How to make a wizard’s desk set: Parchment, quill, and ink
If you’ve tapped on random brick walls around town and you can’t quite find the secret gateway to Diagon Alley, you can make extra parchment, quill, and ink at home to tide you over until you find that entrance. (If you do, let us know where it is). Encourage the kids’ interest in books and stoke their imagination further by immersing them in the world they are currently reading. This project, for instance, is a fun Harry Potter experience. For this essential ‘Wizard’s desk set’, you will find most everything you need in your kitchen or pantry. It can be messy so choose and prepare a work area where you don’t mind a few spills to wipe up.
What you need:
-regular printer paper
-leftover coffee or tea
-2 baking pans or plastic bins that will fit your paper
-clothespins or clips
-large feathers (available at craft stores)
-blade or scissors
-berries (frozen is fine)
-mortar and pestle (if not bowl and spoon are fine)
Let’s get started.
Start by pouring leftover coffee or tea in one of the pans. Dip your paper, one by one, into the liquid and transfer flat onto the empty pan. Don’t leave it in the liquid too long or your paper will be too wet to pick up. String twine over your sink or a wet work area. Clip the dipped paper onto the string as cleanly as you can so it hangs without any creases or curls. Let dry. If parchment curls up around edges, weigh down with heavy books until ready to use. Now we need a quill to write with.
Choose a feather and hold it as if holding a pen. Note the highest point of your grasp that touches the feathers. With the side of a blade or scissors, scrape off any fluff below the noted point. We are merely clearing the tip of your quill for a better grip. Next, slice or cut about ¼” inch off the tip of the quill in an angle. Clean the inside of debris or extra material. Your’e done. But what’s a quill without ink?
In a mortar and pestle, mash about a cup of berries a little at a time. If you don’t have a mortar and pestle, you can muddle them in a cup or bowl with a spoon. Once the berries are a goopy mush, gently push the mash with the back of a spoon, through a strainer, over a bowl. Add about ¼ teaspoon of vinegar and ¼ teaspoon of salt. Mix well. Funnel or spoon your ink into a small jar with a secure lid for storage. Voila! You are ready to write a letter to send via owl post.
Since it will be a challenge to find a Quidditch match in Austin, why not catch the Texas Roller Derby Housecup this Saturday, October 3rd? The team members have been sorted and they have traded brooms for skates and chasers for jammers. No magic here however. It’s “full contact, no potions or wands.” If you haven’t been to a roller derby match, let this be your first one. It’s a whole lot of fun to watch. Saturday, October 3 at Thunderdome Austin 9402 United Dr. Austin, TX 78758. Doors open at 4:30. Tournament starts at 5 p.m. Tickets are $15 at the door, $5 for kids 12 and under. Click here for more information on the Roller Derby House Cup this Saturday or visit txrd.com for more information on the league and other tournaments.