Tag Archives: Harry Potter

Harry Potter Wands DIY

Back again with more Harry Potter Magic! One of the events at our party was the wand selection. This was so much fun! I created each unique wand and they were all very different. Some were inspired by the films and some from my imagination. The kids had a great time picking out their wands and I had a great time creating them.

All the pretty wands
Inspired by Dumbledore’s Wand

I had seen a lot of the hot glue wands online and while they looked easy and quick to create I really wanted to create something that gave me more control over the shape of the wands. In addition, I really don’t need any more hot glue burns. So I came up with these Harry Potter wands for our party!

Under the Sea Wand
Medieval Wand

Each wand started as a plain wooden dowel. I bought a pack of 12″ wooden dowels and trimmed a few from dowels I had laying around. (Yes, you read that right I do have dowels just laying willy nilly around this place.) I trimmed them using my scroll saw after the sculpting dried. This allowed me to make the length match the wand since some of these took on a life of their own.

Unicorn Horn Wand
Inspired by Minerva McGonagall’s Wand

To start, I used 100 grit sandpaper to rough up the surface of my wood. I then mixed up some Apoxie Sculpt. This was my first time using this product and I was really pleased with the end result. It was easy to work with and I liked the way it smoothed out with a little bit of water. One thing that I struggle with when using polymer clay is fingerprints.

Copper & Midnight Wand
Red & Gold Band

Some of the wands had clear plans and I looked up photos online to find exactly what I wanted. I wanted to be sure that I didn’t have any flat spots on my wands so I filled an old paint water cup with leftover decorative sand from my cauldron and I stuck the wands in there. this held them up while they dried – voila no flat spots.

Inspired by Sirius Black’s Wand
Hedwig Wand

I will admit that the dragon was my favorite. It was so much fun. Once all the wands were cured I used my scroll saw to trim down the wands. I also sanded a few of the wands where they needed it, mostly to smooth the transition from sculpture to the dowel. Now I was ready to start painting. I used craft acrylics, for some of the “wood” looking wands I really thinned down the paint to make a wash. Again, I used my cup of sand to hold them while they dried.

Spring Wand
Lizard Wand

I used craft acrylics, for some of the “wood” looking wands I really thinned down the paint to make a wash. Again, I used my cup of sand to hold them while they dried. It was so much fun to see the wands take shape. The paint made the wand’s personality just jump out. It was really fun to think about which kiddo would go for which wand.

Inspired by Harry Potter’s Wand
Purple Jewel Wand – this one has a tiny gemstone on the end
Elder Wand with Dragon Wand

When all the wands here cured, trimmed and painted I was ready to seal them. I used a high shine spray sealer and gave each wand a few coats. In the end, I created 20 wands and managed to use one 1 lb  Apoxie Sculpt. It comes in two 8 oz containers that you mix equally, in the amount you need. It is air dry medium but I felt like I had a length of time to work with it before and as I mentioned above, I loved that you can smooth it out with water.  I really liked my Hedwig Wand but my daughter’s first guess was that it was going to be a penguin and then once I had painted it she kept calling it a pigeon. I think she was just giving me a hard time, however, I really liked that one.

Sea Snake wand
Inspired by Luna Lovegood’s Wand

For the party, I created an Ollivander’s Storefront that held the wands, I will share the creation of the project down the road! Thanks for stopping by!

Fire Twist Wand
Red Lacquer Wand
Dragon Wand Close-up

Harry Potter Party – Golden Egg

That’s right today’s Harry Potter Party project is the Golden Egg! When Harry opens the egg underwater it gives him the following clue in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.

Come seek us where our voices sound,
We cannot sing above the ground,
And while you’re searching ponder this;
We’ve taken what you’ll sorely miss,
An hour long you’ll have to look,
And to recover what we took,
But past an hour, the prospect’s black,
Too late, it’s gone, it won’t come back.

Harry Potter’s Golden Egg

Now, my egg didn’t open and I am not sure that you would want to put it underwater, but it was fun to create. Per usual, I started my creation with lots of research. The Noble Collection has a beautiful Golden Egg for sale and they had great photos.

Inspired by Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

I started by sketching my design based on the photos I found on the internet. I was able to find an unfinished paper mache egg at Target that was the right size. The egg has a slightly flat bottom which allows it to stand without falling over.

