Host a Magical Harry Potter Party On Small Budget

The intriguing tale of Harry Potter – the Boy Who Lived, has inspired many to throw magical Harry Potter parties.

Parties in which you get to experience the fantastic hospitality of Hogwarts, participate in adventures, and create many everlasting memories.

Harry Potter Party – A Party Full of Magical Moments and the Joys of Friendships

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Harry Potter Party Favors and Other Cool Ideas for Magical Harry Potter Party.

With so many choices for hosting the most amazing Harry Potter party, it can get quite overwhelming. You could spend endless hours and a ton of money buying and making decorations, preparing magical food, etc.

With these ideas, you will spend some time putting it all together, but it won’t cost you a ton.

Harry Potter Party Ideas

This was the second time I hosted a Harry Potter party, and this time our theme was 20 years of magic. We didn’t do the potions or charms classes but had a celebration meal at the Great Hall and played games in the Common Rooms.

It was a fun way to celebrate the amazing tale of Harry Potter.

Lots of ideas to check out:

  1. Splendid Invitations
  2. Transform Your Home Into Hogwarts
  3. Hogwarts Common Rooms
  4. Celebration Meal at The Great Hall
  5. Food
  6. Games
  7. Favors

1. Splendid Harry Potter Invitations

a. Easy DIY Owl Invitations

Harry Potter Invitations. Owl Mail.

We made these super cute owl save-the-date cards.

We emailed the invitations.

I get these brilliant ideas like hand-delivering the owl mail. So, we drove around close to four hours delivering them. Some of the friends live an hour away in different directions…

It was fun, and the receivers were delighted.

b. Staggering Invites to Hogwarts

Your guests will love these Harry Potter Special Delivery invitations!

This owl mail is so cool that the recipients will want to hold onto it.

Take a closer look at the Hogwarts invitations and order yours today!

2. Transform Your Home Into Hogwarts

Changing staircases, talking paintings, dark corridors, and floating candles…


a. Talking Paintings

Harry Potter Party Decorations. "Talking Paintings"

I wish I could somehow make the staircases change and the paintings to talk, but I can’t. So, we dragged from the storage a few gold-framed pictures and printed out speech bubbles.

My daughters had fun writing on the speech bubbles. We attached the bubble to the transparent cord and taped it to the back of the painting.

I know these aren’t exactly the kind of portraits you see at Hogwarts, but as you will find out in my parties, you need to have a little bit of imagination and pretending skills.

b. Mirror Of Erised

DIY Mirro of Erised. Easy.

It shows us nothing more or less than the deepest, most desperate desire of our hearts. – Albus Dumbledore

Men have wasted away before it, not knowing if what they have seen is real or even possible. – Albus Dumbledore

A simple cardboard frame transformed this mirror into the Mirror of Erised. Instead of painting the whole frame gold, we used glitter glue to outline it.

It really does not need to be complicated to add some fun to your Harry Potter party.

c. A Glimpse In the Past

The Cupboard Under the Stairs.

I couldn’t help but make “a cupboard under the stairs.” It was a glimpse of Harry’s life at the Dursleys.

  • A small bed made with a Rubbermaid container with a blanket on top of it.
  • I didn’t think to buy tin soldiers or horses, so we used a couple of horses we had…
  • Harry Potter did not receive gifts from the Dursleys except a hanger and a pair of Uncle Vernon’s socks.
  • An invitation from Hogwarts is lying on the bed.

d. Cute Owlery

Owlery - Harry Potter Party

Got to have an owlery at Harry Potter party.

My girls have lots of Big Eye Beanie owls, so we placed a few of those in the Owlery.

Branches, baskets, and candlesticks are fun places for the owls to sit on.

Get an inexpensive set of mini owls or a couple of larger ones. You could also print out owl images and create your owlery that way.

e. Albus Dumbledor Quotes

Print out quotes from the unforgettable Harry Potter characters. Here are a few we put on our walls. (My apologies for the terrible image quality.)

Albus Dumbledore Quotes

3. Hogwarts Common Rooms

Since two of our daughters belong to Gryffindor and one to Hufflepuff (I’m a proud member of Hufflepuff, too), we designated specific areas for those two common rooms.

No worries, I have lots of ideas for the Ravenclaw and Slytherin Common Rooms too.

Harry Potter Party Decorations.

a. Gryffindor Common Room – Warm and Inviting

Harry Potter Party Gryffindor Common Room

Red and gold. Those are the Gryffindor colors. With colors and a few items, you can create a common room where the Gryffindors love to hang out.

I went through the house looking for items that we could use in the Gryffindor Common Room.

  • blankets
  • pillows
  • bowls
  • books
  • candlesticks
  • logs
  • tapestry
  • paintings
  • plants
Gryffindor Common Room Ideas

We also found on youtube a fireplace video and that served as the fireplace with wood crackling sounds. It was pretty cool.

And you don’t need to stop with these ideas. What else would go with Gryffindor?

  • lions
  • swords
  • quill pens (DIY: hot glue a feather to a pen or pencil)

and since they are adventurous, maybe

Display the Gryffindor values:

  • bravery
  • nerve
  • determination
  • courage
  • chivalry
Gryffindor Values: Determination, Courage, Bravery.

b. Hufflepuff Common Room – Cheerful and Cozy

Yellow and black are the Hufflepuff colors. Their common room is cheerful with copper lamps, honey-colored wood, and plants.

Just like for the Gryffindor Common Room, I looked around the house for items to put in the Hufflepuff Common Room.

  • blankets
  • pillows
  • bowls
  • books
  • candlesticks
  • logs
  • paintings
  • plants

I purchased yellow fabric to make a couple of pillowcases and black cloth to cover the seat of an armchair. We also placed a black throw blanket on the couch.

Hufflepuff Common Room Ideas. Yellow pillows, black blanket.

Other things besides pillows, blankets, candlesticks etc. could include

Hufflepuff Common Room
  • And let’s not forget about the fireplace.
  • Make round doors out of cardboard to lead into dormitories and tape to the wall. It would be awesome if they lead into actual rooms, but fake doors as decorations are pretty fabulous too.

Display Hufflepuff traits:

  • hard work
  • loyalty
  • fair play
  • patience
  • dedication
Hufflepuff Traits: Patience, fair play, hard work, loyalty

c. Ravenclaw Common Room – Airy with Beautiful Mountain View

Ravenclaw common room is an airy, circular room with a beautiful mountain view and a domed ceiling painted with stars. Sounds really inviting!

Ravenclaw Common Room. Mountain view, arched windows.

Ok… the colors… the mascot. Is it blue and bronze or blue and silver? Eagle or raven? Your party, your choice :).

We did not have a Ravenclaw common room at our party, but we did attach a few blue balloons on the wall above a craft table. We also taped to the wall the Ravenclaw traits:

  • wisdom
  • wit
  • learning
  • creativity
  • intelligence
Ravenclaw Traits: Wisdom, Learning, Wit. Harry Potter Party Ideas.

But if you’d like to have this amazing common room in your Harry Potter party look for items to go with your color theme. That is the easiest way to create the look on small budget.

Ravenclaw Common Room Ideas for Harry Potter Party.
  • Since Ravenclaws are known for their love for learning and books, a big stack of books is a must. Several piles of books or a whole bookcase of them.
  • Ravenclaw common room has beautiful arched windows that you could create with cardboard.
  • You could make a fake arched window in front of a mountain view backdrop. Or get this amazing castle window backdrop. It would be perfect!
  • Use Christmas lights or glow-in-the-dark stars to create the domed ceiling with painted stars.
  • Drape blue sheers over curtain rods.
  • And no common room is complete without a fireplace.
  • Hang up a picture of an eagle or raven 🙂
  • Display blue, bronze, silver gems in a glass bowl or vase
  • Ravenclaws value knowledge, so set out trivia games

d. Slytherin Common Room – Grand but Little Bit Creepy

Last but not least is the Slytherin Common Room. It is a long room with a low stone ceiling located in the dungeons and partially under a lake.

Slytherin Common Room Ideas

Green and silver are the colors for this group of ambitious students. Their common room also has lots of black, like black leather sofas.

Like with the other rooms, look for pillows, vases, blankets, and bowls that go with your color scheme.

Other Slytherin Common Room Decorations to consider:

  • Use green light bulbs to give your Slytherin Common Room a green glow.
  • green or black fabric to cover the chairs
  • chessboard
  • skulls
  • silver candle holders
  • snake above the mantle
  • books of potions and dark arts

And don’t forget the fireplace. A cardboard box with paper towel roll logs and red lights for fireworks well. We made one a few years ago for Christmas. It actually was quite cute.

We did not have a Slytherin Common Room but just like for Ravenclaw, we had a few green balloons above our quidditch table.

Slytherin Common Room Ideas

And we also displayed words to describe the Slytherin:

  • ambition
  • cunning
  • resourcefulness
  • leadership

Slytherin Traits Ambition, Leadership, Resourcefulness

4. Celebration Meal at the Great Hall

Floating candles and lots of food. We made our candles with tea lights and copy paper. The plan was to use them as floating candles but that did not turn out the way we liked so we placed them all over the Great Hall and the whole Hogwarts.

I actually liked it better that way.

1. Candles – Floating or Not

Harry Potter Party Decorations. DIY candles.

We bought this cheap set of 36 tea lights. I like the way the flame flickers on these.

These tall candles are easy to make. All you need is paper and hot glue. Cut up the paper to desired length and width. Glue it to the candle. For additional lovely effect you can put some glue on the outside running down the seam and other places for melting wax.

If you want to make floating candles for your Harry Potter party, you’ll need also clear cord. Glue the cord to the candle before gluing the paper.

A chop stick comes handy in switching the candles on.

Harry Potter Party Ideas for Great Hall

Items we used for Great Hall

  • brown plastic table cloths
  • plastic stemware
  • gold paper plates
  • candle holders and candles (we had real candles at the tables)
  • silver serving trays (dollar stores carry those)
  • napkins and napkin rings
  • silverware
  • pitchers
  • glass bottles
  • Hogwarts House Banners

I prefer real dishes for parties but for this one I chose to use paper plates. But using glass plates on gold charger plates would make a great statement.

2. Hogwarts Banners

Hogwarts House Banners.

These Hogwarts banners are 30×50. They added a nice touch to our Great Hall. I didn’t want to make holes in the wall so we used packaging tape. They actually stayed up well. Only the Slytherin one slithered down a couple of times but thankfully not during the party.

Harry Potter Party Food

There are so many choices for Harry Potter party food. You don’t even need to get creative with this one just prepare regular food… that’s what they ate at Hogwarts feasts.

  • Shepherd’s Pie
  • Corned Beef Sandwiches
  • Steak and Kidney Pie (unless that’s kidney beans I’d just go with steak)
  • Bacon
  • Mashed Potatoes
  • Boiled Potatoes
  • Pork Chops
  • Roasted Chicken
  • Peas
  • Carrots
  • Apples
  • Oranges
  • Salad
  • Rolls
  • Pumpkin Pasties
  • Treacle Tart
  • Chocolate Cake
  • Pumpkin Juice (we used apple juice as pumpkin juice)
  • Butterbeer

I know some of you do like the creative food ideas. These 16 BRILLIANT HARRY POTTER FOOD IDEAS might be just what you are looking for.

Harry Potter Party Food. From Butterbeer Fudge to Marhsmallow Characters.

We served the desserts in the Hogwarts Common Rooms. Bowls filled with chips, popcorn and sweet treats were a hit.

Harry Potter Party Food. Acid pops, Explosive bonbons and Cockroach clusters.

If you are looking for easy Harry Potter treats here you go.

  • Cockroach Clusters – use Turtles chocolate
  • Acid Pops – Dip lollipops in honey or candy coating and then cover them with pop rock or rock candy
  • Explosive Bonbons – chocolate truffles topped with pop rock

Easy chocolate Truffles – Explosive Bonbons

  • 3 cups of dark chocolate chips
  • 1 can of sweetened condensed milk
  • pop rock

Place chocolate and condensed milk in a pot. Heat on low until the chocolate is melted. Let cool. Shape into truffles and dip in pop rock. Store in the fridge.

These chocolate truffles are amazing!!

Easy treats continue:

  • Licorice Wands
  • Berries
  • Sour Slugs
  • Fruit Salad
  • Chips
  • Pop Corn (Make the pop corn to match the common room by mixing it with the candy that matches the House colors)
Harry Potter Party Food. Licorice Wands. Berries and Sour Slugs, Fruit Salad

Fun Harry Potter Party Games

Our party guests were between ages 10 and 18 so we had various games for them to do in their age groups and together.

1. Seek for the Hidden Snitch

Chocolate Golden Snitch for Harry Potter Party Game

A golden Snitch was hidden in the Hogwarts for each guest. We wrote their names on the wings and they had to find the Snitch with their own name.

All you need is Lindt chocolate, wings, and hot glue. First we tried taping the wings but as you can see in the picture they started to come off. A little drop of hot glue on the wing kept them in place.

Free Snitch wings printable!

2. Table Quidditch DIY

Quidditch DIY.

You can easily make a table quidditch with

  • dowels
  • embroidery hoops (we used two 6″ and one 4″ hoop)
  • glue gun
  • plastic bottles
  • sand

Cut the dowels to the length that works for your table. Glue on the hoop. Stick the dowels into plastic bottles filled with sand.

The girls came up with their point system and game rules. They had a great time playing together. The winning House (Hufflepuffs!!) received a bowl full of chocolate.

3. Mafia

I have never played Mafia so I won’t even try to explain it to you. My girls like that game and you can find detailed instructions here (Ice Breaker Ideas).

You can play it Hogwarts style and change the character names to be something from Harry Potter, for example Mafia members could be Death Eaters.

4. Who Said It

A little quiz to test the guests’ knowledge of the Harry Potter story. We had a list of quotes and the guests had to figure out who said it. They got an extra point for knowing the book.

5. Horcrux Hunt

Horcrux Hunt Printable

Hide the Horcruxes in the party area and send the kids looking for them.


  • Tom Riddle’s Diary
  • Marvolo Gaunt’s Ring
  • Salazar Slytherin’s Locket
  • Helga Hufflepuff’s Cup
  • Rowena Ravenclaw’s Diadem
  • Nagini

Some say Harry was a Horcrux some say he wasn’t. I go by the explanation that he was not a Horcrux since he did not become an evil object.

I made clues for the Horcrux Hunt. Since our guests were older the clues were questions about the location of the Horcrux and how it was destroyed. Then I hid the Horcruxes in those locations. Simple signs were used for designating the areas such as Forest of Dean and Ministry of Magic.

6. Harry Potter Pictionary or Telestrations

Since it is a Harry Potter party the words for these games have something to do with Harry Potter.

For Pictionary you’ll need

  • a white board and markers
  • paper slips with a word or sentences

Whether you make teams or take turns individually this game can be hilarious.

How to play pictionary

In simple version a player picks a paper slip and draws on the white board what’s on the slip. The others guess. The first one to get it right does the next drawing.

You could also play it as teams. Set a time limit for drawing and guessing. If the team does not get it right during the set time then the other team gets to guess.

For Telestrations you’ll need:

  • tiny notebook and a pencil for each participant (or if you have enough telestrations books, use those)
  • paper slips with a word or sentences

Telestrations is fun with a large group. It is amazing what a simple word can turn into.

How to play telestrations

  1. Each player picks a slip of paper and writes the word or sentence on the first page and then draws it to the next page.
  2. Flip one page and pass it to the next player.
  3. The next player peeks at the drawing on the previous page and writes what she saw on the next page.
  4. Flip one page and pass it to the next player.
  5. The next player peeks at the word or explanation on the previous page and draws it on the next page.
  6. Keep alternating between drawing and guessing the drawing.
  7. Once the original player receives the notebook it is time to go through all the notebooks and see the drawings and guesses.

7. Harry Potter Would You Rather Questions

Instead of coming up with our own Would You Rather Questions we used the fun questions from Kitchen Counter Chronicles. These questions are suitable for anyone.

8. Four on the Couch Hogwarts Style

This is an awesome game for large group. You’ll need a couch and chairs (to have enough seats for everyone) plus one extra chair. If you don’t have enough chairs for everyone, no problem. Mark the spots on the floor with washi tape.

Goal: Get four of your teammates on the couch

Set Up:

  • Couch or four seats designated as a couch
  • Chair or a marked spot (washi tape works) on the floor in a circle for every participant plus an empty spot
  • Paper slip for each participant and a bag to collect the paper slips
  • Pens

Divide into two equal teams. It can be hard to remember who is in your team so do

  • girls versus boys
  • Hufflepuffs vs Gryffindor
  • or mark one of the teams with stickers

Let’s say it is Hufflepuffs against Gryffindor.

  1. Have everyone sit in a circle in alternating order H – G – H – G. Each team should have two players on the couch. One empty chair.
  2. Give each player a slip of paper and ask them to write down a character from a Harry Potter. Collect the paper slips. (or have names already written down and skip #2)
  3. Write the names on a whiteboard so everyone knows “who” is in the game.
  4. Mix the paper slips in the bag and hand them out to each participant. They must keep the name a secret.
  5. Whoever is sitting on the right side of the empty seat gets to start. Let’s say her name is Becky.
  6. Becky calls out a name, like Ron. Then whoever is “Ron” gets ups and sits in the empty seat next to Becky. Then to make it little more complicated and fun Becky and Ron trade paper slips. Becky is now Ron and Ron is whoever was on Becky’s paper.
  7. Now, there is an empty seat where Ron used to sit. So the person on the right side of that empty seat calls out a name. And the player who has that name moves to the empty chair, and those two switch names. And so on. Keep calling names, switching papers.

The players try to figure out who are the opposite team members on the couch. They try to remove them from the couch and place their own teammates there.

The team who is able to get four of teammates on the couch wins.

As a general rule: the team members aren’t allowed to help the team member whose turn it is to call out a name.

9. Cute Owl Bookmarks

This Owl Bookmark Origami from Red Ted Art is super cute and easy to make. Our guests had fun making them. I’m sure yours will too.


10. Photoshoot With Harry, Ron and Hermione

Harry Potter Photo Backdrop. Harry Potter Party Decoration Ideas. Harry Potter Party Activity
Harry Potter Photo Stand from Target

Take awesome group photos with this photo stand featuring Harry, Ron, and Hermione.

Get the Harry Potter stand from Target and bring the awesome trio to your party!

Harry Potter Party Favors

Give your guests lots of cool memories and an awesome wand and adorable owl charms.

1. Awesome Wands

Harry Potter Wands DIY

Got to have a wand at Harry Potter party! My daughters made these cool wands with chopsticks, hot glue, and paint. We had them in a bucket in the foyer for everyone to grab when they arrived to the party.

2. Adorable Owl Charm

Harry Potter Party Favors. Owl Charms.

We’re Charmed You Came!

Give everyone a sweet owl charm to remind them of the fun time they had at your Harry Potter party. I bought an inexpensive set of 30 owls.  We attached them to stretchy sparkly clear cord.

Free Harry Potter Party Printables

Harry Potter Party Printables

A collection of fun Harry Potter party printables. Free, no need to sign up or anything.

All was well.J.K. Rowling

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