Friday, March 13, 2015

The final bit...Thank You Notes

One of the things that I wasn't able to fit in to the party was the Maurader's Map.  While researching possible ways to use it I found a website that had a version of the map that when folded was the size of an invitation or thank you note.  AHA!!!!  Thank you notes.  I downloaded the artwork and the instructions on how to fold them and decided that these mini Maurader's Maps would be the Thank You note for the party.

Once the maps were folded the back of it was blank and the perfect spot for Bug-A-Boo to write her thanks.  The maps were pretty tedious to fold and took a while but it was worth it.  They came out awesome.
We put them in small envelopes and along the flap of the envelope we wrote, "I solemnly swear that I am up to no good".  On the back of the map above where the thanks went we wrote in big letters, "Mischief Managed".  I went to the post office and was lucky enough to be able to buy 2 books of Harry Potter stamps.  It was perfect.

I have included the link to the website with the map artwork and instructions and I've also included them below.

From the website:

"Here are the instructions for cutting & folding my original artwork Marauders' Map I created for my Year 6 at Hogwarts party in 2005. Although I still claim copyright on my original artwork, my map is freely available for fellow Harry Potter fans as long as it is for non-commercial
use only. By downloading my map, you agree to my terms of use. Sale or distribution of
this material is prohibited without my express authorization. Please contact me to discuss resale or distribution terms if you are interested."

Thank you,
Britta Peterson

The folding is complex enough that you really need to pay careful attention to your creases or the drawing doesn't meet up properly for the design. If you have origami experience like me, that helps immensely, since you'll already know that quality origami is all about accuracy and precision. Even after folding 80 maps, I couldn't ever get quicker than about 5 minutes per map, cutting & folding included, so be more concerned about the quality of your final product than rushing to get them finished.

1. Print out your map on a sheet of 8.5x11" parchment paper.

2. Find the faint lines near the edge of the patio and the Honeydukes coffeetable to make gentle mountain folds (fold backwards) in approximately thirds lengthwise. Do NOT crease these folds!
3. Find the faint lengthwise lines that mark the outline of the front cover image and cut only to where you just folded. You will notice that on this cut line, the design doesn't match anywhere until after it's folded into the final pattern.
4. Find the faint lines that mark the inner edges of where the front covers meet in the middle. You will see that the design changes at the same line. Make mountain folds on those lines.
5. Bring the last two mountain folds together to meet in the middle. Carefully adjust the middle until the design meets, then press down to finger-crease the outer edge folds. Don't worry about a crisp crease yet, since you still might have a final adjustment at the end.
6. Turn over and you'll see your top flap edges hang over the folds from the back view.
7. Trim the front cover flaps either now, or you can wait until after the final folding.
8. Turn back over so you see the drawing again. Unfold the front cover you just folded so it is out of the way. Use the cross-marks where the inner ends of the cuts are to fold the top and bottom strips across in valley folds as shown. Your original gentle mountain folds should meet up with the side folds of the front cover. Adjust a little if necessary, since sometimes the cuts can end in slightly different places.
9. Find the faint lines and design edges for the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry lettering on the edges of the horizontal flaps. Mountain fold all four ends as shown.
10. This step is a bit tricky. Take the pair of end flaps from one side that match together, i.e. "Hogwarts School." Pull the flaps around so that the folded edges meet and the lettering matches up, then gently smash down so you end up with the angled folds, taking care that you don't stress the corners so much that they rip. This will require some adjusting of the angles and the edge where the front cover will fold over this section. Your priority is that the lettering matches up with the front cover still able to fold over everything, since you can trim the other edges for a clean look. Repeat this with the other side lettering so all your lettering meets in the middle now.
11. Due to the paper printable area, you have overlap at the middle, so make a cut through all the flaps as shown to trim the overlap, but be careful you do NOT cut through too many layers. You do want to cut through the angled folds, but you want to be careful not to go through the other side, so it's easiest to cut from the outside in for each side. Depending on your cuts (and how much you care!), you might want to open the map back up and trim all the way across to have a clean final exterior edge when unfolded. Yes, I painstakingly trimmed all my maps because I'm that picky. ;) It helps the map stay flat to use a folding bone on the school lettering layer before folding the whole map.
12. Carefully fold everything together, making sure that you haven't caught anything misfolded inside. Holding the front cover together to be sure the design meets properly, then use a folding bone to make crisp folds and to help keep the map flat.
Voila! Your own Marauders' Map!