My Golden Egg

My next step was to apply air dry clay all over my egg. I sculpted the owl at the top and then started carving. I used my sketch as a guide. I’d love to tell you that I had everything laid out perfect and that it just worked out but that would not be the truth. I got about 3/4 of the way through my carving and realized that I was going to have too much room. So, I just had to make it work. I added a few additional buildings and my “secret” message. I tried to keep with the style of the rest of the egg.

Special message for the Birthday Girl

These things just happen sometimes and I really believe that they are just a part of the process. The air dry clay cured very quickly so there wasn’t much time to mess around trying to fix anything anyway. Once it was done, I was pretty happy with the overall look.

View of the top
Another View of the Golden Egg

I left my egg to cure. Once dry, the owl and wings had popped off but I just re-glued them on without any issue. I find that air dry clay doesn’t like to stick to itself and I just plan to glue things back on. A little more time to let the glue dry and then it was on to painting. I started with a coat of black acrylic paint, making sure to get down into the carvings. I gave my egg two coats of black. Again, more time to dry and then onto the gilding! This was my favorite part of the egg. I used DecoArt Metallic Lustre in Gold Rush. It is a wax and I just rubbed it on using a paper towel. Super easy! I made sure to just add the gold to the top of my egg and not into the carving.

Decoration for our Harry Potter Party

I really liked how the egg turned out and the primitive style carvings made it an easy project. Good luck with your own Golden Eggs – super fun!

What mysteries are held in this clue??

 

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!

 

 

 

 

Harry Potter Party (Part One)

Yeah, I am finally back! This party was a success and I have nearly recovered. We have the bulk of the decorations down and boxed away and nearly all the items that were moved have been returned. So, my plan for this series of post will be this, I am going to walk you through the party. I will share what all the kids did and the order. Then any projects that I haven’t shared will be shared in individual posts. Without further ado!

Ready for Hogwarts

To start, we decorated our front porch. I made a Beware Whomping Willow sign that I staked out in front of our tiny tree. I also made one that said, “Wizards Welcome, Muggles Tolerated.”  The second sign was placed in our large empty flower pot that lives on the front porch. Initially, I thought about getting flowers or some other plant for it but the sign, a last minute addition, became one of my favorites signs from the party.

Party entry – Harry Potter Party

We had our Bentwood Trunk (ordered on Ebay from the UK), a new trunk I purchased locally at a discount outlet, a brown wrapped package (addressed to the birthday girl and from Flourish & Blotts), Hedwig in her cage, the Gryffindor scarf, aged cauldron, Nimbus 2000, and Quidditch goggles all decorating the front porch. I hung our Hogwarts Express sign from the eave and added the Hogwarts House Bunting that I made. The big draw was the “brick wall” the kiddos passed through to enter the party. We also had out our directional sign posts. I created each of the signs and just put on as many as I could manage!

Directional Signpost – Harry Potter Pary

Once they entered the house, our guests were greeted by the House Banners and Always canvas down the hallway. To the left, in my studio, we had set-up a photo booth. I used a black cloth backdrop and stands that I have for my photography as the backdrop. We had props that I printed from the WB site. That I glued to foam core and added handles. I also had a wanted poster, complete with Azkaban Prison number card and then our Ford Anglia cut out. The kids had a blast getting their pictures taken. We did the photo booth area as they entered in order to give the guests time to arrive. We also used it again when one of our classes ended a little early.

Have you seen this wizard?
In the Flying Car

Once all of the guests arrived we performed our Sorting Ceremony. Now, I figure that nearly all of the kids would want to be in Gryffindor so a true Sorting Ceremony wouldn’t net me the three classes that we needed. What I did instead was to create badges each with a dragon on them. We had green, red, and yellow. Each kiddo came up and put on the hat, the reached into my cauldron and pulled out their badge. This divided them up into groups of six each.

Sorting Ceremony

Then we sent them off for their first class. We sent one group to the basement for Portions, one to Quidditch, and one to Herbology. For Quidditch, we set up the Quidditch Cornhole boards on the side of our house. The weather was perfect! On the back porch was Herbology, here the kiddos were planting Mandrakes. In the basement, Snape was teaching the kids to make slime. Each session was 20 minutes and then they switched.

