I love an excuse to decorate my fireplace mantel! Any holiday or season change will suffice. This year we have such a small gap between Valentine’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day and Easter but that won’t stop me. The Valentine’s mantel came down on Feb 15th and up went my St. Pat’s decor. I kept it simple this year as it won’t be up for very long. Easter is nice and early this year with Good Friday falling on March 25th.
To decorate my St. Patrick’s Day mantel, I went with a simple green theme. I used a variety of items from around my house but crafted a few small touches to kick it up a notch. I used a fake potted plant, a variety of candles & candle holders, a vase and a green picture frame.
To add a little bit of colour to my mantel, I cut out a 4×6″ piece of rainbow scrapbook paper to put in my green picture frame. To give it a little bit o’ Irish, I added a shamrock cut-out. This was a scrap from my shamrock garland which I’ll explain below. I used a bit of double-sided tape to attach it to the rainbow paper and put it in the frame.
This garland was a cinch to make. I used a few handy tools to create this which made it go a little quicker but this can still be made by hand. My secrets are a Cricut Explore Air and my trusty Husqvarna sewing machine.
I pulled up a shamrock template in the Cricut software and sized it to 3×3″ (it worked out a little bit longer on the side with the stem). I also did up some circles that were 2×2″ for the coins.
I pulled out a few pieces of cardstock from my scrapbooking collection. Two of them were shiny green, one was embossed with little polka dots and I had a piece of yellow-gold for the coins. I suggest using double-sided cardstock or at least one with green on both sides. My shiny green papers were only shiny on one side but still green on the other. Your garland will inevitably spin and sway wherever you hang it and having green on both sides keeps it festive!
With three types of green paper, I cut out 5 shamrocks from each with the Cricut. This gave me 15 shamrocks. If your paper isn’t double-sided, simply cut out twice as many shamrocks and you can sew them together. I cut out 14 gold coins from the yellow cardstock.
You can very easily use a shamrock stencil or even a cookie cutter to draw an outline onto your paper and simply cut by hand; the Cricut just speeds up the process a little.
Next, I pulled out my sewing machine. I opted for a cream-coloured thread as I didn’t want green thread across my gold coins. Set your stitch length a little bit longer than normal so you don’t perforate your paper shamrocks and coins – I set it to 4. You don’t need to change any other settings. Holding your ends, start sewing with nothing in the machine to make your tail. Slide in a shamrock to stitch in and keep going to make more of your string. Next, slide in a coin, pull through to make a line and move onto the next shamrock. Keep going until you’ve finished your garland. Now it’s ready to put on display! If you are just hanging it as I did, you can trim your tails – if you want to tie it to something, you’ve got the ends to do it with.
The sewing part can probably be done by hand if you don’t have a machine but it may prove a bit more difficult. I’ve never attempted it it so let me know how it goes.
To store your garland, wrap it around a piece of cardboard to keep it from getting tangled.
How do you decorate your house for St. Patrick’s Day?
Looking for more great ideas on crafts, activities and food to celebrate St. Patricks Day: check these out.