If you’re hosting a Harry Potter Halloween party, you’ll need some props to help set the scene. Here you’ll find all kinds of Harry Potter party ideas for decorations, printables, table settings and food that will turn your living room into the Hogwarts great hall.
Every year I pick a theme for my Halloween party, and a couple of years ago, I decided to do a Harry Potter party.
It’s all about witchcraft and wizardry (with a few ghosts thrown in) so it’s the perfect Halloween party theme.
Having said that, many of my Harry Potter decorations aren’t really Halloween-specific (they just go with the theme). So you could easily use them for a birthday party, anniversary or any other time you’re throwing a Hogwarts event.
This was a party for adults, so we didn’t have any games. But a lot of the decor and food ideas would still work for kids.
I also made a video of the decorations where you can see the whole room set up:
Okay, let’s get on with the specifics of my Harry Potter Halloween party ideas. And I’m warning you now…this is a long one!
Harry Potter decor ideas
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In case you’re not familiar with my parties, let me tell you now that I always go over the top on the decorations. And my Harry Potter party was no exception!
Platform 9 3/4 entrance
To make a proper entrance to the Harry Potter Hogwarts school of witchcraft and wizardry, I had people walk through the Platform 9 3/4 wall to come in the front door…just like they do in the movie.
There are a lot of tutorials out there on how to make a wall like this yourself.
But I found a Harry Potter shower curtain (this one* is similar) which didn’t cost very much and I figured it was worth it for all the time it would save.
Then I just screwed a couple of hooks into the frame of my front door and hung it up. You could also hang a tension-rod (or shower rod) across the door way if you don’t want to make any holes.
The coat check
Once inside, guests could hang their witch hats and park their broomsticks.
This coat check isn’t strictly from the book or the movie, but I think it goes with the theme.
I also made an invisibility cloak printable (available for download below).
And added a skeleton coat check attendant.
Again, not really movie-specific but I couldn’t help myself.
Then I hung witch hats* from the ceiling. They are meant for kid’s parties so they were very inexpensive.
To make them into hanging decorations, I used a needle to pull fishing line through the top of the hat and tied the ends to create a loop.
Then I screwed cup hooks into the ceiling to hang them from, but if you don’t want to make holes you could probably use Command Hooks.
The Great Hall
Then my guests made their way into The Great Hall (in other words, my living room). This is where the real decorating fun began!
I knew the decorations were a success when one of my friends said “I can’t tell what’s real and what’s part of the Harry Potter party decor”.
The first requirement was to turn my walls to stone.
I’ve done this before for other Halloween parties, so I knew just the thing: this stone wall scene setter*.
Even better? I saved the scene setters from the last time I did this so I didn’t have to buy anything new.
The trick to making this look good is to cover all of your walls. If you leave parts as your normal decor, it just doesn’t have the same effect.
You can find out how to install scene setters here.
Night sky ceiling
I did a similar thing for the night sky ceiling.
Yes, that’s kind of like wallpapering the ceiling, and it’s a total pain to put up (with lots of swearing involved).
But it looks awesome when it’s done!
Of course, the Great Hall wouldn’t be complete without the floating candles.
In either case, getting ones with a remote will make it a lot easier to turn them all on.
To hang them, I screwed hooks into the ceiling, then tied fishing line around the bottom of the candle flame and hung them up there.
You may have already noticed the next one of my Harry Potter party ideas: The hanging flames that you see all around the Harry Potter Great Hall.
For this I hung up these fake flame Halloween props*. I already owned a few of these so I just had to add a couple more.
For the ones in front of the windows, I used S hooks to hang them from the curtain rod. For the others, I screwed hooks into the wall (you could probably also use Command Hooks if you don’t want to make holes).
The great thing about having a scene setter, is you can cut a small slit in the plastic to slide the electrical cord through so no-one can see it hanging down.
I also swapped out the light bulbs in my regular light fixtures to use these colored LED bulbs*. They come with a remote that lets you change the color of the light, so I made them all orange to look like flames, too.
DIY floating pumpkins
Since this was a Halloween party, I decided to use the Great Hall Halloween scene from the movie.
I did half of the room in floating pumpkins…partly because I like the idea of it, and partly because I didn’t have enough candles to do the whole room.
To make the pumpkins, I bought 12″ orange paper lanterns* and used a black sharpie to draw on the pumpkin faces.
Or if you don’t want to decorate your own, you can buy these ones* that already have the pumpkin faces on them.
Then I hung them from the ceiling with fishing line and hooks, same as the candles.
Finally I put 3 or 4 battery operated tealight candles inside each of the paper lanterns to light them up.
These actually weren’t strong enough to make the pumpkins glow as much as I would have liked. If I were doing it again, I would find a different lighting mechanism. I think hang-down light cords* would work better and I would run them under the ceiling paper so they aren’t too noticeable.
The Hogwarts school banner
Another effective Harry Potter decor idea is to hang a Hogwarts school banner* with some flames under it. These signs are so inexpensive, it’s not really worth trying to make them.
I hung this one on the wall behind the Gryffindor table, but you could put it anywhere that you have space (I probably would put it closer to the entrance if there was a good place to do that).
To mimic the Hogwarts ghosts, I pointed 2 of these ghost motion lights* at the wall so the ghosts would look like they were flying up to the ceiling.
This is really hard to show in a picture, so watch the video above if you want to see what they look like.
Outside of the great hall, Hogwarts has many large pictures hanging in the hallways. So I decorated the hallway to my bathroom with old-school spooky pictures, too.
These ones* are also scene setters so they are easy to tape up and don’t cost very much money.
