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DIY Harry Potter Party: the best tips for throwing a party for your kids

Welcome back, everyone! I’m excited to share my tips for throwing a DIY Harry Potter party with you! We had such a blast celebrating our little man this last weekend, and I have had a ton of fun looking back through all of the pictures! I kept in mind mine and my husband’s budget while planning this party, so I didn’t get to do everything I would have liked to. However, I think all of the little things made a big impact, and it turned out to be one of my favorite days and parties ever! I absolutely love Harry Potter, and I’m so glad I got to geek out on these decorations, food ideas, and more! Here are my tips for throwing a DIY Harry Potter party!

What a first birthday means to me…

Birthdays are a big deal to me. There…I said it. I know most people hate their birthday and call it “just any other day”, but I think there is something really special about taking a day out to celebrate a specific person. For instance, I love celebrating my husband’s birthday because its a day I get to do a few special things to remind him how much he’s loved. I think that’s a wonderful thing to do! Don’t you?

So, you can image how I feel about the first birthday. I love baby Flynn so much and I know he’s just going to grow up wonderfully geeky like his parents. So, naturally, a Harry Potter first birthday party came to mind! More importantly…a DIY Harry Potter party! We didn’t have a ton of money to spend on this party so I did a lot of the little things myself. Made a few items and stayed frugal with others. This is how we got away with the whole DIY Harry Potter party in the first place!

It meant so much to me that this party went well. Not in a stressful way though. I just wanted it to be as much fun as possible for everyone! And luckily, it turned out to be just that!

Baby Flynn is mine and my husband’s everything, so this was such a special moment for us and our little one. And although I know he won’t remember it, at least he’ll see a ton of pictures and know he had one heck of a good first birthday! Now, I just have to top it every year- yikes! 😛 No…but really…it’ll be fun! I love doing stuff like this!

It’s important to remember that the first birthday party is more for the parents than anything. Don’t get me wrong, it’s all about the baby. But it’s also about celebrating you all as a family and that you’ve made it a whole year! Now, you get to spoil your little one with some cake and presents and that feels so good!

An important takeaway…

One thing that I really want everyone to take away from this blog post is that you have to rein yourself in. I know I mentioned it before, but it’s worth mentioning a second time and in it’s own section. I know myself, if I had an unlimited budget and enough time on my hands, I would have made this party ridiculously over the top. And while there is fun in that, I much prefer the way we did things. In fact, I think the things we did (which even seemed like a lot at the time), spread out nicely through the house and made exactly the right amount of impact.

This party was also kind of our housewarming shindig so we didn’t want to cover the walls or detract much from the everyday decor. And that also saved us a lot of money in the process.

I stuck with crafts and things that were relatively inexpensive and got creative by using some of the props we had from the local Theatre program that my husband works for as a professor. My point? I did everything I could to save money, get creative, and use what I already had around the house. If I was going to by something, I had to be very selective about what it was and really had to narrow down the most important items.

In my opinion…this is the way to go!

Not only did it save me money, but it made it so nothing looked too over the top, but it still was heavily themed for the party. It was truly the perfect amount!

I thought it would be helpful to include a list of things that you commonly think about when planning a first birthday party. I know, for me, it was difficult to remember ALL of the many things you need to think about when planning this big-ish event. Notice I say big-ish here. The biggest point I want to hit home with this blog is that you need to rein yourself in. You can’t do everything…you are a human…you will go crazy. So, here’s my list for…

Things you’ll want to think about when planning a first birthday party:

  • smash cake *Consider Walmart for a free smash cake!
  • cupcakes or Sheet cake (I recommend cupcakes! Easier!)
  • high chair banner
  • food
  • any condiments for food (Just go with pizza instead and make your life easier!)
  • plastic tablecloths (Dollar tree!!!)
  • paper plates
  • plastic utensils
  • cups
  • napkins
  • table decorations
  • decorations in general
  • balloons
  • invitations (e-vites, Text messages, and Facebook all the way! Save your money!!! I’m going to write a post about this. I’ll link it here when it’s ready.)
  • porch decorations
  • seating
  • present table location
  • guest list
  • parking
  • telling neighbors about party (and all the cars)
  • themed clothes for baby (and yourself if you want to have some fun!)
  • party location (Have it at home if you can to save some money!)

Can you think of any more items I should add to the list? Let me know in the comments and I’ll give you a shoutout!