Original artwork and instructions by Britta Blvd © 2005-2006 All Rights Reserved. 

This whole Harry Potter Birthday Party didn't end with the party.  I worked for almost as long on creating Bug-A-Boo's birthday gift which was a trunk full of Harry Potter themed stuff.  Stay tuned for all the details of her gift.

Hogsmeade: Honeydukes

Last but not least was Honeydukes.  Creating Honeyduke's was so much fun but it was probably the most work that was involved in this party.

Honeydukes at Universal Studios Orlando

Honeydukes at Universal Studios Orlando
Honeydukes at Universal Studios Orlando
Honeydukes at Universal Studios Orlando
For Honeydukes I cleared out the closet cove near the front door and put a 4 foot table in the cove and set up our shop.  I decided on several types of candy from the books/movies and got to work figuring out how to recreate them.

I made bags so that the girls could collect their candy and carry it home.  I used large, brown lunch bags and printed out the Honeydukes logo and adhered  it to the bags.  I decided on the following candy:  Acid Pops, Jelly Slugs, Bertie Bott's Every Flavor Beans, Fizzing Whizbees and Chocolate Frogs.

The Jelly Slugs were gummy worms.  I put them in a glass container and found a scoop, I found the artwork and attached it to the glass container.

For the Fizzing Whizbees I bought a bee chocolate mold from  I melted chocolate, put it in the molds and then poured Pop Rocks into the melted chocolate to give it the Fizz.  I got some clear bags, printed out the artwork and bagged up the chocolate bees.

The Acid Pops were flavored suckers that I found on sale.  I found the Acid Pop artwork online and made tags for the suckers.

The Bertie Bott's Every Flavor Beans were some of the more time involved favor.  I found the artwork for the boxes online and to make it a little easier I got a picture of some jelly beans from the web and I photoshopped the jelly beans into the windows of the box.  I printed them out on heavy cardstock an assembled them.  The Jelly Beans themselves were yummy flavored Jelly Belly's.

The most time intensive project were the chocolate frogs.  Again, I found a frog mold at and made the actual frogs.  I found the artwork for the boxes online, printed them out on heavy cardstock and assembled them.

In the books and movies the most important part of the chocolate frogs are the Wizard Trading Cards that come in them.  I wanted the girls to be able to have their very own Trading Cards.  I found a template for a make your own card online and then I downloaded pictures of Ginny Weasley, Harry Potter, Ron Weasley, Hermione Granger, Neville Longbottom and Luna Lovegood.

I was able to make the cards in Photoshop.  I printed them on heavy cardstock, attached front to back and laminated them.  I placed a frog and 1 card at the bottom of each box.  It was fun for the girls to see which card they got.

The parents were a little overwhelmed when they picked up their kids.  Each kid walked out of the party with a cauldron full of stuff as well as a plastic grocery bag full of stuff.  Each guests received all of the following items (from the invitation to the thank you note):

1.  Hogwarts Express train ticket
2.  A bag of Gold Galleons with a Gringott's withdrawal slip
3.  A robe
4.  An 8" cauldron
5.  A wooden wand in it's own padded box
6.  "Your Wand And You" booklet
7.  Hogwarts Lesson Book
8.  Quill
9.  Toilet paper roll pet craft
10.  House crest button
11.  Charm bracelet with their name
12.  Jar of Play-doh
13.  Toy dragon with egg
14.  Paper fortune teller
15.  Jar with their potion in it
16.  Pot, dirt and Venus Flytrap seeds
17.  Bookmark with an animal charm
18.  Hershey Kisses
19.  Constellation Wheel craft
20.  O.W.L. Result certificate
21.  Hogwarts Certificate of Merit
22.  Quid ditch broom
23.  Weasley's Wonderous Wands (sparklers)
24.  Extendable Ears
25.  Harry Potter glasses
26.  Acid Pop (sucker)
27.  Jelly Slugs (gummy worms)
28.  Fizzing Whizbees (chocolate bees with Pop Rocks)
29.  Box of Bertie Bott's Every Flavour Beans
30.  Chocolate Frog with Wizard Trading Card
31.  Mini Maurader's Map (Thank You Note)

Like I said this party was EPIC and believe it or not it didn't cost a fortune.  I was able to make almost everything my self, either for free or really cheap.  The biggest expense was ink for our printer.

