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  • Tanisha Phanbuh

Harry Potter Halloween

Updated: Oct 10, 2020

Halloween decor on a budget. The cheapest & easiest DIY tested ideas for the ultimate Hogwarts halloween.

The Harry Potter books and movies are abundant with crazy thrilling ideas that have and continue to make some of the most interesting themes for parties or halloween alike. Halloween is around the corner and I'm sure everyone is excited about it whether or not at the present time, it can be a big do. I was so thrilled to have the opportunity to decorate a 6000 sq.ft space to the theme of a Hogwarts Halloween. I had a tight budget but there were just so many things I could do in every corner. Honestly, I went bonkers wanting to do every element I could think of and I went on till the very last minute - hence, there are some dark and blurry pictures, some missing as well. I got lost in the energy and buzz that filled the space. Here are a few tips to jog that creative part of the brain and then roll with it.

1. Magic Wands

I collect extra cutlery that comes with takeaway food, look where it came to use. You can always buy a pack of disposable chopsticks, they're cheap.

Use a hot glue gun and go crazy glueing dots, spirals, rolls - any thing you like on the chopsticks.

Let it cool and harden.

Buy a can of matte black spray paint.

Trust me you will only need one for multiple items to come.

Spray an even coating of paint and let it dry. Voila ! Gorgeous wands. You can even dust some of the crevices with gold dust if you like.

2. Spider Webs

Use a surface like glass or marble or a plastic sheet - where ever you can peel off the hardened glue. Use a glue gun and draw out a cobweb. You can use a template under butter paper if you require a guide. Make sure you draw a string end to end, that way it wont break when you peel it off. It's so easy and you can make hundreds in minutes. Leave them hanging over plants, pumpkins, tables, door knobs - basically anywhere!

3. Feather Quills

This synthetic feathers are available pretty easily and are cheap. The ones I bought were brightly coloured so I gave them a light spray of the black matte paint along the centre spine; this cut down the bold colours to an almost fantastical looking phoenix feather. The cut the tips diagonally to finish the pen nib effect.

4. Floating Letters

These old school air mail postal envelopes were just a few pennies worth. They are no longer in use so I actually dug it out from the back of unwanted stationary at a store. I also bought plain envelopes and gave them all a coffee staining treatment from used coffee granules. Put them in a box and dump coffee granules on them. Once you see the paper absorbing the colour, dust off the coffee and dry the envelopes. If you are a potterhead you would definitely know the addresses of the characters - write them! you can also stamp the backs with a wax seal. Use plastic thread or fishing line to hanging the envelopes from ceilings or doorways for them to appear to be floating.

5. Little Creatures

Stick googly eyes on anything and they look like adorable creatures. I stuck them on valencia oranges but you can use any veg or tennis balls too for that matter. I used a glue gun so it was temporary and non toxic.

6. Magic Potions

If you only use this as decor, then fill them with any coloured liquids of different viscosity like water, oil, baby oil, glycerin and add glitter dust. Shake them before guests arrive so they circulate and look luminous.

If you intended to use the prop bottles to hold consumable beverages then use food coloured sugar syrups, fruit syrups, cocktail mixes etc. For the shimmer add edible glitter, available at cake stores.

7. Dementors

This one was real fun to make; I felt like a sculptor. Just buy lots of the cheapest plain black cloth you can find. All you need is a few items around the house to help shape the head and shoulders. I used soft drink/soda bottles taped to a wine cooler and a balloon for the head. Make sure they are taped well without popping the balloon.

Use a mixture of fevicol/mod podge and water 1:1 ratio and use a brush for application. Tear the cloth into strips, roughly, placing it on the structure and brushing on the glue mixture. It's like doing paper maché but with cloth. You will need bigger pieces to do a final cover of the shoulders and drape the hood. Make sure you give it a good length so it appears life sized.

Once dried, it should be hard enough to stand on a pole or be hung up.

8. Dementor Lake, .contd.

Since in the movie, the dementors roamed the lake. I wanted to add that mystique of foggy forest and the sound of water.

I put up the dementor on a pole in a big flower tub, put a large basin fountain (with a device that circulates water, you could use a fish tank purifier) and surrounded it with succulents & plants from the garden and pebbles and rocks + some of the glue gun spider webs.

Whenever people passed the area I dropped in pebble sized chunks of dry ice to create the mist.

Caution: Use tongs to handle dry ice. Dry ice cannot be consumed.

9. Prisoner of Azkaban - Photo Op

Take a picture off of Google for the posters of prisoners of Azkaban. Crop out the centre box. Print it out on sunboard material. It remains stiff and still for photos.

10. The Chamber of Secrets message

"The chamber of secrets has been opened. Enemies of the heir, Beware!"

Buy a cheap red lipstick and write this message on a large mirror or in the washrooms.

Easily removable.

11.Ministry of Magic

Take printouts of the Ministry of Magic logo on regular paper and burn the edges slightly with a lighter.

Use double tape to stick it above the toilet seat.

12.Pumpkin Carving

Last, but not least, PUMPKINS ! Halloween is not halloween without carved pumpkins/jackO lanterns

You do not need elaborate carving sets. All you need is a paring knife or a tourning/turning knife and a set of the basic cutlery i.e., spoon, fork and knife. You'll also need a marker to outline the facial features you want to carve.

After carving 10+ pumpkins I figured, the easiest way to carve it is to draw on the features first, then use a sleek sharp knife to start carving. Ideally, jab the knife in straight strokes roughly inside the outline. Then cut out the lid off the top - imagine cutting around the shape of a cone. Then have fun stabbing the centre of the pumpkin to loosen all the flesh and use the help of a fork & spoon to scoop it all out. Then carefully clean out the features.

I hope these excite you all to try your hand at inexpensive halloween decor. There were more elements I made but due to the dim lighting for the ambience the pictures turned out grainy and so I havn't shared them.

I had an awesome time creating these and so satisfied with the outcome. Do comment below with your thoughts. It would be amazing to know if you tried any of these and gave feedback. Happy halloween trick & treating !


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