 DIY Harry Potter party DECORATIONS

First, you’ll obviously need to pass through platform 9 and 3/4. I mean, how else would you want to get to Hogwarts? Best to take a running start if you’re a bit nervous.

Platform 9 3/4 Decoration for front door for a DIY Harry Potter party

Platform 9 3/4 Decoration for Harry Potter party

Platform 9 3/4 decoration for Harry Potter party

And make sure to watch your step in the bathroom…


Chamber of Secrets message on bathroom mirror

Make sure not to miss Flynn’s Harry Potter Birthday banner! I got it on Amazon for $10! Here’s the link!

High Chair First Birthday Banner and Smash Cake

Oh! And if you’re looking for a cute owl, this is the one I used. Super cheap and adorable! Couldn’t have turned out better next to my hufflepuff scarf and the luggage.

Harry Potter party decorations

It really set the scene.

We got the Harry Potter trunk when we purchased all of the Harry Potter books. Actually, my amazing husband got them for me for Christmas! I love how they came in the trunk and how it was a perfect party decoration!

I also added little details here and there.

Harry Potter Napkins

The cute little table cutouts came from this adorable etsy shop!

Harry Potter Table Confetti

I got the flickering tea candles from Amazon too (yall, we LOVE us some Amazon in our house). Even though the party was during the day, the flickering helped to set the Harry Potter mood!



A little sign to welcome our muggle friends to Hogwarts for the party! And my personal favorite! I got this Sorting Hat Candle from an adorable etsy store call flickering fandoms. They send you a white candle and then it turns a random Harry Potter house color. Thus, you have been sorted into your house. Flynn is a Ravenclaw! Just like his daddy! We’re so proud… 😛

Sorting Hat Candle

Sorting Hat Candle32280168_10160291978295612_4445445744412852224_n

DIY Harry Potter party FOOD

We had some delicious food at Flynn’s Harry Potter Birthday! Including:

  • Pizza- Muggle Food

  • Cheese Puffs- Huffle Puffs

  • Bugles- Ravenclaws

  • Gummy Worms- Slytherin Snakes

  • Jolly Ranchers- Gryffindor Droobles

  • Veggie Tray- Herbology Garden

  • Fruit Tray- Forbidden Forest Fruit

  • Cupcakes- Cauldron Cakes

  • Pretzel and Candy Melt Drizzle- Edible Wands

Harry Potter Cauldron Cakes

Forbidden Forest Fruit

Harry Potter party food32294667_10160291978945612_9119009537062338560_n32286669_10160391909030504_499903948094701568_nHarry Potter party table food

Shoutout to my friend, Sam for helping me make the edible wands! We had a ton of fun!

All we did was drizzle some candy melts over the pretzel rods, added some fun sprinkles, and dusted it with this edible gold dust spray. They were delicious!

Edible Harry Potter Wands

my nieces loved them too!



His first ever pizza and chocolate! Don’t you just love his face. He’s like, “That’s right…I’m cute AND i’m eating Pizza!”.


We also had Flynn’s smash cake that we got at Walmart! Did you know that if you buy a certain number of cupcakes for a first birthday party that Walmart will give you a free smash cake? A total score in my book! Some people pay a TON for those!



Friends and Family

So many amazing people came out to see Flynn (and us, probably :P)! Our best friend drove 19 hours just to get here for a day! That’s true friendship! If you haven’t already, read about our tattoos here. We also got to meet his girl friend, Heather, and we very much approve! 🙂


Oh! And you can order those awesome shirts here if you want!

Some of our guests were totally awesome and really got into the theme! I just love the Crawfords!

(Chris is my husbands boss, was our college professor, and even officiated our wedding!)


My brother and baby Flynn!32312946_10160392076905504_2608229228205834240_n


We are so grateful for the family and friends who came to support Flynn on his birthday!

Do you have any more ideas about what would make a fun Harry Potter first birthday party? I think it went so well and we had such a good time, but I know I had a TON more ideas! Would you be interested in hearing them?

Have a magical day, everyone!

Ellen 🙂


3 thoughts on “DIY Harry Potter Party: the best tips for throwing a party for your kids”

  1. How adorable! What a fun party!!

    We were debating on doing a potter bday for our toddler! We ended up doing a fiesta style party since I am hispanic!

    Maybe next time!!!

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