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When my wife found out she was pregnant, it didn’t take her long to think of a plan for our son’s nursery. She’s a giant Harry Potter fan, so, naturally, she wanted him to grow up at Hogwarts.
Or at least as close to Hogwarts as a boy in Cincinnati, Ohio, can be!
Over the course of more than four months, Beth and I transformed what used to be a pretty plain guest bedroom into a nursery that was straight out of the Wizarding World.
Despite neither of us being very crafty, we were able to make a few items ourselves using free online tutorials. Nearly every weekend, we spent time (but not a ton of money) at Michael’s, various home improvement stores and even Goodwill, picking out the materials for our DIY items. Everything else came from Etsy, Amazon, Target, Barnes & Noble and the online Harry Potter shop from Universal Studios.
Creating this nursery was a process, but it ultimately gave us something fun and challenging to help pass the months before we met our little guy. If you want to do something similar for your child — or yourself! — here’s a handy guide to finding the dozens of decorations that make up our little Hogwarts nursery.
1. Platform 9 3/4 Sign Decal (Amazon, $12)
The first thing you’ll see before you step into the nursery is a wall decal that welcomes you to Platform 9 3/4, the secret passageway to the Hogwarts Express. Ours came from Amazon and was a breeze to stick on. There are dozens of decal options on Amazon and Etsy if you want a different style, as well as signs you can mount on the wall or door.
2. Hogwarts Express Watercolor Printable (Etsy, $3.50)
Speaking of the Hogwarts Express, the watercolor print of the train itself that you see below was one of the best values we found during this project. For $3.50, the Etsy artist sent us digital files in six different printable sizes, spanning from 5-by-7 inches to 20-by-16 inches. Unfortunately, this one isn’t available anymore but there is one that’s extremely similar from seller TheFandomRoom for $10 that they print for you and one you print yourself from 77BirdArt that sells for $6.
We took the printable files to the FedEx Print Center near us and they printed it for us on thick cardstock for less than $2. Finally, we got the picture frame (and all the frames in the room) from Goodwill. We wanted old-looking golden frames for all the artwork and raided several Goodwill stores around us to find them for cheap. We simply cut the backs open and replaced the art inside with our own prints.
3. Quidditch World Cup Poster (Amazon, $6)
We found the cool 13-by-19-inch Quidditch World Cup poster on Amazon for just about $6. The colors on it really pop, and we thought it looked like something a kid at Hogwarts would stick to his wall with no frame. We used removable Glue Dots ($5 at Michael’s) to stick the poster to the wall. (Glue Dots were key throughout the whole project.)
While this exact poster isn’t available at the moment, Amazon has a very similar one as a tin sign and Etsy has a few interesting minimalist prints, including one you print yourself from FeanorDesigns for $6 and a pre-printed one from MandaPoster for $23.
4. Hogwarts Acceptance Letter (Etsy, $20)
This is one of my favorite items in the room. Several Etsy artists make personalized Hogwarts acceptance letters. Seller Jkilroy33525 sells them for less than $15 — which is cheaper than the one we got but doesn’t come in custom color schemes — and they look just like what you’d imagine the world’s best wizardry school sending out.
As for the holder, Beth wanted something that looked like a metal envelope and we found exactly that at Michael’s for $11!
5. Lumos/Nox Light Switch Decal (Amazon, $3)
Naturally, the spells used for light (“lumos”) and darkness (“nox”) had to be used to control the lights. If you want something more serious than a decal, Etsy is full of light switch plates with these spells printed or etched onto them. We found our decals at Amazon, and they were a cinch to stick on.
6. Hogwarts House Baby Prints (Etsy, $23)
One thing Beth knew from the start was that she didn’t want to put our baby into a Hogwarts house since we don’t know his personality yet. We wanted to represent all four houses in the room, and these prints of the house animals from Etsy seller WordsOfMyHeart are really cute and came in a downloadable file with four 8-by-10-inch images we printed at FedEx. Again, we found the frames at Goodwill.
Other Etsy sellers who offer similar prints aimed at nurseries are LumosPrintStore (less than $18 for four digital files) and LightCreativeArt ($15 for four digital files).
7. Harry Potter Font Wall Decal (Etsy, $42)
The most expensive Etsy item we bought was this 4-foot-wide decal that spelled our son’s name in the iconic Potter font. Seller WordFactoryDesign no longer offers the exact one we got but VinylIsYourFriend offers a similar one that’s arguably even cooler and ranges in price from $10-$59, depending on the width.
The decal took a little measuring and patience to apply but was easy to stick on and looks great. It’s the first thing people usually comment on when they walk into the room.
