Saturday, October 1, 2016

X-mans 9th Birthday Harry Potter Party


Five weeks ago X-man gave me a big surprise and told me (while driving home from a friends birthday) that he no longer wanted to go to Universal Studios for his birthday! He instead wanted a birthday 'like the ones mommy does'. I asked him what type of party he thought I could throw him in 5 weeks and he said. "I really want a Harry Potter party". So the last 5 weeks has been filled with work, scouts, and Harry Potter.

The Invitation:
 I looked around the web and after talking to X was informed he wanted the invite to be an acceptance letter like Harry receives in the book. So with some help with my very talented husband we came up with some really cute letters along with a 'Ticket'. I was even able to get ahold of a wax stamp kit with the Hogwarts crest from Amazon.com. 


The Decor: I'm not a huge balloons and steamers sort of person. I wanted to incorporate a couple of our favorite things from the movies and books along with a few funny items. I found inspiration from the web. I wish I could give credit but I honestly can't remember where I found everything.

No HP party is complete with out Platform 9 3/4.  I'm in love with our sign. I still haven't taken it down.























Our living room was set up with portraits of famous wizards, a potions cabinet with a pensive and some other items you may find in the wizarding world. We used battery powered faux candles everywhere since we had 23 nine year old boys. 


The kitchen was decorated with Devils Snare (made from crinkled up craft paper) and winged keys that hung from the ceiling. I found the keys on Amazon and the wings here.


I didn't get a good picture of it but our den, which has a fireplace, had letters coming from the fire place and owls attempting to deliver letters to Harry like in the first movie.

  

Even our bathroom 'The room of requirement' was dressed for the occasion. 



 The kids went thru a sorting hat ceremony in the living room. I was lucky enough to score a hat that actually talked and had a moving mouth from a friend that had a HP party years ago. 

The boys were sorted and then they received their robe, wand, broom, and a shirt that had a tie ironed on. We also had HP glasses and scars in case someone really wanted to dress the part. I used my grandmothers old camel-back trunk to put the loot in.

The robes were made from 5xl Hanes t-shirts that I found on sale. I modified them using a tutorial from this blog.  We found house crests and used Avery black iron-on transfers to apply them.  

Then after everyone was settled in the kids had a big surprise. Harry and Hermione showed up! They went thru a sword fight some spell making with the boys then played Quittage with the boys for a couple of hours. I found them thru Action Events and they were truly amazing. The kids and adults loved them and they were absolutely fantastic.




We then had dinner in the great hall! We decked out our ceilings with some starry night room roll that I found on Amazon.com. This was a bit tricky for us since the center of our dining room has an absolutely huge skylight and is 12 feet high at the top beam! 

The candles were created out of paper towel rolls, hot glue, paint and remote controlled tea lights. We hung them from fishing line which you can see in the second photo. I also made the banners from felt. I found crests of each house (on the web) and printed them on black Avery iron-on paper. 



Of course the great hall wouldn't be complete without gobbets and silver plates. The snacks consisted of : Hufflepuffs (cheese puffs), Troll Bogies (pirates booty) and other assorted finger foods.
Dinner as close to the great hall start of term feast as we could get: Chicken Legs, Corn on the cob, mashed potatoes, and rolls.  

The Drinks: We had Butterbeer (recipe from Pinterest), Pumpkin Juice (apple cider with bit of pumpkin for color), and Poly-juice potion (Lemon-aid colored green) to drink. The Poly-juice potion was a big hit.  




The cake:  X-man saw something similar on the web and begged me to reproduce it. I did the best I could. The secret is this really awesome marshmallow fondant recipe I found here on Pinterest.
 

We also had a candy buffet complete with chocolate frogs, Bertie Botts Every flavored beans, candy wands, jelly slugs, fizzing wizzabies and cockroach clusters.




 Harry and Hermione stayed and sang Happy Birthday and presented X-man with a gold Gallon. 



We also had our home made photo booth up as a Azcaban 'prisoner processing' booth. The kids and adults had loads of fun in there too.

 





X-man really enjoyed his 9th birthday. It was a lot of fun to create!




