Thrift Store Magic, or How to Build Your Own Hogwarts in a Garage

We at MuggleNet just cannot get enough of crafty designs by creative Harry Potter fans. As this year’s lengthy lockdowns have stretched for months and months, many have dusted off their power tools and worked their interior design wizardry to bring magic into their regular old living spaces. Inspired by his visit to Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter, thrifty Brian Thompson was already ambitious when he decided to bring the stars into his garage. In the end, he built an entire homemade Hogwarts for them to shine on.


A dark and richly decorated Hogwarts-inspired room is shown with gothic decorations and colourful lights.


Thompson calls himself the world’s biggest Harry Potter fan, and his project makes a strong case. His real witchcraft, however, lies not in his taste for picking items to upcycle or in getting creative with building materials but in saving money. The entire renovation cost less than $500 due to his finance magic.


A dark and richly decorated Hogwarts-inspired room is shown with gothic decorations and colourful lights.


In order to achieve this feat, Thompson collected and upcycled items from thrift stores, Amazon, and eBay and transformed them into decorations that you would never tell weren’t bespoke collector’s items for hundreds of dollars. He started with the ceiling, which is scattered with twinkling stars run by hundreds of electric wires behind the varnish, but then he couldn’t stop as the pandemic resolutely continued. He used pool noodles for the Gothic windows and a tree, and he even crafted his own self-moving wizard chessboard.


A dark and richly decorated Hogwarts-inspired room is shown with gothic decorations and colourful lights.


Thompson shared his budgeting tips with Love the Sales, and they are brilliantly simple and simply brilliant:

I picked up some real bargains; the photo frames were all £1 each, and my display cabinet was £3. With the grandfather clock, instead of buying a new one for hundreds, I bought the shell of an old grandfather clock for £8 from a charity shop and then put a moving 3D clock puzzle inside it that I got from Amazon for £46.

A little creativity goes a long way, and Thomspon clearly loves the room he created with his bare hands. Check out his video tour of the finished design, complete with peeks into all the fun secrets of the once boring garage room.




Thompson says the project kept him busy during the pandemic and did wonders for his mental health:

I’d urge anyone who has a dream project in mind to use this time stuck inside to start it! I promise you it’s worth it. Working on a DIY project is great for mental health; it gives you something to work towards and so much joy when you finish it.

If the end result is half as fabulous as his garage Hogwarts, we will be the next ones to grab a saw and start browsing for second-hand cabinets. Anyone with a spare garage or storage space, take notes.


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Dora Bodrogi

I am a writer, a critic, a researcher, a traveler, and a Ravenclaw through and through. My main fields of interest are representation, gender, and LGBTQ fiction, history, and censorship. Incorrigible doodler and theatre kid.

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