Introduction: Your Own Hogwarts Acceptance Letter
Who didn't dream of getting your own Hogwarts acceptance letter? Even now, I still believe my owl got lost somewhere, so I decided to make my own letter. Actually, I made this for one of my best friends as a gift because she was hosting a Harry Potter themed birthday party (To keep her identity private, I made another generic one of which I'll be showing in the pictures). These letters would also work well as invitations for such a themed party. The nice thing about the letter is that you can really personalize the content and make the receiver even more happy!
- 2 sheets of paper, or only 1 and an envelope (make sure you can print on the envelope!)
- Baking tray and oven
- large container
- cup of coffee (strong black tea might work as well)
- ruler and pencil
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Step 1: Draft and Print Your Letter
First you will need to think about who you will address your letter to, you can be creative with this! My friend's party was being hosted in her attic, so instead of 'The Cupboard under the Stairs', I wrote 'The Attic above the Stairs' in the address.
I looked for a template of the letter online that I liked, and chose this one to base my design on. I only did the first page, as I thought it would be difficult to fit multiple pages in the envelope in the end.
For the envelope, placing the address in the correct spot on the A4, can be a bit tricky. You can use the pdf I have attached (which also includes a seal for the back that you will need later), or you can start from scratch. If you do that, the best way to place the address correctly, is to draw a line from each top corner under 45° until you reach the other side of the paper. You can see those lines as the diagonals of a square and these digonals meet in the center. This centerpoint will eventually be in the middle of the envelope. Put your text under 45°, so parallel to one of these diagonals. Don't forget to remove the diagonal lines before printing!
Now, if you chose to work with an envelope, make sure you know how to print on it. And as you will need a seal on the back of your letter, you should also print one. You can find the seal on the attached envelope pdf.
Step 2: Cut the Envelope to the Right Size
For making the envelope, we will start from a square, so we need to cut the rectangular sheet into one. As shown on the first image, fold one top corner toward the other side and only make a small crease on the fold line at the edge. Repeat this for the other corner.
You now have 2 creases, and if you would draw an imaginary line from one to the other, the paper is divided in the envelope part, and the part where the seat is printed. Make a fold along this line and cut the paper in two.
Step 3: Make the Paper Look Aged
The paper needs to look a bit aged to lok like the original. You can just wait 50 years, or take a shortcut as I did.
Start with brewing a cup of coffee, a good way to resist the urge of drinking it, is to pour it immediately in the large container. This also makes it cool down faster. Take the letter and the envelope, and soak them one by one in the coffee. Once it is soaked, you can carefully wrinkle and unwrinkle the paper, and soak them again as you like.
Put the soaked paper on a baking tray and put them in the oven until they are dry. I put them on 75°C and 5-10 minutes was certainly enough. You can easily check: when they are no longer shiny, the paper is dry and you can take it out.
Due to the wrinkling and drying, the paper got some volume. In the case you think it is too much, you can iron it on a low temperature. Make sure to not iron directly on the paper, put a towel on top of the paper!
Step 4: Fold Your Envelope
If have worked with an envelope, you can obviously skip this step. Otherwise, it's time to show your origami skills!
First of all, check the orientation of the address on the backside of your paper. Make sure the top is oriented towards the top.
Find the center of your square, I used a ruler and a light pencil for this. Fold the right, left and top corner towards this center point. The bottom corner will be a bit more complicated, but not very difficult.
Fold the bottom corner upwards for about 4 cm. You now have two edges: one on the right side and one on the left side. These two edges should be folded inwards for about 2 cm. Now you can fold the whole lower side towards the center. Make a crease where you want to fold it before glueing. Make sure not to accidentally glue the back to the front of the envelope!
Step 5: Add the Seal and Put the Letter In
This is a step where you can be a bit more creative if you like to. I just cut out the seal from a paper and carefully glued it only to the bottom part of the envelope. This way, the envelope can still be opened without having to tear all your hard work. Putting the glue on the bottom part instead of the top, has the advantage that the top flap will not open automatically and the letter will look as if it is really sealed.
When all glue has dried, put your letter in the envelope (you will need to fold it) and close it.
Step 6: Get Ready for Hogwarts!
Now that you have your own Hogwarts invitation, prepare yourself for the magical yourney!
My friend was very happy with her letter and kept it together with other props in her special Harry Potter corner. I hope you are happy with the result and that the receiver will be even happier! Please let me know your comments, questions or ideas below. I hope to see you guys in Hogwarts soon!