Quidditch Cornhole
Herbology
Snape on the way to Potions

Once we had worked through our three classes, it was on to Defense Against the Dark Arts as a large group. We had black balloons, filled with helium. In each balloon was a Patronus. I had cut each animal out of glitter cardstock and then inserted them into each balloon before I inflated them. We had:

  • Pheonix
  • Dragon
  • Dog
  • Otter
  • Stag
  • Rhinocerus
  • Lion
  • Tiger
  • Owl
  • Ram
  • Wolf
  • Horse
  • Fox
  • Cat
  • Shark
  • Dolphin
  • Eagle

I brought out the balloons and each guest selected one balloon. Then we went around the room and each kiddo used the special wand ( a spare wand with a large pin taped on) to pop their balloon and find their Patronus, making sure to give a loud “Expecto Patronum” before the popping. I held the balloons for each student and managed to have no one stab me. So a victory in my book.

This gets us to about half-way on the party activities. The next post will detail our trip to Gringotts and Olivanders and then the food!

 

 

Quidditch Cornhole Boards

The Quidditch Cornhole Boards are finally completed! Between retouching, cold weather, and paint that took forever to dry these took way longer than I was anticipating. In fact, the process of building the actual boards took way less time than painting them. Despite all of the setbacks they are finally complete. Now, I just have to either make or purchase bean bags. 

Without further ado, here is how I made these. To begin, I made a trip to my local hardware store to purchase my wood. I was in a hurry and didn’t have them cut it for me, which was probably not the best idea but these things happen. I managed to find three 2x4s in the miscut bin so I got those at 70% off. They each had about 3″ cut off the end but I knew that I had a spare 2×4 at home to make up the difference. In addition to the 2x4s, I also purchased a 4’x8′ sheet of plywood. I dragged my wood home and began the process of cutting everything.

Trimming the legs

The 2x4s were cut as follows:

  • 21″ short sides (4)
  • 48″ long sides (4)
  • 12″ legs (4)

I cut the sheet of plywood to 24″x48″

Prepping to cut the goal

I did use a circular saw to cut all of my wood, which always makes me a little nervous. If you use a circular saw please be very careful and follow all of the safety guidelines. I used 3.5″ screws to assemble my frames.

I added the goals to the plywood in two different ways. For my first board, I screwed my plywood deck to my frame first and for the other, I cut it out before I screwed the deck down. I actually think that adding it after it was screwed down was easier but it is up to you. I used a 6″ circle drill. This is a lot of work for a drill, so use caution and be sure to keep an eye on your drill. Mine got very hot cutting out the holes.  For the second board, once the hole was cut I screwed the deck to the frame with 1 1/2″ screws.

Cornhole – Drill fit with 6″ hole cutter
After cutting

Now, I went about shaping my legs. I used a circle cutting tool in my crafting arsenal to cut out a 3 1/2″ circle from paper to use as my curve template. Using my paper template, I  traced the curves onto one end of each leg. I really should have used a jigsaw to cut these out, but since I didn’t want to borrow my neighbors I thought that I could cut it out with my scroll saw. Now, I will tell you that this was not my best idea since the scroll saw isn’t really made to cut wood this thick. I babied it through and cut out some of the ugliest curves but they worked. and since you really won’t see them under the frame and decking I just left them. I drilled through the frame and legs and added my carriage bolts.

Paper template
Traced circle
Legs rounded
Legs – rounded and drilled

Now, came the fun part, PAINTING! I designed my paint template in my Silhouette Software so I would know what was going where. I used a new brand of paint (for me) on this project. ArtMinds Outdoor paint. I purchased black, teal, yellow, and white. We decided that we needed to paint the snitches gold, not yellow so I also purchased gold outdoor paint by FolkArt. I started by priming my boards and then once dry, I used painters tape to create my design.

First layer of paint
Design Layout in Silhouette Studio

The add the graphics I created stencils using my Silhouette Cameo. These were big and gave me lots of trouble. I probably should have purchased a higher grade of plywood and/or done more sanding but the stencils were a challenge to cut and to paint. This caused me to have to do a lot of retouching where paint seeped under the stencil. Below you will see a few photos from the process.

One other issue I had was that on one of the boards the black paint just wouldn’t dry. While the cold weather kept me from painting on these for almost a week, it took about that long for the deck to dry. I painted the boards at the same time, the same way, so I have no idea why only one was giving me trouble. The black paint was much thicker than all the other colors and I am sure that was what led to the issue.

