March is almost here! For $4 you can fill your Apothecary Jars with festive decor.
I used a bag and a half of plastic gold coins, a St. Patrick’s Day scarf, and cut 2 feet of St. Patrick’s Day Garland, all purchased at Dollar Tree.
Then, either keep the stuff for next March, since it doesn’t take up too much space or donate them and skip the storage. This apartment friendly decor allows you to have fun with something festive without having to store boxes of stuff!
These coins are so useful for so many craft projects if you end up with extras. Stay tuned for another St. Patrick’s Day craft I used the rest of my coins for . . .
Creating a Fawkes Christmas tree-topper/ lamp seemed like a pipe dream when I discovered Harry Potter themed Christmas trees this summer. Fawkes is by far one of the coolest magical creatures in Harry Potter and the colors scarlet and gold are perfect for Christmas!
But I’ll get very real with you, I was deterred by the cost to make it almost immediately. I mentally added up the decoy bird, the lights, the paint, the feathers, etc. after reading epbot’s post on her incredible creation and imagined it would one of those pins I admired but never got around to making.
In December, however, I found some amazing things at Dollar Tree that encouraged me to make other Harry Potter decorations and then got another opportunity to make decor for a Harry Potter themed table and just couldn’t help myself. I would make my own lit Phoenix!
I laugh now realizing that I not only underestimated the cost of making this bird but also the time involved to make this tree topper. Was it frustrating at times? Yes! But, do I regret making it? No way! It was so much fun, especially when I finally got to share what I created.
Why did I end up making Fakes then? That is a story for another post which you can read here. It’s time to get going on making your very own light-up Fawkes the Phoenix from Harry Potter! I assure you it is well worth the time and effort required.
acetone- the smallest amount I found was 32 oz. Lowes
Red feather boa, red and orange feathers, black acrylic paint, Hobby Lobby
wine, fire, soft butter, coffee bean acrylic multi-surface paints Michaels (to be honest I’d go with brighter primary colored traditional acrylic paints to match my feathers if I ever made another phoenix) so use your best judgment on your color choices.
a small drill (mine is a small and cost around $20 at Walmart and came with two bits)
a drill bit
sponges brushes, small/fine detail and large paint brushes
old plastic lid or tin for pouring your paints onto
hot glue and glue sticks for the feathers
pliers for pulling the plastic eyes from the bird
a razor blade
Time Required: 15 hours approx to complete
Was it frustrating at times? Yes! But, do I regret making it? No way!
Steps to Making Fawkes
Part I- Prep the Bird
Pull out your decoy, acetone, rag, and plastic bin. I would recommend using gloves for this step. Put your plastic bird into the bin. Pour a generous amount of acetone onto your rag and scrub a section of the bird until all of the paint is gone in that area. Pour more onto a new spot on your rag until that section of the rag is dirty. Repeat until all of the paint has been removed from the decoy.
Let the bird dry in a well-ventilated area.
Use your pliers to remove the eyes from the bird. This will require a lot of pulling.
Get out your drill and drill bit. I used the largest drill bit I had knowing that the paint would cover up part of the holes I made. Make holes in the bird everywhere except the head, feet, and the tree stump.
Vary the location of your holes so they don’t line up.
Use your drill bit to remove some of the glue in the eye sockets so that the light will have plenty of room to escape from the Phoenix’s eyes.
Using your razor blade cut a hole big enough to fit the light bulb of your lamp through it. If you choose to use a just a string of LED lights you won’t need to cut the hole at the bottom of the bird any bigger.
For the next steps please see my second post on making Fawkes the Pheonix Tree Topper and Lamp: Part II. Coming soon . . .
All the parts are appropriote considering the way they split the last Harry Potter Movie into two movies right!? JK! This post would just be too massive with this entire tutorial in one place . . . or would it?
Please let me know in the comments below if you’d rather have this tutorial all as one large post . . .
I found the idea for the tree-topper pictured below on epbot.com. I fell in love with the idea immediately, but with no real hope of undertaking it. So when I did decide to take it on, like many craft projects I undertake, I completely underestimated the time and supplies it would require to make.
Due to my impatience and efforts to be thrifty I bought a different decoy bird than the one the epbot post referenced on Amazon. WELL, it turns out that my bird was not white under all of the paint, but black. My bird also has wings that are completely folded to it’s sides vs. the bird in her posts.
With those setbacks and December getting really busy I lost some steam and put Fawkes away for a few weeks to finish later. Then at church, they decided to throw a Broadway production themed dinner and asked me to host a table. I love musicals, but knowing I had been making all of the Harry Potter decor I had, I asked them if they’d let me theme mine after the Broadway play “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child”. They agreed and I was given the green flag to host a Harry Potter themed table.
