Friday, April 22, 2016

S is for Shamrock

Today's Pinterest Challenge was suggested by my friend Lizzi at Considerings. It would have worked for "R" or "S", but "S" it is.  Here's the pin:

Simple materials: 1 sheet each of red, orange, yellow, green, blue and purple construction paper, a stapler, hot glue, and a button (which I did not know I needed because, as usual, I didn't read all the instructions).

The pinner said to cut the construction paper lengthwise into nine 1" strips (construction paper is typically 9" x 12"), then proceeded to elaborate on how to measure the strips by using a ruler and making a mark on the paper every inch and then joining the marks together using the ruler. I didn't think it was necessary not only to explain this process that everybody already knows how to do, but also to include a picture to illustrate the process. It made me feel like the pinner thought I was stupid or something.

I showed them, though; I used a scrapbooking cutting tool instead.

Nifty scrapbooking cutting tool.

One sheet of construction paper should yield exactly nine 1" strips, right? I lined the paper up very carefully in my paper cutter each time I made a cut, and every single time, I ended up with a tenth strip that was about 1/4" wide. Baffled, I measured the width of the construction paper, thinking it must be off, but it was exactly 9" wide. I never could explain it, unless something is really wrong with my cutter. It LOOKS fine, but what do I know? 

This gave me a horrible flashback to 9th grade Physical Science class. My teacher's name was Wiley Anderson, his hair was white and stood out all over his head, one of his eyes wandered, so you never knew where he was looking, and I was TERRIFIED of him. We had to have (and use) a slide rule for that class - no calculators. Every time he made us get our slide rule out he would remind us not to drop it (a minimum of two slide rules hit the floor each class), because that would make it "go all whoppyjaw." I never dropped it, but I also never learned how to use the damn thing and nearly failed the class.

But I digress.

The next step was to put the strips in rainbow order, green, blue, purple, red, orange, yellow. WHAT PLANET HAS RAINBOWS WITH THE COLORS IN THAT ORDER?! Not this one, so I put them in the RIGHT rainbow order and set aside one set of strips for the stem.


Much better.

Next was to slide each strip back an inch, then cut all the ends even with the green, which would be the longest (except it wasn't on mine, because ROYGBIV). I did this ONCE, then I wised up and cut one inch off all the oranges, two inches off all the yellows, three off the green, etc. Fold the shortest piece into a teardrop shape (purple on Earth, yellow in whatever galaxy this pinner lived in), then do the same with each of the other strips, then staple the ends together. Do it again, and you either have a heart or a shamrock leaf. Lather, rinse, repeat.

Trimming ends with another scrapbooking tool.

Teardrop shape #1

Heart or shamrock leaf. Your call.

When you have all four leaves stapled, shape them into a shamrock. Easy enough. Glue together with hot glue, but don't count on the photo illustration to help you, because IT WON'T. Same goes for the stem. A button is then glued into the center to hide the seams and hold the shamrock together. (Confession: when I first saw the button in the picture, I thought someone had made the most perfect blob of hot glue EVER.) I used a clear button I found in the basket of buttons where I keep all the replacement buttons provided by clothing manufacturers when you buy an article of clothing that has buttons. I KNEW those would come in handy some day!

My own version of a stem, because
the directions provided were very vague.

Button added.

Fake it 'til you make it.

The finished product:


It's a rainbow. It's a shamrock. It's a rainbow shamrock!

Not bad, especially after I re-wrote the directions.

Pinterest win.


  1. Replies
    1. Thanks! Amelia could do this easily. I think they'd look cuter just as hearts.

  2. It sure is pretty.

  3. Great finished product. This would be a fun craft to do with kids.

    Weekends in Maine

    1. Thanks! Holding all those ends together wasn't easy. It's definitely NOT a preschool craft!

  4. Nice improvisations! Turned out great.

    1. Thanks! I mean, really, how do you screw up rainbow order?

    2. Good question. It looks like we'll never know.

  5. Ohhhhh it's BEAUTIFUL! And as for getting an extra strip...maybe you needed to measure every 1" along the way... ;)

  6. Cute. It was fun picturing you undertaking the project...not bothering with the stinkin' instructions, flashing back to the wandering eye of Mr. Anderson. Your's is a colorful journey...not unlike your cute little shamrock here!

    1. I eventually read the directions; I'm just usually a little too late with it.
      I still feel a shiver when I think of that man!
      Thanks, friend!