homemade st. patrick’s day shamrocks

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stained glass shamrocks st. patricks day | teachmama.com

These St. Patty’s Day ‘stained glass’ shamrocks are  lucky-for-us because we’re the lucky ones who get to see them every day!

They’re sooo pretty on our windows–really brightening up the rainy, gray March days when the light shines though the ‘stained glass’ tissue paper!

And the shamrocks are so ridiculously easy that even the most un-crafty crafter can make ’em.

They get little fingers cutting, cutting, cutting (which is super fine motor skill work!), and the best part? Sticking everything on clear contact paper. My little leprechauns loooove playing with clear contact paper, and I’m happy because it’s a break from sometimes-messy glue.

So a big top o’ the morning to you.  Now get craftin’.

  • Stained Glass St. Patty’s Day Shamrocks: I took the idea from our Valentine’s Day Hearts, and ran with it St. Patty’s Day style.

Maddy made something very similar way back when she was teeny, and I followed the pattern with some modifications.

The Shamrock Stained Glass Pattern that we used is here, and you can download both the circle and square pattern as a pdf.

Check it out: shamrock stained glass patterns

All you need to make these are:

shamrock stained glass teachmama.com

If you have green cellophane from leftover goodie bags or anything greenish that the light can shine through, then you can add that to the mix as well.

We had two random Colorform-type shamrocks that we once used to decorate the windows; since we didn’t have the whole set, we used them too.

We also used a green shiny bow and some other shiny pretty ribbons we found in our craft bag.

The night we did these last week, I asked who was up for making confetti and stained glass shamrocks, and Maddy, Owen, and Cora were totally game.

shamrock stained glass teachmama.com

shamrock stained glass teachmama.comOwen holds the shamrock pattern on the contact paper so I could cut the right sized pieces.

I said, Remember the beautiful Stained Glass Hearts that decorated our windows for Valentine’s Day?  We’re going to make Stained Glass Shamrocks to step up our St. Patty’s Day decorations.  Plus, it’s so rainy and gross out, we need something to make us smile when we look outside.

Each kiddo was equipped with a pair of scissors and a couple sheets of tissue paper.  And then we cut. And cut. And cut.  And cut and cut and cut.  Little tiny squares, little pieces of ‘confetti’.


shamrock stained glass teachmama.com

shamrock stained glass teachmama.comOne finished shamrock and a bowl of ‘confetti’ that we used to decorate it.

We tried to keep one color in each bowl, but it wasn’t perfect.  I just wanted the kids to be able to choose colors if they’d like, rather than have all the pieces in one big jumble. Plus, the sorting factor is important, too. . .

shamrock stained glass teachmama.com

While Maddy, Owen, and Cora cut their squares, I cut out the shamrock stained glass patterns ‘frames’ out of construction paper.

After the pieces were cut, Owen helped me measure how much clear contact paper we’d need for each Stained Glass Shamrock–we needed two pieces: one for the back and one for the front.

The contact paper acts as the ‘glue’ for the little pieces of tissue paper confetti. We peeled the contact paper and put one shamrock pattern on top.  Then we added confetti and sealed it with a second piece of contact paper.

shamrock stained glass teachmama.com

shamrock stained glass teachmama.comCan you see the face in Owen’s shamrock? Eyes, nose, mustache, and mouth?


shamrock stained glass teachmama.com

Once everything was cut and ready to go, the kids got rockin’ and rollin’.  They loved being able to choose what pattern to use–shamrock in a circle or square–and then holding their creation up to the light, imagining what it would look like when the sunshine shone through.

We talked about how the shiny, fancy bows and ribbons look pretty when the shamrock was flat on the table, but when we held it up to the light, it looked like big black boxes (or lines, if the ribbons were uncut) through their work of art.  Just a  quick, totally impromptu, hands-on lesson about the differences between how light moves through tissue paper, green plastic, and other materials.

I found it funny that Maddy particularly loved trimming the contact paper along the edges; it reminded me of how so many teachers (myself included!) like to trim the edges of a newly-laminated poster at school.  . .

So that’s it–just a quickie craft that got Maddy, Owen, and Cora moving their fingers, playing with colors, and experimenting with the ways that light shine through different materials.

Now donning our windows and some of our doors, the shamrocks make me smile and will surely be pieces we put up year after year.  Happiest of happy St. Patty’s Day to you!


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