How do I become a Wizard?
May 2, 2013 9:39 PM   Subscribe

How do I become a Wizard? (for party planning purposes, as opposed to real magical ones).

So, I want to throw a party in a month or so.

I want everyone (who wants to) to dress up as a wizard.

In my ideal, I want people to have fake long white beards, wizard staffs, wizard hats, wizard cloaks and wizard pipes.

However, crafts are very...difficult for me. I need help.

For this, I turn to you.

I have a beard. What's the best way to turn it into a white/gray wizard's beard?

For those without beards: what's the cheapest way to get or make a beard?

How do I make a wizard cloak? On the cheap?

How do I find or make a wizard hat? On the cheap?

I've got the staff part down. I'm going to a park nearby and finding one. Others will be advised to do the same or make their own.

Of course, this is open to interpretation. Aside from the questions above, I want to ask: what would you do to become an awesome wizard if you had a month to prepare?

And from a larger party planning perspective: What drinks would you prepare? What decorations would you put up? What music would you play? In general, how would you make a wizard party? I'm thinking of having some brew-happy friends make something specific for the party. What recipes or recipe names would you suggest?

As part of the party, I want to raise money for a non-profit I used to work for a couple years ago.

The money would go to a $2000 business loan for a farmer in rural Africa. I was actually friends with this farmer when I was there (he was one of the most boss farmers in the region btw, for how much capital he had) On the day I left, he gave me a magic plant, and told me to wash my face over it 3 times a day, and it would carry my prayers up to heaven for me. Part of me want to incorporate this very specific memory into the party in some way. I would also like suggestions as to how to do this, or if this is a weird idea, a suggestion to not do it.

Even if that idea is weird, or if you have a better one, do you have an idea to couch the raising of money for this into the broader wizard theme?

Bonus points for creativity, cheapness, incorporation, and helping people make something for themselves. I want ( and I would like others) to put a lot of thought, effort, and enthusiasm into this.
posted by justalisteningman to Grab Bag (11 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Of course, this is open to interpretation. Aside from the questions above, I want to ask: what would you do to become an awesome wizard if you had a month to prepare?

I'd check in on a local cosplay group or meetup / website for advice and recommended suppliers.
posted by sebastienbailard at 9:44 PM on May 2, 2013

Beard: spray beard with hairspray then dust rice flour on with flat-top powder brush. couple of passes should do the trick. or go to a costume supply place and get that Jerome Russell white spray-on hairspray. For those without beards, pulling apart cotton balls or strategically shaping poly-fill and securing to a light fabric or flexible paper base then attaching with string or skin-safe adhesives is fairly easy and cheap.

Wizard hat: get a posterboard, roll into a cone shape. Trim or fold bottom for reasonable fit. Tape. Use paper, paint, aluminum foil, and/or fabric in whatever combination pleases you to decorate it - this would be for brimless. To add a brim, put the cone on on top of another piece of posterboard with the trimmed/folded bottom down and trace around the outside edge, draw another circle (or oval, depending on head shape) the width of the desired brim outside of that circle on the 2nd piece of posterboard, cut out inside circle, then tape newly-created brim onto cone. Paper bag crumpled repeatedly until soft then dry-brushed over the crinkles with a dark shade will look a lot like a worn wizard's hat, and will tape or glue easily onto posterboard base.

Cloak: go to thrift store and find suitable blanket or sheet. Experimenting with cuts to improve fit and look is a good idea, like maybe folding in half lengthwise and cutting 1/4 down the fold then widening a bit at the end of the cut for a neck hole. Use safety pins, stitch-witchery, or a basting stitch to turn the flaps created by the cut into secured arm holes to keep cloak on during partying. Looks extra great when more than one former linen is combined for cloak purposes. Using a plain, coloured sheet then embellishing mystical sigils on with fabric paints is also fun.

Drinks: anything that floats together mysteriously, has weird properties once mixed, is the shade of any wild potion, or involves fog. Complex gelatin shots seem like a good idea, too. So would herbal teas and red wine in addition to the craft brews - I don't have names or recipes, but I would recommend doing both an ale and a root beer.

Food: I would serve food that claims to be exceedingly rare or impossible things and uses ingredients in a novel manner. I hope someone else has this same idea and gets specific, because it's late and that's as far as I can go.

Decor: if you can get an approximate facsimile of a crocodile suspended from a ceiling, you're 3/4 of the way there, but only if you think folks will get the Disc World reference. Consider also a sprinkling of moons, stars, planetary and elemental symbols; a fancy bowl of water with food colouring (for scrying); using older-looking books significantly; a fake rat or three; some skulls; stretches of paper with half-written spells; maybe an ink stand and quill or two...all invoke the wizard's space.

