Cardboard Diagon Alley

After several lovely weekends of taping and painting cardboard boxes, and eating tubs of Pringles and yoghurt in order to release the containers for crafting, Harry and I are delighted to announce that DIAGON ALLEY IS NOW COMPLETE!!! Hurrah!

In addition to Gringotts, Potages Cauldron Shop and Olivander’s Wand Shop, we’ve now added….

Weasley’s Wizard Wheezes, Fred and George’s joke shop (we ate a LOT of crisps for this one..);

Weasleys Joke Shop

Quality Quidditch Supplies, complete with broomsticks of every description;Quality Quidditch Supplies

Official Hogwarts stationers Flourish and Blott!Flourish and Blott

And finally our favourite of all, home of every pet and animal you might encounter in your wizarding career… The Magical Menagerie store!Magical Menagerie


All of our shops began with a single large cardboard box, recycled from our local garden centre.  We painted each one with a base colour (leftover house paint, mostly), and then working from a design Harry had drawn, crafted accessories for each.  Here’s the step-by-step making of the Menagerie…

We chose a large box and spray painted it with matt black paint, before glueing two halves of a cardboard perfume box on the front to make bay windows.  I tore off pieces of dollhouse brick paper and we stuck this on at intervals, sponging black paint to soften the edges where it joins the background cardboard.  For the door, I cut an oval piece of cardboard and we painted the edges before glueing on strips of wood-effect paper.  We used tiny adhesive silver balls for the studs, and a jewellery clasp for the elaborate door knocker.

Menagerie step 1 door

The Dark Forest-like twisted branches were an inpromptu inspiration when we found this small length of broken wood lying by the roadside, covered in dead ivy tendrils.  I sawed it in half and we glued it on to our box, adding tiny plastic snakes and even a sloth (artistic license; it’s all we had to hand!)..

log Menagerie step 2

The bay-style roof window room is a recycled instant porridge pot (I know; our crafting reveals terrible things about our household diet), with a paper cone on top, shingled with tiny squares of balsa wood.  A faux pearl bead tops it off, and a hideous snake from Harry’s toy box winds evilly around.IMG_5691

And finally; the Magical Menagerie is a fully-licensed owlery so we had to craft cages for a variety of owls (dollhouse miniatures via amazon); I used leftover champagne cages from here and glued them together to form luxurious enclosures for the owls, who perch on tiny cotton reels.

Minitature owl in a champagne cork cage

And with that our Harry Potter Diagon Alley is complete, and the staff and students of Hogwarts can wander up and down enjoying a little retail therapy.


Have a wonderful week!

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