Harry Potter parties are some of the most popular on our site. So when I spotted Allison W’s Magical Harry Potter Birthday a really original party that cost $200, I got excited and had to ask her how she did it.

Well, here are Alison’s top 5 tips for how she saved money throwing her very cool party…

Tip 1

Plan ahead of time! I knew about 4 months before what kind of party my son wanted and made sure he was sticking with that theme. It was then that I started planning for the decorations, activities, and food so I knew what I needed to purchase. Not only does this allow me to find the best deals, but also to spread out the purchases.

Tip 2

Yard/clearance sales! I think my best find was the mason jars with handles. I wanted that look and had seen some glass beer mugs at the Dollar store which is a good deal, but keeping my eye out beforehand, I ran across a pack of 10 mason jar mugs for $2. They were etched so I made a super cute label and had custom Butter Beer mugs for cheap! A lot of people go to the Dollar store for party supplies but be careful $1 each can add up pretty fast so be sure to compare.

Ten mason jars with handles bought at a yard sale for $2

Tip 3

Use what you already have! Again, because I planned ahead of time I was able to save glass jars and containers for the decorations as we used them. Instead of recycling, I washed them out and saved them for the party.

Recycled glass jars and containers

Tip 4

Make it yourself! Before I purchase something I always ask myself if I can make it easily for less (“easily” is the key word haha). One thing I made was the cupcake stand. I love cupcake stands and instead of paying $15-$20 for one that I sort-of liked, I made a custom one for $3 plus 2 cans of soup that I used later. I also made house banners from felt, a birthday banner from the pages of a ruined Harry Potter book, wands, and the Quidditch field.

Homemade cupcake stand


Homemade banner using an old Harry Potter book


Homemade wands

Tip 5

Keep it simple! Your entire house doesn’t need to be decorated to have a magical party. A few really great decorations can make the entire party and set the perfect scene.

Thank you, Allison, for these great tips. And I couldn’t agree with you more about Tip 5. I always believe that all you need are a few special, well-thought-out design elements and you’ve got a memorable party that “pops.”

Make sure to check out the rest of this magical Harry Potter party.