I have to tell you about my first attempt to “DIY” a birthday party!
Now if you’ve been following this blog for the last five years (what?! Five years?!), and if you know me, then you’ll know I’m not the DIY kind of person. My friend Trina (DIY Corporate Mom) is the expert on that, and my personal inspiration. Another great DIY friend (for kids’ costumes in particular), would be Kris (OcMominManila). They are my inspiration when it comes to those things.
I am a B-U-Y kind of person. I’ll hunt for it, I’ll find it, and then I’ll buy it to make it easier on all of us.
Now as the story goes, the week before Sam’s birthday, we moved into our new home. I was (is) losing my mind because of all the things that needed to get done. It was also Thanksgiving weekend, so we had a good long holiday to get the house in shape, but also get some good online discounts.
Because of the big move, I had been prepping Sam about not having a birthday party like we usually do. Somehow every year, she wrangles some party out of her dad, despite his initial attempts to avoid it. It’s a pattern with them, I’ve to say. In a conversation (that he claims he doesn’t recall!), Sam asked him if they could have a birthday play date in the park, with friends from both schools and cake and pizza, and he said yes. I, the executive assistant in these decisions, carried out the plan and invited the guest list Sam put together. I told them to have low expectations, because really — we didn’t have time for anything except cake and pizza at a playground.
So I thought that we would get away with that, but lo and behold, Sam worked her wizardry on me.
She said she really wanted a Harry Potter birthday party, and she had all the elements she wanted in her head. We had looked at Harry Potter birthdays on Pinterest months ago, and she remembered it all. Maybe even more now because she’d read 4 books by then.
I tell ya, it was sheer mom-guilt that drove me to do it.
First, we put together a picture booth. I found some Harry Potter-like fonts on the net and tried to re-create the newspaper clipping of Sirius Black.
The boxes from moving came in handy, and so did the extra coffee that I was brewing but not consuming (in my frazzled state).
And then – we had a craft station, where the kids got to paint-their-own Hedwig. 🙂 I ordered the ceramic owls and they flew in just in time for the party! Whew!
As a nod towards the Chamber of Secrets, we had a sock station, where instead of the Pinterest suggestion to have people “donate a sock” (what would I do with unpaired socks right?), I printed out socks that the kids could decorate.
For the refreshments station, the kids had magical drinks that changed color when they put ice and a clear soda (or water). Sam says I’m not allowed to share this trade secret. 😉
I also tried to label the refreshments station some of the potions that are popular to the Harry Potter world. Some of the kids actually pretended they were in a potions class, and mixed their drinks. 😉
Do you remember the spell Ron tried to put on Malfoy? He said, “Eat Slugs!” and because his wand was broken, it backfired. Well, this was the inspiration for this particular bowl.
The other treats were Quidditch-inspired, where a Nimbus 2000 replica broom (made from paper bags and pretzel rods) contained snacks.
And of course, what is Quidditch without the Golden Snitch ey? 😉
I got a cupcake holder thinking I could put the Sorting Hat on top of it, since I was able to buy edible cupcake toppers in each of the house’s names. we put out pins too and bag charms along that theme.
And finally the cake. It was a custom-made edible topper as well that was ordered out of Amazon.
The most stressful part was finding a grocery that would take the order over Thanksgiving! The fifth time was the charm and they finally took my order at that store.
It took away a lot of hours of much-needed sleep (my husband was just constantly working on the house so he couldn’t really help), but I was pleasantly surprised it all came together pretty well. The kids said they had a good time. I finally got to meet some of the parents of her friends at the new school too which was nice.
Over all, my birthday girl was pretty satisfied, and that made it all worthwhile. 🙂