DIY Harry Potter Directional Sign Part 2
Hello Crafty Friends! I’m back with Part 2 of my Harry Potter Directional Sign! If you want to get caught up, you can check out Part 1, DIY Harry Potter Directional Sign. As I mentioned in the first part, I created this directional sign for two good friends who married a couple months ago with an incredible Harry Potter-themed wedding. I was asked to help create some of the decorations and was really excited to work on this directional sign. Their reception venue was a large library with insanely tall ceilings, so this 8-foot tall directional sign fit right in!
In this post I’ll show you how I made the next five signs and also how we mounted the signs on an 8-foot wooden pole. We traveled for this wedding, so the sign also needed to travel and be assembled quickly on site.
Creating a Harry Potter Directional Sign Continued
QUALITY QUIDDITCH SUPPLIES
Font Used: Carta Magna Line (I removed the shadow)
This sign is definitely one of my favorites! I found the “Witch Parking” Halloween sign at Michaels Craft Store and knew a sign with a broom attached to it would be perfect for a quidditch store. Two came to mind from the Harry Potter world, Quality Quidditch Supplies and Dervish and Banges. I really loved the look of the Dervish and Banges logo, but decided Quality Quidditch Supplies would fit better on this sign – plus, it is where Harry saw his first broomstick, the Nimbus 2000!
After painting over the sign with brown acrylic paint, I used the pencil transfer method to add the text. You can see this method used on my DIY Watermelon Sign – it works really well and is inexpensive! Since there were so many small parts to this font, I decided to use a gold gel pen rather than acrylic paint to give me more control. This would have been a good sign for my Cricut Explore, but I was out of gold vinyl so I had to try something else!
I like the look of the gold gel pen. It has a sheen to it and the color looks a little different depending on where you are standing. I did have enough gold vinyl to cut a golden snitch and an arrow to add to the sign.
At the last minute, I used my gold gel pen to add “Nimbus 2000” to the end of the broomstick. It is so small I don’t know if anyone could actually see it at the wedding with the mood lighting, but I love this little detail!
Font Used: Iowan Old Style
For the Diagon Alley sign, I searched for a board that was close in shape to the sign from the movies and painted it white. I gave the sign a little wear and tear by dry-brushing some black paint onto the edges. This was one of the easier signs I made – in comparison to some of the others! I used Cricut Stencil Material to create a stencil on my cutting machine and then used black acrylic paint to paint the wording and border.
HOGWARTS SCHOOL OF WITCHCRAFT & WIZARDRY
Font Used: Parry Hotter
The sign for Hogwarts was a lot of fun to create since I wasn’t trying to recreate an actual sign. I knew I wanted the sign to have an image of Hogwarts and I found an outline of the Hogwarts castle online that was perfect! You can find something similar to the one I used by doing an image search of “Hogwarts Graduate” and a ton of variations come up. I added the “School of Witchcraft and Wizardry” in smaller font to fit under the castle outline.
The Cricut stencil material worked really well with this wood sign. The painted surface was smooth and I was able to use gold and silver acrylic paint. I was glad I went with a black background for this sign, not just because the gold and silver paints really popped, but since there were so many other brown and lighter colored signs, this one helped balance things out!
I used a pouncer to apply the paint and did several light layers, always applying the paint at a vertical angle to minimize bleeding.
Fonts Used: Luminari and Charlemagne Ltd
One of the last signs I created was for Gringotts bank. I created the base of the sign by layering two signs together. The bottom boards were from Hobby Lobby, and the “Bikini Crossing” sign I found on clearance at Joann Fabrics.
I chose to paint the bottom board a smooth gold and paint the top board a beautiful navy. The colors for each sign I made are different, yet they all look cohesive together because almost all of them incorporate the color gold. I had set aside gold vinyl to use for this sign since the font I chose has lots of small lettering.
The Gringotts goblin was cut from blue vinyl. The pattern came from a Diagon Alley SVG bundle I purchased from the Etsy shop Vertical Designs Photo which doesn’t seem to exist anymore.
This Ollivanders sign was the trickiest sign out of all ten! Why? Because I chose this rough wood plank. I loved how worn it looked and thought it was the perfect vibe for Ollivanders. After removing the rope and painting the sign brown and black, I was ready to add the wording – and that’s where my problems started!
