Monday, September 17, 2018

This Year's Potter Party Theme REVEALED. Come See!

You guys. I can't hold back any longer, and besides, I need your help.

Together, I believe we can come up with the BEST ideas, crafts, games, and outfits (oh yes, THE OUTFITS)... 


FOR...


THIS:



But wait! There's more!

Not only is our Christmas shin-dig this year going to be a Hogwarts Slumber party, it's ALSO being hosted in the Hufflepuff Common Room.

Can I get a chair-dancing SQUEEEEEEEEE?

::squeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!::

Now, as a reminder, here's what our back room looked like last year when we turned it into the Drowsy Goblin speakeasy for our Fantastic Beasts party:

 

And here's what the Hufflepuff common room looks like:

As you can see we already have the gold-toned bricks and wood accents, so our back room is already close to capturing that warm & homey feel. I'm planning to add wall planters and as many artificial plants as we can find at local thrift stores, plus we hope to craft some magical plants to hide among the "real" ones. I'll also have fabric House banners on the walls.... somewhere.

The focal point of the room is going to be a massive faux fireplace, built where our little bar and moving goblin painting were last year. Here are two inspiration pics for that:



These are both made of cardboard, and the one on the left is built around a TV or computer monitor. I'm hoping we can do the same with ours, scaled up to fit over our TV and console.

We're still debating moving out our circle bookshelves on either side. I like that they're circles like the common room windows, but they may get in the way of the fireplace.

For furnishings we'll push the leather couches out to the walls and have (I hope) lots of soft rugs, pillows, and blankets around on the floor, plus the little tables and chairs from last year. (Any ideas for making or buying lots of floor pillows on the cheap?)

Here's where I need your help: adding the Christmas stuff in. 


I want all 4 houses represented, since we 'Puffs of course want everyone to feel included. SO. Should I go with one big tree with all 4 House colors? Or do I do 4 small trees (or even wreaths), one for each House? And while you're at it, give me your best House-themed ornament ideas: stuff I can make if possible, since I'm cheap.

I feel like 'Puffs would decorate with mostly natural stuff: plants of course, but also popcorn garland, papercrafts, and other homey and homemade items. Does that feel right?

I plan to have stockings for each house hanging from the mantle, and the Hufflepuff crest up above on the fireplace itself. So... DIY stocking ideas?
Re: the ceiling: Should I blanket it with floating candles again like we did our first year?


Or should I string Christmas lights haphazardly around, because the 'Puffs would be cheesy and colorful like that? Or something else entirely, like... vines? (That feels like too much, ha.)

 The next big thing I need help with: The entrance to the Hufflepuff Common Room.


This was our Floo Powder portal last year, and our Diagon Alley arch from the year before. We'd like to do something completely different, if possible. It needs to be easy to walk through (no solid doors) and scream HUFFLEPUFF, so maybe... an ivy curtain? With Christmas lights mixed it? Or flank the entry with Christmas trees? What else can you guys think of?

Next up, our dress code is Mandatory Pajamas, the more ridiculous and House-themed, the better. I'm talking fuzzy slippers, silly night caps, one-piece jumpsuits with butt flaps -  the works.

Again I need help: I'd like to wear a soft cap like these, only badger shaped:

 Again, the bigger and sillier, the better.

I'm terrible at sewing, though, and the maker of these particular ones has enough iffy reviews that I don't dare request a special order. I'm open to TRYING to make my own, but do you guys have any patterns to recommend that I can modify?

I plan to wear big giant monster feet slippers in black, so they look like badger feet:
  
 (These are from Amazon.)

My actual outfit, though, is TBD. Thoughts & ideas for all house-themed PJs are welcome, since I'm sure my guests will be checking out your comments for ideas, ha.

The food will be buffet style as always, but with messier, less formal options, like big trays of Toad in the Hole and Shepard's Pie. And of course, slumber party classics like Smores. I think we've got this area covered, but feel free to suggest more magical treats!

More things I need help brain-storming:

Party favors - preferable some kind of Christmas ornament.  I couldn't think of anything last year, and I'm STILL mad at myself. What kind of Christmas ornament works for a Hogwarts Slumber party theme? Sleepy owls in House scarves? Something with a moon and stars?

To give you an idea, our first year we made these scented chocolate frog ornaments for everyone:

 (Here's my tutorial and templates, in case you missed it back then)

They were a huge amount of work, but totally worth it. I'd really love to make something this nice again this year.


Games/Scavenger Hunt: Usually I do a riddle-based scavenger hunt each year, but I'm open to new ideas! And some kind of game outside on the deck might be fun, like throw the snitch through the Quiddich hoop, that kind of thing. (Keep in mind this is all at night, so glowing/light-up elements are a plus.)

