Thursday, November 16, 2017

Potter Party Spoilers: Come See What We've Made So Far!

I mentioned this before, but John and I are throwing a Potter Christmas party again this year, this time with a Fantastic Beasts spin.

I've been gleefully sharing process shots of some of our many projects over on my Instagram Stories the last few weeks, but I thought I'd compile them all into one big progress post here, you know, for posterity. So let's see how many things you can guess we're making!

I plan to turn several of these into tutorials, btw, which I'll start sharing soon. There's just too much to share all at once after the party, plus I think it's fun to ramp up the antici....


So I hope you'll forgive the semi (and outright) spoilers.

First, some background silliness:

Learning is fun!

For those of you who judged me for having a tree up the day after Halloween: IT'S FOR WORK I PROMISE. Or at least for lots of experiments.

That's one of the best parts about starting prep so early; John and I've been trying a few things we've never seen anyone do before, so it takes a lot of trial and error to figure out WHY no one's ever done them before. You know, like piping a fog machine through your Christmas tree. [NOTE: DO NOT ATTEMPT.] [Although it was pretty fun 'til the smoke alarm went off.]

I really want to show you the videos I took documenting our attempts, but they include a pretty major spoiler. I promise I'll show you our hilarious smoking tree once the spoilery thing is revealed with its own tutorial, though.

Speaking of which, here are some obvious hints:

I painted these one at a time with simple craft paint and water. Tedious, but I like what a difference they made. If I were to do them again I'd go darker, though; as the feathers dried they lightened up much more than I expected.

I should mention here John is very against this post, and while proof-reading it he kept yelling out across the house: "You're showing them THAT? And this?! There won't be any surprises left!"

Oh yes, there will.

More silliness:

I haven't posted these next pics anywhere yet:

These are for two different things, btw.

Carving pink insulation foam is SO FUN. It sands & paints like a dream, and I can't wait to figure out more stuff to make with it.

 I couldn't find any graphics I really liked for Giggle Water, so I had to grit my teeth and make my own. These are all WIPs; the final is a tiny bit better:

Back to our largest construction project (so far): 

John built this piece to slide right over our existing media cabinet, so that's one less thing we have to move for the party. He did the building, I did the painting.

I like how some people thought the Jawa was reflected in "the mirror."

You guys often tell me you want to see my crafty screw-ups, too, so here's one:

I grabbed a big box of air-dry clay, didn't read the directions, and proceeded to sculpt it on top of aluminum foil. Turns out the clay shrinks a lot, so the next day poor Oscar's head cracked allllll over. (That photo shows the first of many, ha.) That's on top of a sculpt I already wasn't crazy about.

We salvaged most of it with putty and paint, but this is one of those projects that really needs a complete do-over, if I have the time and motivation later.

Speaking of paint, we decided to REALLY stretch ourselves with some magical new wall art. How'd we do? Can you tell what this is?

I call it, "The Drowsy Goblin." :D

This year John and I discovered Spirit Halloween clearances out the whole store for two days before closing, so everything left was half off. It was like Geek Christmas, and I loaded up on all kinds of goodies, including this:

This was labeled a "scarecrow hat," but after looking at the official Sorting Hats you can buy, I'm convinced it uses the exact same sewing pattern & fabric; they just leave the face molding & wrinkles off. IT'S THAT PERFECT. It even has the same patches in a few places!

Still not quite done here, but close. So far this is one of the two or three things I'm happiest with, and it took the least amount of time, effort, & money! I'll walk you through the whole process in a tutorial soon. (In the meantime, keep your eyes open for clearanced-out Scarecrow Hats!)

Right, I think that's everything I've hinted at online so far! Despite what John said there's still plenty left; I have to keep SOME surprises up my sleeve. Can't wait to show you all more as the Big Day gets closer!


  1. Oh, I love it. I would love to have those Gillywater labels.

    1. OMG @101mystic, are you telling us that Gillywater is the Brit equivalent of Gigglewater??? (Or did you just accidentally type one for the other?)

      I know Prof. McGonagall and Luna Lovegood sometimes drink Gillywater ( and I would really love it if American Gigglewater is related to it. Like crumpets and English muffins! :)


    2. I'll include the graphic I made later so you guys can print your own!

  2. Oh, to come to your Harry Potter party! Can't wait to see more photos.

  3. Amazing! But may I ask why you labeled your Dremel?

    1. You mean the Dremel sticker? It just came that way. :)

    2. That's hilarious. It looks exactly like the labels from our labelmaker. lol

  4. Oh my goodness! All this is amazing and now I want to make so many things out of insulation foam.

  5. Regarding fog machines: I teach elementary school, and a few Halloweens back one of our third grade teachers used a fog machine that set off the fire alarm, so we had to evacuate the building and wait for the fire department to show up. :D The kids talked about it for *years.*

    1. My work was evacuated twice in one day because some folks were testing the smoke machine they rented for Halloween. It went back to the store after the fire department yelled at everyone (and we got rained on waiting to be let back in).

      If you do want to use a smoke machine, may sure you have some way of venting the space when you set off the smoke alarms (ie, windows that open).

  6. Now I MUST make an Occamy in a teapot!!!

  7. Crumpets are nothing like muffins of either type

  8. Party of the year! Oh, for an invitation!! <3 I can't wait to see the final results!

  9. The feathers look like Fawkes, but if it's Fantastic Beasts, are they Frank?

  10. Instead of using a chemical fog machine (used to fill a room floor to ceiling)try boiling water over a chunk of Dry Ice. This makes a fog that hugs the floor. If in the tree, it will snake down to the floor. Grand to see Miss Lily!

    1. The problem with dry ice in a household is that it is both carbon dioxide (which trees love, but pets, not so much), and a much lower temperature than most interior finishes can handle.

  11. I wish I lived in Florida so I could gate-crash the party! It's my dream to throw a Harry Potter party someday. <3

  12. If you ever did a Prizeo for an invite to your HP Christmas Party, your favorite charity would make a ton of money. Just sayin'. ;)

  13. So many nifty ideas to... er, pay homage to at the HP no K-ai party! If you're looking for something fun to do, have a Potter Pals ( sing-a-long. All you need is a metronome!

  14. Wow, such great shots!! Is that one big hint a phoenix perched in the rafters?!


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