Saturday, December 2, 2017

Harry Potter Birthday Party: Book Themed Cake - Part 4

It was a great party. Great because we pulled it off without too many glitches and I wasn't even that stressed out on the party day. That is largely thanks to my husband and family for helping out while I concentrated on the kid's activities. I may have planned the whole party by my myself but I had a party crew to help me execute it. I knew exactly what I wanted so I just had to demonstrate and then they took over. Volia!

We provided lots of entertainment, good food, and I absolutely loved the Harry Potter decorations. The kids even took home a cool loot bag. But I'm very impressed and pleased that my husband and other family members thought to take a lot of pictures at the party. It's not always the case but this year we had tons of photos. That made the day even better!

Oh yeah, and the cake turned out alright. Lol. The themed birthday cake is one of the main attractions of a birthday party. I actually only get to make themed cakes once or twice a year. The last themed cake I made was a year ago for my son's 8th birthday party. I know I don't make them often anymore so there was a little part of me that wasn't quite sure I could pull it off. When it came time to make a fresh batch of fondant, I hacked at it a bit and it felt a little stiff to me. It was definitely different and it was challenging to roll out. Jeez, I should just follow the recipe! Aargh.

I found a great tutorial online on how to create the Harry Potter book cake and I more or less followed that. I watched it a day or two before making the cake but I probably should have reviewed it before making the cake because I forgot about some of the features. Oops. I probably only used half the fondant they used in the tutorial. I did not have any fondant under the cake. I figured I could slide just bits of fondant on the sides and make it look like it was underneath and I was right! I hate using so much fondant because it's so sweet and everyone in my family complains about that, including me. However, when fondant is rolled super thin, it's so hard to handle. Duh.

I wished I took more pictures of my cake as I was making it but my hands were sticky with fondant and covered in cornstarch and food color. No one was around for me to ask for a photo. Believe me when I tell you that I had serious doubts this cake was going to look good. The cake itself was fine and would be delicious since it was cooked perfectly. My fondant was too thin (I never learn!) and it was so difficult to place on the cake. It cracked and ripped in so many places and I tried to lift it to move it, which was a big mistake. The better solution I found was just to slide it since the icing below is slippery. So it looked pretty messed up. At that point I thought this was going to be a disaster.

As time went by, the appearance of it improved. I was in total repair and fix mode for an hour or so. I started to patch more things up and I strategically placed design pieces to cover a lot of the flaws. It still had cracks in the end but it was alright because it was meant to look like an old book. I had to fix an entire section by removing a corner and then putting new fondant on it. It was a risky move but it really helped make things look better. Then came the dusting, painting then labeling. So after several hours, I was finally happy with it and could dismiss myself to bed. Good grief!

Left side: The goal. Right side: What I actually achieved.

I had to buy some black color powder to make my cake. But that was it! I'm so glad I was able to create my cake with everything else I had at home. The golden snitch is a cake ball wrapped in fondant. The wand is all fondant. I really wanted the cake to be 100% edible and the idea of using toothpicks for the wings sounded like a bad idea for me. My fondant would have never held. So it wasn't how I imagined it (it never is!) but I got it done! All things considered, I think it was a success. I'm done for another year! :)

Check how thin that fondant is!

We all had Harry Potter themed clothes on. Because we're a dorky family, yo :P

Friday, December 1, 2017

Harry Potter Birthday Party: The Loot Bag - Part 3

There's no better way to end a great birthday party than to go home with a cool souvenir or loot bag. Kids birthday parties are super awesome.

We invited just a small group of kids to my son's 9th birthday party. Six kids were invited and five were able to make it. That's all my husband can handle at our house. The nice thing about such a small group is that we could give each of them nicer things in their loot bag.

Here were the things I decided to put in their loot bags:
  • Homemade wand
  • Plastic cauldron container and broom pen (bought)
  • Spell sheet
  • Small chocolate bar (Dementor chocolate)
  • Jelly beans (Bertie Bott's every flavour beans)

I went to Michaels with my son and got him to pick out the jewels to attach to the wands we were going to make for him and his friends. For his own wand, he picked the marble piece and he drew me a picture of exactly what he wanted his wand to look like. Lol.

The wands were so easy to make and they looked fabulous. I finished them off with a label and some twine. If Computer Science doesn't work out for me when I get my Green Card I may just start up my own etsy shop and sell wands. Lol.

I bought a wax candle and stamp ages ago and never had the chance to use it until now. It just all came to me lately. Loved that! I wanted to include something else in the cauldron instead of just the pen and I didn't want it to be more food. The spell sheet was perfect and it would give the kids a little something to remember the party by.

The small chocolate bars are from Trader Joe's. I bought some that were all milk chocolate and some were milk chocolate with rice krispies. The cool labels I found online and I just had to resize them to fit my chocolates.

The jelly beans were also from Trader Joe's. I had to photoshop the design and package the beans and the whole treat took me the longest time to prepare. As a result, I actually have a total separate blog post on it and wanted to make the Bertie Bott's every flavour beans label available as a download on my site. For personal use please!

I drew glasses and a scar on a large kraft bag and then printed off a thank you label I found online for the other side of the bag. I placed everything into the bag except for the wands since we had to use the wands for activities during the party.

And that's my Harry Potter party loot bag. I loved it and I think the kids loved it. Hopefully, I am able to give others some cool ideas too:) And that makes all the work worth while.

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