Stencil cut using Silhouette Cameo

I added the central image and then the lettering. I used white paint and then on the snitch, I painted over this with the yellow paint, but that was overruled necessitating the purchase of the gold paint. This was really much better. As I mentioned, this was not an easy process and I fought with the stencil material as much as I did the paint but in the end, it all worked out.

After the first stencil
Adding the lettering

Once I had my main designs done, I used painting tape to add the yellow stripe and then the stands up to the Quidditch rings. I also cut out the goal circles and added those. I took my legs off the boards and painted those with the black paint.

Completed board

The final step was to add the varnish. The paint says that it doesn’t need a sealer but I wanted my boards to hold up during the party and for years to come so I added four coats of Varathane to the tops and one coat on the legs and sides.

After varnishing
Quidditch Cornhole Boards

 

Completed Quidditch Cornhole Boards
In this photo, you can see the contrasting legs,
Created by Jennifer Miner
Cornhole – Painted for Harry Potter Party
Hogwarts Quidditch Cornhole Boards

 

Overall, I think that they turned out pretty decent. If I were to do it again I would get the wood cut at the store, borrow the jigsaw, and do a bit more sanding. The outdoor paint was very thick and I don’t love that you can see brush strokes but I don’t hate it enough to redo it!The other thing was that on one board the varnish did a funny thing on the last coat and got really streaky, this was another one of those things that I am not sure what went wrong but I don’t hate it enough to start all over.

 

 

 

 

Nimbus 2000 Racing Broom

Once we started our party planning one of the first things I knew that we needed to have was a Nimbus 2000 for our porch display. I started looking around and found out pretty quickly that they are pretty pricey, but in my search, I discovered that people were making their own. I decided that I would give it a go. So far, this has been my most ambitious project for the party, but I think that it turned out pretty good.

Nimbus 2000 created by Jennifer Miner

I found the hands-down best tutorial here. I looked at a few other tutorials for help on things when I got stuck but this was really all I needed. One other resource that was key for me was a template for the broom handle. There are so many wonderful people out there and this pattern was shared here. I imported the pattern into my Silhouette Design Studio and printed it out and then taped it together. I don’t have regular access to a large scale printer so this worked for me.

Nimbus 2000 – Harry Potter Party Prop

I will just give you a quick run through on my process and an overview of the tools. Like I said the first tutorial is very complete.

Nimbus 2000 – handle detail

I started with a piece of 2″x6″ pine that I picked up from my local hardware store. Then I printed out my template and traced this to my board. Next, I borrowed a jigsaw and cut out the shape. I haven’t really worked with a jigsaw before but it was pretty easy. To cut out the broom, I clamped my wood to my work table and cut out the pattern. I would reposition my wood and clamps as needed. Now, I had a square piece of wood in roughly the shape of the Nimbus.

Completed handle

Now came the shaping. In the various tutorials, people used a variety of tools to round out the broom shape. Some used a table router or I also saw an angle grinder with a sanding disk. Since I had to borrow a jigsaw I’ll bet that you can guess that I own neither of these nor any of the other tools I saw used. So that left me with what I did have, a Dremel, a rasp, and a palm sander. I will not tell you that this was quick or easy but using the carving drum on my Dremel and a coarse wood rasp I started getting the basic shape. Once I was happy with that I went to my palm sander and 60 grit sand paper. I went through quite a few piece of sandpaper but I finally had my shape.

Harry Potter Nimbus 2000

Now, came the process of finishing the sanding process. I gradually went from 60 to 400/600 grit paper.  I used a lot of 150. It was at this time that I realized that my piece of wood was not the greatest. It had a few knots and a long split and I really considered buy a new piece and starting over again. When I really weighed what this would do to my timeline for the party I quickly rejected it and just went with the flow. I filled my imperfections and got ready to stain.

By Jennifer Miner

I started by prepping my handle with pre-stain and then I used Red Mahogany to stain my broom handle. I don’t always use pre-stain but for something like this, I think that it does help give you a more even color and plus it makes me feel like I am a legitimate woodworker. You may have noticed that the color of my broom isn’t quite right, I think that this is owing to the nature of the pine. I was really afraid to apply another coat of stain because I really liked the way that the wood looked. I think that the variations of color, light to dark give it a nice character. My concern was that I would loose the woodgrain and that it could look too red, so I stopped here.