So now, Fawkes is back, but a work in progress. I decided against putting Fawkes on a perch for now and just leaving him on the log/stump he came on.
I drilled holes in his body to emit light and am looking to put some kind of lights inside of him.
This is what I have so far:
I’d love some opinions on putting feathers on him or not and if you think the holes look goofy and need to be covered up.
I’m also in charge of a small 2-minute presentation on our theme. I thought we’d do a little song called Harry Potter in 60 seconds, but it would only be my husband and I singing so that idea might be out . . . I was thinking about Harry Potter Mad Libs (like they do on Jimmy Fallon). What do you guys think? Let me know in the comments below!
Something that has really added to the fun of my Harry Potter themed Christmas tree has been electric candles. I origionally saw them in an ad with a high price tag and wondered if I could find something similar on Amazon. When I found them for around $15 for a box of 12 candles I was thrilled.
I ordered two boxes and ended up with one box of white and one of yellow lights. I prefer the white lights, but it may depend on the color scheme you choose for your tree. Mine was a Gryffindor color scheme of scarlet and gold, so white lights help break up a lot of the gold I have on my tree, but the yellow may be even better for trees with other color schemes.
The lights also come with suction cups so that they can stick to glass, spikes that you could stick in plants or lawn, and clips so that they clip onto branches of a Christmas tree. They also come with a remote (battery included) to turn the entire set of lights on and off, control the brightness of the lights, and a set of controls for the flickering of the lights.
The only down side to the lights is that each candle requires one triple-A battery not included with your order and needs to be added to each candle separately. However, the battery life has been good so far and the remote works really well. It would be even cooler if the candles would flicker at different rates and not all at the same time, but for the price I paid I can’t complain.
I’m excited to have these fun electric candles around for all sorts of fun future Harry Potter occasions.
When I began thinking about doing a Harry Potter Tree I knew I wanted a snow owl ornament on the tree. I found the perfect ornament at the Craft Warehouse for about $7 on sale. I just added a letter (made from a paper bag) to the owls beak. It’s simple but it adds so much to the tree.
I bought my owl at the Craft Warehouse in November of 2018, sadly I couldn’t find this gem on their website.
Dollar Tree had a lot of great ornaments and craft materials to choose from. Of course where I live the Dollar Tree is the largest I’ve ever been too. I love it! So when I saw these two colors of ribbons I knew right away what I wanted to make with them . . . a huge gryffindor scarf for my Harry Potter themed Christmas tree!
Gryffindor Tree Ribbon: for a 5-6 foot tall Christmas tree
3 spools of 9 foot wire edged ribbon- deep red/cranberry
2 spools of 9 foot mesh ribbon (no wire)- gold
glue gun and glue sticks
Let your glue gun heat up.
Cut the gold ribbon into about 1.5 inch pieces (for a tree over 5 feet tall you’ll need at least two spools).
Make a rectangle of hot glue (about 1.5 inches) at the end of your red ribbon and glue a piece of gold ribbon to the rectangle, being sure the edges of the gold ribbon match up with the edges of the red ribbon.
Make another glue rectangle about 1.5 inches further down the ribbon and attach another gold rectangle of ribbon. Repeat this process until you come to the end of the red ribbon and then glue the end of another red ribbon to your first, using the gold ribbon piece to cover up where the two attach.
I used four 9 foot red ribbons and about 2.5 gold ribbons for our wide 5 foot tree but for a skinnier tree you wouldn’t need as much ribbon.
After seeing the new Fantastic Beasts movie and hearing about Harry Potter themed ornaments, I thought I would give making a Harry Potter themed Christmas tree a go. I found great stuff to begin the project at the Dollar Tree.
I found some ornaments ready to put straight onto the tree and other craft items which inspired me to make some of my own ornaments. Here are a few ornaments which will adorn my Harry Potter Christmas tree this year!
White/Silver Stag: Harry Potter’s patronus is a stag so this shimmery ornament has a magical look which makes it perfect for a Harry Potter themed tree.
Lantern: Hagrid often guided Harry and his friends out into the Forbidden Forest with lanterns, so I felt it was only appropriate to adorn the tree with a few lanterns.
Owl: Since owls deliver the post at Hogwarts, these ornaments are a fun and inexpensive ornament to put on the tree. You may want to remove a few of the Christmas extras on the owls or keep them festive in honor of Christmas, but you really can’t go wrong for only $1.
In my next post I’ll share the items I gathered to make custom Harry Potter Christmas tree ornaments using craft supplies from the Dollar Tree.