General decorations:  Obviously I've looked at all the most popular Harry Potter Christmas stuff online, but if you have more ideas, spill! The bigger and more outrageous, the better; John and I like a challenge. So, what crazy Harry Potter thing does our party need? We built a life-sized thestral last year for the back yard, should we try to add the Ford Anglia to our tree this year? Or what else would be a fun Forbidden Forest addition? (NOT the spider - I'd rather something a little more festive, ha.)

Thanks for humoring my planning a Christmas party in September, gang. It really does take us this long to get everything planned and made - but really, we also just like doing it. I'll keep you updated once we start making all the things (we've got a Potter-themed cat tree already sketched out for the kittens, and I AM EXCITED), so stay tuned!


******

P.S. Unrelated Epbot announcement: At long last, Epbot pins are coming back! Now that the big house renovation is done (watch for that reveal this week) we actually have the time to hand make another thousand pins for you guys. Woot woot!
 

 This batch will be pin packs, not magnets, and you can choose from at least 17 different designs (I have to check how many we're up, ha) to assemble your custom 5-pack.

There's no telling when we'll do this again (it's been nearly a year since our last sale, yikes), and these packs tend to sell out in a few hours, so bookmark our Etsy shop and set your alarm for tomorrow (Tuesday) at 3PM EST if you'd like one. Sorry for the short notice; it takes us 3-4 days to make and assemble everything, and I'd like to start ASAP!

UPDATE: Pins are sold out! Thanks, everyone!

116 comments:

  1. Hmm, for floor pillows on the cheap, I wonder if you could find them at thrift stores and potentially recover with the cheap end-of-bolt fabric from a fabric store?

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    1. Or find couches (that are being pitched) that have good cushions and recover/use those.

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    2. I've had luck finding 2nd hand pillows and making covers from sheets or blankets. Also looks for 2nd hand curtains. You could do solid colors and house colored striped ones (like the ties).

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  2. Hufflepuff always makes me think of honeybees/bumblebees, so that could be a fun detail to add in! I LOVE the floo network doorway - maybe something similar but in a golden warm color/light combination. You could even edge it in ivy or something for a magical warm greenhouse look..

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    2. Honey wine or mead would fit then as well, especially if decanted into custom jars. If anyone has old clear glass vodka bottles they'd be a good base. Add strategic raffia and labels.

      If you can get fresh chives, the little shredded cheese-stick pretzel brooms are actually delicious as well as being super cute.

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  3. Jen, I love all your ideas! I'd be willing to make you a badger hat (like http://www.knits-r-us.co.uk/dk-badger-hat/ or we could find something else) for the cost of materials. If you want to see examples of my work, you can check me out on Facebook.com/woolykisses

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  4. I would do a tree with all four houses plus a wreath for each house on each of the four windows I see in your back room. :)

    Also: I agree with the natural/homemade Hufflepuff decorations you mentioned. That's totally what a 'Puff would do. (I am, however, a Ravenclaw, so that advice may need to be taken with a grain of salt.)

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  5. Body pillows might be a less expensive option for floor pillows...Target has basic ones for $7 each (currently on sale, reg $10).
    I also vote for stringing christmas/fairy lights up across the ceiling. That'd definitely be a 'Puff thing. Mix of white and color with some in fun patterns and some just haphazardly stuck up there.
    I like the idea of wreaths for the houses too!

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    1. Maybe a couple of fairies hidden in the fairy lights?

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  6. The hufflepuff common room entrance is "a pile of large barrels is to be found stacked in a shadowy stone recess on the right-hand side of the corridor. The barrel two from the bottom, middle of the second row, will open if tapped in the rhythm of ‘Helga Hufflepuff’." Via Pottermore

    For your doorway, I would have some barrels stacked to the right and see if you can put up a curtain faux painted to look like the stone recess. Hope that helps!

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    1. Ooh, I like that - I was just thinking barrels should be in there somewhere!

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    2. You could add in the fruit painting that is the entrance to the kitchens, since we know the common room is nearby!

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  7. There are a lot of options for no-sew fleece pillow covers made by cutting fringe around the edge of each side of fleece and then knotting the fringe together to enclose the pillow! Doing one side yellow and one side black would make an easy Hufflepuff theme, and we're getting into the season where you could find some Christmas-y patterned fleece as an occasional holiday accent.

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  8. For the favors, you could make little hammock ornaments. Our family had one growing up that was basically a rectangular piece of fabric with three strings attached to each end. Each set of strings attached to an ornament hook and we hung it from two branches that were close to each other. There was a little mouse with a blanket snuggled up in our hammock, but you could easily have another Hogwarts/Hufflepuff-themed occupant or just have the covers turned down invitingly for a sleepy student. There wasn't any real danger of the hammock "flipping" because the whole thing was very lightweight and we never hung it in such a way that it was stretched tightly between the hooks.

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    1. Maybe a mandrake in the hammock?

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  9. I think those slippers call for a badger kigurumi!