Pine handle

When my stain was dry, I began applying varnish. I left a very small portion of the handle bare. Not really on purpose but so I would have a place to hold it. I used clamps on this bare spot to hand the broom in the garage while I was varnishing it and then when it was drying.

Handle close-up

After varnish coat two I realized that I forgot a very key element, the Nimbus 2000 logo. So I was a little stuck but decided to just do it where I was, in-between the layers of varnish. Using my Silhouette Cameo and the logo I found online I created a vinyl stencil then I used gold acrylic paint to add the logo. Knowing that would not be able to fix mistakes with more paint, I made sure that the stencil was smooth and making solid contact with the broom. I also allowed the paint to dry completely dry before removing the stencil. I chose to just do the logo on one side. Then it was back to the varnishing process. Five additional coat completed the process.

Nimbus 2000

Then I drilled a hole in the end of the handle and added a dowel rod where I would be attaching the broom bristles. Now, finding the bristle materials was crazy difficult. Nothing was right. It was either too thick or too expensive or just plain wrong. Back to the internet to see what other people had used, I found my answer – a deconstructed bamboo shade.

A former bamboo shade turned broom bristles

Off to the hardware store to pick one up. A few hours later I had lots of reeds that were very close in size and length. I created a foam structure using two floral styrofoam cones and one round piece. I glued these to my dowel and used sandpaper to shape them. This created a huge mess! I painted them black with acrylic paint and then started on the broom bristles. Whooo this was a tedious process.

Bristles from a deconstructed bamboo shade

I cut a piece of clear tape and laid out a bunch of the reeds, then I applied a large amount of wood glue to my foam structure. Next, I would pick up my tape and lay the reeds in the glue. I would then place several fat rubber bands over the tape and let the reeds dry. Once they were dry I could remove the rubber bands and tape and start with the next area. I did this until I thought that I had everything mostly covered. Then I repeated this process for the bottom.

This was not an exact process and got pretty mess but in then end it did the trick. I ended up using a lot of reeds. I sort of think that my broom was a little too fat and that if it were a little more streamlined that this would have been a little easier but once the reeds were in place there was no going back. My last step with the reed was to trim them. I used my rotary tool and a cutting disk to trim them up. There were little pieces of bamboo flying everywhere.

A view from the bottom

Once the reeds were glued and completely dry came the next challenge. In the tutorial, he creates a kickstand using nylon rod and metal. While his version looks awesome with the kickstand, I decided to forgo this step and just add the gold bands. I had a terrible time finding something that would adhere to the reeds and that look correct. After a few trips to the area craft stores, I finally ended up with a thin gold cord from the sewing department. I used E6000 to glue the two ends down and used a rubber band to hold that in place while it dried. Then once that was dry I used a whole lot of super glue to get everything to stay in place.  I am still picking super glue off my fingers.

Nimbus 2000 & potions

That was it – I had my broom she was finally done and I was pretty happy with the results. I wanted to share so I took it outside to photograph it and when I stepped back to take my first photo it fell over, onto concrete and there was a dent. Not just in the varnish but the actual wood was dented, right at the top.  Well, there was no crying over toppled racing broom so I sanded the area as best as I could and re-varnished the dent. Now, the repair isn’t perfect but I figure that a real racing broom would take some damage over the course of play and it really isn’t as bad as it could have been.

The dent!

Now that this project is complete, I will be back to the creation of my signs and potions! If you follow me on Instagram you saw a work-in-progress of my Knockturn Alley sign, they’ll be more to come! Thank you for spending time here!

 

 

 

 

Cornish Pixies

Hiya!

Things have been a little crazy around these parts. In addition to neglecting my blog, I have totally been AWOL on house cleaning/cooking/everything else! I have been plugging away at our Harry Potter Party plans in addition to Valentine’s Day preparations. I didn’t want to share anything until I had some finished projects to share with you all and everything was just taking so long. The good news is that I finally have a project so have no fear the Cornish Pixies are here!

Shhhhh . . . .they are watching me!

I purchase a pattern on Etsy (here) to create Cornish Pixies. I had a devil of a time finding the right color of suede cloth and then ended up getting way too much of the blue and then my lighter color was way too purple to make two colored pixies. So, they are going to be one color and I will have to find something to make out of the remaining suede cloth. I am planning on adding wings but they seemed like they wanted to be introduced first.

