My 18th birthday is coming up and I wanted to have a Harry Potter themed party (I’m a huge fan). I figured there’s no better way to start off the fun than with some fancy invitations, so I made Hogwarts Acceptance Letters as my invites. Enjoy!
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Step 1: Materials
Making the Letter
- Printer paper
- Computer + printer
Staining the paper
- Black tea (two containers)
- A large baking pan
- Cookie cooling racks
- Paper towels
- A tea kettle
- A spoon
- A deep, clear dish
- Hair dryer (optional)
- Ironer + ironing board
- Sealing wax
- A lighter
- A metal stamp (I used a metal necklace with grooves in it, this works just as well)
- A mask (safety first!)
- Cooking oil (I used Olive oil)
- Clorox wipes
Step 2: Making Your Letter
Note * I use Google Docs because it automatically saves my work. Also always type out what you want BEFORE using the fancy font. This helps you spot typos easier. *
I used three types of fonts while making the letters: “Eagle Lake” for the headers, “Aquiline Two” for the body, “Mr. Bedfort” for the signature.
Eagle Lake and Mr. Bedfort were already given on Google Docs, but I was able to find Aquiline Two on DaFont.com. If you are unable to download it, there is an “example text” box that you can plug your lines in and then take a screenshot to paste into your document.
Step 3: Staining the Paper
Note: * If you are going to stain multiple papers at a time, make sure they stay aligned in the tea or don’t overlap at all. If they overlap slightly then there will be a dark strip stained where they overlapped. *
After I had my invitations printed out, it was time to stain them. I boiled water in a kettle and poured the water in a deep, glass dish holding five tea bags in it. After letting it steep and stirring it with a spoon, I poured the tea into a large baking pan. One by one I placed my invitations in the tea and gently pressed it down with the spoon until it was fully submerged. Do not try to stain all your papers at once, if there are too many then they won't be fully submerged and won’t stain as nicely.
While they are sitting, prepare the drying station. I used cookie cooling racks to let them air dry. However, I found that the papers will dry with lines on them if I put them directly on the sheet, so I recommend placing a few paper towels down for the paper to rest on. The tea bags are reusable, but only for one more round. I recommend replacing them in between each or every other round of staining.
After waiting about 20-30 minutes, I poured out the tea and set the papers on the cooling racks. They can air dry, but if you’re in a hurry then using a hair dryer works just as well. I stained my invitations twice to make the paper darker. They will get wrinkly, don’t worry there is a way to fix this.
Use the same process when staining the envelopes.
Step 4: Ironing Paper
Yes, ironing paper sounds really weird but it actually works. I used the lowest setting (heat only, no steam) and ironed out both the invitations and the envelopes. This was a very speedy process.
Step 5: Platform Tickets!
In addition to Acceptance Letters, I wanted to include Platform 9 ¾ tickets. I took an image off the internet and used PicsArt to remove the bottom text. I then used Phonto to replace it with party details using Canterbury Regular for the font. I printed them out on cardstock so they were thicker than the invitations.
Step 6: Wax Seal
Note: * This was by far the messiest part of the project. The ash from the wax candle got everywhere. Please do this in a well-ventilated area and with a mask on. Clorox wipes worked very well to wipe up the ash. *
Now that you have your letter and your ticket, it’s time to finish it off with a pretty stamp seal. I tried using a non-metal stamp and the wax stuck to it instead of the paper. Since I didn’t have access to a metal stamp, I improvised with a metal Hogwarts Crest necklace which worked very well.
All you need to do is light the sealing wax candle and let the wax drip onto the envelope until you have a puddle about the size of a penny. Blow out the candle, and press down gently with your stamp. Let it sit until the wax has hardened and then gently peel off the stamp. Use a paper towel to rub the cooking oil on the stamp in between each seal. This will help prevent it from sticking.
Practice this many times before using it on your final products!! It took many tries before I got it right. If the wax drop comes down on fire, it will usually go out in the puddle of wax, but if it doesn’t blow it out before it burns your envelope.
Step 7: Done!
(Shameless self promo: If you love Harry Potter too please go check out my Instagram @potterpoints!)
Congratulations, you’ve made it to the end! I hope you enjoyed this Instructable. Feel free to comment on new tips and tricks you’ve discovered to improve this project.
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