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  10. Start checking out your local box stores as the back to school stuff will be clearancing out and you could get some great deals on bean bags, body pillows and puffy ottomans with the dorm furnishing stuff. Then you can cover them in homemade pillow shams using interesting fabric remnants or interesting tapestries. Some premade options like this could work too https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07FFLB88T

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  11. Fabric World near my house has fabric of almost any type for $3.00 per yard. I have a guest room. We're in Atlanta.

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  12. I have had really good luck snagging cheap/clearance tablecloths and napkins to make throw pillows (and a duvet cover,once) - they would work great for floor pillows since often the fabric is a bit sturdier. If you can find the right sale the fabric is considerably less than what the raw fabric would run per yard. Plus if you can find a size that is close to what you want sewing is super fast since the edges are already finished.

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  13. For cheap pillows, I've found that blankets, sheets and even curtains can be cheaper than buying fabric by the yard. I made my couch and the whole thing is upholstered in IKEA curtains, with the accent pillows sewn from Walmart sheets. Old Time Pottery usually has some cheap pillow blanks. I've even used those just for the stuffing, ripping them open and stuffing it into other pillows I sewed. Since you only need it for one night, you could even use inflatable inner tubes to make giant round cushions. Maybe stuffing a smaller pillow or even a folded up blanket in the hole and then making a cover for the whole thing. A cover could be as simple as a giant circle cut out of a blanket with a drawstring that you pull tight around the bottom. I can picture that pretty easily but I'm not sure my description makes any sense.

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  14. Wreaths with sleeping caps in the house colors at the top and scarves draped over the bottom. Both casually placed like the wreathes themselves have dressed for the party. I'm trying to think of something glowy to go in the center. Maybe "paintings" of the faces of the house ghosts that only show when a light is turned on behind it somehow? I do like the wreathes with a single big tree idea.

    You could make ornaments out of mini wreaths with the hats and scarves too.

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  15. Jen,

    Could you take the thestral and turn it into a unicorn? Maybe glue white fabric around the frame but not permanently attach it so you could still have your thestral.

    Maureen

    P.S. It was great to see you in Pittsburgh!

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  16. What if the ceiling was a spell gone wrong ... I’m imagining a garden spell of some kind radiating out from the center. The edges candy be sparkly like the magic is in progress. You could do some kind of chia pet type paint texture on foam boards and attach them to the ceiling. The more towards the centre the more growth, flowers growing upside down, trees and vine ... lots of little lights or icicle strings could be worked into it. I’m sure yo can also build some kind of mistletoe disco ball.

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  17. Don't know if it is Hufflepuffy enough, but I've been dying to find a good excuse to make these giant man-eating plants. Fun and easy looking DIY at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A1gOkhZN920

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  18. Ornaments...my first thought was squashy purple sleeping bags ala Prisoner of Azkaban where the whole school is camped out in the great Hall. Or maybe find a magical plant that induces sleep and make little potted versions of that? Covers Hufflepuffiness and sleep over?

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    1. Ohhhh I love the sleeping bag idea. They could have Hogwarts crest on them.

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  19. I just read today that Eddie Redmayne's favorite creature is Pickett the Bowtruckle. How about a Bowtruckle ornament or would it be too plain?

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  20. Bowtruckles EVERYWHERE! Also, I legit cracked up at the thought of the back half of a Ford Anglia hanging out of your tree. That would be a show stopper for sure.

    I like the stocking idea for house representation, maybe with themed presents poking out of each one?

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  21. For the ornament: What about a little baby mandrake in a pot with a little nightcap on it? I feel like you could get small wooden flower pots pretty cheap at a hobby shop, and you could make the mandrakes out of clay and the little nightcaps out of fabric? You could sculpt some of them to look like they were sleeping and maybe some stretching and yawning and that kind of thing.

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    1. I love the Mandrake idea. You could mmake one out of clay, then make a silicone mold, so you would be able to make multiples pretty easily.

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  22. What about a two-fer? Make some nicer floor pillows and everybody takes one home? Fill in with cheaper ones.

    Or for party favor ornaments a tiny sleeping bag with a badger's head poking out?

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  23. I vote for one tree with all the houses on it (I think puffs would want to avoid people comparing which tree was "better") but I like the idea of a wreath or something for each house.

    When I was a kid, we made ornaments once by spraying queen anne's lace flowers with spray adhesive and sprinkling them with glitter. (So SPARKLY and they look like snowflakes) Something like that might be a good natural-themed sort of decoration. Origami sorts of ornaments might be fun, too!

    I also wonder if one or two of the more adventurous house-elves might have contributed something to the decor and/or foodstuffs? They sometimes seem to have a roundabout way of looking things, I'm sure there's some humor to be mined there.

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  24. All I can think of are the purple sleeping bags from PoA...and Snape & Dumbledore using a fart machine on Harry...

