Saturday, February 28, 2009

Honeydukes - Creating the Store

This is a picture of the completed store. I had gone to a lot of trouble collecting the candy for the store. I knew this had the potential to be really amazing if we did it right. This is really my home office in my kitchen. It was Evie's idea to use it for the candy store. Brilliant. Except that we had to remove a lot of books and binders to make space for the candy. And then what to do with the computer?

I used some purple fabric with stars and moons that my friend Janet brought over to make curtains. This way I only had to remove the books from some of the shelves. Luckily we were making a restricted library so I had a place to stack all the books from my office. I pinned the fabric over some tension curtain rods we already had and placed them inside the upper shelves. We then tucked the curtains onto the shelves to give the impression that perhaps this is where we kept our candy backstock.

When the cabinets were built the cabinet maker made a back panel to go in the middle. We ended up not using it but had stored it in the basement. We realized it would be the perfect way to hide the monitor, lamp and phone etc. I painted it with primer intending to turn it into a chalkboard. When I discovered the black chalkboard paint had to cure for three days I decided to simply use the sidewalk chalk directly on the primer. We needed a sign that explained there was a limit of one per "customer" anyway so the kids in the front of the line didn't take all the chocolate frogs or whatever. So the sign served two purposes. We printed the Honeydukes logo on 8 1/2" x 11" sticker paper that I adhered to the sign. My husband screwed a piece of hardware to the back which then went under the lip of the overhead cabinet to secure the sign in place.

The day of the party we removed the printer, covered the computer with some fabric and moved the final candy jars into place.

I happened to have a lot of glass jars with clamping lids that I thought would work okay. But I didn't have enough and some of the candy would be too big. So I headed to my favorite place, the Goodwill on Dearborn. For a few dollars a piece I found large glass candy jars that were missing their lids. I was able to use some vases I already had for the Cow Tales and Gummy Worms. I already had the icy looking candy dish that was perfect for the Ice Mice.

Originally I thought I'd make labels for each jar. My husband had the idea to make fold over cards to place in front of the jars. In the end it was a lot easier and made it really look professional. We designed the cards together in Photoshop using a Honeydukes logo image we got off the Internet. We printed them 4 up onto matte photo paper and used a paper cutter to cut them.

A big challenge with the Honeydukes concept was how to price the candy and structure that activity to keep it somewhat simple. I didn't want the kids to get one of every kind because I knew their parents would kill me if they came home with that much candy. I also wanted those expensive pirate doubloons back so I could reuse them. We decided that each child would get only 1 of each type of coin. Then it made sense to "price" the candy from the most expensive to least expensive. I wanted every child to get a chocolate frog, ice mice and Bertie Bott's Every Flavor Beans. So like at the grocery store I made them 3 for 1 Galleon since the Galleon is the most valuable coin. Since there was a limit of one per "customer" each child simply turned in their gold Galleon and got one of each. Then we let them pick 4 of the candies on the left for their silver Sickle. And pick 5 of the candies on the lower right in exchange for their bronze Knut. The signs were labeled with the "prices".

Still the whole candy picking was chaotic. Understandably they were very excited. We had to have them make single file lines on each side. Professor Dumbledore helped the kids with the candies on the right while I helped the kids on the left side.

I didn't account for the fact that it would be hard for the kids to decide. But maybe that was part of the fun.

Candies on the left side.

Candies on the right side.

The sign. If I'd had more time perhaps I would have written something about the pricing but this was the best I could do at the time. The wood thing was used to collect the coins. We got it at Christmas gift exchange this year. At the time we had no idea what we would do with it.

The fold over candy labels up close.


  1. For future reference:

    in the original books (that is, the British versions) Dumbledore ate Lemon Sherbets, apparently quite a different sweet to a Lemon Drop. (Lemon Sherbets:

    But if you're working with American kids it might confuse them I guess.

    Amazing job though! I am planning on making a Honeydukes Sampler for my sister for Christmas (I'm 21 and she's 15 and we're both die-hard fans). My husband caught wind of the idea and now he wants one too.

  2. I'm doing a Harry Potter party for my daughter this weekend, and I just can't work out how to do the sweets. We have about 5 different kinds, so they can have some of each, but I am not sure if we should try and do a 'sale', or just package them up as a leaving gift.

  3. Are you wiling/able to share the candy label file? I don't know how to create them!