Harry Potter Party on a Budget

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ERH MA GERD, HEGWERTS! You know the meme I’m talking about.

I transformed my apartment into Hogwarts this weekend for my daughter’s birthday. When I say, “I”, I mean a very lovely group of humans helped me transform my home into Hogwarts. I try to pick themes for my daughter that are her latest obsessions. Last year was Moana and that as of late it has been Harry Potter.

Once the theme is in place, I spend hours, and I mean HOURS, on Pinterest looking up what all the other cool moms are doing. I then almost always go overboard with ideas, which is why a budget is NECESSARY for me. I mean, you’re only going to use these decorations for a couple of hours and then you are done, so why spend an exuberant amount?


9 ¾ Platform

I absolutely was committed to having a platform coming into my home. I used fadeless bulletin board paper, a sponge, and a mixture of red and brown acrylic paint since I already had these items. In efforts to save money, this can be done on craft paper, backside of wrapping paper or a tablecloth that can be purchased at Dollar Tree. Seriously, this project was my favorite and I spent nothing on it.

Hogwarts Acceptance Letters

Another SUPER EASY craft was the acceptance letters. I saw so many ideas on Pinterest where you could easily spend too much. I had some envelopes on hand and already had the red paint, so I cut the sponge I already was using into a circle to make the red wax stamp. I only had to purchase the clear nylon thread to string them up. If you need envelopes, get them at Dollar Tree.

Chamber of Secrets

I have never decorated the bathroom for a party before, so this was definitely extra, but so worth it. I bought a red bingo marker, you guessed it, at Dollar Tree. I also just printed out the Ministry of Magic Logo and Moaning Myrtle to add some minor details. NOT PICTURED, but I also strung up my daughter’s stuffed animal cat, like Mrs. Norris. TOO FAR? My guests thought it was hilarious.

Hogwarts Photo Wall

Let me just explain this, I went OVERBOARD. I honestly took down all my home décor and put up something more in relations to Hogwarts. I have a family photo wall and I just printed out my favorites. Everyone questioned my placement, but I’m sorry, Snape is a HERO. If you don’t have a photo wall, any frames will work. If you need some frame, these can easily be purchased at Dollar Tree, or just hang up the prints on an open wall. I did not print these through a photo service, just my home printer, which if you can’t tell, I was running real low on red ink.

Daily Prophet Photo Booth

I found a bunch of copies just by searching the internet and formatted them to print on a regular size of paper. I will say I had a nice shortcut and was able to print the quantity I needed over at our leasing office for free, but these can also be printed super cheap at home or at Staples. I created the prop for the photo booth with a foam board that I bought from Dollar Tree and then just printed out the wording.

General Décor

I used several of my own home décor items, but I also asked family and friends for random vintage items. I was able to collect a very random assortment of candle holders, skulls, trunks and bottles. It may not always be the case for everyone, so try your local thrift shops. I had the best luck at Good Will and walked out with some AMAZING finds.

Like this make shift cage for my little Hedwig I bought on Amazon. (Also, that is a wrapped broomstick with plastic bags on the end, again, SUPER CHEAP.)

I made potion bottles out of liquor bottles. I asked my friends to hold on to their liquor bottles and came to collect way too many. If this is not an option, DOLLAR TREE. I saw a bunch of random bottles that can be used in place of this. I do not really want to get into the science experiments we put inside these bottles, I will just say this, milk, lemon juice, and hot sauce. I also got a packet of glitter from Dollar Tree to add some extra magic.

SIDE NOTE: I didn’t have a chessboard so I got one from Dollar Tree.


Since I already purchased the clear nylon thread, I hung up some floating LED candles I had and I purchased skeleton keys to hang up. I definitely failed to get a picture of either of these so just really use that imagination, or go over to Pinterest and you will see that I just copied what a hundred other mothers already have done.

Minor Details

I also REALLY wanted some chocolate coins for an added detail. I searched high and low for them and found them to be cheapest at Party City. I also wrapped some mini chocolate bars with these prints to just make a tiny detail that everyone loved.

Happee Birthdae Sign

I just stopped over at Michael’s and got some scrapbooking paper. I literally threw this together for only $3. I printed the letters on the yellow cardstock and then just cut them to shape. SUPER EASY, SUPER CHEAP.


I don’t think you can away with this party without a few wands. I made some with a hot glue gun, but it did not go well, so then I made them with modeling clay that I purchased at Dollar Tree. NOTE: I did not realize this modeling clay would never harden, so my wands were still a little squishy, but at the end of the day, they were only used a few times and were mostly there for décor.

