Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Muggle Magic Swap Unboxing

I've been following an amazing youtube channel called Muggle Magic hosted by Danny.  He shares Harry Potter themed tutorials/DIY's mainly focused on replica papercrafts, though he has shared other projects as well.  The best part is he shares most of his stunning files for all to print and enjoy!  (WB has restricted his sharing, but he still has some alterable files and does regular give-a-ways of what he makes.)

I found I just had to contacted him to inquire about doing a craft swap with my mom and I, and...I just received my box from him!  Prepare to be amazed! (Sorry, it's a bit pic heavy.)

The project that really struck me was his version of the Weasleys' Wizard Wheezes Playing Cards.  His attention to detail on this deck showed not only his love of Rowling's magical world, but also his knowledge of muggle card tricks and of proper poker decks construction.  :)  (I have found memories of  my granddad teaching me a couple card tricks when I was young, so I appreciate the art.)  His version of the deck not only fixed many of the mistakes made in the licensed version, but even included optional trick cards, which is something the Weasley Twins would of course had to have in theirs.  He does a side-by-side comparison, if you want to see all the ways that the licensed version was goofed up.  Then, Danny went and had his version professionally printed!   I have collected card decks for years, and this one is my absolute favorite now.  The deck shown here is the professional version we received in the swap.

Also included was a colorful copy of the replica Weasleys' Wizard Wheezes Product Catalog.  Here is a pic of the cover and another inside page spread.  I believe there are 12 pages including the covers.  You can see the rest at his channel.

Here is a close up of the details.  Believe me, they look even better in person!

Another simple astounding project he shared was a full-size replica Marauder's Map!  THis is a huge undertaking!  This one is also more accurate to the movie version, than the licensed Noble version which also seem to have minor errors.  Frankly, this is the best version I have seen.  He also did a mod of the Noble version to fix some of the issues and add to it.

I really love Danny's alternate cover hidden behind the other.  This 2nd image is what Snape saw when he tried to read the map.  Such a nice addition!  It also includes lots of flaps hiding footprints of some of the more prominent characters and even show them in appropriate locations.  He plans to add more features in the future, like pop-up staircases, etc...

If that wasn't enough for our swap box, he also included a fully readable Quibbler!  The illustrations in this are amazing!  So much to look at!  You should definitely go check it out!

Even includes the Spectre Specs inside.  :)  Though, for display I may replace the glasses included with the modded version I created with ChromaDepth lenses.  Will be fun to see what the glasses do to the colorful images in there.  :)

Here is another surprise item we received.  A Borgin and Burkes Product Catalog with all the creepy items they have available for your Dark Arts needs.  :)  I still can't get over the detail in these items.  Again, you can see the full version on his channel.

To me, the hand of glory has always been the most fascinating item in their shop.  Wonder how much one of those would set me back?  :)

And, being a Ravenclaw, I just adore this Hogwarts composition book alteration.  Just have to keep it away from the daughter and rest of our family!  LOL  (I borrowed the quill and bird from the daughter for the pic.)  :)

The book even includes replacement end sheets in front and back.  Better get my name in there quick before someone claims it!

Just when I though I had reached the end, I also found some smaller items like a SPEW flyer, Detention Notice for Harry, Time Table, and a teeny tiny Marauder's Map hidden in the book!  That Map!  It's so cute!!  :)

I'm so pleased with all of it.  I hope Danny is equally pleased with what we sent.  Can't wait to display everything proudly in our HP shelves!  We sent some plush house elves and a few bits and bobs. You can view the unboxing of what I sent to him on Youtube.  Or, you can check out his pics on Instagram.

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Hogwart's Letter and Sealing Wax Recipe

For 6 years I have been meaning to revisit Hogwart's Acceptance Letters.  I wanted to improve on the old design I had created here.  It would involve making my own envelopes as well as improving my wax seal.