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  26. One tree but the lights change color to represent all the houses (think Aurora's color changing dress). Maybe even a sound effect to suggest it's magic causing the change? My brain is going crazy with ideas now. I'm going to be dreaming about your Harry Potter party tonight

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  27. My humble party favor suggestion: Sleeping masks! The eye masks some people sleep with. Seems a very 'Puff thing to give out =)

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  28. These ideas all sound amazing!

    For ornament favors - Tiny bottles of sleeping potion, maybe topped with little sleeping caps?
    Or tiny pillows in house colors?
    Snoozing Sorting Hats?

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  29. Definitely do candles on the ceiling again! Its so very Hogwarts.. even as a potter fan im not that familiar with the Hufflepuffs or their common room decor. I dont remember it featured in the movies, I need to reread my books. But just looking at the pics you posted I immediately thought of that devils snare stuff that the trio got trapped in in the first movie. Some kind of vine entrance with a sort of sunlight glow from behind it would be neat. I can hear Hermione saying Just Relax! Its a slumber party! As far as party favors what about a little potted cactus like that thing neville had?? Its different and cute..
    I cant wait to see what all projects you have and im excited that we all get to see them early and along the way :)
    Brandi

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  30. Random food idea - Huffle(cream)puffs! Just watch out for the Canary Creams...

    Actually, you could probably do a lot with various foods with "puff" in the name. =-)

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    1. Love this! Cream puffs and lobster puffs, puff pastries, smoke-filled puffs (liquid nitrogen?), all the 'pufffs!

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  31. I second the idea of the barrels near the entrance! If you like the floo look, you could do a barrel to the side, and then use yellow cloth/ribbon with led wire lights dangling inside? I would also say you need a still life of some fruit *must include pear* near the kitchen, (or perhaps on the table with the food?) with some form of speaker behind it that giggles occasionally. :)

    Re: the hat - I happen to know for a fact that a certain songstress/mod/chain jewelry maker has the low down on how to make those... ;)

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  32. Michaels currently has some amazeballs toothy venus fly trap/Audrey 2 type plants in with the Halloween decor - One of those hidden in amongst some more "normal" greenery would be amazing! Maybe with a little Santa hat on it?

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  33. Silk dressing gowns are where it's at! Maybe just for Slytherin or Ravenclaw, but I can see it for any house.

    I also some how picture the entrance like a big round door ala a Hobbit hole. But that might not fit well...

    I like the one tree and wreathes, as well as all the favors suggested

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  34. I like the owl ornament as a favor, but instead of house scarves so long knit sleeping caps in house colors!

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  35. Instead of hanging candles, how about hanging branches horizontally, with twinkle lights intertwined?
    This is what I had in mind, with lights added: https://tinyurl.com/y7ohwozh
    but this one is pretty amazing, too: https://tinyurl.com/y9aglhyy
    I like the way the branches mimic the exposed roots that would be seen inside(underground) a badger set.

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  36. Three cheers for the Hufflepuff theme! Perhaps you could adapt a much-easier-to-find skunk hat for your badger costume? I like the tree-root suggestion for the doorway, too. Even better if the tree is a pear tree. Have you thought about real plants for the party favors? Tiny pots or thrift-store tea cups with succulents in them would be easy and inexpensive. Put a tag on them with a magical plant name and a crazy wizarding safety warning, or maybe a Ministry customs form. Prof. Sprout would like that.

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  37. I imagine Hufflepuff would go in for really warm, cosy, traditional-look Christmas feels. So Victorian-era Christmas decorations like thick green swags, swathes of red bows, trimmed trees, that sort of thing. Also, for some reason, I imagine them all sitting around in the common making paper snowflakes together that they then hang up everywhere.

    Also! If you’re looking for someone for hats still can I recommend Josh, his Etsy shop is called ObeyMyBrain.

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  38. I love this! <3 I currently don't have any ideas to share, but IKEA has cheap pillows :).

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    1. If not too pricey in your neck of the woods, get a whole tree and lop off all the branches a couple days prior and store in a bucket in the garage. The day off drape boughs round the room and nestle flicker lights candles in them

      It will smell amazing (we did this for our wedding albeit with real candles. It nearly ended... badly. Yay for tech!

      Also TJs has cinnamon brooms!

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  39. Your idea for your party is absolutely amazing. As a fellow Hufflepuff, I whole heartedly agree. As for ideas... maybe origami star garlands? They're fun to do, super relaxing to fold, and I could see a whole horde of Hufflepuffs giggling and having fun making them.

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  40. You could do a wreath for each house and have the house symbol sitting in the center of the wreath. I like the idea of hanging string lights from the ceiling, it feels very Hufflepuff (:
    Also! if you're looking for a fun game, my cousins introduced me to Secret Voldemort, and it was a lot of fun. If you're interested you can find the game and instructions here: https://thecraftyplayers.com/2017/02/22/secret-voldemort/ Super fun, especially with friends!

