In case you weren’t yet aware, we’re kind of obsessed with Harry Potter. Hence, our repeated visits to Universal Studios Florida and our Better Butter Beer recipe. So this year, when faced with how to prepare for our Annual Halloween Party, instead of the same-ol’ same-ol’ haunted house, we decided that transforming our home into the Wizarding World of Harry Potter would be perfect. Come, see how we are celebrating Halloween with Harry Potter… without completely losing sight of what matters to us: shopping small and shopping smart!
Halloween is a way to share with the world a piece of ourselves we don’t usually get to indulge so fully. Which is why it is important to us that as we always try to do, embracing this Halloween theme was about things that mattered to us: shopping with small business artists and craftsman but also being wise to not break the bank. Now be warned: typing “Harry Potter” into the search bar on Etsy may send you down an hours-long black hole with a wish list a mile long. Instead of doing that to you, here’s how we approached decorating for our Harry Potter party!
Why yes, our Halloweens are entirely gluten-free and our kids do trade their candy in for dollah-dollah bills. We have no shame. Bribery is the only thing that works in getting those mongrels to hand over bags of sugar bombs at the end of our favorite night of the year! But there’s more to halloween than candy. It’s our favorite holiday because it’s the day of pretend. We get to embrace our imagination and live in a world of magic, or super strength, or whatever moves us.
What We Decorated With
So, the biggest “projects” we’re taking on are making the “muggle car” for our photo booth & a fake 9 3/4 platform wall. Since our entrance-way to our home is a brick wall, just like the Hogwart’s platform, we’re going to rig suit-cases and a bird cage against the wall to look similar to this – cross your fingers it comes out looking convincing enough!
And how perfect will this 9 3/4 sign be over our entrance way door?!
The rest of the outside is Hagrid’s Hut & the Forbidden Forest.
Which meant we needed a Spider for the “forbidden forest”
and hung this Free a House elf sign
I was most impressed with this Etsy shop, which made many of the items on this list.
We got these Directional arrows laminated at a local copy shop.
then hung them all around (in and outside)
the home Hogwarts.
We’ve set-up a “photo booth” in our “great hall” garage complete with all of the below… a camera on a tri-pod will likely be the highlight of the night, with mementos for us to keep and enjoy for years to come!
This cardboard Photo booth – to the ministry is amazing!
And the Muggle Car:
My genius sister and I are making it out of all the Amazon boxes we have from ordering stuff!
To make sure people know it’s a photo booth, we printed this sign.
And OF COURSE these props will be perfect for the Photo booth!
We are also making our own Have You Seen This Wizard sign
people can stand in – again, out of more cardboard we already have!
Our Dining Room: Our “Great Hall”
along with this Welcome to Hogwarts banner
The Rest of the House
and we’ll be using lipstick on the bathroom mirror to do this (FREE!)
Sadly, source unknown
Also using inside out grocery bags to make these “text books” for our shelves (FREE!)
Sadly, source unknown
in the same room with this Key rack
Everything else to become Bellatrix was in her wardrobe already!
and these are Hedwig’s cages – one for the 9 3/4 platform outside, one for Wes!
What We’re Handing Out
Of course we participate in the Teal Pumpkin movement and hand out non-food items, these are what we’re handing out this year (in addition to the gluten-free candy).
and Slap bracelets
We can’t wait to show you more once the entire house is put together – but since so many people were asking us to share where we’ve been getting all the items we were posting about in media, here it is! This way you can order it in time to arrive for your wizarding Halloween!