I have this niece who never tells anyone what she wants; she has 4 younger siblings, spends most her time caring for them, and was taught to never ask for anything. So she lets herself blend into the background, and when asked what she wants for a birthday or Christmas or even dinner, she shrugs. She turned 16 this weekend!
To find something that she would like, I had to stalk her on Pinterest. Looking through her interests to find crumbles that said things like: “I really like that.” “I wish that was mine.” “It would be nice to own that.” “I wish someone would surprise me with this.”
And one theme recurred throughout: She really wishes she could go to Hogwarts. So, my daughter and I did what we could to make that happen. If only for one day.
Of course, we started by raiding Hot Topic for Harry Potter gear that was on sale, and we didn’t want to make. Then, we gathered a truly astonishing list of resources to make the rest of the Hogwarts dreams come true. These were not my ideas, so expect lots of links.
Start with a mini spell book. The Lemon Squeezy Shop on Craftsy created a PDF with spells already in a 4×6 format (for free): Harry Potter Spells. We downloaded that and printed it out on parchment stationary. Cut it out and placed it in an inexpensive cardboard and plastic 4×6 photo album that we found at Wal-mart.
Mrs. Nespy’s World featured a post about hosting a potions class. Complete with links to to the “potions recipes.” I downloaded her recipes, and then brought together everything my niece would need to create her own class. With three of her siblings much younger than her, she should have fun doing them. Plus, I looked on the Harry Potter wiki for other ingredients used in potions and created some extra bottles. For example, I used dyed glycerin green and called it Flobberworm Mucus. I had most of these containers beforehand. The few I needed, I was able to purchase for a couple of dollars at a craft store.
The potions needed a box to hold them in, and my daughter found these at the craft store for about $5 each. So we bought them, painted them up (I hate painting), added some hardware, and put all of the potion materials inside. My daughter decided to freehand a decorative box, and being unsatisfied with her Hogwarts logo we put a Hogwarts patch on top of it.
To hold her Hogwarts letter, the potion book, the spell book, and her platform ticket, we made her a box. Here is where my hatred of painting really comes in because it didn’t look good by the time we finished, but we needed to keep everything neat and tidy in the larger wrapped box. I used Dave Lowe Design technique. I just didn’t do a spectacular job.
My daughter made the Hogwarts letter by downloading the fonts. We used the letter text from a file sharing site, added a note about the tardiness of the letter, and included a list of the supplies she would need through year 5. We also added a post script that Owls couldn’t be used to deliver the letter due to Muggle’s discovery of magic. We found the platform ticket by doing an internet search, but I liked the quality of the one from Jessie from the blog best.
Due to the small children living at her house, and their utter lack of respect for her things, I couldn’t make my niece a chopstick or more robust wooden wand. Instead, we made an Instructables featuring a sheet of paper and hot glue. For her wand box, I made just used two pieces of poster board. I made a 15×5 rectangle. I cut out 1×1 squares from the four corners. Taped it together, fit the two pieces together, and painted it. I used Ollivander’s wand box labels from another Instructable. For the interior I sewed a little bag, stuffed it, and then used some scrap organza as the protective cover.
Finally, Em added a pin for a Harry Potter tote bag. As she did this practically at the last-minute, I couldn’t just order her one from the London shop that makes them professionally. I made her one instead. I used the font site’s JPG letter generator and put them into Photoshop before printing the graphic out on fabric transfer paper. The bag is just a simple tote bag with a lining and a boxed bottom.