8. Hedwig Plush (Universal Store, $29)
Every Hogwarts student needs a pet, and a friend of ours bought us this fluffy Hedwig plush puppet from Universal Studios in Orlando (you can also find it online). It even makes owl sounds that our 80-pound dog was very unsure about!
9. Nimbus 2000 Broom (Target, $28)
We wanted to find a broom that looked a little more sturdy, but we couldn’t find any wooden reproductions online. Instead, we went with a plastic version from Target that’s meant to be used with a Halloween costume. It looks and feels more flimsy than we’d have hoped, but it looks nice on the wall — and how can you do a Hogwarts room without a broom? Oriental Trading has a similar one for the same price if you’re looking for your own Nimbus 2000.
10. Doe Patronus Embroidery Hoop (Etsy, $20)
We felt we needed something to make this part of the wall look less bare, and Beth found this cute piece of embroidery from U.K. Etsy seller OhanaCentral. Shipping was expensive on this one, but it’s handmade and came from the land that gave us Harry Potter so we figured it was worth it. If you’re handy with a crotchet kit, you could probably find your own similar pattern and get to work.
11. Invisibility Cloak (Society6, $50)
PBteen had an “invisibility cloak” that was really an iridescent throw blanket — but it was too expensive for us. So Beth looked around online for a similar blanket that would look like something from the Wizarding World and found this Twinkle Little Stars throw blanket from Society6, which you can see resting on the glider. It’s one of the more expensive items in the room but it’s heavy, very soft and looks like the kind of blanket that’s destined to be a child’s favorite!
If you’re looking for a “genuine” invisibility cloak, Amazon has the highly rated Wow! Pods toy that actually turns the wearer invisible using a smartphone app! It’s about $37.
12. Marauder’s Map Pillow (Etsy, $20)
Beth really wanted the mischief of the Marauder’s Map present in our son’s room, but instead of buying a paper version of it (of which there are several available online), we went with this handmade throw pillow from Etsy seller SewInspiredStudio. She was one of the nicest Etsy artists we’ve ever bought from, and the pillow fits the room perfectly, but unfortunately her shop is on vacation mode at the moment.
There are several other sellers who offer the same Marauder’s Map pattern in various sizes, including MyGeekIsChic, who lets you get different sized pillow cases and sheet sets made from it.
13. Fawkes Plush (Barnes & Noble, $30)
This was the first item we hung up in the nursery, and it set the tone well. We found this colorful 15-inch Fawkes plush from Barnes & Noble’s awesome Noble Collection, which includes some great Harry Potter items. We wanted a cage that looked like it had seen some wear, and we lucked out and found one on sale at Michael’s. We used a decorative hook from Ace Hardware that’s meant for hanging potted plants from the ceiling.
14. Hogwarts Curtains (Amazon, $18)
Beth’s mom bought us these Harry Potter curtains from Warner Bros. that feature the Hogwarts crest, Harry’s glasses and some other iconography. We ended up needing three sets of these to cover all the windows in the room. Unfortunately, they’ve since gone out of stock but Amazon now has some adorable blue curtains that have cartoon versions of the main characters from the series for the same price.
15. Steamer Trunk (Overstock, $150)
This trunk was probably the hardest thing to find for the room. We knew for the toy box we wanted a trunk that looked like the kind a kid would drag onto the Hogwarts Express, but we couldn’t find a good steamer trunk at a reasonable price from any local antique stores. We stumbled upon this one on Overstock and it was perfect. The list price was nearly $200, but we got it for closer to $150 on sale. The look and size — and the fact the lid won’t come crashing down on his hands — is exactly what we wanted.
If you run a search for steamer trunks at Overstock, you can find many similar options at the same price to match the overall style of your Harry Potter room.
16. Yule Ball Poster, Invitation (Etsy, $18.50)
Maybe my favorite piece of art we found on Etsy, this poster (seen on the left side of the image) shows the majesty of the Yule Ball held at Hogwarts in “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.” Seller WindowShopGal offers the poster in various sizes, featuring either a blue dress (like the book) or a pink dress (like the movie). As a bonus, the print came with an invitation to the Yule Ball, which we stuck to the wall using Glue Dots. Once again, the frame came from Goodwill.
17. Sword Of Gryffindor (Universal Store, $20)
Based on its size, this Sword of Gryffindor (pictured at center) is more like a Dagger of Gryffindor, but it was hard to pass up for the price. It’s definitely a little small and is obviously made of plastic, but it looks pretty good hanging on the wall with some other artwork. As a bonus, the sword lights up and makes a sound when you swing it around, so I’m sure my son will one day appreciate this one most of all the decorations.
We used Command picture hanging strips to hang the sword so that it can easily be taken down and put back up again at will.