Five little Pixies all in a row.

I have never really made anything like this before and I will admit that the process was a little bit intimidating. Turning the antenna covers was particular challenging. In the end, all the blood (actual blood), sweat, tears, blisters, and cursing was totally worth it. While they are far from perfect, the pattern was fun and very well written with lots of photos. Once I made the first one the others were much easier.  Now, I will have to be on the look out for a little bird cage for them. I have already purchased one for Hedwig but she clearly cannot share with these little mischief makers!

Plush Jointed Cornish Pixie

My studio area is a huge mess – it looks like a mad scientist has been plying his trade in here. I am working on potion bottles and they are seriously everywhere! In fact, I had to move all my sewing supplies into the dining room area to work on these guys. I am having so very much fun with this party!

Resting Cornish Pixies!

Thanks for popping by! Have a wonderful Valentine’s Day!

 

Monster Book of Monsters

Well, this little girl is finally done. This is my take on the Monter Book of Monsters. This was a real adventure.

Monster Book of Monsters by Jennifer Miner

I started with a paper mache book form, you can find these at your local craft store, I found mine near the wood section. I started by painting the inside and edges of my book. Next, I broke out the polymer clay, like every single slab I own. I mostly just some plain white that I had been hoarding for at least 15 years. I made the book “pages” first. For this, I rolled out very thin sheets of white clay that I then drew thin lines for the pages. My tissue blade worked very well for this. Next, I added this right on the front of my book. I used a little Translucent Liquid Clay to glue it down. Once the book pages were on, I smoothed the edges and add more lines. I added a little aging with chalk and a paint brush.

Pages created with chalk pastels & polymer clay

Now, I needed a spot of the tongue to pop out. First, I made a little hole on the front pages and then rolled out and cut the tongue using red clay. I attached the tongue and the whole thing went into the oven. when I put the whole book in the oven I was really nervous about it catching fire. I am happy to report that there were no burning books at this house. If you do this at your place be sure you read up on all safety issues and keep that temperature low. I didn’t go very far.

Monster Book of Monsters

Now it was tentacle time! For the tentacles, I started making tapered coils and attaching these to my book. I also made fatter tentacles for the bottom and added suckers. I really should have covered the complete edges with clay, this would have allowed the tentacle to adhere a little better. After I baked these I actually ended up pulling all the top tentacle off and reattaching them using E6000. At this time I also created the teeth portion. I just used a mixture of what I had on hand to make the teeth colors and pink gums. I also added a little chalk to these parts, for added character.

Once I have them to my liking, the book went back into the over. After the clay had cooled and I had reattached all the top tentacles, I painted them using craft acrylic paints. I also did several washes over my clay. This process consists of watering down my paint and then applying it over my cured clay, pausing a moment and then wiping most of it off. This leaves the color in the cracks and depressions. You can really add lots interest this way. This was actually the first time that I have every painted polymer clay. It was really fun and since my clay colors were limited it gave me a rainbow without having to hit the shop.

A view from the back

It was at this point that I approached the part that I was the most nervous about, the eyes. This gives the book so much character, and I didn’t want it to look silly. I had been using a photo from Insight Editions, who created the official prop replica. I knew that I wanted mine to look as similar to that as I could get it. In my research, I discovered that there are a few different looks to the books. I grabbed that clay and got to work. I just took my time and kept working until I was as close as I was going to get. The eyes are just four balls of black clay. This went into the oven to bake. Once out and cooled I got to painting and applying color washes until I was happy.

I had bought about 1/4 of a yard of the imitation wolf fur and hoped that it would be enough. After Halloween, I swore no more faux fur but this was nothing like that at all. I shook it out really well, outside and then cut what I needed and shook it out. To adhere this to the book I used a combination of hot glue and E6000 to adhere my fur. I have a seam on the bottom but the fur really covers it up pretty well. Before we were totally glued, I cut a hole for my eyes and then tucked my fur around them as I went through the rest of the project. I used a little Varathane  Polyurethane in Glossy on the teeth and eyes.

Check out those glossy teeth & eyes!

