The Great Hall was set up in my dining room. It's not a very large space, so the Sorting Ceremony had to be located in the coat closet. I borrowed a plain wooden stool from a friend. I had been given the Sorting Hat for Christmas so the basics were taken care of. But for this party, nothing could be that simple.
I purchased a black flat sheet to hang inside the closet to give a nice background. Then I bought a roll of craft paper and hand wrote the Sorting Hat's song from the Sorcerer's Stone book, which was more complicated than it sounds! I measured out and drew guide lines for each line of script, drew a center line, counted to the center of each line of the song and wrote it out from the middle to each edge so that it would be perfectly centered, then went over the pencil with green marker, then erased all of the pencil marks and guide lines. Whew! Then I rolled up the ends and attached dowels to hang it on the inside of the closet door like a giant scroll.
The manner in which everyone was to be sorted was to draw a slip of paper with a house name written on it and they would be given a tie in those house colors! I found a cheap tin half-bucket at a hobby shop and spray painted it gold.
Then I took pieces of parchment paper and cut them into little squares with scalloped pinking shears. I used ornate rubber stamps with the initials of each house to stamp the slips and then hand write the full name of the house under the initial.