This is a fun project to do with your kids for St Patrick’s Day that they will remember for a long time. The directions are detailed and easy to do and definitely worth the work!! I used to start talking about leprechauns at the beginning of March and would get them excited about “catching” one. Then I would let each of them paint an oatmeal container and decorate it anyway they wanted. The hardest part was coming up with a workable trap that worked well enough to satisfy my middle child’s analytical mind and I had to do this from memory of long ago but I think this will do. On St Patrick’s Day they would wake up to find the trap tripped, the candy gone and footprints and a trail of green glitter leading out the door. The leprechaun always did a lot of mischievous things while he was there and the kids had so much fun finding all of them. I always left a little leprechaun shoe and a hat behind but eventually my son pointed out that all the footprints were left by a shoe and one set should have been a bare foot. That was the last year I did it…
- green felt
- yellow/gold felt
- black felt
- gold chocolate coins
- 1 cheap sponge
- 1 oatmeal container with snap on plastic lid (large)
- twigs for ladder
- hot glue gun
Cut out all pieces from green felt except the buckle and the hat strip. Cut the buckle out of the yellow/gold felt and cut the hat strip out of the black.
Sew the small circle onto the hat crown by starting at any point on the circle and working your way around the circle.
Sew the large circle onto the bottom as shown in the first picture and when you’re done turn it over and cut out the center.
Sew the black band around the base of the hat and then add the buckle on top.
Line the shoe bottom up with one of the sides and start sewing it on the side of the shoe. It’s easiest to start from the back of the shoe and then work your way up to the front. The shoe bottom will only go to the part that curls up. After you sew the shoe bottom on start at the top of the shoe (the last picture) and sew from the point where my finger is and go all the way around the curled up part and around to the bottom where the bottom of the shoe is attached. Squeeze the two sides together where my fingers and attach to the bottom of the shoe. I added a buckle to the front of the shoe and you can see it in a picture at the top.
Cut a sponge using the pattern piece above. Moisten the sponge and then dip it in a washable paint and make footprints wherever you want. Remember that leprechauns can walk up cabinet doors and just about anywhere they want.
You can cover the oatmeal box with scrapbook paper or let your kids paint it and decorate it any way they want. When they are finished you will punch two holes in the side. Next you will punch a hole in the center of the plastic lid and one in the bottom of the container.
Run the cord through the two holes in the side of the container. Let one end hang down in the container and the other end will go through the plastic lid and tie a knot to secure the cord to the lid. Feed the other end through the bottom and tie a knot to secure it.
Cut a small notch on the top at the opposite side from the two holes. The cord that comes out the bottom is just to demonstrate to your kids how it works. The idea is that the leprechaun climbs the ladder to get into the container to get the gold candy coins that are inside. He uses the rope to climb out but as he pulls on it his weight pulls the plastic lid that is hanging over the side by the notch you cut up onto the top and if all works well it snaps into place and traps him. My son said that he didn’t think it would work because leprechauns have magical powers but I said they lose them when they’ve been outsmarted. I always left the candy in the trap and told the kids that the leprechaun must have gotten so flustered that he ran out the door and forgot them.
Take two twigs and cut them to equal length. Mine are a little crooked because I had to dig through snow to find them and my hands were getting cold. Cut ladder rungs from thinner twigs and then attach them with hot glue to the side pieces. I use wire cutters to snip twigs and that works really well. I added some jute twine around each step and tied knots in the back. This is really just for looks because the hot glue will secure them really well.