Since I left the shelving in my living room uncovered, I replaced all of the usual accessories with Harry Potter decor, like potion jars, more portraits and spell books (I got them at Michael’s during their Halloween season sale for next to nothing).
It was also the perfect place to put up a sign to free a house elf.
Adding these kinds of small details is what makes people says they can’t tell what is real and what isn’t when they walk into your party.
Third floor out of bounds sign
Since most of us have some parts of the house that we don’t want party guests to visit, this “third floor out of bounds” sign comes in handy.
I hung black lace curtains across the hallway entrance to my office and pinned the sign to it. And it worked…no-one even tried to go there.
The moving staircases
Okay, so I don’t really have moving staircases in my house. But this add-on scene setter of the spooky staircase* looks like it could move.
And it happens to be on the door to the bathroom…so it does move if someone opens the door…
Gryffindor, Slytherin, Hufflepuff & Ravenclaw table decor
I don’t have enough space in my house for the long tables like they have in the movie.
So I settled for 4 smaller tables, and decorated each of them in the colors of one of the Hogwarts House crests.
This gave me the perfect excuse to create 4 different Harry Potter table settings (and you know how much I love creating tablescapes!)
I did want to have some continuity between the tables so there are some consistent elements across all of them:
- black table cloths* and chair covers*.
- a table runner*, chair sashes* and napkins* in the main house color (red, green, blue and yellow)
- a house crest pinned to the front of the table. (You can get them from our resource library).
- a centerpiece with an uplight in the house color. I use these battery-operated LED lights with a remote* that can change the color. That way I can make the light whatever color I need it to be.
- the same 2 sets of dinnerware – one with matte black plates*, and the other that are white with a black stripe*
Below you’ll get an idea of what each of the house tables looked like, but you can see more details on my Harry Potter table decor page.
The Gryffindor house colors are red and gold.
So I went with a red table runner, napkins and chair sashes as well as pink goblets. Gold chargers and cutlery finished the table setting.
The Slytherin house colors are green and silver.
A green runner, napkins, chair sashes and goblets went along with silver chargers and cutlery to create this tablescape.
The Hufflepuff house colors are yellow and black.
Since the plates were already black, I didn’t use a charger on this table. But I did add a black candlestick in the middle with the yellow runner, napkins and chair sashes.
The Ravenclaw house colors are blue and bronze (I went with gold since I don’t have any bronze table accessories).
A blue runner, napkins and chair sashes were paired with blue water glasses as well as gold chargers and cutlery to complete this table setting.
Honeyduke’s candy bar
You can’t have a Halloween party (or any other type of party in my opinion) without some candy! (even if it is a party for adults).
So I created a Honeydukes sweet shop candy bar by printing off some pink and green signs (you can find the link to get them in the Printables section), and filling up with wizardry candies.
If you want a more extensive list of the products the original shop carried, you can find it on the Harry Potter fandom website.
- Golden snitches (find out more about them below)
- Licorice wands
- Acid pops (tootsie pops)
- Fainting fancies (chocolates)
- Cockroach clusters (turtles)
- Lemon drops (Dumbledore’s favorite!)
- Drooble’s best blowing gum (gum balls)
- Bertie Botts Every Flavor Beans* (jelly beans) – One of my friends brought over the jelly belly Bertie’s Bots all flavored beans which were a big hit. Everyone wanted to see who was going to get the nasty flavors. Of course, you can just go with regular jelly beans.
- Chocolate frogs – Okay, this one was on the “to do” list and I never got to it. But I did actually buy the frog mold* from Amazon.
DIY Golden Snitches
Since we didn’t play Quidditch, making edible golden snitches seemed like the next best thing.
I got the idea to use Ferrero Rocher chocolates on Cooking Classy. She also has a butter beer recipe and some other Harry Potter party ideas you might want to try, so be sure to check that out.
Harry Potter party food ideas
Since the Hogwarts Great Hall is known for its feasts, I chose food that suited the theme.
I always serve buffet style for these kinds of parties so here’s what we had (sorry I forgot to take a picture it):
- Bat’s wings – I made 2 different kinds: Chinese Sticky Chicken Wings and Asian Spiced Wings
- Vulture legs – Oven Baked “Fried” Chicken Legs
- Stewed eyeballs – Crockpot Meatballs
- Worms ‘n cheese – Crockpot Macaroni & Cheese
- Wild boar – Honey baked ham (I bought it from Costco)
- Yard debris – Caesar Salad (I bought the Caesar salad kid from Costco)
- Cupcakes – I got a local bakery to make some special cupcakes with Harry Potter toppers made from fondant. If you are a more talented baker than I am, you could make your own (like the ones above)
- Harry Potter broomsticks – just stick a straight pretzel into a mini Reese’s peanut butter cup.
- Butterbeer jello shots – you can’t have a Harry Potter without butterbeer. And I love to serve jello shots at parties. So combining the two just seems like a really good idea.
Printables and fonts
I created quite a few printables (as you’ve seen above) using fonts like “Parry Hotter”. (In case you’re not sure what they all were, you can see pictures of them all together on our Harry Potter printables page.)
If you’re already a member, you can find the password at the bottom of any of our emails.
If you’re not a member, sign up for our weekly newsletter below and we’ll send you the password to get access to all of our printables.
Here are the products I used to create this party:
Other Harry Potter party ideas you might like
These are my other Harry Potter posts in case you missed them:
Have comments or questions about our Harry Potter Halloween party ideas? Tell us in the section below.
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This post was originally published on October 25, 2018 but was updated with new content on November 1, 2023.