Find tons of Harry Potter party ideas here!
We held this Harry Potter party as an awards ceremony and end-of-the-year banquet for a group at a high school. This post will give you Harry Potter party ideas and show you how to hold your own Harry Potter birthday party and make all the decorations you need to transform your house or a banquet hall or any large room into the Hogwarts great hall, complete with an extra guide showing you how to make Harry Potter recipes like Honeydukes’s sweets and other baked goods.
We were actually working on a pretty big budget but you can easily recreate some of these decorations and props with less money. Also, it is usually cheaper to make your own Harry Potter decorations than buying them if you’re looking to save money (and you can always print things from the internet!).
I originally published this article around 2011 on the now-closed site Squidoo under my username snazzify. 🙂
If you’d like a Harry Potter party ideas book to help you in this process, check out the Unofficial Harry Potter Party Book below!
Make a Platform 9 3/4 Entrance – Use a rectangular sponge to paint rust-colored paint onto a fabric canvas
Make sure the canvas is the right size for your door or entryway. We started with white and ultimately added different colors of paint on top to make the too-red bricks look more aged, but it would be easier to start with a beige fabric tarp if you can find one.
To get a nice brick color paint, search for a brick-colored paint like the one below, or mix red and orange and brown together until you get a nice color.
Also consider solid-colored curtains or shower curtains because they are already close to door-sized.
- Canvas tarp
- Rectangular sponge
- Brick-colored acrylic paint
- OR, buy a premade brick wall backdrop
- OR, try a castle entrance door cover to look like your party is in a castle
Here is the full view of our Platform 9 3/4 brick wall, the entrance to the Hogwarts Express at King’s Cross Station and the entrance to our venue. Make sure your canvas is the right size for your door.
We cut a slit vertically about a foot from the top so people would walk through the middle, then hung a Hogwarts Express sign above the door (the sign was made by printing out a blown up photo of the sign which we found online, then pasting the separate pages together onto a piece of cardboard).
Here is a closeup of the platform entrance and brick wall. You can see where we pasted the separate printed out pages together to create the Platform 9 3/4 sign.
View of the Great Hall – This is what our version of the great hall looked like overall
Slytherin table is not included in this shot, but here are the other three tables and the head table. We made the long tables by pushing two tables together and covering them in tablecloths. You can also see the house banners hanging on the wall behind each table.
This was a multipurpose room at a school, so there are some extra things like a chalkboard and a projector in the middle of the room that you will probably not have at your party. Without some of the extra elements, your room may look more realistic and magical. You can also consider hanging out wallpaper or wall hangings that make the room look like it’s covered in grey stonework.
Another View of the Great Hall
Here is a view of almost the entire room, minus the Slytherin table. That’s me lurking in the crooked witch’s hat. 🙂
Ravenclaw Table – Here is a closer photo of the Ravenclaw table and banner
- Blue plastic tablecloth (in case you spill any food or drinks)
- Silver party plates
- Plastic wine goblets
Dementor Welcome Sign – Greet Your Guests with a Lifesize Dementor
We made this entryway presentation with a lot of Halloween decorations we already had.
The wooden frame is only necessary if you want to hang a wooden sign like we did, but we only did that because we had the setup lying around from a project several years ago. Otherwise you could hang up your sign to a wall.
The dementor is a modified Halloween decoration that started as a standing ghoul that we added some paint, extra cloak, and fake cobwebs too.
The cauldron at the bottom was from Halloween also and ultimately had dry ice in it so it looked like a smoking, brewing potion.
- Dementor costume
- Black cauldron decoration
- OR, try this lifesize suit of armor to greet your guests
Hedwig Welcome Sign – Greet Your Guests with Hedwig the Owl
Painting the Gryffindor Banner – We painted the house banners with acrylics on watercolor paper
If you don’t have large watercolor paper, posterboard or cardboard works too.
Painting the Slytherin Banner
Painting the Ravenclaw Banner – The finished Ravenclaw banner before cutting it out
After you finish painting the banners, working off the reference picture of your choosing (tracing a blown-up picture or using a projector to trace a picture helps), cut around the crest, leaving a small margin, and paste onto a same-colored plastic tablecloth, cut into a smaller rectangle with a triangle cut from the bottom, with spray glue.
Finished House Banners – The hanging house banners once they were mounted to colored tablecloths
If you don’t want to paint the house banners yourself, you can also grab a beautiful set of all four Harry Potter house banners by clicking here.
Slytherin Table – A closer view of the settings on Slytherin table
For Slytherin we used green tablecloths with silver accents for the plates, silverware, and napkins.
The napkins are tied in a cylinder with a small glow stick “wand” for each guest with matching green ribbon.
Gryffindor Table Centerpieces and Settings
For Gryffindor table we used red as the main color and gold as the accent.
Ravenclaw Table Centerpieces and Settings
The centerpieces were made with a glass votive with a glittered rim and ribbon at the bottom, colored water, and floating candles.
Great Hall Head Table
The head table was covered in purple with gold accents. The actual head table in Harry Potter is wooden, like the other tables, and is where the professors sit, but we wanted to make it purple because all our other tables were colored.
Head Table Centerpieces
The centerpieces on the head table were my favorite because they’re a regal purple and gold.
We used tall glass votives from the dollar store and glued gold glitter around the rim and used a wired gold ribbon for the bottom.
At the event, we filled each glass with water and then added a few drops of purple food dye and a floating gold candle and scattered glow-in-the-dark stars from Michael’s around the tables, along with a couple battery-operated tea lights on each table.
Nimbus 2000 Broomstick Decoration – This broom actually looks like it’s floating!
My dad made this broomstick by carving wood and then staining and painting it for the main part. For the tail you can use twigs or palm fronds and then spray paint them a dark brown or black. Finally paint the gold lettering with the broom model of your choice (we used Nimbus 2000) and add a spray painted gold aluminum can at the base of the tail.
We made it fly by tying it to the top of a staircase, which was also above the food table.
If you’d rather not make a broom yourself, check out this Harry Potter broomstick instead. 🙂
Harry Potter Sweets and Food – Recreate Honeydukes with these sweet treats
For Harry Potter recipes and sweets that we used at our banquet, check out our other guide showing you how to make Harry Potter recipes like Honeydukes’s sweets and other baked goods.
Golden Snitches and Dragon’s Eggs
We used the golden snitches (Ferrero Rocher truffles with the brown paper taken off and translucent paper wings taped on) to fill the Triwizard Cup and used the dragon’s egg (found them painted like this, added spray glitter) for a treasure hunt, like an Easter egg hunt but with dragon’s eggs. We filled them with small candies.
Triwizard Cup – A real Triwizard cup filled with chocolate Golden Snitches
We used the Triwizard cup, filled with snitches, as the top award at our banquet. You can actually buy the same Triwizard Cup they sell at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter online!