I used the SVG file for Ollivanders included Diagon Alley bundle I purchased from Etsy. I used my Cricut Explore and tried cutting the wording out of gold vinyl, but I wasn’t able to get it to stick to the rough wood. I then tried Cricut Stencil Material, thinking that this would magically stick better than the vinyl, but it didn’t work either. After two failed attempts trying to use my cutting machine, I decided to try out my pencil-transfer method.
This was difficult because the wood was so rough and it was hard to get a crisp pencil line. I ran into the same problem when trying to go over the pencil with acrylic paint. It ended up looking a bit rough, which thankfully works for this sign.
To fill in the holes the rope went through, I used twine to hang a thin arrow cut from tagboard. I wanted the arrows for each sign to be a little different – rather than each sign having the same style painted arrow. I thought this hanging arrow was really fun for Ollivanders and the perfect sign to hang at the very bottom of my directional sign tower.
Adding Hedwig to the Top of the Sign
Once the signs were all made, I went to work on Hedwig. I found a scare owl at my local hardware store. You can get the same one off of Amazon, it’s called the Dalen Fake Owl. After painting the owl white, something still wasn’t right – the ear tufts! Hedwig is a snowy owl and they do not have ear tufts that stick straight up!
To fix this problem, I used a saw from my gardening tools and carefully sawed off the scare owl’s two ear tufts. I felt really bad!
Once the ear tufts were removed, I needed to cover up the holes. I used thin white printer paper and paper mache to cover the holes. This worked really well and gave me a surface to paint over. I needed to re-paint the entire owl, since a lot of the white paint was scraped off on my driveway as I sawed off the ear tufts. In retrospect, I would have done the sawing before the painting. A couple coats of paint later and Hedwig was looking good! I added little black feather marks to the wings and onto the back of the owl.
Hedwig was easy to add to the top of the wooden pole since the owl came with a large hole in the bottom. The pole was square and Hegwig’s hole was round, so we had to sand down the pole a bit at the top so it would fit perfectly.
ASSEMBLING THE SIGN
Using Velcro Adhesive to Attach the Signs
Once everything was made, it was time to assemble it. My husband helped me with this part. He bought an 8-foot wooden pole at the hardware store and I painted it brown and black. At first we were going to nail the signs to the pole, but since we had to travel to the wedding, we decided it would be better if we could assemble it there. My husband thought of the perfect solution and we ended up using industrial strength Velcro! It worked so well! The signs were all pretty lightweight, nowhere near 10lbs, so the Velcro could definitely handle them.
We started by adding a strip of Velcro, the rough side, to the back of each sign. I made the mistake of centering the Velcro. We found out when we assembled the entire thing that some of the signs did not have their weight distributed evenly so when we first attached them, they did not sit level. This was the case for the Hogwarts Express sign, Hogwarts sign and Knockturn Alley sign – so we ended up having to add another strip of Velcro to get them to hang level.
After each sign had Velcro adhesive on the back of it, we laid out all of the signs and decided where they should sit. I marked this with pencil and then we applied the soft side of the Velcro adhesive to the pole. Below you can see all of the Velcro strips on the pole waiting for their signs.
Creating the Base of the Directional Sign
To support an 8-foot sign, we knew the base had to be sturdy. I found a huge outdoor pot in our basement and painted it with brown and black acrylic paint. It was made from a heavy plastic that had a hole in the bottom. We used a metal pipe and drape base my husband borrowed from work. We added a screw to the bottom of the pole, and screwed the pole into the metal base. The metal base was able to poke through the hole in the bottom of the pot so the whole thing was concealed.
We filled the pot with sandbags and covered them with a scrap of green fabric I had on hand. The base was super sturdy and the best part was we could bring the sign in pieces and easily and quickly assemble it on site.
THE FINISHED SIGN
And there you have it, the enormous Harry Potter directional sign! I love how it turned out! It looked amazing at the wedding reception with all of the other Harry Potter details my friends had created for their wedding.
My favorite part of the directional sign is how different each of the small signs are. There is a lot to look at and each sign uniquely represents a different location in the Harry Potter world. The mismatched, thrown-together look is perfect for the Harry Potter world where new and old are combined and everything is so specific and interesting.
I hope you enjoyed reading these two super long posts! If you are making a similar Harry Potter directional sign, or a smaller sign for one of these locations, I hope this post will be useful! Also don’t forget to check out some of my other DIY Harry Potter Craft Projects :)
Shop the Supplies Used
- Industrial Strength Velcro
- Plastic Outdoor Fake Owl
- Cricut Explore
- Cricut Stencil Vinyl
- Acrylic Paint