How to build a Leprechaun Trap

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I have a very adventurous and curious four year old. Most days this is something I’m extremely proud of. Other days it makes my job as “Mom” a little more difficult.

Last week my son attended Kindergarten roundup. At some point during the day he heard a little boy talking about building a “Leprechaun Trap”. This peaked my son’s interests and he came home, batted his long eyelashes at me, and asked if we could make one too.

I gave him my most enthusiastic, “Sure! Sounds like a lot of fun!” And then immediately Googled “Leprechaun Trap” because I had no idea what it was…

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After a little homework – and correct me if I’m wrong! – I discovered a Leprechaun Trap is a fun way to bring St. Patrick’s Day to life. You create a trap and bait it with gold, treasure, and other goodies, in hopes of catching a leprechaun.

I’m told by several elementary school parents this is a common homework assignment. So I thought I’d share what we came up with to save you some time in the future! (Or at least spark some creativity to create your own!) Below are the supplies we used, the directions we followed, and the template I created. Feel free to share it with other parents looking for some ideas!

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Here are the supplies we used. (You can pull up this post on your mobile phone or tablet and cross off each item while you shop!)

  • Construction paper (one piece of each color): black, white, red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple
  • Decorative 12″x12″ scrapbook paper (one piece – we used yellow polka dot paper)
  • Green tissue paper
  • Green glitter paper
  • Green poster board (22″x28″)
  • Small flower pot (painted black)
  • Chocolate gold coins (or any candy wrapped in gold foil)
  • Decorative straws (you’ll use these to make the ladder)
  • “Free Gold” sign (we got our free printable at Kick Ass Crafting)
  • Scissors, tape and a glue gun

Note: I bought these straws to make our ladder. They are super cute and I can’t wait to use them for other projects!

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Don’t be intimidated by my lengthy write-up – honestly, this didn’t take too long to make!

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  1. TRACE + CUT. Cut the green poster board in half (so you have two 22″x14″ pieces). Set the first half aside – you’ll need it to make the body of your hat. Using the second half, cut out a large circle (about 10″ in diameter) and a small circle (about 6″ in diameter). Take a black piece of construction paper and cut two long 8.5″ x 2″ strips of paper (these will be the band of your hat). Then, download and print my template (available here). Use the template to cut out a hat buckle using yellow construction paper.
  2. ROLL. Roll the first half of poster board into a tube and tape (on the inside and outside). This is the body of your hat.
  3. FOLD + CUT. Cut several slits (about 1″-inch deep) around the bottom of the tube. (Mine were spaced about 3/4″ to 1″ apart.) Fold the slits inward.
  4. GLUE. Glue the large green circle onto your decorative paper. This is the bill of the hat. Next, on the tube, put glue on the slits. Turn the tube upside down and press so it’s glued onto the bill of the hat.Lephrechaun Trap 04-2
  5. GLUE. Glue both black strips onto the bottom of the hat, about 1/2″ from the bottom. Once dry, glue the yellow buckle onto the front.
  6. CUT + GLUE. Using my template, draw a small shamrock onto the last circle of poster board. Cut out the shamrock. Flip the post board over and tape a small piece of green tissue paper over the shamrock hole. (This is your trap! Once a leprechaun steps on the tissue paper he’ll fall through and you’ll catch him inside the hat!)
  7. GLUE. Glue the final poster board circle onto the top of your hat.
  8. DECORATE. This is optional – but it looks so good! Using my template we cut four large shamrocks and three small shamrocks out of green glitter paper. Then we glued them all over the hat to decorate.Leprechaun Trap 05-2
  9. TRACE + CUT. Using my template, cut two small clouds and two large clouds out of white construction paper. Also cut an 8.5″ x 1/4″ strip out of the red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and purple paper.
  10. LINE UP. Line up and glue the ends of the colorful strips onto one of the large clouds.
  11. ALIGN. Align the ends of the strips onto one of the small clouds. Glue the ends down.
  12. GLUE. Line up and glue the second large cloud on top of the first large cloud, and the second small cloud on top of the first small cloud – so the strips are sandwiched in between.Lephrechaun Trap 06
  13. ATTACH. Attach the rainbow onto the top of the hat. Glue the bottom of the large clouds down first. Hold for a few seconds while the glue dries, then glue the small cloud down.
  14. FILL. Fill the black flower pot with the candy gold coins. Put the flower pot under the rainbow.
  15. MAKE + LEAN. Make a ladder using decorative straws. We didn’t use any sort of pattern, we just cut a straw into tiny pieces, then glued the tiny pieces between two other straws. Once dry, lean the ladder against your trap.
  16. ATTACH. Print (or make your own!) “Free Gold” sign. (We got ours here.) Tape it onto your hat.Lephrechaun Trap 07
  17. CUT + FOLD + BEND. If you want to make a rainbow tunnel leading to your trap (my son INSISTED we make one!) follow these simple steps: cut 1″ x  8.5″ strips of paper out of red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and purple paper. Fold the end of each strip in (about 1/2″). Tape one end onto the floor. Bend the paper into an upside down “U” and tape the other end onto the floor.
  18. CONTINUE. Continue to fold, bend, and tape each strip until you have a rainbow tunnel.
  19. TRACE + CUT. Using my template, trace and cut out approximately six clouds. Tape the clouds around your tunnel.
  20. ADD A PATH! Again – this is completely optional – but we cut a few more shamrocks out of green glitter paper and made a path under the tunnel to our trap. It looks pretty dang cool!

All in all, this took about one hour to make. (And that was with a lot of kid distractions – snacks, bathroom breaks, going to investigate truck noises outside…the usual.)

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I was skeptical how long this would hold my son’s attention, but he wakes up every single morning excited to check our trap! If anything, this project has really sparked his interest in St. Patrick’s Day!

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In case you missed it above, you can download my template here:

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Who Arted has plenty more St. Patrick’s Day Ideas! If you liked this I’m sure you’ll love the Rainbow Color Hunt, Lucky snack tags, or you can browse all my Paddy’s Day ideas here. Thanks for joining me today!

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  1. This is so adorable!! I am definitely pinning this on Pinterest so we can try it next year! Thank you for sharing!!

  2. Thank you Emily! Enjoy 🙂

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