. This was to ensure that they would actually water, and take care of their plants(!) as I told them that it was a surprise, and they would only find out in a few weeks time what their plant was.

Harry Potter DIY party - Herbology

The only activity which really needed an adult at our Harry Potter DIY party was ‘Create your own Patronus’ (to knot the leather cord in to a wearable and adjustable bracelet or necklace). For the others, I did assign a lucky(haha!) adult to oversee, and to help wherever needed.

Let’s go a-Horcrux hunting!

I will say, I found this really fun to plan. I ordered the ahem, Horcruxes off Shopee (the last Horcrux being the tween himself dressed as Harry Potter). Then off I went to the garden in our area to plan a Horcrux hunt for the Harry Potter DIY party. Only after I’d decided on the hiding spots, did I write up the riddles.

As the invite list had quite a number of tweens, I decided that they would do this part in groups. No surprises here that the boys stuck with boys, and girls with girls. I printed out the clues along with Horcrux templates which the children needed to tick off, once they’d found the corresponding Horcrux. To ensure that the kids didn’t simply just mark the boxes off, I assigned different coloured markers for each Horcrux, tying the markers to its Horcrux. For example, Tom Riddle’s diary could only be considered found if it was ticked with a red marker. And yes, of course I had a Horcrux template with the correct colours ticked to double check!

Harry Potter DIY party - Horcrux hunt
Horcrux hunt

Once a group checked off all their Horcruxes, they were to go to ‘Harry Potter’ to get the final Horcrux ticked off. And then they were to come to me to get their prize (tiny wand key chains, again from you guessed it – Shopee).

Harry Potter DIY party - Horcrux riddle
Riddle for Horcrux hunt

It was fun to watch the children scratching their heads, arguing discussing the clues, running all over the place to find a Horcrux. Some adults even got in on the action. I will refrain from commenting on which groups (the boys or girls) took the hunt seriously, while the others just ran around willy nilly.

Harry Potter DIY party: Quidditch anyone?

As our venue had a sizeable lawn, I threw Quidditch (albeit a Malaysian version of it with our local penyapu and sports ball) into the mix. For our Harry Potter DIY party, we spray painted hula hoops, plastic pipes, and brackets gold, which made up the Quidposts. All the kids really got in to the game (competitive spirit was well, and alive) – shouting directions to their team mates, cheering each other on when a goal was scored (or was blocked for that matter). I was surprised that the game lasted a good 45 minutes!

Harry Potter DIY party - penyapu
Harry Potter DIY birthday party - Quidditch

And with that, it was the perfect end to our Harry Potter DIY party as I handed over tired, and sweaty tweens to their parents.

Now, if only I could wave a wand, and unleash a Pack Charm!

For an easy peasy DIY party, read easiest party by the pool!

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