18. Wand Motions Guide Poster (Well Said Creations, $22)
This 12-by-18-inch poster from Well Said Creations is one of my favorite pieces in the room and totally looks like something a new Hogwarts student would need to keep handy. The shop no longer exists, unfortunately, but Etsy has several similar options. At a similar price point, SpotlightOfJuly has one that looks even more scholarly, starting at $24. If you’re willing to spend a little more, MagicalWoodCrafts offers an original design with a dark-stained pine wood frame for just over $100.
19. Dumbledore’s Wand (Amazon, $37.50)
We obviously had to have a wand in a Hogwarts room. We decided to go with Dumbledore’s Elder Wand as a tribute to the great mentor and because we thought it looked the coolest of all the wands in Barnes & Noble’s Noble Collection. The wand is very sturdy and came in a nice display box that just happened to be purple. If you want a different way to display your wand, check Etsy for some really cool stands that rest on a surface or hang on the wall.
20. Quidditch Set (Target, $27)
We don’t know if he’ll be a jock like Harry, but this set of quidditch balls from Target was a fun addition. They are pretty small but feel solid and have plenty of detail. The display case is a nice touch, too. The set, which is made by Running Press, isn’t sold by Target anymore but you can find it online from various sellers, including Amazon.
21. Luna Lovegood’s Spectrespecs (Target, $13)
My favorite character in the Harry Potter series is Luna Lovegood, so I wanted to represent her in the nursery. We found her classic spectrespecs from Target and they look just as funky as the ones she wore in the movies. Target no longer carries them but you can easily find them elsewhere online, including for the same price at Amazon.
22. Sorcerer’s Stone (Amazon, $11)
For the legendary Sorcerer’s Stone, we went with a piece of quartz we found on Amazon. The piece we bought wasn’t as colorful as it looked in the seller’s photos, so, unfortunately it’s not the most eye-catching item in the nursery. Still, it looks like something an adventurous young witch or wizard would display in their room. There are dozens of colorful pieces of quartz available on Amazon if you want something similar.
23. Hogsmeade Village Travel Poster (Etsy, $20)
Etsy has a wealth of sophisticated pieces of art that would look perfect in the Harry Potter universe. Seller MMPaperCo has several gorgeous travel posters for parts of the Wizarding World. We really liked the one they did of Hogsmeade Village, which you can see on the top left here. Unfortunately, the pandemic forced that seller to temporarily close but you can find beautiful ones from 88MilesPerHourPrints and LightsCameraActionCo, among other sellers, that are in the same vein.
24. Diagon Alley Travel Poster (Etsy, $20.41)
Another great Etsy find was this retro-style travel poster urging you to visit Diagon Alley. The artwork is subtle and detailed up close. This one came from seller TheOrigamiFox, who no longer sells it, unfortunately. Etsy seller ChromaePrint offers a gorgeous minimalist version of a Diagon Alley travel poster, while MonlightSunrise sells one that’s a little more bold.
25. Book Pages (Half Price Books, $3)
Possibly my favorite touch in the entire room is the wall we covered in all the pages of “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.” I found a very used copy of it in the clearance section at Half Price Books and used an X-Acto knife to cut all the pages out. We then used Glue Dots to stick each page to the wall before layering some more pages on top. We took this idea from PBteen, which has a whole section of Harry Potter DIY projects on its website.
26. Sorting Hat (Barnes & Noble, $25)
We knew we wanted a sorting hat (obviously, since we didn’t put him into a house ourselves!) and this one from Barnes & Noble has an authentic look and feel. It’s big enough for an adult to wear and even has a working mouth that you can move if you put your hand into the hat.
27. ‘Monster Book of Monsters’ (Homemade)
We found a couple reproductions of the “Monster Book of Monsters” for sale online, but they were too expensive and none looked as good as we’d have liked, so Beth and her sister made this one using DIY instructions from Pieces by Polly. The craft requires no sewing, just a hot glue gun, and it ended up looking great and being soft enough to use as a pillow!
All it took was some foam, Poly-Fil, parchment-colored fabric and fake fur from Jo-Ann, as well as some googly eyes and felt from Michael’s. Neither Beth nor her sister are particularly crafty, but they had no problem making this impressive piece in less than an hour.
28. Potions (Homemade)
What Hogwarts dorm would be complete without potions? These were probably our favorite DIY decorations to make. First, we bought some empty glass bottles from Michael’s (they have a bunch of cool options at less than $2 each with the cork included). Then, we found some free printable labels online from blogger Over The Big Moon for different Harry Potter potions. Finally, to make the potions, we followed a video tutorial from YouTuber JustBeingJayla.
She suggested using clear glue for the base, mixing in food coloring and glitter to make them look great. Pro tip: We used cheap glue for ours and the glitter settled at the bottom after a couple days, so you might want to use higher-quality glue. For the Gillyweed, we used fake grass we found at Michael’s.
