After passing the Great Hall feast, our guests move past the living room (where we had a photo booth) and towards the family room to enjoy their meal. There’s a bar station and a hallway that connects them, and we knew we wanted to take advantage of that space. And thus, the Restricted Section was created.
On the ceiling, we purchased a set of keys that we strung along fishing wire and thumb tacked into the ceiling. The wire is practically invisible, so it really looked like there were floating keys, similar to the ones Harry had to catch on his broomstick in the Sorcerer’s Stone. With the lights off and the candles glowing, it only helped to make the keys look like they were floating. I had also collected a bunch of bottles in the days leading up to the event, and we printed out a bunch of potions labels (i.e. Wolfsbane. Skele-Gro, Polyjuice Potion, etc) and use them for decoration throughout the party. They paired really well with the books!
No, we didn’t buy a bunch of Harry Potter spell books! Although, if they were available, I probably would’ve had them by now, anyway. We just took books we had on hand, printed out different book covers (some designed from scratch, others readily available online) and covered them like you would your elementary school books! So simple, yet they added so much detail. There were also a couple of old looking books in their book collection, so I just added it in to make it look more authentic.
As much as we would love to have real moving pictures, we kept it a little more simple by replacing existing photos with Harry Potter related pictures. We had Rowena Ravenclaw, former headmasters, and some of the paintings the Fat Lady ran through in Prisoner of Azkaban. They looked so convincing, some of our guests didn’t even realized we switched out the original photos!
At the house, there was already this big display case full of different trinkets and artifacts. The case reminds me of the big case they have at Borgin and Burke’s at Universal Orlando, which had a lot of the original Harry Potter props. It just seemed perfect to simply add the sign to incorporate it into the theme!