Better Be Gryffindor!
When you’ve got a room full of energetic seven-year-olds, the pressure is on to keep them entertained and under control. At our daughter’s Harry Potter birthday party, an escape room challenge was the perfect solution. Via a Ministry of Magic airplane memo, the children learned that Ollivander’s wands were missing. In reality, I’d hidden one for each child inside Harry’s trunk, which was visible from the minute you entered the room (locked just in case a clever wizard happened to stumble upon it). But the children were none the wiser and had to solve clues, puzzles, and even mix a potion using the Advanced Potions textbook in order to find them (and the key).
I knew that the children had found the wands when I heard the squeals of delight. What they didn’t know at the time was that the wands were not their only gift. At the end of the party, each child received a bag with a Gryffindor notebook with a quill pen. After all, school supplies are a must for all serious Hogwarts students! Luckily, I had a few tricks up my sleeve that made making the notebooks a breeze, even for a muggle like me.
- burgundy fabric
- gold foil heat transfer vinyl
- weeding tool
- scoring stylus
- glue stick
- 1/8″ chipboard
- Heat Bond iron-on adhesive
- 5 x 7 notepad
Gryffindor Notebook Prep
Before the real fun can begin, we have to get a few boring prep steps out of the way. First, cut a piece of fabric that measures 12 1/4″ by 9 1/4″. Use the same dimensions to cut your Heat Bond. Iron the fabric to remove any wrinkles, and place the Heat Bond on the wrong side of your fabric with the paper liner facing up. Pass the iron over the Heat Bond a few times to adhere it to your fabric.
The next step is to cut the chipboard, which will form the structure for your cover. Create two 8 1/4″ x 5 1/4″ rectangles for the front and back covers and one 8 1/4″ x 3/8″ rectangle for the spine. Whew! Now that our prep work is out of the way, we can get down to business.
Place your fabric with the Heat Bond side up and lay your chipboard pieces on top. Your spine should be in the center with the front and back covers spaced 1/8″ apart. This gap is essential as it will allow the cover to open and close smoothly.
Fold each of the four corners of your fabric over the edges of the chipboard and iron until the fabric adheres to the chipboard. Continue wrapping by folding the top and bottom of the fabric over the chipboard. This process works best if you iron the fabric at the top and bottom of the spine first. That way, the spine will not shift as you work your way around the edges. Next, fold both sides over and iron in place. Turn the cover over and iron the exterior of the cover. Make sure that you use a low setting on your iron to prevent the Heat Bond adhesive from seeping through the fabric.
Now it’s time to work on the interior of the cover. Download the lining and print it on cardstock. Use your glue stick to coat the back of the lining, and center it over the interior of your cover, leaving 1/4″ on three sides. Place a stack of heavy books over the cover while the glue dries.
Once the glue is dry, line your ruler up with the inside edge of the front cover, and use a scoring stylus to create a crease at the 18″ gap between the cover and the spine. Repeat this step on the back cover.
Upload the Gryffindor crest to your Design Space. Save the crest as a “Cut” file and insert it into a blank canvas. Next, set the height of the crest to 4 1/4″, and place your heat transfer foil onto your cutting mat with the glossy side face down. Click the “Make It” button and make sure that you click the mirror button on the next page. Your screen should look like mine below. Once the Cricut finishes its work, use your weeding tool to carefully remove the vinyl around the letters and numbers, as well as the lion.
Center the crest on the front cover with the plastic liner facing up and iron in place following the directions for your heat transfer vinyl. Make sure that you check the vinyl frequently and that you don’t rest the iron in one place too long! Allow the vinyl to cool slightly before removing the plastic liner.
We’re heading into the home stretch. Use a glue stick to apply glue to the band at the top of the notepad and cover it with the Gryffindor label. The bottom edge of the label should align with the perforation on the top sheet of paper. Use your scoring stylus to create a crease at the top edge of the pad, then fold the label. Create a second crease on the opposite side, and apply glue to the label. Fold the label over the notepad and weight the notepad down with books while the label dries.
A Gryffindor Notebook for Muggles
Once the glue has dried, liberally apply glue to the back of the notepad. Center the notepad on the back cover and glue it in place. And voilà! A Gryffindor notebook that is perfect for taking notes in Potions or Herbology…or for making grocery and other mundane lists that are very necessary in the muggle world.