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  41. The feature of the Common Room that jumped out at me first is the round, high windows. What about a large wreath for each house, backed by a light/image to simulate a window?

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  42. Floor pillows - haunt your thrift shops and watch their 'dog blanket' bin ( most have them) where they toss old blankets and such that have tears or stains on them. You want the comforters. Fold the comforter in half ( or more depending on how fluffy you want it), or cut it into squares and stack. You can sew simple covers in whatever colours you want out of old thrift shop find bedsheets :) ( I've used this method to make dog beds )

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  43. I'm keeping my eyes on this and coming posts as my Christmas party will be my family coming to Hogwarts for the first time, and I am sorting everyone, and having a wand choosing ceremony, an making my rooms into The three broomsticks, honeydukes, The Great Hall, and maybe having quidditch happen in my basement. I;m combing the comments for ideas too! Thanks all :)

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  44. I made cute little cardboard owl ornaments for my kids teachers a few years ago at Christmas. They were pretty easy. Just a lot of cardboard and hot glue. I used acorns for noses. Here is a link to the inspiration photo... https://www.upcyclethat.com/cardboard-owls/2558/

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  45. For ceiling decoration, maybe paper chains in house colors. Those are easy and seem Hufflepuff'y.

    For floor seating, see if any local stores are clearancing outdoor cushions. Beanbags! Those are usually sold as back to school dorm room decor.

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  46. A silhouette of the Anglia would be cool! Painted on cardboard and hanging in the tree, it wouldn't even need to be 3D.
    Popcorn balls shaped like owls, mini house scarf ornaments out of felt

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  47. I had 2 more thoughts last night.

    First, during your thrift store hunts, keep an eye out for light/motion activated toys. The ever popular solar powered flowers given a make-over with more realistic faux plants or a dancing Santa, stripped of his more Santa bits and recovered in a scrunched brown crepe as the based for a mandrake can add some 'magic' to your stationary plants.

    Secondly, you could roll both this party and you and your friends generosity of spirit into a single event. Premake a bunch of pillow shams in various sizes and ask your guest to bring pet beds(either new or clean and gently used) with them. Cover and use the pet beds as floor pillows for your event, then after wards donate the beds to your local animal rescue groups. You aren't stuck with a lot of pillows after you will never use and local charities get a thoughtful donation.

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    1. I love the pet bed idea! Do check with your charity of choice for their guidelines on size and washability, so they can actually be used.

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  48. Forgive me if this comment has been posted multiple times...internet is doing funny things over here.

    I LOVE the idea of a slumber party! As the most Hufflepuffy of Hufflepuffs, I think I associate things I like with things other 'puffs would... but am not sure that they would. I like the idea of homey old-fashioned Xmas decorations - like popcorn strings and paper links.

    As far as party favors, what about little miniature Hogwarts Acceptance Letters? Since they get to come stay in the dorms after all...

    Other thoughts: I LOVE all the plants about the place - think about using cages (pretty bird cages) for housing more motile plants. :) Also, don't you think Hufflepuff would also be the animal rescue of the school (ahem, Newt.)? Who else would rescue an injured blast-ended skrewt? As far as ceiling decorations go, I've always imagined that the room was bewitched to look like a nice outside space, so big fluffy clouds, some tree canopy, fireflies. So still cosy, but not too claustrophobic (which is how I always feel like basements might be...)

    Last idea re: your scavenger hunt - what about games that play to each of the houses strengths? Truth or Dare for Gryffindor, 2 Truths and a Lie for Slytherins, word puzzles for Ravenclaw, and charades or "who am I" aka "Head's up!" for Hufflepuffs.

    So wish I could score an invite -- it sounds so wonderful. Can't wait to see what you end up with!!!

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  49. For ornaments, what about Luna's radish earrings? Also, cheap pillows can always be found at thrift stores ( like Deseret Industries, and Savers, maybe Ross too)
    I think it would be so cute to have Quibblers with the scavenger hunt inside. And if it was a hunt for Nargles and such that would be awesome.

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  50. I have super easy to make 'emergency' floor pillows at home ! ;-)

    You just need to cut two big rectangles of fabric, sew three of the sides together, add a zipper on the last side, and fill them with the comforters you already have at home. That way, you'll have a lot of extra comfy seating for sleepovers or movie nights, and then you can simply take the comforters out and keep the covers folded in a drawer for next time.

    As for finding cheap fabric, big fabric stores usually have fabric scraps or fabric from past seasons that you can buy for very little, or you could look for sheets and curtains on thrift stores.

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  51. For a random tree ornament (or topper if you went full size): the bike handlebars and bell that Grawp liked in the forest

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  52. Every year for Christmas I decorate my tree almost entirely in edible decor. Popcorn Garland, ferrerro rocher balls, lindt truffles, candy canes...so maybe do candies with wrappers in house colors?

