Every Halloween I throw an all-out over-the-top party based on a theme. I’ve done everything from an Angels and Devils party to haunted houses to an Under the Sea party. This year I decided on a Harry Potter party theme that might have been the best one yet.
Harry Potter Party Ideas
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This past weekend was my all-out over-the-top annual Halloween party. So if you’re wondering why you haven’t heard much from me for a couple of weeks, I’ve been busy decorating!
Every year I pick a theme for my Halloween party, and this year I decided to do a Harry Potter party. It’s all about witchcraft and wizardry (with a few ghosts thrown in) so it’s perfect for a Halloween party.
However, I do have to confess…before I chose this as a party theme, I had never read any of the Harry Potter books or seen any of the movies (I know…I must be the only person in the world!!) So the first step was to watch Harry Potter and the Sorceror’s Stone to get some ideas.
Fortunately, there’s lots of good stuff to work with so decorating was fun! And although I did this as a Halloween party, most of these ideas would work for any kind of Harry Potter themed party.
Okay, let’s get on with the specifics of my Harry Potter party ideas. And I’m warning you now…this is a long one!
Harry Potter Decorations
Platform 9 3/4 Entrance
To make a proper entrance to the Harry Potter Hogwarts school of witchcraft and wizardry, I had people walk through the Platform 9 3/4 wall to come in the front door…just like they do in the movie.
There are a lot of tutorials out there on how to make a wall like this yourself. But I found this Harry Potter shower curtain* which didn’t cost very much and figured it was worth it for all the time it would save.
Then I just screwed a couple of hooks into the door frame and hung it up. You could also hang a tension-rod across the door way if you don’t want to make any holes.
The Coat Check
The next one of my Harry Potter party ideas (a witch hat and broomstick coat check) isn’t strictly from the book or the movie, but I thought it went with the Halloween party atmosphere.
Once inside, guests could hang their witch hats and park their broomsticks.
Or grab an invisibility cloak.
All under the watchful eye of our Halloween coat check attendant.
All of these witch hats* are meant for kid’s parties so they were very inexpensive.
I hung them from the ceiling with fishing line. Use a needle to pull the line through the top of the hat and then tie the ends to create a loop. I screwed cup hooks into the ceiling to hang them from, but if you don’t want to make holes you could probably use Command Hooks.
The Great Hall
Then my guests made their way into The Great Hall (in other words, my living room). This is where the real decorating fun began!
I knew the decorations were a success when one of my friends said “I can’t tell what’s real and what’s part of the Harry Potter party decor”.
The first requirement was to turn my walls to stone. I’ve done this before for other Halloween parties, so I knew just the thing: Stone wall scene setters*.
Even better? I saved the scene setters from the last time I did this so I didn’t have to buy anything new.
The trick to making this look good is to cover all of your walls. If you leave parts as your normal decor, it just doesn’t have the same effect.
You can find out how to install scene setters here.
Night Sky Ceiling
I did a similar thing for the night sky ceiling. I bought rolls of this starry night paper* and stapled them to the ceiling.
Yes, that’s kind of like wallpapering the ceiling, and it’s a total pain to put up (with lots of swearing involved).
But it looks awesome when it’s done!
Of course, the Great Hall wouldn’t be complete without the floating candles.
I already owned a bunch of black battery-operated candles* (which is why mine are black instead of white). To hang them, I screwed hooks into the ceiling, then tied fishing line around the base of the candle flame and hung them up there.
You may have already noticed the next one of my Harry Potter party ideas: The hanging flames that you see all around the Harry Potter Great Hall.
For this I hung up these fake flame Halloween props*. I already owned a few of these so I just had to add a couple more.
For the ones in front of the windows, I used S hooks to hang them from the curtain rod. For the others, I screwed hooks into the wall (you could probably also use Command Hooks if you don’t want to make holes).
The great thing about having a scene setter, is you can cut a small slit in the plastic to slide the electrical cord through so no-one can see it hanging down.
I also swapped out the light bulbs in my regular light fixtures to use these colored LED bulbs*. They come with a remote that lets you change the color of the light, so I made them all orange to look like flames, too.
Since this was a Halloween party, I decided to use the Great Hall Halloween scene from the movie.
I did half of the room in floating pumpkins…partly because I like the idea of it, and partly because I didn’t have enough candles to do the whole room.
To make the pumpkins, I bought 12″ orange paper lanterns* and used a black sharpie to draw on the pumpkin faces.
Then I hung them from the ceiling with fishing line and hooks, same as the candles.
Finally I put 3 or 4 battery operated tealight candles inside each of the paper lanterns to light them up. These actually weren’t strong enough to make the pumpkins glow as much as I would have liked…if I were doing it again, I would find a different lighting mechanism. I think hang-down light cords* would work better and I would try to run them under the ceiling paper so they aren’t too noticeable.
Harry Potter Table Decor
I don’t have enough space in my house for the long tables like they have in the movie.
