It's a banner week in media: the fifth Harry Potter film, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, rules the box office, and the final book in the series, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, is just days away. A huge fan culture has grown up around the books and films, and when the fans aren't creating stories and art dedicated to their favorite characters, many love to craft.
After the break, you'll find a brief history of crafting in the Harry Potter fandom, as well as plenty of links to examples, ideas, and instructions. It's not too late to make something special for Friday night!
(Items in above image created by Hardhat Cat.)
For a while, it seemed like much of the crafty action centered on knitting items identified with the various Houses at Hogwarts School for Witchcraft and Wizardry. When the film adaptation of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone was released in 2001, there was an explosion in this sort of scarf knitting. Innumerable new knitters have cut their teeth on a House scarf, with stripes in colors that signify their sympathies, then moved on to make matching socks and hats, even film costume replica sweaters. Although most of the handmade garments shown onscreen were knitted, crocheters weren't left out: they created similar patterns utilizing their technique of choice.
Fiber arts are still a major part of the picture, but the world of Potter-centric crafting has become much wider, and the fiber art angle has expanded to include more than just wearable goods. If an item has made a significant appearance in the series, there's a good chance that fans have tried to create their own version. Check out the following sites for examples, ideas, and, often, instructions:
Because The Leaky Cauldron is one of the premiere sites of its kind, it's no surprise that they have a long list of Harry Potter craft tutorials, some of which have been absorbed from their initial independent appearances on the net. I like the Crochet Harry Doll, Dark Mark Bag, and Aging Paper tutorial, among others. Don't miss the gigantic craft gallery.
A lot of media attention in the last few weeks has focused on the book Charmed Knits and its author, Alison Hansel. Some of the patterns in the book are replica items, while others are inspired by characters and events, like an Errol the Owl doll. There's a charity knitalong with a free hat pattern, a scarf/belt called HiP, and a "Weasley sweater."
Freshisle Fibers keeps a list of links to every free Harry Potter knitting pattern they can find. Look here for links to the patterns for the Dark Mark Illusion scarf, Horcrux socks (PDF), Golden Snitch dishcloth, Pygmy Puff, and many more.
Pacy's crocheted "Sir Owliver" stocking pattern was surely meant for Potter fans.
Gadgetgirl shows how to make an Azkaban prisoner number board (pictured below) and Wizard coins out of polymer clay.
Flickr user Softestthing posts a stunning sculpted chess set, made by its creator in "about a week."
Flickr user Lausanne is a talented miniaturist who made a Witches' Hutch. The wands in the tiny bucket on top might look familiar. (Pictured below.)
Stained Glass Art Studio by Vit-Mar has a free Harry Potter stained glass pattern, and a picture of the beautiful result.
Craftster users have held several Harry Potter-themed swaps and craftalongs. The easiest way to find them is to use Craftster's search function. You'll see things like this cool Dumbledore's Army t-shirt and these shrink plastic Potterpuff charms.
The creator of Curious Goods has a site full of sophisticated handmade Wizarding artifacts that look like the real thing. Philosopher's Stones snuggle side-by-side with items from other fantasy series. Most of the Curious Goods would take a lot of skill to create, but you can glean ideas for packages from Harry and friends, wand boxes, and downloadable potion labels.
The Wizard's Chamber is a set of wall decals that brings a little bit of Hogwarts into a room. Not quite DIY, but maybe it will inspire someone to do something similar with stencils.
What's next? In the Christmas scene of the film version of Order of the Phoenix, there's a new round of Weasley knits: double-sided scarves, each side featuring a unique pattern of multicolored stripes. Most of the principal female characters wore knit or crocheted sweaters, hoodies, and vests, none in designs which have been seen in the prior films. Given the dedication and creativity of the fans, I don't think it'll be long before patterns appear online.