The wait is *almost* over as the longtime anticipated eighth Harry Potter story: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is set to hit and (we presume) fly off bookshelves on July 31 — AKA Harry Potter’s and J.K. Rowling’s birthdays. The script to the HP play, opening in London the day after publication, is being called more of a sequel to the seven Potter books: The play is set 19 years after we bid Harry and his squad farewell. The story will focus on Harry’s youngest son, Albus Severus. Of course, we heart everything Potter-related, including nursery décor and wizard Harry Potter recipes, but we can’t wrap our brains around the fact that we’ll soon be able to return to the wizarding world. Can’t wait? Check out these 16 ways to get back into your wizarding robes and leave the muggle struggle behind — no spells required!

sorting hat

1. Host Your Own Sorting Ceremony: Make these Sorting Hat cupcakes to house all your BFFs at either Hogwarts or Ilvermorny. Bake one of the house colors into each cupcake filling for a fun surprise your friends will love. Unless you’re hiding a magical wand, you’ll need a little help from Pottermore to figure out who belongs where: Who in your squad belongs in Gryffindor, Slytherin, Ravenclaw or Hufflepuff? Anyone in Horned Serpent, Pukwudgie, Thunderbird or Wampus? (via Sugar Bean Bakers)


2. Pick Your Pet: Harry had his snowy owl, Hedwig, and Ron had a rat (dirty little scoundrel) named Scabbers. With the internet being a muggle’s BFF, you can now take a quiz to see what magical pet you should have before your crack open the latest HP book. Hint hint, if you like a low-maintenance friend, adopt a Pygmy Puff. (via Boo Turtle Blog)


3. Wizard Foodie: HP fans rejoiced when the Universal Studios Wizarding World of Harry Potter opened, especially once they could taste the food. But let’s just back-pedal for a second, while you finesse those HP plans: Keep a Butterbeer or a Polyjuice Potion on standby when you’re in line for the 8th story release. (via This Grandma is Fun)


4. Select Your Wand: Now would be the time to whip out your wand (virtually) for a test to see what type of wand you’re most likely to carry. Remember, the wand chooses the wizard, so be ready to answer questions like, “Is this your first wand?” and “What’s your greatest personal trait?” You might even want to take measures into your own hands and DIY your own, Ollivander-style. (via Organized 31)

Knitting for fall

5. Wizard Robes: Leave your muggle clothes in the closet and select your finest wizard robes instead. Think old school, prep-Oxford shirts, stripes, ties and cloaks in coal black or radiant hues. And since the North American wizarding world uses technology, don’t forget to dress your tech. A nice school-spirited phone sweater should do the trick. (via Pattymac Knits)

Quidditch Beer Pong 2

6. Butterbeer Quidditch DIY: For those who don’t have Fireboats, Cleasweeps or Nimbus 2000s, there *is* an easier way to play — Quidditch Butterbeer Pong. Get the muggles in on the fun with this tasty game. (via Farm to Fete)


7. BYOB: Bring your own (mini) brooms to the book release party for you and your squad. Since the book launch is at midnight, use glo-sticks for your broomstick handles. You know, to help ward off He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named. (via One Little Project).


8. Keep Your Treats Hidden: Let’s face it, there will be thousands (more like millions) of goblins, wizards and muggles waiting in line for the latest Potter book. Stay ahead of the pack with a secret stash of magical Bertie Bott’s Every Flavor Beans in your pocket. Store them in a nifty Harry or Ron pillow box printable that you can download and fold — just like magic. (via Bug A Boo City)


9. Great Hall Ceiling DIY: Say it with us: “Wingardium leviosa.” You might recall the Great Hall’s ceiling being enchanted with hundreds of floating candles. If you are planning your Potter launch party to be a stay-at-home affair, then you’ll need to enchant your dining room. (via This Calls For a Party)


10. A Tie Shindig: Wizards are preppy folks, and you’ll need a tie or two to blend in with the other cool wizards. DIY one for the night’s book launch party. Wizards are crafty, and you can be too with a custom paper stripe tie. (via Parenting)


11. Luna Lovegood Pudding: While you’re waiting for the clock to strike midnight on July 31, dish up a few quirky bowls of fantastical pudding like this one that’s inspired by the odd but loving character, Luna Lovegood. The edible glitter is sure to be a hit. (via Spoon Fork Bacon)

13. Party Favors: Your Harry Potter gathering wouldn’t be complete without creating favors for guests. The mystical thing to do is reinvent pre-wrapped golden foil chocolates and add paper wings to each one. Just in the blink of a newt’s eyeball, you have tiny edible golden snitches. (via Cooking Classy)


14. Quidditch Pitch: If it’s nice outside and you have the lawn space, set up a full-size Quidditch pitch IRL. It’s the best way to burn off those Chocolate Frogs and Cauldron Cakes. (via Hostess With the Mostess)


15. Butterbeer: One major perk to being a part of the wizarding world — other than magic, obvz — is the Butterbeer. And while the classic liquid version is a winner, once you master the brewery art whip up a little Butterbeer ice cream to beat away the heat. ( Via Food in Literature)

16. Butterbeer Cookies: If you can’t get enough Butterbeer (and really, who can?) make these shortbread cookies with a caramel dipping sauce. They’ll go faster than a Firebolt, so you may want to make a double batch. (via The Cookbook Queen)


Still in search of magical ways to host your Harry Potter launch party? Follow us on Pinterest for more magical + creative HP inspo.