Thursday, May 19, 2011

A Magical Birthday

While collecting inspiration on Pinterest for Owen's birthday party (in nine days), I realized I never shared Garrett's December birthday party here!

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When Garrett told us he wanted a Harry Potter birthday at home Mitch & I looked at each other with a look of "oh crud!" We knew this could easily get out of control, fast. So, we did what we do best & came up with a plan of attack.


The first and most important question was how were we going to entertain & contain 20 five/six year old boys in our home? This wasn't our first home party but it was the first time we had all boys, big boys, that we guessed wouldn't be satisfied with a play-doh station.

After much online research {see links below} we decided on a sorting hat ceremony, a quidditch match outside (we crossed our fingers for good weather in December), a potions class and face painting for the duration of the party.

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Garrett was insistent this not only be a Harry Potter party but also a costume party. I made the mistake of mentioning robes to Mitch while Garrett was in earshot & then there was no going back. Despite my optimism of finding robes on Halloween clearance I had no luck due to the upcoming release of the Deathly Hallows, Part I.

On a wing & a prayer, I made 19 quidditch robes complete with the house crest, kids last names & soccer/random numbers on the back. I owe great thanks to Lovetta, my friend from the Dallas Modern Quilt Guild, who so graciously offered to help me one Saturday Sew. It was a boost to my morale & progress.


The Tom Kat Studio was a great source of inspiration {see links below} for decorations & overall vibe. Since the decorations were the least critical piece I left them to the end. My parents came early to help Mitch with the kids & I was literally sewing garland hours, ok maybe minutes, before the guests were to arrive.



Original painting by Garrett that was done months before & I borrowed for decoration.


After a previous experience of making an elaborate cake to only have the kids want cupcakes I knew I wanted to make a simple cake with lots of cupcakes. I was down to the wire on party time & Heather, my future sister in law, pulled off these great cupcakes.



When the kids arrived we had them standing in line for face painting. I quickly realized this wouldn't work longterm, um we had 18 faces to paint, and gave the kids a number on post it notes. When Angie was ready she would just call the next number. This worked like a charm.

We started the party with the sorting ceremony. To make sure everything went smoothly I had the kids listed in a roster with their name & house. The robes were hung in order of the roster. As I called each child to sit on the stool, according to the roster, we signaled to Mitch. He was in Owen's nursery and would call out the House, according to the roster, through the baby monitor taped under the stool. This was great fun as both parents & kids were trying to figure out how this magic was happening.

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With the kids sorted into their houses we split them into two groups. One house went to potions class in the sun room & the other two houses went outside for a Quidditch Match. We did not have the Slytherin House just in case no one wanted to be a bad guy!

Mitch was the Potions master and the kids had three potions to go through {see links below}. This was a huge hit. I adored seeing the wonder on their faces.

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Can you tell Garrett's robe was my first with his name & number being so much lower than the others? :)



Meanwhile, the other two houses were outside having a quidditch match which boiled down was an Easter egg hunt for ping pong balls that had points written on them with a Sharpie marker & the golden Snitch. It was a great way to have the boys run off energy. My brother & future sister in law did a wonderful job corralling the boys.

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After everyone went through the potions class we came in for the Happy Birthday song & cake. Thanks so much to my friend & fellow soccer Mom, Kristin, for taking my camera from me mid-party so that I could experience it instead of document it!



After the cake it was time to send the kids home with more sugar. I wanted to have Honeydukes in the entrance as both decoration & the parting favor. I expected the kids to go crazy here but there were all very restrained & we ended up having a ton of extra candy!


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I used my Studio Calico stamps to create the shop bags.

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I had putting this party together. It brings me great joy to create birthday magic for Garrett (and now Owen) and their guests. My children will only be little for so long & I want to soak in every glorious, magical moment.


I had the help of lots of people along the way to pull it off both before & during the party; huge thanks to all of you. And I have such respect for my husband who lives with me during these creative binges! It's a wonder we stay married sometimes :)


My only regret was that since I was putting the finishing touches on the decorations minutes before everyone arrived I didn't have as much time as I would have liked to photograph all the special details.

If you have questions please ask in the comments & I'll do my best to respond or will have a follow up post if there are several questions. I've tried to post below all my inspiration links that I gathered in Evernote while preparing for the party.



Potions Class:
Pop Rocks Potion
Bubbling Potion
Magic Milk

Sorting Hat:

Quidditch Match:

Labels (the saved link to the original source is broken but the image is from Tom Kat Studio & I've linked to the picture)
Tom Kat Studio

Chocolate Frogs
Sweet Shop




Deanna said...

Jack had such a fun time at the party! His yellow robe comes out of hiding every so often!

Lucia said...

Just awesome, Monica!

stevenjared0853 said...

This birthday bash d├ęcor theme is so sparkling and very unique. I also have to book one of domestic Chicago venues for my daughter’s fairy themed 5th birthday bash. It will be an indoor bash and have just found a lot of beautiful venues at and will try to book affordable one.