How to – Harry Potter crafting

This section will take me a little while to write. Check back later for more crafting info as I have a chance to post it. Just an FYI – I don’t do step by step photos/directions. I’m the kind of person who looks at pictures and tutorials and gets ideas…but ultimately comes up with my own way to replicate a design or decoration. In many cases I just kind of make it up as I go. I didn’t really take step by step photos except for a few projects. So I’m planning to basically show you the finished products, and then do my best to describe the process I used to create the decoration.

If you have more questions about my crafting, please feel free to contact me!

HOW TO – AGING PAPER. (Technique used to age invitations & envelopes, and various signs)

Aging paper is pretty simple. I read an online tutorial that used instant coffee, but I didn’t have that around the house so I found some really old tea that I wanted to get rid of so I figured out how to use that to create the same affect.

Whatever you’re trying to age should be printed with a laser printer. Since aging involves getting the paper wet, inkjet ink would run. I printed my invitations on a paper that was a light beige color and had a little speckle to it.  It gave a bit more of a “aged” look to the final product, but you could also just use plain white paper. The envelopes were originally a cream color and some of the signs that I aged were just printed on plain white paper. In the process of ageing you can decide how much color you want them to have and adjust it by using a stronger tea.

Start by brewing a very strong tea with two tea bags. I just heated up some water in the microwave and plunked a few tea bags in the water, letting them brew for a while.

Put the item you’re aging on a baking sheet. Rub the tea bag all over the paper saturating it with tea. If you want a darker color, use more water/tea. You can also purposely dampen select spots or areas by just saturating them with more water/tea with the tea bag in areas.

Next open a dry tea bag. Take some of the dry tea leaves, and sprinkle them over the wet paper. You can use the tea bag and lightly go over the sprinkled tea to make sure it gets wet if you want. The sprinkled tea will leave the paper with darker speckles as it dries. Let the whole thing dry, then dust off the dried tea leaves and voila, aged looking & feeling paper. The tea colors the paper, and the process of wetting and drying makes the paper feel a bit like parchment.

Ok…I know I said I don’t do step by step photos. This one was project that I did just happen to take a “in process” picture of.


hogwarts_letter_cSome of you might be wondering…how did I age envelopes without ruining the glue that seals the envelope. I put that green painters tape on the part of the envelope with the glue. It has that “edge lock” technology that seals out liquid, and I just made sure not to get that part of the envelope too wet. I still wanted to be able to seal the envelope normally before I sealed it with the wax seal.

HOW TO – SIGNS OF ALL SORTS – Wooden shop signs

When we went to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter one thing we noticed was that there were a lot of signs. Clever little signs all over the place that help set the stage. In order to transform my house into the world of Harry Potter, I knew I also needed to have a lot of signs. Signs for the “shops” I was setting up, signs for different areas, signs like we saw at Universal.

The first signs I created were hand painted shop signs for Diagon Alley. I bought thin pieces of wood at the craft store. I began by “staining” the signs. I used different colors of brown paint that was watered down to give the signs a stained/aged look. Additional aging effect was created by brushing a watered down grey paint over the brown after it dried. It’s a very subtle effect.

The lettering for the signs was something I found online. Someone had created the signs and had them as downloads that you could just print. If you’re the owner of the downloadable signs let me know, I’ll be happy to site you as the source! SO…anyways…I printed the signs, the taped the lettering portions onto my dried pieces of wood. I used a ball point pen and pressed really hard to leave a slight indentation as I traced the lettering. When you remove the paper you should be able to see the indentation of the lettering on the sign. The next part involves a bit of skill…you have to carefully paint the outline of the letters over the indention using a tiny paintbrush. Then fill in our outline.  I used gold paint for most of the signs, and added some accent colors as I wanted. Once everything was dry I used a spray clear varnish to help seal the sign.

Lastly I added chain to some of the signs to hang them. I found this ugly brass chain that I think might have been from a light fixture many many years ago. I “aged” that as well by randomly spray painting parts of it with brown and black spray paint. Tiny holes were drilled in the top of the sign, and I used floral wire to attach the chain.