Till next time,
Jen

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

L's 5th Birthday Back to the Future

My son has been obsessed with Back to the Future ever since his father let him watch it a year ago. Right after his brother's birthday he came up to me and said "Mama can I have a Back to the Future Birthday?". The rest is history.
The Decorations:
I had a really hard time coming up with a general 'theme' for the party because the characters in the movie go to so many different time periods. When I asked my son which movie was his favorite or which time he liked the most he said "all of them"! Since we had the party at our house I decided to do one time period per room. So our living room was 1959 "Enchantment under the Sea Dance" the Kitchen and Den was the 2015 "Café 80's" and outside we had The old West.
I'm not big on balloons but I always like to set the stage when guests enter. This year we art inspired by the movies and hung the posters on one wall where in the breezeway and the ground had a road 'runway' and radioactive stickers on the doors. We also had the main title Back to the future playing with a smoke machine going for ambiance.
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In the living room I hung a blue and silver foil curtain and recreated the 'Enchantment Under the Sea Dance' Banner that they hung on stage at the High School Prom. We also had hanging fish and used small clear balloons that hung from the ceiling to create the feel of bubbles. We also had Enchantment under the sea posters hanging around the area.  We served snacks in this area and they were all sea themed.
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20150221_114438I had the hardest time decorating in the kitchen and Den. We made a Café 80's sign and we created the Hover Board which hung from the chandelier in the kitchen. Creating the Hover Board took many nights but the end result was pretty cool. Since Lunch was served in the Kitchen the plates and cups were labeled with the Café 80's logo. We used waterproof labels on a laser printer to create the effect. We also had futuristic glasses for our guests to get their 2015 on.
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Outside we decorated everything in a western theme and had 'wanted' signs of Biff Tannen hanging from various places. The bounce house was the main source of entertainment. For the centerpieces we had lanterns sitting on a small stack of hay. We also had a refreshment station outside and I had enough hay to use at the 'watering hole'.
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The Cake:
My son had requested a clock tower cake but there was no way I was going to be able to replicate that. So he had to settle for this DeLorean cake instead. I used marshmallow fondant to cover it and make all of the decorations.
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The Entertainment:
Along with the bounce house I also made a DeLorean Piñata. It was the one thing my son was very adamant about wanting (besides the bouncer) so I scoured the internet to figure out how to make my own piñata. I filled it with a bunch of toys and candy from the 80's (jelly bracelets, mini Rubik's cubes, Pop rocks, etc.).
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We also had our photo booth set up outside. Every time we use it we get a ton of complements. We purchased the software that we run on our laptop here.
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The Favors:
I came across old 90's Back to the Future McDonald's Happy Meal toys on E-Bay and it was the perfect favor. I used simple yellow paper bags and cut the top down and then stapled the "The End" card over it. The other side said "Thanks for coming to my Birthday".
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Till next time,
Jen

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

X-Mans Knight and Princess 4th Birthday

Shortly after Logan's 1st birthday party Xavier immediately came up to me and asked for a Knight and Princess party. Since I had six months to plan the party I was able to come up with so many ideas. So first the invitations. Xavier decided on the below invite and the little pennant banner at the top really inspired me and got the ball rolling.

The entrance to our house was decked out with a fabric drape and royal banners with Xavier's initial.

We created a 'stone' (from cardboard) for each royal knight to pick their sword from. They were also able to choose their own armor.

We set up a workstation on our dining room table for the children to create their own shield. Stickers and jewels were available to decorate with. We fashioned the shields from cardboard boxes and installed a handle on the back. Each was painted silver.

The girls were able to choose skirts and princess hats from a variety of girly colors. They received wands instead of swords and had the option to dress up with earrings, necklaces, rings, and jewels.

The beverage table was covered with a simple black table cloth. We covered water bottles with a knight and princess theme label that my dear husband created. We also had royal goblets available to drink out of. We had Lemonade, Ice tea, Capri Sun's, and water to drink. We also had M&M's and Ring Pops to subdue the sweet tooth until cake time.



The eating area was set for a king, or in this case a few knights and princesses. We were given the covered canopy from a cousin who was getting rid of it. We used leftover fabric to create the curtain effect. I'm planning to use this fabric again for a ship mast for Logan's Pirate party (coming in February)! The pennant banners were made from fabric and double bias tape. We rented the table and chairs at a local party rental and I used leftover red fabric to create the table runners. The carpet is an old one we regularly put outside to create an outdoor living space in the summer.

The chandelier a friend found on free-cycle. It was a little dusty and needed different light bulbs. It wasn't anything a trip to Home Depot couldn't fix. I found a string of beads from Joann's for a dollar and draped them over. The centerpieces were made from take out boxes and plastic plates from targets dollar bin. The dragons were purchased from Joann's for Xavier a couple of months back.

There was also an area for the adults to hang out at. It was covered with pennant banners as well.

The castle bounce house is the largest we have ever rented. To give you a size comparison the step stool in front of it is a normal size step stool you get at Target. This thing was huge, but it had a slide and a basketball hoop inside.

The dragon pinata was filled with candy, stickers, and small toys. The children played 'battle the dragon' with real practice swords (wood covered foam) also given to us at some point in time from a cousin.


The cake was homemade from scratch.Vanilla butter cream icing, vanilla cake, & raspberry filling. The towers were made of ice cream cones held together by icing. The little pennant banners were made of fabric and lollipop sticks.

Xavier enjoying himself with some of his best friends.