Hogwarts House Flags

POSTER BOARD + PRINTED SIGILS = DONE. It’s that simple. I also thought about doing these on table cloths which would still be very cheap if you shop at Dollar Tree like me.

Blue Slime Pensieve Bowl

I made some blue slime, which was by far my daughter’s favorite part. It is super easy to make and a lot of fun for kids! Also, I found the perfect bowl for it at Good Will.

Honey Dukes

Now, I have mostly been detailing the décor because that is my favorite department to budget, but here a few treat ideas that can add to the décor. I would say my favorite detail was the chocolate frogs, which I did “splurge” and get this mold on Amazon.

Sorting Hat Cheese “Ball”

I saw this idea on Pinterest and knew I had to have it. It was so much easier than it looks and honestly a favorite to all guests. It’s not super expensive to make, but just a food detail that adds to the decorations. I just used my favorite recipe for a cheese ball (you can use whatever you’d like) and added bread crumbs to the outside.

Overall, this was a BLAST for me. I may have had a minor meltdown during the process of decorating, baking and cooking, but it all came together with a few helpful hands by my side. SHOUT OUT TO MY MOM, she’s my hero in the kitchen. Seriously, do not try this alone, but if you are capable of doing it all on your own, can you please tell me your secrets?

Mom Tribes

MOM TRIBE. It has always been my dream. I have always had the perfect image of what this would be like for me, mostly because every movie about motherhood has depicted it so flawlessly. Just a group of mothers who come together to support one another whether or not they knew each other prior to having kids. Oh, and drink wine.

Well, you know what else was always depicted? A WEIRD MOM AND A WEIRD KID. I just never thought that I would be the “weird” mom with a “weird” kid. Side note, I just typed weird so much it is starting to not look like a real word.

It’s common knowledge that I’m the definition of a social butterfly, but I struggle to socialize with other mothers. I was given a lot of information on how to work car seats, how to breast feed and the essentials of how to keep another human alive, but no handbook on how to become friends with other moms. WHERE MY AWKWARD MOMMAS AT?

It is high school all over again for me, which I absolutely do not want to relive those not-so-glory days ever again.

I have been taking my daughter to an open gym for toddlers so she can socialize with others. I watch the mothers talk together as their children play, but I have an almost three year old with a significant speech delay and it strongly confuses everyone. No one has ever outwardly said anything to me about my daughter’s speech delay, it’s just a feeling, maybe mother’s guilt. Mila was finally playing with someone at the open gym when she had a strong urge to kick his tower over. In my head, I’m chuckling because my child is unpredictable, but that parent was less than pleased and moved along quickly.


I’ve reached the point that I just want my best friends to have children so we can all navigate this world of parenthood together. APPARENTLY, that is not my decision to make as I have been informed numerous times by numerous people.

I have come to realize that I don’t need this type of mom tribe necessarily. It’s not that I’m giving up, but the realization that everyone has a different experience in their role as mother and it isn’t always the status quo. I may not have a ton of mom friends, where we plan playdates and dream of our kids falling in love, but I do have a mom tribe. It’s my own kind of mom tribe. I have a group of people that support me while I navigate this thing called motherhood. They’re the type of people that never get sick of the amount of pictures I send of my little one. They’re the type of people who come enjoy her birthday party no matter how boring it can be. They’re the type of people that would drop everything to be here for my family. It’s my mom tribe.

THANK YOU TO MY MOM TRIBE, you know who you are.

7 Months


Let me say something every mother says constantly throughout their child’s life, I cannot believe how quickly the time is flying by. It’s also the most unsolicited comment you will receive from EVERYONE. EVERYWHERE.

In the past month, Mila has grown even stronger at sitting up and is able to push herself up into the crawl stance. I am so excited for her to start moving, but I have also been told I will be quickly taking that statement back. She talks constantly, no idea where she got it, and we are in DROOL CITY. Mila is showing her fun personality more and more each day.

I originally found inspiration for these monthly photo ideas from Pinterest and then put my own spin on them with new themes every month. I try to be fairly frugle while putting them together and lucked up this time around by finding both a bundle of greens and flowers for under $10.

I am so excited to be celebrating her first Christmas and begin our new family traditions. While I was growing up, it was by far my favorite part of Christmas. I have enjoyed picking out a few new and old traditions to start with Mila. I have so far decided to get her a new ornament every year, something that my parents did for me, and I am also getting our family matching sets of pajamas every year to wear during the Christmas Season.