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Discussion Starter #1
Hey all, well it's that time of year again...yep party thread time...and this year it's HARRY POTTER/DEATHLY HALLOWS :) Finally!!!! (We originally planned this party back in 2013 and never got around to it lol. So with lots of editing to our original plan I decided a new thread was in order (but for those looking for ideas the other thread had lots to sift through, here's the link if your interested http://www.halloweenforum.com/party-ideas-experiences-and-recipes/124330-deathly-hallows-2013-a.html )

As for the theme we are sticking with the same concept...we are only focusing on Hogwarts itself though, so sadly we won't be doing Gringotts or Ollianders...or Honeydukes...I know I know. Instead we are breaking up our house to include the Great Hall,* the Prefects Bathroom and of course the Grand Staircase (aka wall of portraits).

And onto projects ;) Now keep in mind I like to keep a pretty tight budget on my parties (usually only allotting $50-75 on decor). Our parties are generally inside only which affords me the ability to use cost friendly materials like Dollar Tree foam boards, paper mache, etc. etc., but I'm sure many of these items could b made sturdier with a little more skill and investment.

So let's start first in my living room and foyer (now keep in mind I have limited space so I'm kinda meshing a few areas into one). First up is my coffee table, I didn't really have the room for a full on potions classroom so I figured I'd just add a few accents here and there. So with my awesome CVS pumpkin in hand and this amazing sorting hat (from sakigirl) the potions table was born....it was adorned with lots of homemade items like my potion bottles, paper mache books and chopstick wands....then i was surprised (by Celipop tours) with my very own misting cauldron :) omg it made the entire scene!!!! Here's a few pics in regular light, I need a few more candles and maybe some herbs and stuff scattered about but so far I'm very happy with it :)
 

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Up next is my Proclamation Boards, these guys were an absolute labor of love. I would have loved an entire wall full I just didn't have the time. So with 8 Dollar Tree foam boards in hand I fashioned a homemade template and began cutting. This was probably my most tedious project to date, just based on the sheer amount of trim pieces (sorry no tutorial but I'd b happy to walk anyone through it)...when all was done...they looked pretty wonky...but I thought what the heck, they've been tossed around the castle for years...so instead of feeling defeated by their roughness I used it to my advantage. I simply grabbed the exacto knife and carved them up even more so they looked old and worn. Up next was paint (oh btw, I only use the black foam boards on my project....less painting later ;) ) k so I hit all the exposed foam board with black paint, then I dry brush the entire thing with burnt umber and then with territorial beige (both can b found at walmart .50 each) and that's it aside from using double sided tape on the printouts (printed by Celipop, thank u girlie). Btw, this is the same technique and colors I use on all my faux wood. Here's a pic of 3 prior to being hung, I'll try to grab a few more pics later today.
 

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K up next,* the hourglass counters. From the start I knew I could not create them to look like the originals so I settled on the idea of building a little cabinet to install them into (yep u guessed it...DT foam board lol). Now I'll admit this was a little tricky just based on the sheer spacing of it, everything had to b perfect to pull this off (still not sure how I did that)...once I had the spacing done I made what would house my hourglasses...

I took 4 pieces of foam board ,2 of those boards had 4 discs cut out to accommodate the 2 liter bottles and to hide the rough edges, and sandwiched them together. From there I built what would hide the threaded top (as I was scared to saw them off), for this I made a fake hollow board with 4 holes on top and bottom.

The hardest part was now done so it was just a matter of collecting 12-2 liter bottles (4 would have the top and bottoms removed at label (save those tops though youll need them later)and 8 would have the bottoms removed. I decided on glitter as the sand (walmart $2.50 for 4 oz)...I tried using spray glue...don't it didn't dry clear...but instead found Valspar Polycrylic worked perfect, plus I had it on hand so...free :) Just simply coat the inside of your bottle with the Valspar then shake on your glitter...using this method gave the illusion without the added cost or weight.

Then it was just a matter of gluing everything together and building up the top and sides with trim to look like a cabinet. As for the metal work on my hourglasses that was a necessity as I needed something to hide all my imperfect joints where the bottles are connected. Not necessarily going for a steampunk vibe, I think it worked great (and at a mere cost of $1.33 for all 8 bands...googly eyes and craft foam...God I love pinterest ;) lol ).
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And lastly for this morning, my Mandrake...now he wasn't a new prop but through the years he had simply outgrown his old pot....so with earmuffs on hand we proceeded to transplant this little guy into a much more fitting pot ;) ;) FB_IMG_1473163208726.jpg FB_IMG_1473163175916.jpg
 

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I absolutely love Harry Potter (prreeeeeettty sure im doing it this year too, not party just costume) this all looks FANTASTIC, I cant wait to see more. I LOVE the house points idea, I haven't seen that fleshed out before, very clever! Great job
 

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Thank u both so much :) Yeah the points counter was definitely a leap of faith....I had searched all over for a diy but nothing had been done (short of just using 4 vases) then one day it just hit me 2-liters and then i fixated on making it work. Trust me there were several moments I almost through in the towel but glad I saw it through till the end. It looks way better in person and I love how the candles play off the "glass" tubes. In total it measures 30" x 20" so it takes up a good amount of space too :)

Funny thing is I had that pot when I originally made my mandrake it just never occurred to me to use duh lol
 

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Awww thanks OMM yeah I'm trying to figure out the lighting...think I'm gonna go with blue Here's a pic from last night with everything turned on and a blue spot light facing it 2016-09-06 05.53.42.jpg (btw this pic makes the JOL look like it's glowing, it's not that blinding in person ;) )
 

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Looks wonderful! My kids are little still, but I am hoping that as they get older & we read the stories together (my hardback copies!), they will be as excited for this tale as I am, and will want either HP birthday parties (in Sept or Nov) or will want a HP Halloween party. This will give me the excuse I need to do this theme, LOL!

 
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