Like most of my generation, I grew up with Harry Potter.
Ever since the last movie was released, I was determined to have a birthday party marathon of the movies from start to finish. Coincidentally, this is also the year I turn 18, and it seems like the perfect event to celebrate the culmination of my childhood.
I started googling ideas for Harry Potter themed parties, and there were plenty of suggestions for elementary-aged kids, but surprisingly few for older teenagers. I also wanted a template for a Hogwarts acceptance letter (the perfect party invitation!). Surely someone would have made one, I reasoned, since they are in such high demand.
Most of the letters I found were too far from the original in appearance and were clearly not made by Hogwarts. The few individuals who had succeeded in making authentic copies of the acceptance letter posted only pictures online, but no templates. That left you to figure out the fonts and the alignment on your own.
I stubbornly decided that I would have genuine invitations, no matter how long it took. And I did. After an entire afternoon of work, I suddenly understood why no one else who had accomplished the same feat had posted their templates online.
Why should someone be allowed to achieve in minutes what took me hours?
If they REALLY want a letter, they can figure it out themselves.
This template is mine... Miiiiiiiinnnnnneeeee!
This inner voice rather suspiciously resembled that of Smeagol from Lord of the Rings.
But if I listened to Smeagol, then think of all the 11-year-olds who wouldn't receive Hogwarts acceptance letters on their birthdays because their parents (or older siblings, or friends) didn't have the time to follow the same lengthy process I did. Or the teenagers who wouldn't be able to send their own awesome party invitations. And where would I be now if it hadn't been for all the generous bloggers who freely shared their knowledge with the cyberworld? I definitely wouldn't have been able to enjoy as many fun projects as I have over the years.
So in the end, I may or may not have created a blog solely for the purpose of writing a post about how to plan a Harry Potter birthday party. My hope is that it will be helpful to anyone who, like me, turned to the internet for inspiration.
Hogwarts Acceptance Letter/Invitation Guide
Follow these steps to make your own authentic Hogwarts acceptance letter.
1) The letter and envelope use three special fonts: Magik, Hogwarts Wizard, and Dumbledore. Download them here: Magik and Hogwarts Fonts and Dumbledore Font. If you skip this step, the templates will be useless to you because your computer will not display their fonts correctly.
To install and use these fonts, first save the file to your desktop. Right click the folder and hit "Extract All". Then, go to the Control Panel and open the folder labeled "Fonts". Copy and paste the contents of the folder you downloaded into the Fonts folder, and you should be good to go!
2) Download the Letter Template and the Envelope Template. They were made on Word 2007, but hopefully they will work on earlier versions as well. Personalize the information by changing the name and address.
3) Print the letter on official-looking paper and print the address directly on an envelope.
4) Either purchase a wax seal kit, make your own customized wax seal with this DIY Wax Seal Tutorial, or print this image of the Hogwarts wax seal. Cut it out, glue it on the envelope, and it almost looks 3-D.
5) Purchase either helium-filled white latex balloons or blow up your own. Use sharpies to draw an owl face on each one (so that it resembles Hedwig) and then attach the balloon to your letter. I personally love the helium idea, and this is what it would look like if you went that route.
And that's it! I had a ton of fun with this project and hopefully you will too.
Lastly, credit must go to Debt Free by Thirty, which had the most helpful Harry Potter letter tutorial that I found. Although they didn't provide a template, they did link me to two of the fabulous fonts.
Part 2: Harry Potter Party Desserts