The plant: can the plant be given a place of honour with a full-sheet card explaining that it would like to turn the magic around for the farmer and is presiding over a collection effort?

I'd say that it might be fun to go thrift shopping with a group to find supplies, and have another get-together for those who prefer to construct socially.
posted by batmonkey at 10:13 PM on May 2, 2013 [2 favorites]

Cheapest beard: sellotape a beard-shaped piece of construction paper to your chin. Cheap, easy, pretty uncomfortable.
posted by BungaDunga at 10:29 PM on May 2, 2013

Buy theater makeup hair-whitening spray, or liquid latex body paint, to change the colour of your beard and hair. Why stop at white? Blue or green would work. Also, cloaks, robes and witch/wizard hats can be cheaply bought (and modified) at costume stores, leaving you to save your creativity for harder things.

Also: bling. Wizards are not known for reticence with the large magical aumlets and such, so cheap crap from Goodwill would seem to be in order.

Then you can spend all your time figuring out how to prepare eyeballs and hang a crocodile from the ceiling.
posted by jrochest at 12:41 AM on May 3, 2013

If I needed to make a bunch of cheap beards, I'd go to a fabric shop and get a bunch of felt, fleece or furry fabric (take a look in the remnants area too). I'd use some paper as a template and make something that could either hook behind the ears or tie behind the head (imagine a how a cowboy bandit wears a bandana on his face). I'd make it roughly triangle shaped with a hole for the mouth (so it looks like a beard and moustache combo).

You could sell beards as part of your fundraiser! :)

I also think an over-the-top turban is acceptable wizard wear. Bathrobes of some kinds could also be used in a wizard costume. You could go thrift shopping for some snuggie type things too. Worn backwards, they look very wizardly. I love the Wizard Harry Dresden's hockey stick for a wizard staff.

Decorations for a wizard party could use dry ice for foggy misty punch, owl themed things, cauldrons, astrological signs/stars/etc, get some old bottles and use these labels to make wizard potion bottles. Halloweeny skulls are ok too.

If this is an adult only party, there's even a wizard themed drinking game but it seems pretty intense!
posted by dottiechang at 1:27 AM on May 3, 2013 [1 favorite]

Dribbly candles! No wizard's lab is complete without them. Pretty easy, buy a bunch of cheap candles and spend a bit of time getting the wax to dribble down the sides. Of course a successful wizard would buy his candles pre-dribbled to save time, but you're looking for the budget option.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 2:08 AM on May 3, 2013

This sounds like a lot of fun. Wizards hats are just cones. Experiment with making cones in paper, and then you will understand what goes into making one with another fabric. I suggest a thick felt or fleece, which you can glue if you don't sew. If you make one from paper first, to check the size, you can trace the outline of it onto another bit of paper and use that to make the pattern for a brim. Or you can just get a load of paper and make lots of cone hats. Either way, it would be fun to set up a table with various stars, glitter etc. and plenty of glue so that people can pimp their hats up.
Capes work best if they're a semicircle or even a full circle of fabric, with just a little cut away for the neckline.

I suggest not having an artefact from someone's actual belief system at your campy wizard party, though. People could take it the wrong way.
posted by Acheman at 4:59 AM on May 3, 2013 [1 favorite]

No party with wizards and alcohol is complete without playing Wizard Staff. Yeah, you could use some sticks as staffs, but...really?
posted by 3FLryan at 5:48 AM on May 3, 2013

Miracle Fruit.

I think if a bunch of wizards got together, they would probably talk about magic and share ancient secrets. So, get a giant roll of newsprint and, with your best calligraphy, create a giant scroll full of ancient secrets and include instructions for how to do a few "science magic tricks" like this. Have the necessary components for these mysterious old and powerful spells handy. You could also put some or all of it in one or more different kinds of code and ask your guests to help decode it, throw in some sections of unreadable runes that don't mean anything, and fill it out with miscellaneous science and mathematical proofs and philosophical ramblings. Antique the edges of the scroll paper a bit with some tea or coffee. No craft skills necessary really.
posted by steinwald at 7:05 AM on May 3, 2013

How do I make a wizard cloak? On the cheap?

Get friendly with some sheets and safety pins. Follow the instructions on this page for "How to make a chiton" - that's very "robe-y". Here is another set of instructions for making a cloak.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:16 AM on May 3, 2013

If you know anyone who is graduating this month and doesn't care about their gown afterward, they make a really good base for a wizard robe. You could use it plain or mark it up with fabric paint to put stars and moons and glow-in-the-dark stuff on it.

For the party planning stuff, google "harry potter party" or "wizard party ideas" and you can read thousands of pages of food/drinks/decoration ideas that folks all over the world have done. Pick a few that sound easy or awesome.
posted by CathyG at 9:56 PM on May 3, 2013

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