We began assembling our Harry Potter costume in July for the Harry Potter Midnight Party at our local bookstore. This is one of our oldest son’s favorite heroes. Since he wanted to go as Harry Potter and we didn’t want to do the Gryffindor attire we decided on three little first years that haven’t been sorted. My husband went as Hagrid and dressed from the scene when Hagrid brings in the “first years” and I dressed as Professor McGonagall and brought along the Sorting Hat to sort the First Years.
We later used the costumes for our rounds of Halloween Parties. We did most of our shopping for the costumes at Goodwill and Salvation Army. In addition, we scrounged through our own belongings for some nice touches.
For Hagrid, we did buy a cheap beard/wig. Then he borrowed a great trench coat from a friend of his. He built the lantern out of a cardboard box and “lit” it with three closet lights placed inside the cut outs of the box. He used a red shirt and pants, stuffing both to make himself look heavier. Also, he stuffed his work boots to give himself a little more height. Finally, I bought scraps of fur material from a fabric store and we attached it to string to look like “critters.”
McGonagall was probably our most expensive outfit. I bought two formals, each $10 at Salvation Army, one with a large satin black skirt and one crinoline. The other was sheer and black with puffy flowing sleeves and a flowing skirt. The one with a large satin skirt did not fit me and it had a pink bodice that did not match at all.
I folded down the bodice to be inside the skirt and just zipped it up enough to hold. Then I wore the flowing dress over the top of it. It gave it a lot of texture. I bought a cheap satiny blouse that buttoned up to the chin and had ruffles up the buttons. I cut out the sleeves and wore it like a vest over the top of the shirt. Also, I pinned it with my grandmother’s brooch.
To top it off I bought a yard of fancy green fabric at half price. I cut a neck hole in the middle of it. I cut another straight cut from one side of the hole to the farthest edge. Then I hemmed it and Voila! I had a cape of sorts. I used a plain $1 witch’s hat from Wal-Mart and pinned on Peacock feathers which had been decorating my room.
The Sorting Hat
For the Sorting Hat, we found a second-hand cone shaped hat that had been used as a scarecrow hat. I added Christmas “snow” decoration as stuffing (looks like quilt stuffing) and wrapped it around the scarecrow hat. Then I wrapped that in a brown gauzy fabric that I bought on clearance. I pinned it up and carried it like a puppet so the Sorting Hat could talk when I held it over kids’ heads. I also sprayed my hair white.
The Kids’ Costumes
The kids loved putting together their Harry Potter costumes as well. For all three of them, we used old graduation gowns for their school cloaks. They also pulled out white shirts, gray pants/skirt, gray sweaters, black ties, and shoes. Since none of them had the same hair color as their chosen character they all got a good spray with temporary hair dyes. We found three sticks from the woods and my husband sanded them down into wands. Then we added all the special touches that made them Harry, Hermione and Ron.
Hermione carried her ginger cat Crookshanks, a stuffed animal from her room. She also carried two heavy old books from our bookshelf one of them about Ghosts.
Harry carried Berti Bott’s Every Flavored Bean bought at Barnes & Noble. We found a broken pair of wire sunglasses popped out the lenses and then reshaped the wire into circles for Harry’s glasses. We painted a lightning bolt scar on his forehead with my nail polish. It peeled off at the end of the evening