Thursday, December 13, 2018

FULL WALK-THROUGH: Our Harry Potter Escape Room!

Instead of a house-wide scavenger hunt for this year's party, John and I upgraded to a Potter-themed Escape Room - and we're never going back.  MWUAHAHAAAAA!

Yep, this thing was a blast to build and a huge hit with our guests. I'm already excited to start on next year's!

We used John's Game Room to set up, and limited ourselves to about half a dozen puzzles to keep the time limit manageable. We had nearly 20 teams to get through the room, so we aimed for a challenge that only lasted about 15 minutes.

Looking back, my only regret is limiting the team sizes, since it seemed like the larger teams of 3-4 had the most fun. (We suggested going in pairs.) These are definitely best done with a group, where you can shout and laugh together!

We put together a video to show you all the cool stuff, ready to see?

Now let me walk you through all the details! I'll also show you how we built everything, and link to some of the key products we used, in case you want to make your own. (Which you totally should.)

 Room overview. This space is only 10X10, so it's quite tiny!

(I know the theming is a little...meh... but we were more focused on the puzzle aspects. Next year I'll do better!)
 The other side of the room.

John built a slide-in shelf to cover our large screen TV in the middle of the wall unit:

This meant no video games for the final month while we finished prepping the room. :(   
We really sacrificed for this party, you guys.
 I had a lot of fun decorating the shelves. Everything here we already had around the house; I just gathered up everything shiny, old, or "wizardy."

Some of these decorations were already here, so that helped:

(This was a happy coincidence: all the artists of these pieces were at the party! House owls by Dennis Hansbury - who just made House-themed BATS, ermergerh. Papercut owl in the back by Charles Thurston, Sirius Black by Bonnie Wong, and the tiny badger figurine by Christie Cox.)

The rest of the stuff I packed up and replaced with more magical themed goodies:

I really like how this lower desk turned out:

That gold box was completely handmade by John, and is my favorite element in the room.

Here's a peek at the inner guts of its construction, see if you can figure out how it works:

Monday, December 10, 2018

Potter Party Pajamas: Come See What All Our Friends Wore!

As we all wait impatiently for me to get my exhausted kiester in gear and start posting final party photos and videos already (HURRY UP, JEN), let's take a look at what our friends wore! 

We had nearly 40 people crammed in our little house, so I won't show you EVERYONE - just the highlights that made me laugh the hardest or screech the loudest.

First the obligatory blurry selfie:


My badger hat is the creation of our friend and fellow CW writer Sharyn, who was our party's secret Santa Witch, giving away goodies left and right. (The badger hood I made way back when was too hot to wear, plus this one looks so much better!)

Now let's see what everyone ELSE wore:

Bahahaa! That's Dennis, Bonnie, Rachael & Matt. These two couples don't even know each other, but birds of a feather and Slytherins of a... scale?... flock together.

They all made their own Azkaban signs, and Matt and Rachael even brought their own pillows:

Plus Rachael socked it in the footwear arena:

A bunch of people made custom PJs using their Cricuts, and I was DYING over all the funny t-shirt slogans:
"The party don't start 'til I Slytherin" and "I believe in Thestrals." (I need a Thestral shirt now.)

Both Tim and Bianca are artists (along with half the crowd), so this is perfect. (Even the House stripes on their sleeves were made on the Cricut! Seriously, I need to get one of these magical machines.)

Katie and Kevin have more hysterical shirts, plus THE BEST SLIPPERS ERMERGERSH: