The Rubber Duck

•September 7, 2013 • Leave a Comment

I fought long and hard to try and come up with a prize idea for the funniest costume, because I wanted something silly.  In the end, I could really only think of one thing… a rubber duck.

And in order to unwrap it, they had to answer this question: “What is one of the first things Mr Weasley asks Harry when they meet?” Which of course, we all know is: “What exactly is the function of a rubber duck?” 😀

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This little guy was a quick rushed-job painted about two days before the party with acrylic paints.  Unfortunately, not the best, as I could tell the paint was coming off even as I was still painting it, but this was the end of my party preparations and I was running out of time.  Unfortunately, the paint didn’t last too long in the water, but alas, cute and silly all the same!

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Some Lovegood Love

•September 6, 2013 • Leave a Comment

Excuses, excuses… I won’t make any excuses for not writing my blog posts lately, not this time.  Let’s just say that just because my party is over, doesn’t mean the crafts have stopped!  I’ll try… I really will, promise this time.  I have a lot of amazing things and awesome photos to show you 🙂 Like, for example, the Spectroscopes and Butterbeer cork necklace shown on my blog earlier, that I made for my friend dressing as Luna Lovegood. 🙂

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Spectrespecs:

Glue the template here to cardboard and cut out.  The two cellophane colours are up to you, In the movie, Luna has blue and pink.  I used blue and purple, and many people use blue and red.  Just depends on what you have available and what you’d prefer.  Either way, as long as you have two mismatched eye pieces, you’re pretty much displaying your Luna pride!

 

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Butterbeer Cork Necklace:

As you’ll find in many of my previous tutorials… I like to make things basic with the tools I already have.  A thin blue ribbon wasn’t as authentic as the beautiful blue-bead strung necklace Luna wears, but it was quick and simple to do to give the same desired effect of Luna’s eccentric character.  Grabbing an old wine cork, a paperclip and a hammer, I straightened out the paperclip, folding it instead in the center, and yep, hammered it onto the ribbon and into the cork.  Tie and knot in the ribbon big enough to go around your head and your done.

Hope you’ve got a Quibbler to go along with that outfit!  We certainly did!  Glued the cover to an old magazine and  cut it to size.  The whole costume looked fantastic 😀

Hope you all managed to catch the Hogwarts Express on time this week!

 

Hallows Toast

•July 5, 2013 • Leave a Comment

Now, time for a spot of breakfast. 😀

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Tutorial here.

I followed the last tutorial in making a cardboard stamp stencil 🙂 Very simple and fund to do – Step 1.  Make Stencil – Step 2. Cover in aluminium foil – Step 3. Stamp bread and toast.  The Deathly Hallows symbol is a little more frustrating than it looks, though!  I’ve also found the tip of the triangle doesn’t come out too well, as you can see in the photo, though that may be because I didn’t have enough of a gap to cut out.  Would also be fun to make a lightning bolt or something, use your imagination! 🙂 These would make a great breakfast serving after a sleepover party, or, who needs an occasion, really?

The Invitations… New and Improved!

•July 4, 2013 • 3 Comments

I’ll skip the sorry I’m posting this so late, and dive straight into it.  Invitations! 😀 They turned out great and everybody loved them, even if I was a bit late getting them sent off.  Did these all at home on my own printer, and some parchment paper purchased from Big W – around $6 for 50 sheets – and they turned out perfectly.  Please disregard the very first post on this blog 😀

I decided I wanted them to look and feel like the Hogwarts Acceptance Letters, but at the same time, I didn’t want to copy them word for word, because this wouldn’t be a “term”, school wouldn’t start on the 1st of September, and guests wouldn’t be arriving by Hogwarts Express.  So, I did some googling and mixed and matched on other invitations I saw around the place, the books and the movies, to form the invitation written out below:

Dear ……………….. ,

We are pleased to inform you that you have been invited to an evening of festivities at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, to celebrate Kylie’s 21st.

On 9th June 2013 we and our guests gather in the Entrance Hall, [ADDRESS], for a night of well mannered frivolity.  Celebrations begin at exactly 15:00 hours, and as such, guests are advised to start arriving up to one hour in advance.

It is requested you wear your normal witch or wizard attire, as the surrounding area is safeguarded by Memory Charms.  Guests are reminded that magic is not permitted in the presence of a muggle.

We await your owl by no later than 1st June 2013.  If you have access to a muggle fellytone dial [PHONE NUMBER] or notify us of your attendance via Facebook.  See the Hufflepuff Prefect Kylie O’Brien for more details.

Yours sincerely,

Minerva McGonagall
Deputy Headmistress

HOGWARTS SCHOOL of WITCHCRAFT & WIZARDRYHeadmaster: Albus Dumbledore, D. Wiz., X.J. (sorc.), S. of Magic.Q.

Included were also slips of parchment bearing the note:

Prizes will be awarded for the best dressed in the following categories:  Funniest, Most Authentic, Best Overall.

And my Follow the Spiders card as seen here.

All the envelopes were addressed in the Mr H Potter format, although some were Mr and Mrs 😛 Everyone also had an accurate description of their bedrooms – most of which I knew, some of which I had to ask for to ensure authenticity.  To give you an idea, all the different variations I used are listed below:

The Main Bedroom
The Largest Bedroom
The Smallest Pink Bedroom
The Purple Bedroom
The Playroom
The Smallest Room on the Right
The Bedroom to the Left
The First Door on the Right
The Room Upstairs on the Left
The Room at the End of the Hall
The Room on the Right off the Hall
The Bedroom with the Fish Bowl
The Room with the Overflowing Bookshelves

I also left off the postcode/zip code numbers, as these aren’t needed for Owl Post.  Most of the invitations I delivered in person anyway, the other half were put inside plain envelopes to help protect them, hence the postcode was on the outer envelope.  Nevermind that of the 4 I mailed locally, all 4 wax seals got smashed, and the 1 I sent internationally, it arrived intact… but anyway, I think that’s because I had extra padding in the envelope. 😛 That is something to be wary of though if you are mailing them.  I DID NOT USE PROPER SEALING WAX, I USED REGULAR CANDLE WAX, and I assume this was the problem.  This is just something to keep in mind.  Candle wax is a cheap, readily available option, just be prepared for them to crumble in the post.  These are much better hand delivered and can be carefully pried open to keep much of the seal in tact.  Next time, when I’m more prepared (you mean 2 years wasn’t enough?) I would choose proper seal wax, which I think looks better too and would imprint and seal better. 🙂

Now, the envelopes.  I am not going to post the envelope template I used, nor will I link to the font I used – just know that it is fan-made and called “Acceptance Letter”.  I have mentioned, linked, and thanked the members of the RPF countless times on this blog, now it’s your turn to go hunting for the material as it is not my own.  I will say though, despite being incredibly annoying to cut out, the custom envelope design looked beautiful once it was all cut and glued.  Well worth it.

The wax seals!  Hardest thing of the lot.  But I was determined for the real thing.  Well, almost the real thing, as I used candle wax, not sealing wax, as mentioned above.  You can buy Hogwarts Stamps from the official stores, however these contain the full Hogwarts crest and are small and intricate in design – and square.  They look awesome, but so does the simple design as seen in Philosopher’s stone – which is simply the H design on the inside of the crest – as seen when the letters arrive on the doorstep and also in Film Wizardry (reference here and here).  Following the tutorial here, I went about making my own custom wax sealing stamp, which first required the design be drawn, printed, and stenciled out (click any of images below for larger versions).

waxh

The tutorial calls for a wooden dowel and a wood burning tool.  I used what I had – the handle of a rolling pin, and an exacto knife, a pin in the corners.  I also left out the part about staining the wood.  It was a little messy, and didn’t leave the greatest impressions in the wax, but it did the job, and everyone thought it was awesome.

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Just follow the tutorial and… practice.  That’s really all I can say.  Practice a lot.  Know how hard to press down, how long to press down, how much to drip, when to drip.

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Make sure the stamp faces the right way up and don’t remove it until the wax is cooled.

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And even when you practice, you’ll still end up with mistakes.  But that’s okay 🙂 These are all of my completed wax seals, ordered, in my opinion, from worst to best.

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And, the finished product. 😀

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More posts coming soon!

Birthday on Sunday? Oh yes.

•June 7, 2013 • 1 Comment

Blogging every day, yeah right.  But, I think that’s exactly what I’ll need to do *after* my birthday!  This is just a quick post to say it is now a day and a half away, and I think I’m finally, finally, almost prepared.  Though the entire house is a mess and I have a lot to pack as I’m having it at my Dad’s, I might finally be getting somewhere and it’s going to be awesome! 🙂 I will have a *lot* of tutorials and things to write up afterwards so this blog will pick up then, I have been so busy with the crafts especially in the last week and a half and just haven’t had much spare time for blog posts, so I’m sorry about that! 🙂 I’ll be sure to show you *everything* when the party is over 😀 Be prepared for lots of long, photo-filled posts!

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Happy Harry-ing!

DIY Notepads

•May 13, 2013 • Leave a Comment

Hi all!  Definitely getting busy now 🙂 I’ve been making book necklaces, house bracelets, invitations are underway, potion jars are being sorted… all very exciting! 😀 This is just a quick post with a tutorial on how to make your own notepads!  These are great for little prizes or party favours, even to write in scores, etc during the party. 🙂

You will need:

  • Notebook/Notepad
  • Kraft paper or other plain/decorative paper with your design on it.
  • Exacto knife and/or scissors
  • Pliers (optional)
  • Glue stick
  • Cardboard
  • Pencil

1.  Get a hold of some notebooks or pads, whatever you’d prefer 🙂 I prefer ones with the plain cardboard backing, as it doesn’t require editing a back cover as well as a front cover.  Of course, you can make them bigger and better if you’d like, size and style is really up to you.  Just make sure that the coils can be undone (see Step 7).  You’ll find some notepads only have 1 coil that winds around and around through all the holes – this is no good.  You want something with double coils that pull apart separately at the back.

2.  Create the design you want.  What I’ve done is I’ve just printed HP logos spaced out onto brown Kraft paper, you can of course do something different and come up with your own fancy designs, but I just wanted something simple.  If you are using Kraft paper, please be careful with printing your own design on it as it is very thin paper – make sure you’re using a good printer.  We buy it in a roll, and so I try and flatten it under some heavy books before hand, but I will also cut it to size and tape it to an A4 sheet of paper to help flatten it when it goes through the printer.  The ink can smudge and it can get jammed, but most of the time, it has worked fine for me.

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3.  Trace around your notepad onto the printed design, leaving about a 1cm gap all the way around (See Step 7 for separating covers).  Cut out.  You will also need to trace around it onto a blank piece of paper for the inside of the cover (no gap), and onto a piece of cardboard (no gap) for the front cover. You’ll need to do it twice if you’re doing a back cover as well.   The cardboard I have here is about 2mm thick – not the thin fragile stuff, but not the really thick stuff either.  Here I have also traced out the cut out holes.  These actually need to be done later, so there’s no need to do that just yet.

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4.  Position and glue down your covers, folding the edges over the backside.

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5.  Once dry, then glue on the blank piece of paper you cut out, to cover those rough edges and inside cardboard.

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6.  Here comes the fun part.  Using the original cover, trace around the gaps where the holes will be.  Then, using whatever you’d like – an exacto knife, scissors, a hole punch, even a nail if you so desire – start punching those holes.  I don’t like using the hole punch because I can never align it properly, and the holes are round where these ones were square (though messy in any case, a hole punch would’ve left a much nicer trim), but it’s up to you.  I also found the holes were too small and the cardboard to thick to make nice even cuts with the knife (I may have been too rushed, too…) soo I started hole punching with the nail, and widening with the scissors.  Did the trick anyway, but please be careful using these methods!

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7.  So the covers should’ve been removed back in Step 3 when you were tracing around them, but below is a quick reference picture on how the coil should look before you start, you will then need to pull the loops on the right away from the center with a pair of pliers – these are not essential, but they do make it a lot easier, you can just use your fingers though.  You can then slide the front and back covers on and off – make sure you pay attention to what way they are facing when they come off – and once you’ve attached your design and the back cover again, you’ll want to use the pliers to pull the coils back towards the center again – you can see I’ve done a messy job below but it works. 😀

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8.  The finished product.

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Hope that was easy enough to understand!  Keep crafting!  More blog posts coming right up! 😀 Party is now less than a month away! :O

Eeylops Premium Owl Treats

•May 2, 2013 • Leave a Comment

Hi all!  It’s been quite hectic – somehow, my party is now just over a month away and I don’t know how I’ll ever get everything finished in time!  Meanwhile, everyone is telling me what a big deal 21 is and want to know what they can get me, and once again, like every other year, I’ve had no idea.  I’d like some money for a holiday, so I’m thinking of just asking for that (the money, not the holiday 😉 ).  Anyway, this led to a few quick Google searches for wishing well bird cages.  I’ve been eyeing off a small, pretty one I like, though I had no idea what to use it for as I’m yet to find a nice owl.  Now, I do, and it’s not an owl.  This is a great idea for anyone wanting a Potter party with a “wishing well” – don’t get a well, get an owl cage!

Now, one would be wise to add a note or label perhaps saying “Cards” so people can identify what it is there for, or perhaps stack a few inside to begin with (of course, you could also add a “Hedwig” label or something too; “The Owlery” is my favourite).  This wasn’t enough for me though.  Sure, my owl might be away delivering a letter at the moment, but what am I to feed him or her when she gets back?

Eeylops Premium Owl Treats.  Check out the quick design I made below:

eeylopsowltreats

This was printed onto kraft paper and folded into a little paper bag following this tutorial.  Of course, you could just print it onto a normal paper bag and you shouldn’t have any problems.  A tip though: you might want to tape down the corners to help it run smoother through the printer without jamming.  Looks sweet when its complete!  I threw in some small pebbles to weigh it down and glued down the top – perfect little disguised package, if you ask me!

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I’ve also been hard at work trying out some imitation gold leaf – that is, the shiny gold stuff you see on certain books, particularly old or fancy ones.  Not the real stuff, hence ‘imitation’.  It works well, though a little fiddly and not at all perfect and clear.  If anyone wants me to make a tutorial on this, please let me know, but between the instructions on the product and this YouTube video, there really isn’t much more to tell.  I tried it out on ElliotStone’s (from the RPF) cover of History of Magic:

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That’s it from me!  As I say everytime now my party is near you should be hearing more from me – I mean it this time!  I’m going to start on my invitations and a whole bunch of other awesome goodies, so I’ll see you soon!

Happy Unofficial International Harry Potter Day!  May 2 marks the anniversary of the Battle of Hogwarts.