Saturday, March 16, 2013

Irish = Shamrocks

Happy St. Patrick's Day!  I know I am a day early, but Sundays are my day of rest.  And by rest I mean watching too many episodes of Downton Abbey (I'm still on season 2 - please no spoilers!) while cuddling with my dog on the couch.  This is usually followed by a trip to my Mom's house to visit with her, my Mom - Mom and my niece - hopefully for more cuddling.  Lately, if I'm lucky, the new kid on the block (my nephew) makes an appearance with his mama for some quality family dinner time. 

Anyway, back to Shamrocks.

Part of my job is to be festive.  For every single "holiday" that rolls around I do my best to roll out a new set of decorations and accents to force encourage everyone else to be festive. What better way to recognize the patron Saint of Ireland than shamrocks in a bouquet?  Certainly, there are a multitude of better ways, but I'm gonna stick with shamrocks.

My residents and I crafted these darling little centerpieces during the week and here is how:

  • Find a shamrock pattern.  I did a Google image search for "shamrock patterns".  Take your pick!
  • Copy & paste your chosen shamrock pattern in a PowerPoint document. You can use Word as well - I just find PowerPoint easier to use when working with images.  
  • Now you will need to re-size the shamrock into your small, medium & large patterns.  Your preference will dictate how large your biggest shamrock is and how tiny your smallest shamrock is.  My large shamrock is 3.75" across and about 2.75" high (not including the stem). The medium one is 3" x 2.25"  My smallest shamrock was 2" x 1.5". 
  • Print your pattern on cardstock or regular paper if you don't have cardstock on hand.  If you are really desperate (hey, we've all been there) you can put PowerPoint on "view show" and trace your patterns onto regular paper. 
  • Cut out your small, medium and large shapes and you have your patterns!
  • For each complete shamrock, you will need one shamrock of each size; preferably each should be a different pattern of scrapbook paper.
  • Find some adorable green patterned scrapbook paper.  Various patterns and shades of green work best!
  • Decide how many completed shamrocks you want for you bouquet - mine has three.  Trace and cut out the correct amount of shamrocks of each size.  For three completed shamrocks you will need three large, three medium and three small shamrocks.  
  • Using a glue stick (you can use white glue, it just takes much longer to dry) put a smear of glue in the center of the medium shamrock and glue it to the center of the large shamrock.
  • Put another smear of glue in the center of the small shamrock and adhere it to the center of the medium shamrock
  • Using a hot glue gun, glue thick gauge wire or a wooden skewer to the back of your completed shamrock.  
  • After all of your glue has had a minute or two to set, you can begin to fold in your small and medium shamrocks.  To do this, simply pinch eat set of the petals on the shamrock into each other.  Like so!
Be gentle!
  • Repeat this for as many shamrocks as you would like to include in your bouquet.  I stuffed my vase with some Spanish moss and arranged my pretty lil' shamrocks. You could use raffia, small stones or marbles or anything else that would help the "stem" of your shamrock flower stay in place. 
  • Step back and admire.
While these certainly are not the most intricate or ornate of St. Patty's centerpieces, they add a little touch of festive without too much effort and barely any cost.  If you are someone who crafts even semi regularly, you probably have many, if not all of these supplies on hand.

See the little bit of dimension the petal squeezing step adds?


Difficulty Rating = 4th Grader

As a re-fresher here is my wildly arbitrary craft rating system from easiest to most difficult:

4th Grader
Average Joe
Weekend Crafter
Stay at home Mom (seriously, have you seen what these women are capable of?) 

Hope everyone enjoys their green food/ beverage of choice and stays safe during whatever festivities you may be partaking in this weekend! 


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