Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Leprechaun Hat Pit Trap

With St Patrick's Day coming up, I was on a hunt for something fun to create with my son.  Many people have a tradition of making mischief on St Paddys, and I wanted to find some cute ways to "catch" the most famous of all Irish mischief makers...the leprechaun! And once again Disney's Family Fun came thru with a great idea.  This adorable up-cycled Leprechan hat makes a great centerpiece for your St Paddys dinner (and my corned beef and cabbage recipe makes a great meal too) as well as a cute project to do with your little ones.  To make it more fun, tell your kids this is a Leprechaun trap.  Leprechauns have big egos, so a giant version of their own hat is irresistible to them. Once they step on the false top, you'll have caught a 10-gallon prize.

Items needed:
Tall cylinder (such as an empty oatmeal container)
Green felt or green construction paper
Wood Glue
Gold spray paint
Paper shamrocks
Black construction paper
Yellow construction paper
Double sided tape
Paper sign

How to make it:

Leprechaun hat trap: step image Take recycled oatmeal container, and wrap it with green felt (or paper) secured with double-sided tape. Then cut a wide strip of black construction paper and wrap it around the bottom of the hat secured with double sided tape. Cut a square of yellow paper with the center cut out and tape it to the center of the black paper strip with the double sided tape. Cut a large circle out of green felt (or paper) 1 1/2" larger than the container to make a brim, and place the container on top (you don't want to attach it so that you can get the leprechaun out easily). Using the double sided tape, tape shamrocks randomly all over the hat and brim.  To make the trap, cut a hole in the lid (see image), then conceal it with a circle of green felt that will "give way when the leprechaun steps on it".

Since leprechauns love gold, crumble a piece of foil into a ball and spray paint it with the gold paint.  Place it on top of the trap door (as you need something lightweight to make sure it doesn't give way before the leprechaun comes).

Natural materials make these woodland creatures feel at home. Make a ladder from twigs held together with wood glue and place it leaning on the hat, making it an easy way for the leprechaun to reach the "gold".

Leprechauns love to break rules. Warning signs are sure to lure them in. You can make this out of a tent card (folded paper), left over cupcake decoration signs, etc with a cute message such as "Warning, dangerous ladder".

***As added fun, once your children go to bed on St Patrick's Day, "spring" the trap (push it open and remove the gold ball.  Leave some chocolate gold coins at the bottom, and when the kids wake up, make sure they check to see if they caught a leprechaun.  Unfortunately it will have escaped, but they will be delighted to find that it left behind some gold as well as a cute note from the sneaky leprechaun saying "maybe next year" or "can't catch me"!

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