December 24, 2011

The Slytherin Locket

Farther back view of the Slytherin Locket with the corked vial of beads next to it.
Another post, this one on how to make your own Slytherin Locket.
We made this one entirely from scratch, and unfortunately, it does not open like a typical locket. We based it, not off of the one in the movie, but off of this one:
Here is the 'Adult' cover for the seventh and final Harry Potter book.
So if you want to make on as it looks on the movie, you'll have to make up your own alterations.

ITEMS NEEDED:

  • Clay
  • Green beads, sparkles, rhinestones etc.
  • String of any sort; can be plastic, but ought to be wide enough to see. If you wanted to spend a bit more money for a more authentic look you could also purchase a chain at your local craft store.
  • Gold Spray Paint
  • Toothpicks, needles etc. for carving into the clay
  • Wax paper, newspaper etc. for minimizing mess

Directions:

  1. Basically what we did here was we took some of out handy-dandy clay purchased at the dollar store (the kind that does not need baking) and rolled it into an oval. Then I put the clay onto a piece of wax paper and flattened out the back slightly.
  2. Next I smoothed out the clay as much as I could and took a second chunk of clay, which I formed into a small "S". I laid that out over the locket base and smoothed it out again.
  3. After you've smoothed it out you can take your toothpicks, needles, etc. and carve the desired design into the clay. You must also make indents to place the green gems/beads (or whatever you plan to decorate the locket with) into.
  4. When you're happy with how it looks, allow it to dry overnight. Meanwhile, you can make the chain. We just had some white GIMP string lying around (it's just flat plastic 'string') that we used. You'd be all right if you used any sort of string. This is just to make the locket into a necklace. We took three long strands of the white GIMP and spray painted it gold. When it dried we braided it so that it resembled a chain. You could also use an existing necklace chain if you so desired.
  5. When your clay has dried, spray paint it gold as well. Next, to give it that "Slytherin" vibe, we're going to add the green accents. I found these adorable corked bottles of beads at my local dollar store for a dollar and a bit, and they are the perfect shade of dark green. However, rhinestones, glitter, or even just green paint would work just as well.
  6. To get the beads on the locket I took a BBQ skewer and dipped it into some glue, then carefully dabbed it into the hollowed out area for the beads. I put the locket in a container and poured some beads over it, then shook the excess off and put the beads still in the container back into the corked bottle of beads. I had been hoping to find some dark green paint lying around, but no such luck. The only reason I wanted the dark green paint was so that if any of the glue showed through it would look funny, whereas the green would disguise that.

In any case, I did more dabbing and gluing until the locket was finished. Then we let it dry, and our next task is to glue the spray painted GIMP onto the back of it. Excess "chain" could be used to make a time-turner chain.
Here is the final result of the Slytherin locket close-up.
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December 03, 2011

The Letters/Invitations--Acceptance Letters and Equipment List

There are six parts to this post, although I've split them up for ease of reading. This is the first post.

Table of Contents:
1. Acceptance letters and Equipment list
2. Platform 9 3/4 tickets
3. Inner Envelope
4. Outer Envelope
5. How to stain your paper
6. Wax Seal tutorial

HOGWARTS ACCEPTANCE LETTER

We wanted to make the invitations look as close to the Hogwarts Acceptance letters as possible, and keep the cost as low as possible, so as a result just about everything is handmade. Again, we'll add in alternatives for people to suit the items you have available. I've also uploaded some templates of things at MediaFire.com so that you can alter them to suit your needs.

First off, the from-the-book invitation with the 'acceptance speech' on it. Here's a link to the file on MediaFire.com. It's a Microsoft Word 2007 file. And here's the one we actually sent out, with some different text to explain the party to people. All of the text is in text boxes because I used two different fonts, Edwardian Script ITC and Scriptina Pro. Edwardian Script ITC came with my computer, but I'm sure you can Google it or substitute a different font if you wish. For the Scriptina Pro font, here's the link, I downloaded it at dafont.com. If you're not sure how to install fonts on your computer, all you do is:
  1. Download the font to somewhere on your computer and find it.
  2. Right click the file and click "Extract Here", or "Extract".
  3. You'll probably get some sort of WinZip dialogue. Tell it to extract it onto your computer, preferably the same place you are now.
  4. Another file (or more) should show up now. One of them should say that it's a "TrueFont" file (or something of the sort). You can delete all of the other files except for this one; that's the only one you'll really need.
  5. Go to the start button at the bottom left of your screen and click Start -> Control Panel (for earlier versions it might be Start -> Settings -> Control Panel). I have a Windows Vista, so controls will likely be different for other computers.
  6. In the Control Panel window, find the file labelled "Fonts" (you can search for it with the search box if you like). Open up that folder and you should see a whole bunch of fonts in there that are the same file type as the one that you saved above (after extracting it from the WinZip file).
  7. Find the downloaded font (in this case, Scriptina Pro) and right-click it. Click "Cut".
  8. Go into the Fonts window and right click. Press "Paste".
  9. It should briefly say that it's installing the font onto your computer.
  10. Open up any program and use your new font!
If these instructions are confusing you there's dozens of other ones out there on the internet if you Google it.

All right, if you're wondering about why there is two different fonts, it's because I thought that the Edwardian Script ITC capital letters were too curly and unrealistic (to be handwritten) looking so I found the Scriptina Pro font. However, Scriptina's letters, when all used, look ridiculously curly and are far too distracting. Therefore I made a combination of both, with Scriptina Pro as the capital letters and Edwardian Script ITC for the lowercase letters.

HOGWARTS EQUIPMENT LETTER

When the letters were printed off (and customised with each guest's last name) we made an accompanying "Equipment" letter that detailed the items that guests must bring to the party (i.e. a sleeping bag, and winter clothing for outdoors since some of our activities were taking place outside in the snow). It also mentioned the Dobby's Sock Contest that we held. You can omit the contest or you can put another contest of your liking etc. in there. Here is the link to download the Equipment list on MediaFire.

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