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    1. That's so huffle-puffy! Put the favours and candies on the tree for guests to pick.

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  53. I agree with a comment made earlier by Allison. One tree representing 4 hours and a wreath per house. I love the idea of a sleepy owl for the hostess gift, but what about a sleepy badger in a night cap since your theme is Hufflepuff? For the entrance, I saw on one sight that the entrance to the Hufflepuff common room is by opening a lid to a barrel by tapping the in the rhythm of "Helga Hufflepuff"... I wonder how much work would it be to have a cardboard lid open attached to the ceiling with barrels on the side. I can't wait to see the final outcome!

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  54. Maybe I've been playing the Hogwarts Mystery game too much, but the first thing I thought of was edible Gobstones. Maybe make an edible Gobstone shot using something like this?
    https://www.amazon.com/TeiKis-Maker-Sphere-Inch-Balls/dp/B00IK593E6

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  55. If you're looking for crazy decoration ideas, the books mention suits of armor lining the hallways that sing Christmas carols (badly) during the holidays. Don't know how you'd replicate one of these without going crazy, though. Does anybody have any ideas?

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    1. Ooooooh! This is the most Hogwarts thing ever!

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  56. I like 4 house trees. Maybe green slythering serpent garlands on one, golden gryffendors decorating another. Silver ravens clawing the branches of a third. The Hufflepuff tree could be the house crest and a badger ornament. (One thought might be that the favors could 'decorate' the trees and everyone can choose one to take home as they leave.

    I also like the swags of greenery/fairy lights across the ceilings instead of the floating candles.

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  57. Haven't had time to read all the comments yet, but if it hasn't been mentioned yet, stuff your floor pillow covers with your extra bed pillows and comforters. So much cheaper than buying stuffing or pillow forms, and then you can pull them all back out again and store the covers in a tiny space. Instead of a zipper or other difficult closure, just cut your back panel in two pieces, large enough that you can hem and overlap them a few inches across the middle back. Then you can just pull then open to insert or remove your 'stuffing'.

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  58. Oh! You've probably already thought of this, but a Hogwart's Slumber Party is the perfect time to use those House Crest nightlights you made a while back! =-)

    In fact, depending on how easy it is to make lots, those could possibly be another favor idea. Or maybe the patterns could be adapted to fit over lights on a Christmas tree as an ornament thought.

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    1. Awesome idea! Those nightlights would be great gifts! Match them up to each guest's House, of course.

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  59. On the subject of badger hats:

    If you or anyone you know crochets, this Etsy seller offers a downloadable badger hat pattern:
    YARNutopia

    While this one sells pre-made versions from what looks like the same pattern:

    HungryButtz


    And this one will make one for you, also from the same pattern:

    GrayMatterMatters



    I looked into badger stuff a while back, not because of Hufflepuff (I'm a Ravenclaw, actually), but because I have a D&D Dwarven druid who can turn into a badger. =-)

    I didn't end up getting any of these, so I can't actually review them, but I thought they were cute so I figured I'd pass them on.

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  60. A game I came up with for our "Pre Midnight Release Movie Party" was "Bertie Botts Bean Bingo". You play it the same as bingo, but at the start your card has jelly beans in all of the numbered spaces- If your number is called you have to eat the bean! (Booger or Vomit or Peach? Who knows!) First one to eat a line, wins! Bertie Botts Beans- A Risk with every mouthful!

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  61. Please tell me you are going to do some potter-ized version of "light as a feeather stiff as a board"

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  62. For the entrance, could you rig up a giant frame around the doorway with a projector projecting the moving painting outside of the house dorm entrance on a sheet or something similar? Too complicated?

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  63. As favors: letters or diplomas making the recipient an honorary Hufflepuff - so that members of other houses are allowed to enter the Hufflepuff common room

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  64. On pinterest, search for Glow Night Party to find some fun games and decor utilizing those cheap glow bracelets you can get at Dollar Tree. Thinking of slumber party-type ideas, I bet you could come up with a fun HP-themed cootie catcher!

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  65. I can't help but think that in one tree with all four Houses, *some* House ornaments would fuss with each other just a little bit - good naturedly, of course, but it could be a fun bit of business for the tree.

    For favors, how about fireflies in tiny jars?

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  66. WAAAA!!!! THe pins sold out (deep sobbing in Conn.). As for the costume, well that is right up my alley. Simplicity 2853 is an adult animal jumpsuit. Super easy to make out of fleece (use a ball point needle in the sewing machine). Now DO NOT make this mistake of using the pattern that matches the size you buy in jeans or tops. Will not fit. Patterns are based on your actual measurements (scary,I know but necessary). Pick the size the fits your largest measurement as it is easy to take something in to fit and impossible to make something larger. If adding a stripe of a second color, ADD 1" to the pattern for the NEW seam allowance. (So add 1/2 to 5/8" ALL around each pattern piece that is the stripe AND the main body color other wise things won't fit.) Tell you what, I'd trade 3 pins for sewing this for you. Seriously.

