My office really embraces decorating for the holiday season, and clearly I am just about as gung-ho as it gets. Last year I went with a Whoville/Grinch Who Stole Christmas theme, which was a ton of fun! This year I decided to go with a Harry Potter Christmas theme, specifically Ravenclaw (because I’m Ravenclawesome) and although it took a fair bit of creativity, I’m pretty proud of the whole set up. I will post an “after” picture in the next few weeks after it is all up at work, but I’m going to share the individual elements today for you. The goal was the keep the set up under $50 CAD and be as easy as possible, and I met that goal! Anyone can duplicate this set-up (and make it to your House) with a little effort.
DIY Floating Candles
I’m fairly certain that I’m going to do another coat of buff paint on these, but these floating candles are super easy to make! Taking the cooling and drying time out of it, I would say that it takes less than an hour total to make 10 candles, and these could definitely be used for Halloween or any other Harry Potter themed parties you might have. All you need is:
-toilet paper rolls
-LED tea lights
-hot glue gun
-white or buff coloured paint
-Dental floss or fishing line
1. Clean toilet paper rolls of any final bits of toilet paper.
2. Create ridges of wax with hot glue gun. Wait to cool, and then pull off any hanging strings of glue.
3. Paint two to three coats of paint to cover the glue and roll to give the candle effect. Allow to dry.
4. Stuff 80% full of Kleenex, rest LED tea light on Kleenex inside to create the effect of a candle.
5. Secure from garland/ceiling/hat/face with dental floss or fishing line for a secure hold!
So, obviously I didn’t make these ornaments themselves, but I did decide to Potterify them to fit my theme! I tried to straddle both the book and movie Ravenclaw colour schemes, so I went with the dark blue with silver and gold/bronze- I bought the tiny ornaments at the dollar store, 10 for $1.25 and the larger blue ones at Michaels, 10 for $7. I used a black Sharpie on a few of the smaller silver and gold ornaments to make the trademark Potter glasses and scar, and a silver sharpie on the blue ornaments with the trademark Ravenclaw quote “Wit Beyond Measure…”. (The Wit Beyond Measure bit is to see who really “gets” it…) If you are doing anything that is themed at all, going with cheap ornaments that you can draw on is the way to tackle it!
Christmas Tree + Lights
Because I don’t have a ton of space on my desk, I had to get creative with my tree! I luckily found a tree for $4 at the dollar store that has movable branches, meaning that I can organise it into a 180° tree that can fit flat against the side of my desk. I also decided to go with smaller lights- they still give the effect of the lights but aren’t distracting in the background. I chose the warm white instead of bright white for three because, quite frankly, Hogwarts feels warm and cosy.
The Splurge- A Sorting Hat and Time Turner
These are particularly “Christmas-y” but in order to really nail the Harry Potter theme, I decided to splurge on a Sorting Hat (that actually sorts you) and a Time Turner to add to the tree! I found these at Chapters, a bookstore in Canada; the Sorting Hat was $11 CAD, and the Time Turner was $7. The Hat will be my Hogwarts tree topper, and I think that the Time Turner will live below the tree. If a Time Turner isn’t at the top of your Christmas list, I don’t know what you are doing with your life…. I wouldn’t say that these items are entirely necessary to complete a Harry Potter Christmas but if you can find them at an affordable price, it really drives it home.
If you could decorate for the holidays in any theme, what would it be?