If you would like to purchase the digital files for the Chocolate Frog Wizard Cards for $8.00 you can PayPal me at

Hogsmeade: Weasley's Wizard Wheezes

Just before parents started picking everyone up the girls were able to visit a few other places in Hogsmeade Village.  They would get their party favors at Weasley's Wizarding Wheezes and Honeydukes.  First up was Weasley's...

Weasley's Wizarding Wheezes at Universal Studios Orlando

Weasley's Wizarding Wheezes at Universal Studios Orlando
Weasley's Wizarding Wheezes at Universal Studios Orlando
I found some brilliant Weasley product artwork online at The RPF and I printed them out and hung them on our photo tree near the front door.

On the adjacent wall I hung up Proclamation Education Decree No. 98 that had to do with Weasley's Wizarding Wheezes.

Next were the Weasley products.  The first item were Weasley's Wonderous Wands.  During the fourth of July I purchased boxes of sparklers, I downloaded the artwork, resized it in Photoshop, printed on heavy yardstick and adhered it to the boxes.

The next item was Extendable Ears.  While shopping for cauldrons I found some at an amazing price but in order to place an order at the website you had to spend $45 dollars.  I found some Harry Potter glasses but was still short.  And then I saw these clown ears and I thought I could make Extendable Ears.  I got the ears and bought some flesh colored yarn.  I punched holes in the back of the ears and attached a 12 foot piece of yarn to them.

By modifying the instructions to make the wand boxes a little I was able to make boxes for the ears.  I printed the artwork for the Extendable Ears and adhered it to the boxes.

The girls were also able to get a pair of Harry Potter glasses.

I had so much fun coming up with all the Weasley stuff.  The girls really liked it too.

Hogsmeade: Three Broomsticks

After Quidditch we went to Hogsmeade Village to the Three Broomsticks were we would be enjoying some Butter Beer and Bug-A-Boo could open her presents.

The Three Broomsticks at Universal Orlando

The Three Broomsticks at Universal Orlando
Butter Beer from Universal Orlando
Butter Beer kegs at Universal Orlando
The obvious location for the Three Broomsticks was the pub.  Using the same method I used to make the brooms for Quidditch, I made three more broomsticks and attached them together with rubber bands.  I printed out the Three Broomsticks logo that I found online and nailed the sign above the entrance to our pub.

The next big thing was to find an easy and yummy recipe for Butter Beer.  This was a challenge.  There are so many different versions out there and we experimented with a few different ones before we found the recipe that would work for the party.

I found the winning recipe at  It was quick and easy and it didn't require any time at the stove, which was great due to the way I wanted to serve it.

Ingredients for the Butter Beer:
2 liter cream soda* or 6 pack of IBC Cream Soda
2 tablespoons of Butter Extract
2 teaspoons Rum Extract
*drop the extracts into the 2 liter bottle, put on cap and slowly rotate until combined.  If you use the 6 pack pour the soda into a drink dispenser and stir slowly.

Cream topping:
1-7oz container of marshmallow creme
1 cup whipping cream
1 teaspoon rum extract
*add all items together in an electric mixer and combine until smooth.

Pour the butterbeer into a glass, drizzle with the cream topping and enjoy!

While doing all my research I came across the website and found an amazing way to serve the Butter Beer.  In a Butter Beer barrel.  Well, I wasn't able to serve it out of a real barrel so I used the instructions on the website to make one.  It came out great!  It looked so cool in the pub!

We decorated the top of the bar with all of the Harry Potter movies.

Tara scooped out the cream on top of the butter beer and everyone enjoyed!!