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  67. so many great ideas above.
    i think you should keep the book cases where they are if you can, they will look great next to the fire place. Paper chains and popcorn and cranberry decorations, acorns and pine cones and holly. Fairy lights, house wreaths, a small shrine to Cedric, or ornaments with pictures of their lost members. craft paper and twine with sprigs of greenery packages under the tree.
    for floor cushions, maybe been bag filling?
    sounds amazing and i wish i could attend!

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  68. For a badger hat I would google images of the badger mascot hat. They dont seem to be on sale this year, but some of the images dont look that tough to copy. Even taking a black or white base hat and adding felt or other cloth pieces to create the face. I would also make it a friendlier face as all mascots look angry to me.
    As for the trees, maybe ask guests to bring house ornaments and leave a section of each tree available for them to hang their ornament of choice on their house.

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  69. Problem...I don't know what a "squee" is.

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    1. Onomatopoeia for the sound a fan makes when confronted with something exciting related to their fandom. Often accompanied by Kermit flails and uncontrollable giggling. =-)

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  70. I like the idea of an all-inclusive Hogwarts tree (which you can already use what you have in the past with the train and everything) and then 4 house wreaths. That would look nice.

    As for the entrance to the common room, it needs to actually start in your kitchen. :) Check out the Pottermore description of the entrance (https://www.pottermore.com/writing-by-jk-rowling/hufflepuff-common-room). This way, you could decorate your kitchen to be a Hogwarts kitchen and you can make little house elves and pose them like they are cooking at your stove. And then, according to the description, there are barrels stacked in a dark little alcove. I would make your entrance look more like a dark little alcove. The bricks would serve nicely for this with like just a black curtain. Have some stacked barrels. Then on the other side of the curtain is where you find the greenery. Not necessarily hanging down like a curtain but maybe just a few hang on either side of the entrance and then some swooped and stuck to the ceiling like you're walking through a tunnel. So the kitchen alcove is the entrance, once inside you’re led in by the greenery and coziness.

    And I definitely think keep your circular shelves but fill them with plants instead of trinkets. And if you have a yellowy-warm orange color for the shelf lights that would be awesome! Oh, and the description said all the beds have patchwork quilts so I think those are a must for couch throws and snuggling up on the floor. As for pjs, flannels. Black and gold with a Hufflepuff crest on the breast pocket. Badger hat and feet to finish the look. Those are all my ideas for now. Can’t wait to see it!

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  71. I would do the ceiling with a web/dream catcher pattern of ivy/evergreen garland intertwined with fairy lights.

    Cover your entrance with a stone patterned curtain and use barrels as steps that get you to a small slide into pillows on the other side :-)

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  72. All I can say is....
    DEAR LORD WHO DO I HAVE TO BRIBE TO GET AN INVITE TO ONE OF YOUR HP PARTIES?? i will wait tables, mop floors, clean toilets, hang coats, be a PROP; I don't care! ...and I don't even really LIKE parties much; but yours seem so MAGICAL even knowing how much WORK goes into them!!!
    Um; sorry. I kind of lost it there.

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    1. We all volunteer to be moving props. Can I be something poisonous? :-P

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  73. For cheap floor pillows I would check all the hardware stores for the outdoor pillows and lounge cushions. They are getting clearanced out since the season has changed and you can get big cushions for the floor or to lean against the wall for fairly cheap. Most of them are square shaped so a simple slip cover made out of whatever decorative fabric you choose can easily slip over them.

    Amigurumi house animals would be cute ornaments too!

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  74. I like the idea of one big tree with ornaments representing the four houses and then individual house wreaths in another section of the room. As for ornaments, do you think Hufflepuff might use ones made of or with wood, burlap, and/or tin? I also like stringed lights instead of the floating candles.

    Also some nod to the Fat Friar, Tonks, and Pomona Sprout might be nice. Maybe a row of potted mandrakes singing Christmas carols :)

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  75. For cheap floor pillows, enlist the help of your party goers. Wel before the party, measure some of their couch cushions and make slipcovers that work for Hufflepuff. The day before the party, borrow the cushions and cover. Those slipcovers can even become party favors for the friends willing to let you use some of their furnishings for the festivities.

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  76. I don't know if anyone has mentioned it; i do not have time to read all the comments right now before posting, but Pottery Barn has a whole harry potter line of products this fall. I have been drooling over them for weeks now. A little out of my price range, but so much inspiration to be found!

