Before I really get going on this post, there are a few things I need to say.  This is for me, really, more than for you, but it just needs to be said.

Having 3 kids is very different from having 2.  Having a 2-year-old and an infant is a busy business.  Therefore, I do not currently have time/capacity for many things such as, but not limited to: perfection, tiptoeing into a sleeping baby’s room to hunt for the camera instead of my iPhone for pictures, sweet photo editing, wiping my table off a second time after the kids have a second go at breakfast, glue, craft supply runs, pretty much any sort of planning, or manicures.  I love to make things and I really love to post about them and share, but there have been lots of things getting in the way of that, largely my need for everything looking tip-top.  What it comes down to is that I would rather chronicle these fun times with my kids and the enjoyment I have gotten from my crafting than miss out on all of it because my pictures don’t look as good as the ones on someone else’s blog.

I feel better.  Thank you.

Now for the shamrocks.  Today is the first snow day of the year, which is complete madness in Michigan.  It is also my first snow day as an adult because I now work only in schools.  There was a combination of excitement and panic when I saw the name of my school for today pop up on the school closings list.  An extra day home with the kids – awesome…. or not.  What on earth will we do??

The baby was up super early, so he took an early nap.  After wowing the kids with the mystery of helping Mommy clean the kitchen with their very own magic erasers, I decided to take advantage of the relative calm and make a project that has been swimming in my head for a while.  A simple shamrock banner for the kitchen.

Our kitchen is the sunniest room in our home.  I love that room and I love the windows.  They make for a nice display area for banners and such, even if it makes for difficult photographing because the light basically only comes from one direction.

Here is a brief tutorial.  There are SO many ways to jazz this up.  I will mention a few as I go along.

I used green construction paper (that super cool glittery scrapbook paper from Michael’s would be great, too), scissors, a borrowed stapler (thank you, Jenni!), a needle and thread.

First, cut the construction paper along the short side to make 4 strips.  You will use 3 1/2 strips per shamrock.  My strips were about 1/2 – 3/4 inches wide.  The width didn’t matter much to me, nor did exact uniformity.  Depending on what you are doing with your shamrocks, you may want to consider this a bit more than I did.

You will be using three heart shapes to make each shamrock.  For each heart, take one strip, fold it in half and staple (or glue, tape, bubble gum… whatever works for you) about an inch up from the fold.  Repeat until all three hearts are started.

Now flip the unstapled ends of paper back on each side to create a heart.  You can either create three separate hearts and attach them later or just hang on a minute and use one staple for all three “leaves” and the stem.

Let’s take a break for a moment here to discuss my slowed cognitive processing, shall we?  Sluggish, let me tell you.  It has just occurred to me that folding the paper into a “v” and bending the two ends in to make the top and stapling there would probably be easier.  Duh.  Moving on…

To make the stem, I used one half strip of paper.  I grabbed the ends together and then sort of jauntily folded a stem shape.  Put all three leaves together and place the ends of the stem piece on either side of this grouping and staple to complete your shamrock.

I also made one four-leaf clover.  You know, for good luck and all.  ( :

Benjamin was watching me and insisted that I get out some orange paper.  Orange is his absolute favorite color.  Since orange is also a St. Patrick’s Day color, I just cut a few strips of it to make little swirls to put in between the shamrocks to offset them a bit.  I think little pom-poms would look super cute, too.  And this would be a fun project made from felt.  But cutting felt just seems more time-consuming and when that baby is sleeping, this Momma has to fly.

Once all of your shapes are complete, you can use a needle and thread to get them ready to display.  I just grabbed the end of a spool of white thread because the color will not show anyway where I hang the garland.  Fishing line or clear thread would also work well.  Thread the shapes onto the garland, hang it up and slide the shapes into place for display.

I’m not gonna lie.  I kind of think they look like broccoli.  But I conquered a craft and still like them… even if they are veggie-like.

If you make one, please let me see it so I can see what typical cognitive processing and perhaps a little planning ahead can produce. ( ;