29. Flying Keys Lampshade (Spoonflower, $18.50)
We wanted to incorporate the winged keys from “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” but didn’t want to string them from the ceiling. Instead, Beth found this fabric at Spoonflower and glued it to a lampshade we had, giving a nice effect when the lamp is turned on. This fabric is $18.50 a yard and could obviously be used for any Harry Potter sewing project.
30. Cornish Pixie Plush (Universal Store, $14.95)
Since this particular lamp had a jar at its base that could be filled with anything, we decided to trap a Cornish Pixie inside it! He’s a little hard to see, but this small plush from the Universal Store worked nicely. Barnes & Noble’s Noble Collection also has a Cornish Pixie plush that looks great for less than $20.
31. Chocolate Frog Box (Universal Store, $25)
The Chocolate Frog is a classic treat from the Wizarding World and we represented it with this attractive ceramic box from the Universal Store. It was a little pricey for something that’s basically just an empty box, but it’s a sturdy piece. If you’re looking for an actual chocolate frog to place inside, the official Harry Potter shop sells them for $12.
32. Azkaban Prison ID (Hot Topic, $10)
You can spot this small item to the left of the train in the windowsill. Hot Topic has a wealth of Harry Potter items and this Azkaban Prison necklace featuring Sirius Black’s prison ID is a neat one. You can order it online for less than $10 at full price. We just happened to stop by the store at the mall and they had a jewelry sale going on, so we got this one and another piece I’ll get to in a moment.
33. Hogwarts Express (Universal Store, $17)
When our friend was visiting Universal Studios, she also bought us this nice toy version of the Hogwarts Express. It will definitely be something he can play with, because it rolls with a pull-back motion. Until then, it looks great in the window and fits the playful theme perfectly.
34. Bertie Bott’s Every Flavour Beans (Universal Store, $12)
Every Hogwarts kid needs some Every Flavour Beans! Beth and I are too scared to try these, for fear we’d get the earwax- or soap-flavored ones, but they do nicely as a decoration. We got ours in a large decorative box from the Universal Store, but you can get them from several stores if you search online.
35. ‘Free Dobby’ Sign (Homemade)
You can buy a “Free Dobby” signboard online from various sellers for $50-$60 — but we were able to make this one for about $20 total. We found a whitewashed piece of wood from Michael’s, on which Beth painted the letters using a free Harry Potter font we found online from DaFont and some purple paint. She then strung some twine across the front using a hot glue gun and fastened gray clothespins we also got from Michael’s. We ended up saving a lot of money by doing this one ourselves.
36. Floating Books (Homemade)
This was one of my proudest contributions and it cost us almost nothing. We had a few old hardcover books laying around, so we decided to do something with them.
First, we found some great free printable Hogwarts book covers from Paper Trail Design that we printed on paper from Staples that looked like old parchment. Once we’d wrapped the books in the paper, I built the floating bookshelves using a YouTube tutorial from DIY Projects – step by step. I bought a few flat L-braces and some strong velcro from Lowe’s and these things were done in no time.
37. Time-Turner (Amazon, $16)
You can see this item hanging on the bottom set of floating books. Beth stumbled upon this beautiful necklace on Amazon that’s meant to mimic Hermione’s Time-Turner. We were shocked by how high-quality it was for how cheap it was. We were expecting something kind of cheesy looking but this is one of the most attractive fan-made pieces in the room.
38. Flying Ford Angila (Universal Store, $17)
This is another decoration that he’ll be able to play with when he gets a little older. This toy version of the Weasley family’s Ford Angila from “Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets” is battery operated and takes off when you flip a switch. The only thing missing is flight capability.
39. Salazar Slytherin’s Locket (Hot Topic, $15)
You can find this one hanging from the middle set of floating books. This locket, which was one of Voldemort’s horcruxes, was another lucky find at Hot Topic. This necklace is fairly heavy duty, and the locket part is lined with green velvet on the inside. If you’re a proud Slytherin, this is a must-have accessory.
40. Ramona Ravenclaw’s Diadem (Amazon, $17)
The final item in the room, which you can see resting on the top set of floating books, was another of Voldemort’s horcruxes. This replica of Rowena Ravenclaw’s diadem came from Amazon, and we were stunned by how sturdy it feels and how pretty it looks. I’m not sure why the Amazon reviews are so mixed because we were thrilled with this one, especially at the price.
41. Take It All In!
You can take a look around the entire room with this video my wife posted to Instagram.
View this post on Instagram
If you have any additions you’d suggest, I’d love to hear them. You can email me at [email protected] Now we’ve just got to hope our son is a Harry Potter fan!