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  • Mom Shopped at Divisoria to Achieve Her Daughter's Harry Potter-Inspired Birthday Party!

    She was able to create a Sorting Hat, a DIY photo booth, and other magical decorations without going over budget
    by Cielo Anne Calzado .
Mom Shopped at Divisoria to Achieve Her Daughter's Harry Potter-Inspired Birthday Party!
PHOTO BY Joanne Manuel
  • Birthday parties are fun, but planning one involves saving enough funds and months of preparation. Fortunately, kids are more involved with the planning these days, making it easier for parents to achieve the party they have in mind. There are go-to themes for boys and many girls simply adore unicorns and rainbows.

    For six-year-old Eins, the theme for her 6th birthday party was set after she watched Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. “She liked it instantly. For last year’s Halloween, instead of dressing up as Power Ranger Pink as planned, she went as Hermione Granger. Since then, she’s been telling me that she wanted to have a Harry Potter birthday,” says mommy Joanne Manuel.

    To save on costs, Joanne decided to go the DIY route. “I personally love DIY! My husband is really supportive about it. Whenever I get the chance, I do DIY projects to fix and decorate our house,” she adds.

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    Joanne, and her husband, Mark, divided the tasks and made sure that Eins will have a memorable party. To get started, Joanne looked for photos and references on Pinterest. “I chose designs that I thought wouldn’t be too difficult to execute. Eins also joined the preparations and told me which decorations she wants to see in the party,” the mom relates.

    How to stay within budget when planning a birthday party

    After finalizing the list of items needed, Joanne went to Divisoria to shop. “It’s the place to be if you want to do DIY because you will find everything that you need at a good price! It can be tiring, difficult, and crowded, but if you’re a mom on a budget like me, you’ll enjoy going there,” exclaims Joanne.

    The family started working on the decorations and DIY pieces two months before the party to avoid getting stressed. It also gave them enough time to revisit some of the designs and make the necessary adjustments.

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    With Joanne on top of the décor and hosting responsibilities, Mark oversaw the games for the party. To keep within the theme, he made sure to have games that are fun and Harry Potter-inspired, too!

    Based on the photos and feedback Joanne received, it’s safe to say that the party was a resounding success. Many were surprised to know that the family did the decorations themselves and some kids even asked to bring home some of the decorations.

    “It's special because my daughter really enjoyed. After the party, Eins thanked us and told us that it’s the best party ever. She said it with a big smile on her face and she even gave us a big hug,” Joanne shares. All those tiring months of shopping and DIY work? It’s all worth it!

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    Check out the snapshots from the occasion:

    Eins, wearing her Hermione Granger costume, was all smiles during the party.
    PHOTO BY Joanne Manuel
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    Joanne transformed the outdoor area of their home into a mini Hogwarts School of Witch and Wizardry with black cloth spruced up with printouts of photos of the Harry Potter characters.
    PHOTO BY Joanne Manuel
    A corner of the party area was decorated to look like Platform 9 ¾.
    PHOTO BY Joanne Manuel
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    Joanne created a backdrop featuring the house crests from Harry Potter. According to Joanne, this was tricky to make.  
    PHOTO BY Joanne Manuel

    Using cartolina, bond paper, and printouts, Joanne was able to create a backdrop for the party. “You have to be careful because you need to make sure that when you cut and paste the two parts they will still look the same in terms of resolution and size,” she shares.

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    One of our favorite pieces Joanne made was the Sorting Hat!  
    PHOTO BY Joanne Manuel
     

    To create the Sorting Hat, Joanne used a folder to create a cone that fits Eins' head. “I put it together using tape and papier-mâché. I also used old newspapers and a brown crepe paper to achieve my desired effect. A simple water-glue mixture served as binder,” she shares.

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    Students of Hogwarts wear uniforms based on their House colors. Joanne made sure the kids will feel like witches and wizards as well by creating neckties out of cartolina.

     

    Joanne added stripes and attached a hairpin at the back of each tie so kids can easily put it on.
    PHOTO BY Joanne Manuel
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    Eins’ guests had fun during the party and actively participated in the games.
    PHOTO BY Joanne Manuel
    The Owlery served as the special spot for gifts and loot bags. To create the loot bags, Joanne purchased brown paper bags and drew Harry’s iconic scar and round glasses.
    PHOTO BY Joanne Manuel
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    Instead of hiring a professional photo booth service, Joanne created an extra special one that guests can hold while taking photos.
    PHOTO BY Joanne Manuel

     

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    To create the photo booth, she used an illustration board, a tea bag, and a black marker. “We soaked the tea bag in hot water, let it cool, and then dabbed it around the white part of the board. I colored the edge using a black marker then pasted the printouts,” she says.

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    For this game, you need to shoot a sock inside the box to free Dobby the house elf.
    PHOTO BY Joanne Manuel
    Kids were asked to place the scar printout on Harry’s forehead. The one who can pin it closest to the mark wins.
    PHOTO BY Joanne Manuel
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    What’s a party without a cake? Eins’ cake has Harry Potter-inspired elements as well like the Sorting Hat, the Golden Snitch, a broomstick, and his round glasses.
    PHOTO BY Joanne Manuel
    The family of three posing for a photo while holding the DIY photo booth Joanne created.
    PHOTO BY Joanne Manuel
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