Tuesday, January 10, 2012

A very Potter Christmas

This Christmas was inspired by our lucky aquisition earlier this year of the entire Harry Potter Lego collection from a lady who was selling the contents of her toy store. We bought the lego for an absolute bargain, the only drawback was that it all came in one big box all mixed together. So over the following months, I painstakingly seperated the lego into sets and boxed them in preperation for Christmas 2011.

Thus came the inspiration for our Theme, a "Harry Potter" Christmas.
I had read the first book to the boys, The philosophers stone, and so as advent began we read "the chamber of secrets". They were allowed to watch the first movie on Christmas eve ( we screened the scary bits with Voldemort).

On Christmas morning the boys awoke to this:
Hedgwig in a cage, holding two acceptance letters to Hogwarts :

The list of student requirements thus became the inspiration for their gifts. All the gifts were wrapped in brown paper and twine, and the uniform was inside this wizarding trunk.

For the uniform we simply bought plain white school shirts, and grey school trousers, grey sleaveless sweaters and black school shoes.
I made the cloaks myself.
The cloaks were really simple to make.
  • measuring tape
  • fabric of your choice
  • straight pins
  • calculator
  • pencil or chalk
  • ruler
  • scissors
  • matching thread
  • sewing machine
Making the cloak
  1. Decide how long you want the cloak. Use a measuring tape to measure from the base of your neck across your shoulders. Then measure from your shoulder to your ankles. You will need to buy enough fabric to make a square the same dimentions as this measurement. The cloak itself is made from a circle cut from a folded square of fabric. For example : if you need a cloak 36 inches (.9m) long, you will need to buy 2 yards (1.8m) of fabric at least 72 inches (1.8m) wide. If necessary, you can sew together two widths of yardage. Purchase an extra 1/2 yard (45.7cm) of fabric for the hood.
  2. Folod the square of fabric in half lengthwise, then crosswise. Use straight pins to pin the four layers together.
  3. Use a measuring tape to measure around the base of the neck. Use a calculator to divide this measurement by 3.14; then divide the result by 2. This will give you the correct measurement to create the neckline. Mark an arc on the fabric from the folded centre using a ruler and pencil or chalk.
  4. Mark an arc for the bottom edge of the cloak, measuring from the centre fold a distance equal to the length of the cape.
  5. Cut on the marked lines through all the layers.Cut one of the folded edges for the centre front opening.
Making the hood
  1. Measure from the base of your neck to the top of your head. Add 6 inches (15cm) to this measurement. This will determine the height of your hood. Mark a rectangle on the fabric, using the neck to the top of head measurement and the measurement around the base of the neck, plus 6 inches as the two sides of the rectangle.
  2. On the long side of the rectangle, sew a straight line of 1/2 inch (1.3 cm) stitches about 1/2 inch from the edge. Use this line of stitching to gather the edge of the rectangle to fit the neckline. Pin together the right sides of the gathered edge and the cape neckline. Stitch the two layers together with a 1/2 inch seam. Finish the raw edge by trimming close to the seam.
  3. Turn the attached hood right sides together. Match the free corners, and use straight pins to pin the top edges together. Stitch together using a 1/2 inch (1.3cm) seam. Trim the raw edges close to the seam.
  4. Hem the bottom edge and opening edges of the cape and hood.
  5. Decorate the cloak as desired.
Isabella loves pink, so i used light pink crushed velvet and decorated it with sparkly pink material.
Once I had wrapped the cloaks in brown paper, I glued on the Madam Maulkins logo which I also downloaded off the internet.

The wands were really fun to make. I used paintbrushes of various lengths, and decorated them with Sculpey Oven bake clay. I made one with black clay and green glitter. One with black clay and gold glitter. One with cream clay and gold glitter. Decorate as desired, then bake in a cool oven for one hour. I made a wizarding amulet to match each wand, by decorating a crystal with the oven bake clay. I handmade the boxes out of hard cardboard, and decorated them with scrapbooking paper or watercolour paintings from during the year. I cut out a piece of foam for inside the box and covered it in velvet to lay the wand upon. Each wand came with a certificate of ownership and a description of wand length, core properties etc.
To finish it off, I downloaded the Olivanders logo off the internet, printed it onto cardboard and glued it to the top of the box.
"Wingardium Leviousa"

We just had to make a Nimbus 2000 for the boys. Even though first years are not allowed to take broom in the first year, Hary Potter did recieve one when he made it onto the Quidditch team. We found this tutorial and they came out beautifully.
To continue on the quidditch theme, I found Three varous sized solid wooden balls to use as Quaffels, and I made the snitch myself using silver beads from the bead shop, attaching wings to it and spray painting it gold.
For their stationary, I found these wooden pencils and pens, and I wrote their names on each in Runic with a gold pen, and attached a leather strap to hang around their necks. The wooden fountain pen is from mecurious as well as the ink pot (that I labelled with "flourish and botts")

The potions cabinet I was lucky enough to come across in our craft shop. I collected as many different vials and bottles as I could find, and got creative with the ingredients. For example, "phoenix tears" was actually vinegar, and when combined with "bicorn horn" which was bicarbinate of soda, you get a fabulous reaction. In south africa we are very fortunate to come across "potions pots", (poytjie pots) in just about every store, so we got two small ones for the boys, and labeled them from "the leaky cauldren".
The boys have been doing very well with their knitting this year, so I downloaded a simple Scarf tutorial off the internet and bought the colours for a Gryffendor scarf that they can make themselves.
A few extra ideas that we came up with were to wrap up jelly beans as "bertie botts every flavour beans", I found some gold coin chocolates that I labeled from Gringotts bank, The internet is full of ideas, and free tutorials.

We had a "magical " Christmas.

Happy 2012 to you all!
See you on the Hogwarts express!