I almost stopped here, I was happy with my project and you could easily tell what it was but then I knew that it wasn’t really done without the title. That and my daughter said that it needed it and my husband agreed. It really was out of my hands at this point. I had one small pack of brown clay that would do just nicely for this part. Out came my dedicated pasta maker to flatten it into faux leather. I used my Silhouette Design Studio Software to create the titles and then I printed them out to use as a guide. This is not the exact font but I found something I already had,  it is Irish Uncial Fabeta – Bold.

Harry Potter Party Decor

I cut around my guides and then traced around my shape with a sharp pin. This is enough to actually cut the clay. Then I used a stylus to trace the letters into the clay. You just trace over each letter and this leaves an impression in the clay. Once I had the words traced I pulled up the paper and used the stylus to make the words more clear. I did some tidying up of the clay and then popped them into the oven.

Once these pieces were cooled I used Iridescent Gold Liquitex Acrylic Paint to paint the words. I did a very light wash on the brown and then applied this to my book with more E6000.  She was finally done. While my eye will still find the mistakes and flaws I am pretty happy with this little girl. I had most of the supplies on hand, I only had to buy the paper mache book and the fur which made this a very inexpensive project.

I hope that you enjoyed the photos of this latest Harry Potter project.

Supplies

  • Paper Mache Book Box
  • Faux Wolf Fur
  • Polymer Clay – various colors
  • Acrylic Paint – Various
  • Glue Gun & Glue
  • E6000
  • Chalk Pastels – Stampin’ Up
  • Varathane Glossy

Golden Snitch

As promised, the Harry Potter Party Plans are back! Today, I will share my Golden Snitch. I relied heavily on a tutorial from  JaydeLinn(Megan) on DeivantArt. This was a really easy project and the hardest part was finding the right type of plastic fern leaf and waiting for things to dry.

Golden Snitch Supplies

I used 1.5 in. wooden balls, they are round with only a tiny flat spot on the bottom. I sketched my design to start and then traced that using Metallic Paint in Gold from Art-C. This comes in a little tube and is dimensional. The hardest part was not sticking my fingers in the wet paint, which I did, repeatedly.  Since I couldn’t stop smudging things I took to just painting part of the ball and then letting that dry. Since I am so impatient this was the really the hardest part of the whole project.

Up close

I gave my lines two coats of paint and then let them dry overnight. Now came the gold leaf! If you can believe it I actually had this in my craft stash, it is probably been there for 20 years but hey I used some! That will teach my Hubby to stop complaining about my stash hoarding. When you use gold leaf you should use the corresponding Gold Leaf Adhesive. Since I had some of this from when I purchased the original gold leaf I started with this. I gave my snitch a good coat of adhesive, which promptly was absorbed into the unfinished wood.

Covered with gold leaf

Well, this wouldn’t do at all. I gave the wooden ball a coat of Glossy Modge Podge and let that sealed the wood and adhered the leaf that sort of stuck to the dimensional paint. I let this dry and then gave another coat and applied my gold leaf. This was the trick. The gold leaf stuck right on there. Now, I am not sure how this will hold up in the long run but for a party, in three months I think that it will work. I gave the ball another coat and made sure that the whole thing was leafed, leaved? Then, I let everything dry and then gave it one final coat. I think that it worked out just perfect.

Spray painted wing

Now, on to the wings. This was another challenge that I had not foreseen with this project, finding just the right fern to provide the wings. It took five stops to finally find just what I needed. I trimmed off one edge of the ferns and then trimmed down the remaining leaves into the shape I wanted. I freehanded this and just kind of went for it with these and they turned out just like I wanted. To cut the second wing I just laid the first on top and cut them so they would be roughly the same shape. Once they were trimmed and cut to size they needed to be turned gold. I used a small can of gold spray paint and gave these babies two coats. If I had to do it again I might have given them a coat of Plastic Primer first but so far the gold seems to be sticking.

Golden Snitch created by Jennifer Miner

Now, I had all my parts and they just needed to be assembled. I used my Dremel and a small drill bit to drill two small holes at an angle on the ball. Again, not too much measuring or preplanning on these I just drilled and then checked the depth until I had it just right. I glued my wings in place using E6000.  Once again, I set my Snitch aside to dry.

