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Offer a warm Irish welcome with this
St Patricks Decoration, and enjoy a little savin' o' the green by using recycled materials!

St Patrick's decoration craft photo
(click here for a larger
St Patricks Decoration craft image)
Have you ever noticed that a shamrock's leaves are shaped like little hearts? Well, this vintage-look
St Patricks Decoration is assembled from empty heart-shaped candy boxes left over from Valentine's Day. It's the miracle of green paint and the luck o' the Irish, of course.

One of the fun things about this craft is creatively embellishing it. Make it more festive with rubber stamps, stickers, glitter or whatever you have that is green. We were a little conservative because we liked the look of just the tiny green scallop fringe around the outside. By all means, try paper, ribbon or embroidered fringe around your St Patricks Decoration!.

With the FREE Vintage Image Download, we gave you a shamrock stencil design, in case you want to add some painted green or glitter shamrocks among the vintage images.

Materials for this St Patricks Decoration

  • Crafts & Supplies at joann.com!
    Vintage Images (FREE PDF download) printed on matte or glossy photo paper.
  • Two (2) heart-shaped cardboard candy boxes, 7" high, 7" wide, and about 1" deep. (see Tips).
  • Green nubby trim, 96" (see Tips).
  • Green ribbon, 36".
  • Spray paint, white primer and flat green (see Tips).
  • Craft paint, light green.
  • Varnish or polyurethane, liquid or spray.
  • Natural sea sponge.
  • Wide brush for varnish.
  • Tacky craft glue (like Alene's) or spray adhesive.
  • Hot glue gun.
  • Scissors or paper cutter.
  • Hole punch (1/4" hole).


  1. St Patricks Decoration, step 1Start with the two cardboard candy boxes. Empty them carefully, eating quickly and discarding any chocolates you don't like. Bury the little wrapping papers so no one knows you just ate two boxes of chocolate. If the top trays are embossed, rub the embossing as flat as you can with a bone folder, use spray adhesive to cover the tops with heavy paper, and trim off the excess. You should now have four heart-shaped trays.

  2. St Patricks Decoration, step 2On one of the trays, draw a line vertically down the center. Measure and draw a line 1" in from the outside edge, ending at the center line. Cut out this shape, which will be the stem of your shamrock.

  3. St Patrick's Decoration, step 3Lay three trays and the stem face-down on wax paper, with the edges overlapping and the bottom points of the hearts just touching. one by one, glue the edges together with the hot glue gun. Let the glue dry completely.

  4. St Patrick's Decoration, Step 4Spray paint both sides of the decoration with white primer, letting it dry between coats.
  5. Punch two holes in the top rim of the top tray, for your hanging ribbon.

  6. St Patrick's Decoration, step 5Spray paint both sides of the decoration green, letting it dry between coats (see Tips). Use the sea sponge to dab on a mottled pattern of green craft paint over the entire front surface.
  7. Trim the vintage images and arrange them on the decoration. When you like the arrangement, glue them on with spray adhesive or tacky craft glue. Be aware that moist craft glue may buckle the image paper, so you will want to apply even pressure with a flat weight while the glue dries. (Alternatively, you can decoupage the images on with decoupage medium.) Add other flat embellishments, such as stickers or rubber stamps.
  8. Brush or spray on several coats of varnish or polyurethane, letting it dry between coats.
  9. St Patrick's Decoration, Step 6
  10. Use the hot glue gun to attach the fabric trim around the entire outside edge of the decoration. You'll have to cut the trim carefully to fit where the shamrock leaves meet.
  11. Embellish your St Patricks Decoration further with glitter, buttons, bows or all things green. Thread the green ribbon through the holes in the top, add a sprightly bow, and hang your decoration on the front door!


  • We chose the most common heart-shaped Valentine candy box size we could find: 7" high, 7" wide, and 1" deep. The box should be entirely cardboard, not the molded plastic kind. If the top of the box is embossed, add a layer of heavy paper with spray adhesive over the top and trim it.
  • Our nubby trim (what Martha Stewart calls Small Scallop-Loop Fringe) came from Jo-Ann's Fabrics, and it was bright green with tiny balls every 1/4". You may find something you like better, like gold braid, fringe or sequins. Just keep it small-scale, because it has to get into some very tight places where the shamrock leaves come together. 96" of trim is just enough to go around the entire perimeter of the four 7"-wide candy boxes. If your boxes are larger, measure around them before you buy your trim.
  • White primer spray paint is essential for this St Patricks Decoration. The primer is necessary for covering the red and printing on the candy boxes. Also, the primer seals the cardboard so the addition of other paints and glue do not swell or buckle the boxes.
  • We chose to spray-paint the decoration a flat medium green because we like the even coverage of spray paint. Once your white primer has dried, you can brush on green craft paint or enamel, if you prefer.
  • For your St Patricks Day trivia-trove, "Erin Go Bragh" means "Ireland Forever," and real shamrocks have three leaves, not four.
Don't forget: If you have more empty heart-shaped candy boxes (why stop with eating just two?), take a look at our Valentine Clock craft!

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