Harry Potter Costume – Bringing a Favorite Book Character to Life

by Angela Shiflett
(Satsuma, Florida)

Harry Potter Costume for School Costume Event

Harry Potter Costume for School Costume Event

I created a Harry Potter costume when my oldest son was in the 5th grade at Browning Pearce Elementary School in San Mateo, Florida. Each year, around Halloween, the school comes up with a costume event so that the children may dress up and show off their costume creation at school. The costume event is typically educational in nature and is based on a certain theme. That year, the students were told that they were permitted to dress up for the festivities, but that they should dress up as their favorite character from a book. Of course, Harry Potter was my son’s favorite book character, at the time. In all honesty, despite the fact that my son is about to start the 7th grade, I believe that Harry Potter is his favorite book character of ALL time. Once I learned of the event and saw the excitement in my son’s eyes at the opportunity to transform from a common muggle to a magical wizard, I immediately started searching for Harry Potter costume ideas.


I immediately started searching through the Harry Potter costumes available at online retailers such as partycity.com, Buycostumes.com, and halloweenexpress.com. To be honest, though, the costumes offered at those retailers – though beautiful – were a bit out of the price range that I had in mind for the endeavor. I observed the pictures of the costumes carefully and came to the conclusion that I could create the costume for a fraction of the cost by using some items that I had around the house. Of course, I put aside a little money so that I could purchase some basic accessories to enhance the appearance of the costume. The following outlines the items that I used to create the Harry Potter costume for my son’s school costume event:

• An Old Pair of Glasses from a Toy Set Previously Purchased
• Brown Lip Liner
• Dark Red Lip Liner
• Toothpick
• Hair Gel
• A Purchased Tie – Maroon and Yellow
• A Purchased Harry Potter Robe and Wand Set
• White Polo Shirt
• Black Pants
• Black Belt
• Black Socks
• Black Shoes

In order to put the costume together in order to make my son look as much like Harry Potter as possible, I did the following:

1. I took the brown lip liner and drew a lightning bolt on his head. I then took the toothpick and sort of pulled the lip liner out towards the sides of the bolt image to make it appear more realistic. Then, I took the dark red lip liner and went over the main bolt image where I originally put the brown lip liner so that the scar had a realistic look to it.

2. I then took his hair and brushed it up. Once it was standing as much as I could get it to stand, I put the hair gel in his hair and allowed it to dry. This created the messy hair look that Harry Potter often sports in the movies.

3. I placed the white polo shirt on my son and put on the tie that I had purchased. This was quite the challenge. I watched the same YouTube video on how to tie a tie probably 10 times before FINALLY getting it adjusted correctly.

4. Then, I had him put on the black pants, black belt, black socks and black shoes.

5. Once all of that was in place, I put on the Harry Potter robe that I purchased for the costume and provided him with the wand that I bought with the robe and had him put the glasses on to complete the look.

He was a big hit that day at school. His costume was a combination of mostly homemade ideas, with a few purchased accessories that came together perfectly! The best thing about this costume is that he has been able to dress up time and time again as his favorite boy wizard. If you have a child that wants you to make a Harry Potter costume, or if you are interested in Harry Potter costume ideas for yourself, you can follow the same steps that I followed in order to create a fun look. The only two challenges to the whole costume was perfecting the lightning bolt scar on the forehead and tying the tie. However, if you have a sturdy hand, and have experience in tying a tie, these should not be an issue for you when creating your own Harry Potter costume.

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