It's strange that the version of the letter MinaLima sells as a replica print is different than the one pictured in the film.  It is suppose to be handwritten script, which is even different from the writing in the book.  :/  I went with the MinaLima version, since it was easiest to replicate when they use mostly existing graphic elements for their work.  I found a free font online that someone had made, but it is a bit pixelated looking, and missing some characters, like the hyphen.  So I attempted to trace and replace the letters and add in the missing ones.  I was also able to find a decent picture of the envelope front and back to get the logo and some of the address letters from.  I will try to get some pics of the letter soon.

But, for now,  I wanted to share the envelope and sealing wax.

I found a recipe for making DIY sealing wax melting together crayons and hot glue.  That's it.  Just these two in the right quantities works great! I then use a little gold Rub n' Buff to highlight it.

So, I made myself a sealing station using some things I found 2nd hand.  Found an cast iron candle holder (I think).  The tea light sitting in it puts off just the right amount of heat to melt, but not overcook the wax in the pots.  The pots were something I already had, but never found a use for til now.  The seals themselves are made from polymer clay, for now.  I glued them to champagne corks with E-6000 to make it easier to hold.  It helps to rub with a little cooking oil or water before pressing in the wax, to prevent it from sticking.

I melted the wax/glue into pots and poured that into tiny molds to make small melts that measure about a teaspoon, which is more than enough to make a seal.  This makes it much easier to use than the stick I originally made using tin foil as a mold.  The stick tended to catch fire and fall on the paper, singeing it.  To seal an envelope, I remelt the wax melts in a spoon over the candle (takes about 2-4 minutes) and pour onto the envelope.  I can also dip small bottles into the jars to seal the bottles.  

This is such a great use for all the old broken crayons the daughter brings home at the end of the school year.  And also use up the large gluesticks I have accumulated, but don't have a gun for.

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Plates, Proclamations and Prophecies - Fifth Year Harry Potter Party Decor

Sorry, I never posted pics of our 5th year Harry Potter party decor from back in Nov.  It was all about Umbridge, the Ministry of Magic and OWL's.  Among our many existing Hogwart's decorations, we made kitty plates!:

LOTS of kitty plates!  :D

Just took a little Mod Podging kitten images onto various 2nd cake plates we found for 25-50 cents each.

We had purchased the licensed ones but they were so tiny! And cheap plastic.  :/  The largest was barely bigger than a saucer:  So, we hung them on a door.

My mom and sis found this pink jar that we added a knob with a MoM logo to.  We also colored some sugar pink with food coloring.

We also had to have some of Umbridge's Educational Decree Proclamations on the walls.  The frames are made of lightweight foam board we picked up for $1 a sheet at a dollar store painted with Acrylic Craft Paint.  They were large sheets, so didn't take much.  Ran out of time for the locks and would like to have put the box behind them to set them away from the wall like in the movie.  (I made up a template for cutting these.  If you would like to make some, I'm happy to send it to you.  Just message me by email or on Facebook.)

One of my favorite easy projects was making the prophecy balls from he Ministry of Magic.  We used plastic ornaments, battery LED light and angel hair from old styrofoam ornaments we had.  The based were various things from metal candle stands to plastic bottle parts spray-painted black.  Looked really cool lit up on our mantle.  (We reused our MoM logo poster from 4th Triwizard Tournament behind them.)

For our OWL's, we made test papers (not pictured) for each class.  And we handed out Dark Arts Defence blank journals to our students.  (I figure blank is just as useful as what was probably in them to begin with.)  ;)  We just printed the covers and wrapped them around dollar store journals.

My sis made us some really cool extendable ears!  Love them!  Plan to make them a box for next years Weasleys' shop.  She also made us some neat proclamation ornaments for the tree.  (Not pictured)

Last and definitely least was our cake.  LOL  We kept putting it off to the last minute, so ended up having the kids help make it.  If you can't tell, we were going for Mimbulus Mimbletonia, Neville's plant.  Ran out of frosting.  Kids may have been eating it while working.  :/  We skewered cupcakes of different sizes onto wire and frosted.  :D  It may not look great, but kids enjoyed making and eating it.  It was rather fun just pulling off what you wanted.  :)