Potter DIY: “Harry Potter” Birthday Party Invitations
Want to throw an epic Harry Potter-themed birthday party? Not sure where to start? Let me help you out. There are many moving parts when it comes to preparing for a party, but personally, I feel like the invitations are the most important. Much like a novel’s “hook” sentence or review, a party’s “hook” is the invitation. Here’s a helpful DIY on how to make the perfect invitation.
What You’ll Need:
- Computer, printer, paper, envelopes
- Black tea (or coffee)
- Cookie pans and cooling racks
- A deep, clear dish
- A tea kettle
- A spoon
- Paper towels
- Hairdryer (optional)
- Iron and ironing board
- Sealing wax
- A lighter
- A metal stamp (I used a metal necklace with grooves in it – this works just as well)
- A mask (safety first!)
- Cooking oil
- Disinfecting wipes
Step 1: Write up your invitations! There’s more to a Hogwarts acceptance letter than just the fancy font and style. To make this invitation perfect, you also have to get the wording right. For example, the very first line of this invitation is, “We are pleased to inform you that you have been invited to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry for the celebration of Morgan’s 18th birthday.” Be sure to also include the date and time of the party, the location of the party, and if you’d like, some general activities that will be going on at the party.
Once you have the contents of the letter just right, it’s time to move on to the style. I used three types of fonts while making the letters: “Eagle Lake” for the headers, “Aquiline Two” for the body, and “Mr. Bedfort” for the signature. “Eagle Lake” and “Mr. Bedfort” were already on Google Docs, but I was able to find “Aquiline Two” on DaFont.com. If you are unable to download it, there is an “example text” box that you can plug your lines into and then take a screenshot to paste into your document. I also found a black-and-white free image of the Hogwarts crest, downloaded it, and sized it to fit at the top of the letter.
Step 2: After I had my invitations printed out, it was time to stain them. I boiled water in a kettle and poured the water into a deep, glass dish holding five tea bags in it. After letting it steep and stirring it with a spoon, I poured the tea into a large baking pan. One by one, I placed my invitations in the tea and gently pressed them down with the spoon until they were fully submerged. Do not try to stain all your papers at once – if there are too many, then they won’t be fully submerged and won’t stain as nicely.
While they are sitting, prepare the drying station. I used cookie cooling racks to let them air-dry. However, I found that the papers will dry with lines on them if I put them directly on the rack, so I recommend placing a few paper towels down for the paper to rest on. The tea bags are reusable, but only for one more round. I recommend replacing them in between each or every other round of staining.
After waiting about 20-30 minutes, I poured out the tea and set the papers on the cooling racks. They can air-dry, but if you’re in a hurry, then using a hairdryer works just as well. I stained my invitations twice to make the paper darker. They will get wrinkly, but don’t worry – there is a way to fix this (see next step). Use the same process when staining the envelopes.
Step 3: Yes, ironing paper sounds really weird, but it actually works. I used the lowest setting (heat only, no steam) and ironed out both the invitations and the envelopes. This was a very speedy process.
Step 4: In addition to acceptance letters, I wanted to include Platform 9 ¾ tickets. I took an image off the internet and used PicsArt to remove the bottom text. I then used Phonto to replace it with party details using Canterbury Regular for the font. I printed them out on cardstock so they were thicker than the invitations.
Step 5: Now that you have your letter and your ticket, it’s time to finish it off with a pretty stamp seal. I tried using a non-metal stamp, and the wax stuck to it instead of the paper. Since I didn’t have access to a metal stamp, I improvised with a metal Hogwarts crest necklace, which worked very well. All you need to do is light the sealing wax candle and let the wax drip onto the envelope until you have a puddle about the size of a penny. Blow out the candle and press down gently with your stamp. Let it sit until the wax has hardened and then gently peel off the stamp. Use a paper towel to rub the cooking oil on the stamp in between each seal. This will help prevent it from sticking.
Practice this many times before using it on your final products. It took many tries before I got it right. If the wax drop comes down on fire, it will usually go out in the puddle of wax, but if it doesn’t, blow it out before it burns your envelope. Please note this was by far the messiest part of the project. The ash from the wax candle got everywhere. Please do this in a well-ventilated area and with a mask on. Clorox wipes worked very well to wipe up the ash.
Now all you need to do is find a well-trained owl to deliver your invitations… I’m just kidding. I hoped you enjoyed this DIY.