Friday, October 16, 2009

Hogwarts Party Decorations page 2

Decorating Diagon Alley
We used the home office to set up Diagon Alley and set up several shop areas.  I used these signs to mark each "shop" area.  You can also get a PDF file of all the Diagon Alley signs here.They are meant to be printed in landscape format.

For each shop area, you could decorate simply, or you could go wild with other props.  Here's some ideas.

Gringotts Bank
My Gringotts Bank was a closet.  I painted a shoebox black and tacked it to the wall inside as our "vault".  Gold money pouches were stored in here.  A real safe or vault would be a step up from my black shoebox.

There is an engraved sign on the doors at Gringotts that plays an important part in the Harry Potter story:
Every stranger, but take heed
Of what awaits the sin of greed,
For those who take, but do not earn,
Must pay most dearly in their turn.
So if you seek beneath our floors
A treasure that was never yours,
Thief, you have been warned, beware
Of finding more than treasure there.
It can be printed on silver or gray paper.  Frame it in silver or aluminum foil to add some sparkle.

An apothecary is like an old-time pharmacy, with weird ingredients in clear containers.  Reminds me of Chinatown herb stores filled with teas, dried ginseng, ginger, and many mysterious items.  Fill and display plastic or glass jars with seeds, beans, small toy bugs or spiders, dried leaves, colored liquids.  Dried mushrooms, peppers, cinnamon sticks, spices and herbs are all interesting to display, use anything you have in or around the house. Send the kids out to collect leaves, pine needles, twigs, flowers, or whatever nature offers.  The black party bag "cauldrons" and the crystal phials are stocked here.

Flourish and Blotts Bookstore
A bookshelf would be a perfect spot.  Crumple and uncrumple some brown paper from grocery bags and cover a bunch of books with it.  Add magical titles to the spines, like Magical Me, by Gilderoy Lockhart, or 101 Uses for Spellotape.  Get your kids to create new titles, they'll have loads of fun!  The Spellbooks we made for the party are stocked here. 

Ollivanders' store is supposed to be stacks and stacks of boxes containing wands.  Instead, I just displayed all the wands on a nice velvet scarf.

Madam Malkin's Robes
I made some simple capes out of black fabric and just displayed them on hangers.  We hung ours up on a swing arm lamp!  We also had a tape measure on hand for properly "fitting"our customers with their robes.

Quality Quidditch Supplies (optional)
Stack up a bunch of brooms in a corner, or even hang them on a wall.  Display family sports trophies nearby.  Put out a small suitcase or trunk and label it, "Deluxe Quidditch Game Set: 100 Galleons."  Spray paint a ping pong ball gold and add foil wings to make a Golden Snitch.  Add fishing line and suspend it from the ceiling, cool!

Eeylops Owl Emporium (optional)
If you have any birdcages, put 'em here.  Any stuffed birds, even if they're not owls, can be displayed here.

Leaky Cauldron (optional)
Put out a pitcher of drinks or water and some small drink cups at a table.  Maybe a bowl of pretzels or popcorn to munch on, too.

Next Stop: Great Hall Dining Area