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Crafty Mum Creates Harry Potter Tree For £92 Using B&M, Amazon & The Range

DebsGC
November 22, 2021, 3:00 PM
  • Louise Howard, 37, decorated her 20-year-old tree in tribute to Harry Potter
  • She bought affordable accessories from B&M, Amazon & The Range
  • Louise sold last year’s Grinch decorations for a profit which funded the Harry Potter tree

20 years after the first Harry Potter films were released, the magical tales are still loved around the world.

So one family decided to pay tribute to the franchise by giving their Christmas tree the magic touch.

Louise Howard, 37, a mum of three, and her family, set to work transforming their 20-year-old tree into a showstopper befitting of the Gryffindor common room.

Louise, who runs a party and balloon business, and who also works in a children’s hospital, decided to get accessories from B&M, Amazon & The Range, and also printed out her own decorations to bring the total cost to just £92.

She also sold decorations from last year’s tree for a profit to pay for this year’s tree.

Louise told the money-saving Black Friday app: “I have three girls aged three, 12 and 20, and we all love Harry Potter. My husband Adam humours my crazy ideas.

“Last year, we decided to do a themed tree each year so we did the Grinch, which we all loved.

"I run a party and balloon business in Bristol so I have lots of craft bits on hand.

"I also work in the children’s hospital and do our department tree every year - last year I did Toy Story at work.

“Our tree is actually 20 years old. I purchased it for my daughter's first Christmas - and she is 21 next month.

"I’ve used it every year. I would never change it until I really have to.

"It was from Woolworths and has been through three house moves!

"When I first met my husband he had always had a real tree and for the first year or two, he suggested we get a real one. Now even he is attached to it.

"This year we couldn’t come up with an idea for a theme then a few weeks ago one of us suggested a Harry Potter tree as it was one of the things we thought about last year.

“Initially, I thought it was an amazing idea.

“I went straight on Amazon and purchased a Sorting Hat for the top.

"Then I had doubts because I didn’t think I could make Harry Potter very festive looking.

"Plus I had given all of my girls' Harry Potter items to a friend for her children’s bedroom so we had nothing except a Dobby mask we’ve had for about 10 years from a World Book Day costume and a pillowcase we used for his dress.

"We’ve used this and dressed up an old Santa we had to make a Dobby.

"Then I went to B&M and Home Bargains to see what Harry Potter things they had.

"I managed to get a few bits but nothing much. I almost just used the white and silver baubles we used to use, but by this point, I had already spent £38 on the Sorting Hat and some floating candlelights from Amazon.

"I decided to rein it in and keep it cheaper so I found some gold and burgundy Gryffindor theme colour baubles in B&M.

"I then printed some Harry Potter-themed clip art from Google onto sticker paper and cut them out and stuck them to the baubles.

"I thought about other things that related to Harry Potter: an owl and stag, letters, a broom, a Golden snitch and so on, and I started to source them.

"The Range had a Harry Potter writing set which I used for the envelopes, which filled some quite big areas.

"I printed some templates for chocolate frog boxes online and made them up.

“Then I made some Ferrero Roches into golden snitches (this could be done much cheaper with gold baubles though!).

“We used the Ferrero Rocher box to stick a Platform 9 and 3/4 sign to.

"I like a fully packed tree so I got some gold poinsettias from Amazon which I will use again in future.

“I also got some acorns which were collected from a local park and sprayed gold with a £1 spray.

"We had lots of these so again it filled a lot of space.

"I also ordered little glass bottles with lids, which the children filled with different colour creams and lotions to make potion bottles and stuck tiny labels to them.

"I sold all of the Grinch baubles, the Grinch body and Cyndi Lou pigtails from last year for profit so that funded this year's tree.

“I also made a last-minute purchase of a Hogwarts Express, which cost £65 on Amazon, but it totally needed it.

“To fill the gaps without spending tons of money, I printed lots of images off Google, such as the signs of locations like Diagon Alley, and the newspaper articles from the films.

"I planned to laminate these and use them on the tree but we didn’t need to use them in the end.

"This is something I have done a few times now as it just brings the theme out without spending much at all.

“Lots of the baubles I purchased wouldn’t have been needed had I laminated the things first.

“Had I used the laminated signs I would have probably spent £20 less.

"All in all the whole tree cost £92, plus the train, which cost £65.

"But I know I will keep the poinsettia for another theme in future and sell the train, hat and baubles to fund next year's tree.

"I’ve already had people message to say they will buy everything we have!”

Louise and her family are thrilled with their magical tree and have come up with even more budget-friendly ideas to keep the costs down if they were to do the tree again.

"We really love it now it’s done,” she adds. "The pictures don’t do it justice at all. It looks so much better in person.

“My tips would be to laminate things for your theme before you buy bits to go with it, as the laminated pieces fill the big spaces and would keep costs down.

"This could be quotes from the theme or any pictures really.

“To cut costs, I would miss out the Ferrero Rochers and use gold baubles instead.

"The envelopes could also have been printed to save money.

"The stickers on the baubles could always be pulled off to use for another theme another year.

“Using the poinsettias makes it Christmassy even though the theme wasn’t Christmassy at all.

"Making the baubles is something people can do as a family so the children feel included and the possibilities are endless!”

Tom Church, co-founder of the money-saving Black Friday app, comments: “Many of us have wished we could partake in the Christmas feast at Hogwarts, and Louise’s amazing tree certainly looks like it belongs in the Great Hall at Hogwarts!

“I love how clever Louise has been about keeping costs down for her tree, even making a profit off last year’s Grinch decorations.

“She’s provided so many great ideas for creating a stunning but wallet-friendly tree, this is making me think about doing a themed tree next year!"

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