Getting ready to fly – Golden Snitch by Jennifer Miner

While I was waiting, I was thinking about how to display my new treasure for the party. Initially, I thought that I would add a small loop screw at the top to hang it but something about that just wasn’t working for me. I came up with a snitch stand! I bought an unfinished wood candlestick, gave it a couple coats of Iridescent Bronze Acrylic Paint and “poof” I had a fancy little stand for my snitch. This way I can have it resting on a table where the kids can see and touch it.

Harry Potter Party Supplies

Super fun project and it is so cute. I think that this will be a big hit at the party. I hope you are enjoying the party plans.

Harry Potter Quiddich Golden Snitch

Supplies

  • 1.5 in. Wooden Ball
  • Dimensional Paint or Dimensional Fabric Paint
  • Gold Leaf
  • Gold Leaf Adhesive/Modge Podge
  • Plastic Fern
  • Gold Spray Paint
  • Wooden Candlestick
  • Iridescent Bronze Acrylic Paint – Liquitex
  • You usual craft supplies –  sissors, paint brush, that sort of thing

Cheers!

 

Harry Potter Always Stag Canvas

Things are cracking along here at Harry Potter Central! I think that at first, I was a little nervous because I really wasn’t sure if I would be able to pull some of these projects off. Now, I know that I have a long way to go I have been having a blast with everything.

Today’s project is a canvas. I wanted to create some HP inspired art projects for the house, most things will be inspired by props in the books/movies but I wanted a few pieces of “fan art. ” I love Harry’s stag Patronus image and Always hold a special place for me. While my daughter is a Harry Potter fan, her mom might be the bigger fan.

Harry Potter inspired Always Canvas

This project began with an11 in. x 14 in. white canvas. I painted the galaxy background first, I used black, blue, purple, and pink craft acrylics. I applied the paint kind of randomly and then used a sea sponge to blend the colors. This technique requires working in small areas, this way none of my paint dries before blending. Once I was happy with the first coat, I let it dry. Then I came back with more of the same colors and added white. I tried to keep the white in a “path.” Again each paint application was blended with the sponge and then allowed to dry. I took my canvas outside and splattered some white acrylic paint to simulate stars. Now, I let the paint fully dry.

Created by Jennifer Miner

While my paint was drying, I create the stencil I used for the stag. I started with this deer and the used the Silhouette Design Studio® to create the Deathly Hallows symbol.  I then added the “Always.”

“Always” created with Silhouette Cameo, Double-Sided Adhesive, and glitter

Have you ever purchase a tool or supply and then sort of forgotten it, well maybe not totally forgot but perhaps let it sit in a drawer for just the right project? The “Always” was created with a tool I sort of forgot that I had, Double-Sided Adhesive from Silhouette America. I bought this knowing that I would totally use it and then didn’t have the right project for it; until today! I cut the word from the adhesive and applied it to my canvas. The adhesive went on the canvas like a champ. I then added the gold glitter. This stuff worked way better than I could have imagined. The glitter is even and really stuck on there.

Stag Patronus with Deathly Hallows

Now, it was time to add my stag. To begin, I cut out a stencil using adhesive vinyl.

Harry Potter Inspired Fan Art

When I went to apply my stencil to the canvas, it was a total wrestling match. It wouldn’t stick at all, well except to itself. I finally got it on, part of the shape had stretched and warped. I used a few little scraps of vinyl to get it down and back into the shape I needed. I used the Modge Podge Technique that is normally used on wood to apply my paint. This means that I gave the stencil a coat of Modge Podge prior to painting. This helps get the stencil to stick down and if there is any seepage it should be the clear Modge Podge and not the paint. This helped a ton, although a little paint did still get through, it could have been much worse.  I used a round sponge brush to add the silver acrylic paint.

HP Party Art

When I pulled up the stencil I could see a little paint seepage. It wasn’t terrible but I knew that it would bother me if I left it. I used black and blue acrylic paint to touch up the stag. I did a couple light coats of the paint to try and match the background.

Harry Potter Always Canvas

Overall, I am happy with the way this turned out. This was really fun to create. Thank you for joining me today and I hope that you are inspired to take on your own Patronus!

Supplies

  • 11×14 Stretched Canvas
  • Acrylic Paints
    • Black
    • Purple
    • Pink
    • Blue
    • White
    • Silver
  • Sea Sponge
  • Modge Podge
  • Adhesive Vinyl
  • Double-Sided Adhesive
  • Gold Glitter