Madam Malkin's robe shop, hand painted sign

Madam Malkin’s robe shop, hand painted sign

Potages cauldron shop, hand painted sign

Potages cauldron shop, hand painted sign

Gringott's wizards bank, hand painted sign

Gringott’s wizards bank, hand painted sign

Ollivanders wand shop, hand painted sign

Ollivanders wand shop, hand painted sign

HOW TO – SIGNS OF ALL SORTS – 3 Broomsticks

The Three broomsticks sign is massive. I wanted something that reminded me of the 3-broomsticks at Universal Orlando so I styled the sign after that. The area known as the three broomsticks was actually the bar in our basement.  For more pics of the sign in place visit the Food & Drink  page. My husband helped by cutting the sign out of piece of plywood from Menards. I used the same process as outlined above for “staining” and painting the sign. I wanted a darker color though so I think I actually used real wood stain. I printed the lettering on my computer, transferred it to the wood, painted it, and spray varnished over it.


Wow, I almost forgot to tell you about the BROOMS…Yup, I crafted those too. I made them out of a couple of cinnamon brooms I bought on clearance after last Christmas. The handle portion of the brooms are just some wood sticks I pulled out of the wood pile behind the garage. The broom portion is from the cinnamon brooms, and I just used some twine to wrap around to secure them. Everything is held together with hot glue, the twine, or a little floral wire. I drilled a few holes and secured them to the sign part with floral wire.

I attached a small metal lantern using the same chain as I used for the other wood signs. I’m seriously considering leaving this sign up at the bar because I love it so much!

HOW TO – SIGNS OF ALL SORTS – My Hogsmeade signs

One area in the basement was Hogsmeade. I created another painted wooden sign identifying Hogsmeade. Instead of “staining” the sign with brown paint I used a cream color paint. The lettering was obviously in red, and I attached some paint stir sticks and painted them red too to make it look kinda like the hogsmeade sign at Universal Orlando.


I wanted the shops at Hogsmeade to have a brand new shiny feeling, so the signs were created a little differently then the rest of the signs which were designed to look a bit aged. The Zonko’s sign is made out of foam board. The sign part is spray painted glossy red (International red to be specific). The gold letters were cut out of the foam board, painted, then hot glued on to the red portion of the sign. They are accented with black paint, and the words at the bottom were painted on using the same transfer and painting technique as the lettering for the wooden signs.

zonkos sign

zonkos sign

The Honey Dukes sign was also made out of foam board that was spray painted pink. Again I used the same technique for transferring the lettering, and hand painted the lettering with two different green paint colors that reminded me of the colors inside Honey Dukes at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.

honey dukes sign

honey dukes sign

SIGN OF ALL SORTS – Other signs

There is an AMAZING amount of stuff that you can find and just print off the internet. If any of the signs below were derived from your images, please feel free to contact me and I will site you as the source.

I printed and aged many paper signs. I also created some of my own signs using Microsoft publisher, and just printed and paper aged them as well. I put a lot of the signs in picture frames that I bought at the dollar store. The frames themselves were pretty ugly, I wanted to give them an aged look so first I spray painted them with a hammered metal finish, the I brushed dark brown wood stain onto them to make them look old.

underage_wizards_sign the_great_hall no muggles 3_floor_stair 3_broomsticks_small_sign


I found this old container of dark brown wood stain in the basement and simply brushed it onto stuff that I wanted to look old. It worked well to age the picture frames and the spell books.


Download some spell book artwork from all over the internet and just mod podge the images onto old books.  Afterward I just used my technique of brushing/sponging/wiping dark brown wood stain onto the books to make them look old. My husband came home and was like “whoa, where did you get those really old books?”, then he looked a bit closer and realized, yeah, they’re fake, Quidditch through the ages probably isn’t an real antique book.


Quidditch through the Ages by: Lost-In-Hogwarts. Source found HERE.
Ingredient Encyclopedia by: Lost-In-Hogwarts.  Source found HERE.
Defensive Magical Theory by: Lost-In-Hogwarts. Source found HERE.
Advanced Potion Making by: Lost-In-Hogwarts. Source found HERE.
You and Your Owl by Lost-In-Hogwarts. Source found HERE.

About the party

The Invitations

Platform 9 3/4

Diagon Alley

Welcome to Hogwarts!

A trip to Hogsmeade

Food & Drink

The Bathroom

Harry Potter Crafting

Misc. HP Fun

Next Time


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