So I settled for 4 smaller tables, and decorated each of them in the colors of one of the Hogwarts House crests. This gave me the perfect excuse to create 4 different Harry Potter table settings (and you know how much I love creating tablescapes!)
I did want to have some continuity between the tables so there are some consistent elements across all of them:
- black table cloths* and chair covers*.
- a table runner*, chair sashes* and napkins* in the main house color (red, green, blue and yellow)
- a house crest pinned to the front of the table. (I downloaded the house crest printables from Damn Good Shindig)
- a centerpiece with an uplight in the house color. I use these battery-operated LED lights with a remote* that can change the color. That way I can make the light whatever color I need it to be.
- the same 2 sets of dinnerware – one with matte black plates*, and the other that are white with a black stripe*
Gryffindor House Table Decor
The Gryffindor house colors are red and gold.
Slytherin House Table Decor
The Slytherin house colors are green and silver.
Hufflepuff House Table Decor
The Hufflepuff house colors are yellow and black.
Ravenclaw House Table Decor
The Ravenclaw house colors are blue and bronze (I went with gold since I don’t have any bronze table accessories).
The Hogwarts Sign
Another effective Harry Potter party idea is to hang a Hogwarts school banner with some flames. These are so inexpensive, it’s not really worth trying to make them.
I hung this one on the wall behind the Gryffindor table, but you could put it anywhere that you have space (I probably would put it closer to the entrance if there was a good place to do that).
To mimic the Hogwarts ghosts, I pointed 2 of these motion lights with the ghost images at the wall so the ghosts would look like they were flying up to the ceiling.
This is really hard to show in a picture, so watch the video above if you want to see what they look like.
Outside of the great hall, Hogwarts has many large pictures hanging in the hallways. So I decorated the hallway to my bathroom with old-school spooky pictures, too.
These are also scene setters* so they are easy to tape up and don’t cost very much money.
Update Your Shelf Decor
The next one of my Harry Potter party ideas is actually something I do for every Halloween party.
Since I left the shelving in my living room uncovered, I replaced all of the usual accessories with Halloween decor, like potion jars, more portraits and spell books (I got them at Michael’s for next to nothing).
Having Halloween decor displayed where people expect to see your normal accessories is what makes them say they don’t know what’s real and what isn’t.
It was also the perfect place to put up a sign to free a house elf.
Third Floor Out Of Bounds Sign
Since most of us have some parts of the house that we don’t want party guests to visit, this “third floor out of bounds” sign comes in handy.
I hung black lace curtains across the hallway entrance to my office and pinned the sign to it. And it worked…no-one even tried to go there.
The Moving Staircases
Okay, so I don’t really have moving staircases in my house. But this add-on scene setter of the spooky staircase looks like it could move. And it happens to be on the door to the bathroom…so it does move if someone opens the door…
Making golden snitches out of Ferrero Rocher chocolates was an idea I found on Cooking Classy. She also has a butter beer recipe and some other Harry Potter party ideas you might want to try, so be sure to check that out.
Honeyduke’s Candy Bar
Since those golden snitches are candies, I added them to my Honeyduke’s candy bar along with some other Harry Potter favorites.
After all, you can’t have a Halloween party without some candy! (even if it is a party for adults)
- Licorice wands
- Acid pops (tootsie pops)
- Fainting fancies (chocolates)
- Cockroach clusters (turtles)
- Lemon drops (Dumbledore’s favorite!)
- Drooble’s best blowing gum (gum balls)
- Bertie Botts Every Flavor Beans* (jelly beans) – One of my friends brought over the jelly belly Bertie’s Bots all flavored beans which were a big hit. Everyone wanted to see who was going to get the nasty flavors. Of course, you can just go with regular jelly beans.
- Chocolate frogs – Okay, this one was on the “to do” list and I never got to it. But I did actually buy the frog mold*…
I got the printable signs for these from Wandering Acres. They also have a bunch of other Harry Potter party ideas you might want to try, so be sure to take a look at their site.
Harry Potter Broomsticks
These edible broomsticks where another hit at my Harry Pottery party, and they’re super easy to make.
Just stick a straight pretzel into the top of a mini Reese’s peanut butter cup.
Harry Potter Party Food
Since the Hogwarts Great Hall is known for its feasts, I chose food that everyone loves.
I always serve buffet style for these kinds of parties so here’s what we had:
- Bat’s wings – I made 2 different kinds: Chinese Sticky Chicken Wings and Asian Spiced Wings
- Vulture legs – Oven Baked “Fried” Chicken Legs
- Stewed eyeballs – Crockpot Meatballs
- Worms ‘n cheese – Crockpot Macaroni & Cheese
- Wild boar – Honey baked ham (I bought it from Costco)
- Yard debris – Caesar Salad (I bought the Caesar salad kid from Costco)
Harry Potter Party Printables and Fonts
You can find the links to download all of the Harry Potter party printables and fonts that I used right here. It’s handy to have them all in one place so you know where to go to print them when you need them.