Planning a Christmas or New Year’s party at your place but struggling for inspiration? Local blogger, Ashton Gibbs from Ashton Jade, has been busy hunting around Centre to find the best decorations and crafty party ideas to help you make your shindig go with a bang and keep the costs down…
The party season is well and truly upon us. Christmas trees are going up, people are frantically ordering glitzy dresses in hopes they find the perfect one, Buck’s Fizz is flying off the shelves at an alarming rate (99.9% of which is probably my doing) and everybody’s diaries are getting full of parties to attend.
So, naturally, I decided to throw my hat in the ring and plan a party of my very own.
A Harry Potter party, no less.
Though, as with every Christmas, the purse is a little lighter than normal and I can practically hear my debit card groaning at me every time I use it. So I’m getting crafty - in both senses of the word - and doing it on a budget.
Luckily for me, North Point Shopping Centre holds every shop I could need to get my supplies. From baking ingredients to an outfit for the night, from craft supplies to beer pong sets (would have been rude not to, right?), North Point Shopping Centre really do have it all under one roof.
After a pleasant stroll around a festive looking North Point and an afternoon of filling my baskets - with a couple of cheeky stops for a Gregg’s sausage roll and a Cooplands Christmas cake - I soon had everything I needed to get to work.
And here’s what I’m making (and how you can make it too!)...
A selfie corner is a must at any party nowadays, and all you need for some homemade props is a bit of cardboard, a pair of scissors, an assortment of paint and some form of stick.
A trip to The Works sorted me right out (and some skewers from Home Bargains!), and all I need to do is cut out a few wizardly shapes, give them a lick of paint, and sellotape a stick to them for party-goers to hold on to.
And just like that, your guests can become a bearded wizard, pop the sorting hat on their head, or even become the main man himself.
When I stumbled across some adorable vials in The Works (for the bargain price of a quid, might I add), I knew just the thing to do with them - Felix Felicis shots.
Because what sort of host doesn’t provide their lovely guests with shots?
All I had to do was pop into Home Bargains for some mango shots, and voila! Magical shots for all.
A more magical take on the classic pin the tail on the donkey game that will frustrate your guests to no end and have them playing for hours.
Get your paints back out, find your creative streak, paint Harry Potter on to a large piece of cardboard, and have a separate scar cut out with blue tack on the back.
Make sure to blindfold whoever is playing whilst they try and place the scar in the correct place on Harry’s head, and sit back and watch your friends make tits of themselves!
Probably the simplest one of them all. Blow up some white balloons (I grabbed myself a multipack from Card Factory for just 99p!), grab a Sharpie, draw some eyes, a beak and feathers, and you’ve got yourself a cute little owl.
If you want to get extra creative, fill the balloons with helium and tie them to a something weighted - a stone will do - and you’ll have floating owls throughout your house. Cute.
Keep one balloon spare though, it will come in handy…
I’m a big lover of beer pong, but at a Harry Potter party, you simply can’t have just a standard beer pong table.
Instead you need to make some Quidditch goal posts out of wire coat hangers and foil, and get a mini beer pong set from The Works. Set them up, let guests know they have to bounce their balls through the hoops, and then watch them all fail miserably because it’s actually pretty difficult. Especially if already intoxicated.
Have you always wanted to beat up Voldemort? Smash his face in? Great! This is where that last balloon comes in handy.
I’ve grabbed a newspaper from the newsagents, bought a big bottle of PVA glue from Poundland, and I’ll be making a paper mache pinata filled with sweets from Home Bargains. Paint Voldemort’s face on to it, tie it up, and give your guests a hefty stick to whack him with.
Finish off the party with some bargain treats and snacks from Iceland, Herons and Home Bargains and you’ve created the perfect Harry Potter party on a budget.
Just don’t think about how much you’ll have to tidy up the morning after…