Tag Archives: cauldron

Harry Potter Party – Cauldron DIY

Today is the day for some, bubble, bubble, toil and trouble! If you saw my porch photos you might have noticed my little cauldron. When I started on this particular project I knew that I wanted something different. I found lots of “regular” plastic cauldrons but wanted something with a different shape. I did lots of research on cauldrons. The cast iron cauldrons were very expensive and then there is the issue of what do you do with it afterward? I couldn’t find a plastic cauldron that I liked. The cauldrons in the movie have a unique shape and I wanted something more like the film version. I didn’t really get the shape I wanted but I got close and I was very happy with the end result.

Harry Potter Party Decorations – Cauldron

While I was on my research walkabout, I came across some amazing Halloween prop makers sites. These people are incredible. They make me want to go over the top on Halloween. I discover this tutorial. This was for a huge cauldron but I thought that I could apply this to my little project. Later I found this slightly easier tutorial over at Epbot. Well, I was convinced and I was ready to rock and roll.

It started life as a pot

To begin, I purchased 10″ plastic garden pot locally for under $5.  I created a “rib” template to create the shape I wanted for my cauldron. Then, I used my Silhouette Design Software to create my template. I printed this out and was ready to trace and cut.

Template

I traced about 30 ribs onto cardboard and then cut these out. Next, I applied these around my pot (nearly evenly) using duct tape. If you were making a big or a biiiiiiiig cauldron you would want to use more ribs.

Cut from cardboard
Ribbing the pot
As you can see, mostly straight on the ribs

Once my ribs were on and fairly straight I applied more duct tape over my newly shaped cauldron. I made sure to cover all of the ribs and leave no holes.

More ribs!!
Duct tapped
Paper Mache

Now it was onto paper mache! I used a very basic mixture of flour and water along with torn newspaper to cover my cauldron. It is important to tear your newspaper versus cut it. I forgot about this and had terrible lines later that I had to deal with. On my Snitch Pinata, I learned my lesson and only used torn newspaper and the result was much better.

Drying
Drying completed
After a few coats of paper mache

I did a few coats of paper mache, making sure to let each layer dry before I started on the next.

Covered with Paper Clay

Next, I added a layer of paper clay. You can find the recipe here. My clay turned out a little bumpier than I really was hoping for but I think that was owing to the fact that I didn’t use a mixer and that I used nicer toilet paper. I added handles by fashioning circles using air dry clay and then for the fasteners I used toilet paper rolls that I cut up to size. I glued these to my cauldron using high temp hot glue.

So, after this, I gave my cauldron a light coat of just joint compound. Once everything was dry, I gave my cauldron two coats of flat black spray paint.

Custom Harry Potter Cauldron

It was at this point that I forgot that I was supposed to be taking photos as I went along. Once I got my cauldron painted, I added the potion remenants. For this, I used plain old white glue mixed with decorative sand and then a mixture of the sand with raw oatmeal. I just kind of dribbled around the top edge. I was channeling my inner messy witch. This detail sat for 24 hours to fully dry. Then I added the paint. I used slightly watered down craft acrylic paint and painted over my glue dribbles.

Handles made with air dry clay & toilet paper rolls

What a messy potion maker!

I am very pleased with my little cauldron and am toying with the idea of making a big one for Halloween. The additional layer of joint compound makes the little guy a little heavy but that also keeps it from blowing away, which is always a good thing.

This started life as a flower pot
Close up view of the glue, sand and oatmeal mixture
Finishing touches

As always, thanks for stopping by!