From leprechaun beards to shamrock hats, a few simple crafts can turn you from a spectator into a participant at a St. Patrick’s Day parade or party.
“Kids especially like something they can wave, and to join in on the festivities,” said Joy Howard, associate editor of FamilyFun magazine.
The crafts should be easy because St. Patrick’s Day doesn’t have a big build-up like Christmas, said Marianne Canada, the host of HGTV.com’s Weekday Crafternoon series (www.hgtv.com/weekday-crafter
“You don’t want to invest a whole lot of time and money into that day, but you want to do something,” she said.
Here are some craft ideas, beginning with something silly: the leprechaun beard – a twist on the ubiquitous mustache on a stick.
Start by printing (or eyeballing) FamilyFun’s online beard template from March 2013, at www.parents.com/familyfun-magazine.
Cut that shape out of faux fur and a piece of corrugated cardboard (with the flutes running vertically). Glue the fur to the cardboard. Add a small amount of glue to the end of a bamboo skewer and insert it into a center flute of the cardboard cutout.
Use different types and colors of faux fur (green is good) and devise your own beard shapes for variety, Howard said.
She also recommends decorating cheap plastic sunglasses with green faux fur and attaching them to a skewer. Or decorate sunglasses with washi tape or duct tape in various patterns and colors.
“Furry green glasses – now that is fun and whimsical,” Howard said.
From FamilyFun’s current issue comes this idea: the Glad Hatter, made from a dinner-size paper plate. Small children can decorate these paper hats with paint, markers, crayons or glitter.
To make the hat, draw a circle 1¾ inches from the edge of the plate. Fold the plate in half and draw half of a shamrock shape along the fold inside the circle, with the base of the shamrock touching the circular line you drew. Cut out the shamrock shape (not its base) and the rest of the circle, to make a head hole. Bend the shamrock up. Widen the head hole as needed. Decorate.
Here’s one to carry: FamilyFun’s Spinning Shamrock pinwheel, featured in its current issue. Download the online template and cut the shape from double-sided scrapbook paper. Fold an edge of each leaf section as marked on template. Press a tack through the center of the pinwheel and into the side of a pencil’s eraser, leaving space so the paper can turn freely. Blow on the side for best spin.
The final craft – felt shamrocks – is versatile and provides a pretty way to wear green on St. Patrick’s Day.
“Once you know how to make these shamrocks, then when we get to spring you can make them in different colors and have a bouquet of flowers,” Canada said.