Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Hogwarts Party Decorations

Ideas for turning your house into Hogwarts Castle!

Castle Wall Interior
  • Large sheets of brown paper (I used 9 ft x 12 ft).  Mine were drop covers from the paint section of Home Depot
  • Beige paint - check out the "mistake" bin in the paint section of the store for bargains.  Beige is a common color.
  • Large, rectangle shape sponge
  • 2-3 smaller sponges
  • Paint tray
  • Rags
  • White paint - 1-2 craft size bottles
  • Brown paint - 1-2 craft size bottles
Spread out the brown paper on the floor.  Start the 1st row of bricks along the bottom edge.  Dip the large sponge in the beige paint in a paint tray.  (If the paint is too thick, stir in a little water.)  Make an imprint of the sponge on the paper, resulting in a brick shape.  Don't press down too hard on the sponge, you want the bricks to look "rough," not too perfect.  Repeat, leave a small gap between each brick. For the 2nd row of bricks, stagger the imprints so that the center of each brick lies directly over the gap between the bricks in the row below.

Keep going until the whole sheet is covered with bricks.  This took me a while to do.  Let the sheet(s) dry.

To make the uniform looking bricks look more like stones, go back over them with the white and then the brown paint.  Dip the smaller sponge in some white paint and lightly dab onto parts of each brick.  Do the same with the brown paint, adding and dabbing on a little at a time until you get the look you want.

Once dry, the painted sheets can be taped up onto the walls like wallpaper to form a Hogwarts castle-like interior background.  Stone wall backdrops and other decor are also available at party stores and online party supplies if do-it-yourself isn't appealing.

Other Touches
  • A knight's costume hung on the wall
  • Medieval paintings or portraits
  • A framed mirror as the Mirror of Erised
  • A Hogwarts banner or other banners
  • Hanging streamers in House colors 
  • Tapestries

The Bathroom
A sign "Beware of Mountain Trolls" was taped to the bathroom door.  Inside, a picture of a mountain troll was attached behind the sink, so that if you looked up at the mirror, you would see a funny green-faced troll looking back at you!  My daughter drew this troll herself.

You could also put toy rubber snakes in the bathroom, and warn people not to look at the "Basilisks" or they will be petrified! Another idea is a picture of Moaning Myrtle (or a repeating loop of her sound effects).

The Yard
In areas of the front yard, we placed a "Care of Magical Creatures" area.  We put up a Playhut and scattered stuffed animals around it.  Fortunately, my kids had a good selection of dragons, unicorns, snakes, frogs, winged horses and the like.  We also borrowed an owl puppet from the library and attached it to our mail box -- "Owl Post."  The final touch was a toy car stuck up in a ficus tree near our front door, which looked amazingly like the Weasley's Ford Anglia stuck in the Whomping Willow!

Next Stop: Decorating Diagon Alley