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  77. For ornaments, how about the sleeping badger idea, house colors night cap, and holding a baby mandrake root as a teddy bear? (and one or a few on your tree in hammocks for good measure...)
    dbc

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  78. I finally found my Night Party pinterest board! I knew i had one somewhere. There are a couple things on it that could be tweaked to become more potter-esque. (The glowing water balloons strung up with nylons popped out at me as somewhat egg-sac-like and otherworldly.) https://www.pinterest.com/snarkoutgirl/night-party/

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  79. Why not take the already suggested sleeping badger holding baby mandrake as a teddy bear idea and flip it on its head to get a baby mandrake holding a stuffed badger?
    I also love the idea of making wreath windows.

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  80. I have a bunch of the old Ikea vine and flower lights with leaves and stuff. With a bunch of retouching they would be amazing across the ceiling. I can send them to you if you like. We don't use them any more!

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  81. Could you learn to knit real quick? Weasley sweater (ornament sized) would be fun favors even if the Weasleys aren't Puffs

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  82. I would go with wreaths to suggest the round windows in the original picture.

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  83. Gah, this party sounds amazing! What about trying your hand at making some of those glowing mushrooms you posted not too long ago? They'd be so cute strewn around the yard or in the common room!!

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  84. Last year's Animania event was Harry Potter and the Kurisumasu-ai. We made wands. Played potter trivia.(I made a Jeopardy Game board) Played a storytelling game where we retold Chamber of Secrets as an over-the top shojou romance. Hmmm...

    What about carols? (We did karaoke)

    Or a matching game where everyone draws a character from a jar and it's pinned to their back (or hung on a ribbon. With only yes or no questions they have to figure out who they are.

    The club button maker was set up to let folks make their own house badges once they'd been "sorted" (laptop with online quiz)

    We had cookies shaped like shirts and frosting w/candies: make Ron's Christmas sweater

    Party favours were these amazing paper owls - printed on cardstock and assembled ahead of time. I think you told us about them originally. I still have the pdf at work if you'd like it

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  85. I don’t think my comment from a few days ago posted, but my apologies if it did and I’m just missing it. I have an idea that — umfortunately — is more work, but could be kind of cool! For the stockings, could you build them into the fireplace so that they’re “magically” never empty? My idea is to build in a bucket or shelf with tunnels to the back of the stockings. You could put the party favors in round plastic “rememberalls” so that they roll down the tunnel (like the bottom of one of those quarter toy things they have at supermarkets. Your guests could reach into their house stockings to get their favors.

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  86. I feel like near the entrance would be a big pile of boots and shoes and scarves and such...makes the place feel more homey. If that makes sense. :)

    What about (and sorry if this has been suggested) for your party favors you could do a teeny Newt's case and inside it an occamy egg?

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  87. So many good suggestions, I can't even read them all! Just wanted to chime in and say that felt is an excellent option for the sewing-challenged. I've made felt Christmas stockings for all my children - I did sew the stocking itself (just two big sock-shaped sides, with or without contrasting cuff), but then all the decorations are cut from felt and glued on with a thin layer of craft glue. I even glued gold cord with my son's name in cursive. They've lasted 20+ years and are in great shape. Felt can be used for sleep masks, ornaments, banners, etc., and the craft glue trick works super well. Just use a thin layer, you don't want oozing or too much soak through.

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  88. I think you need to make the barrel entrance (round with cardboard "stones" and wood) and have guests give the password... and if they get it wrong have a mister spray (or simulate it with a projector/lights from the side barrels). Re-purpose your moving display into the Hufflepuff entrance photo. Hang ivy in copper pots just inside the door. https://www.pottermore.com/writing-by-jk-rowling/hufflepuff-common-room And make house badge crest pins for everyone put a loop on the back so they can be used for pendants or pinned on. You can't go wrong with any of this. It will be wonderful!

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  89. Tiny bottles of Sleep Elixir (lavender scented?) as favours. I think a muggle born Hufflepuff May have introduced those old foil decorations that everyone used to have draped across their ceilings to their hogwarts classmates. I think the Hufflepuff Common Room would look like a box of decorations from the 70’s exploded and remained wherever they first touched.

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  90. Here's a good basic pattern for stockings. You could do them in the House colors and add a House badge or something to jazz them up.
    https://www.professorpincushion.com/professorpincushion/christmas-stocking/

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  91. Didn't read all the comments, so I dunno if someone already said, but I think you need a pair of Luna's sneakers (trainers) hanging from the ceiling.

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  92. I finally took the quiz and was sorted into Hufflepuff, and I found a big fluffy yellow bathrobe in our costume stash the other day! I’m ready to come to your party :D

    Idea for favors: a clear ball ornament with translucent glittery paint and a color changing LED inside. I don’t know what it is yet, but it’s fun/magical to look at and fun to make! Maybe there’s a tiny fake plant inside too? Also love the idea of those glow mushrooms someone else suggested.

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