I always like to create cool party themes for my kids and I have been known to go the extra mile to make something for the party. Last year I made Viking shields for Odin's 'How to train your Dragon' 8th birthday party. The cakes also take me a while in planning and execution. This year it is no different, with Odin's birthday in mid January, we like to get his invitations out before the Christmas Holidays. So, well in advance, Odin decided it was time for a Harry Potter party and me being me I thought I have to do a Hogwarts Acceptance Letter for the invites.
I will try to explain how I went about making the invitations and the success and failures I had during the process. The whole process from making the paper to sealing the envelopes only took one evening.
First up is making the paper look aged and more like the parchment we see in the movies.
Using plain printing paper, the kids and I dipped the paper into a concentrated tea mixture (4 tea bags to a cup of water). Moving quick is important as you don't want the paper to loose its integrity.
Pop the wet paper onto an oven tray and then into the oven for a few minutes or until the paper is dry (I had the oven at 230c). Keep an eye on it because if the paper cooks for too long it will become to brittle. Just repeat until you have enough paper.
At first I actually tried to print the letter on the paper before aging it, but found it discoloured the text which made it too hard to read. Simply put it just did not look nice.
Now we need to make the file to print on the pretty paper that we just made. There are a few assets you will need:
The Hogwarts Crest
Acceptance letter Font
The Text (Just below)
HOGWARTS SCHOOL of WITCHCRAFT and WIZARDRY
Headmaster: ALBUS DUMBLEDORE
(Order of Merlin, First Class, Grand Sorc., Chf. Warlock, Supreme Mugwump, International Confed. of Wizards)
Dear Witch or Wizard,
We are pleased to inform you that you have been invited to attend Odin’s birthday celebration at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and
Please find enclosed a list of all necessary books and equipment.
Celebrations begin Time and Date, address. We await your owl by no later than 12 January.
Prof M McGonagall
Owls to be sent to Prof Your Name firstname.lastname@example.org
I used Photoshop to put together the file but I am sure Pages, Word or Publisher would work just fine. You can download my file below.
I made the font green as I think it is in the first Harry Potter movie. To match the text colour I put a colour overlay on the logo to make it match. Also I changed the wording a little to make it suit a birthday party invite better.
Just for the fun of it we included the same list of books and equipment that Harry got in his acceptance letter (PDF file found above)
Now the printing is a little fiddly now that the paper is a little bumpy, but as long as you keep and eye on it, it should work just fine. I found that pushing the paper down as it came out helped prevent it from getting caught in the printer. As you can see below we printed two pages per A4 piece of paper, so the letter was A5 sized in the end. This helps reduce the amount of paper needed and I think looks a little nicer.
With a little bit of cutting, folding and stuffing the envelopes are ready to be sealed. I just so happen to have a wax and seal set. You can get actual Hogwarts Crest seals but any wax seal works and looks good. If you don't have a set you can use crayons or just a coloured candle and anything with a pattern on it for the stamp. See this video for an example.
This was a fun little project that turned out great. I hope this helps you with your wizarding creations. If you do make your own Odin and I would love to see the results!