What’s so special about an eleventh birthday? Well, if you’re one of our kids and receive a Birthday Greetings Letter from Hogwarts, it’s a very, extra special birthday!
For each of our boys, we made plans to surprise them for their eleventh birthdays with a letter from Hogwarts, wishing them a very happy birthday.
We were very careful not to word it as if it were an acceptance letter, because, as we all know, we’re Muggles and have a Greater Magic within us, which wouldn’t make us eligible for entry in Hogwarts. But it sure is fun to imagine it!
A Letter from Hogwarts for our oldest
For our oldest, Bucket, we weren’t at home, and were doing it on the fly. With a little sneaky help from Grammy in preparing the letter, and helping us with the staging of him going out to pick up the mail for the day, this turned out to be a wonderful surprise!
I wish I’d taken video of this progression instead of trying to get stills for a scrapbook page (the scrapbooker in me never dies). He looked at the mail, looked up, looked down, then up again. As he started back towards the house, it was the classic take a few steps, then take a few faster, then a slow jog, then an all out run as he realized exactly what this letter might be.
How we created a Birthday Letter from Hogwarts
- We took parchment-like paper we purchased from the local hobby store.
- We searched the internet and got a Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry emblem to use. I cannot give you one to print your own as it is a trademark and copyrighted image, however, I’m sure with some ingenuity, you will make do!
- We typed the letter in to Word, inserted the emblem, picked great fonts, and printed out the letter.
- The first copy we tore around the edges, creased it up, then baked it in the oven to give it a worn, leathery look and very low heat. If we hadn’t been in such a hurry and frantic trying to get this done before the postman delivered the mail, we might not have burned the paper. <shrug>
- We threw a second copy in whole and untouched into the oven for a few moments to give it a slightly weathered look. A little chalk or some distressing ink might help create that look as well.
- We grabbed an Owl Mail icon we found off the internet to try to make the envelope look somewhat official.
Make the Birthday Letter from Hogwarts Your Own
It was a basic letter of greetings and wishing him well from the Hogwarts School. The Muggles Studies Department knew how special birthdays were to us, so they wanted to be sure to wish him a magical birthday and that they were all celebrating along with him. Of course with flowery language to make it all seem quite official.
We popped the letter from Hogwarts into the post box as soon as the mail had arrived, then Grammy sent him out to grab the mail for her. He shuffled his way out, taking his time to get the mail, but came back like a tornado with excitement and awe.
>> If you would like to make your paper look really old, there are quite a few tutorials on the internet on how to age paper – you can start with this one.<<
He was amazed that Hogwarts knew where to find him since he wasn’t at home for his birthday that year. We took the chance to help him remember about the letters following Harry no matter where Mr. Dursley took him to hide.
A Birthday Letter from Hogwarts for our youngest
When our youngest turned eleven, we had a little more time to prepare, and some things happen to make it a little more special. Beeble’s letter arrived by owl in the fireplace.
The same look of surprise when the realization hit of just what was happening happened with both boys:
We picked up some candle wax in order to create a wax seal for his envelope, and just used a toothpick to create the H. However, if we had seen this Hogwarts Wax Seal Stamp, we would’ve purchased it! It would be awesome for birthday party invitations, too!
One extra thing we did for Beeble that we weren’t able to do for Bucket was to present him with something very special — his own wand!
Dad had worked in secret to create this wand for him. We will do a tutorial soon on just how to make your own (not the one done with glue).
Do you want your own Letter from Hogwarts?
It’s a common meme from people online that people are still waiting on their Hogwarts letter. In a Twitter response, J.K. Rowling says:
The books become our letter and our entry into this wonderfully imaginative world. Adding this simple letter to a birthday celebration makes things even more special!
If your child has already passed the age of eleven and is interested in Harry Potter – make the letter happen anyway!
The Basic Birthday Greeting Letter from Hogwarts
Here is the basic letter we used which you can use to get you started:
We at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry would like to send you all the best of wishes on the occasion of your Eleventh Birthday. May your day be magical and full of love from family and friends.
We will be raising a glass of Butterbeer in your honor at dinner tonight!
With kindest regards,
Simply highlight and copy this information and paste it into a Word document (or other word processing program that you have), personalize it with information that makes it special, and print! You can just print onto parchment-like paper available from all craft stores, or get really fancy with something more like actual parchment or recycled art paper.
(note: This post was originally written for our Instagram account, thus the images contain the WanderingSnape watermark on them, but I assure you, it’s all us 😉 We’ve just moved to this new home on the interwebs !)
Click on this image to pin this to your Harry Potter Birthday Party Ideas board on Pinterest!