Create a fun St. Patrick’s Day tradition by making a leprechaun trap! Made with an empty tissue box and simple supplies, this easy kids craft will test both your craft and trap making skills!
Leprechauns can’t resist free gold, so we’ve created a rainbow path that leads to a pile of treasure under the rainbow! Have the kids sketch out their own leprechaun trap idea, or follow along with our simple tutorial to make one of your own.
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How to Make a Leprechaun Trap
- Empty tissue box (or shoe box, cereal box, etc)
- Green wrapping paper
- Pipe cleaners (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and purple)
- Cotton balls
- Construction paper (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and purple)
- White cardstock (or white construction paper)
- Black Sharpie marker
- Paper straws (green or green striped)
- Gold glitter cardstock
Check Out The Video Tutorial:
Step 1: Find what you need
- Gather your supplies and materials.
Step 2: Make the trap base
- Use a craft knife (or scissors) to cut out about 1/3 of the plastic from the top of the tissue box.
- Wrap the box like a present in green wrapping paper.
- Cut an 'X' shape through the wrapping paper, above where you cut the plastic out (you should be able to gently feel where that is if you can't remember).This is where your leprechaun will become trapped!
Step 3: Create and attach a rainbow
- Cut off about 2 inches from a red pipe cleaner and bend the rest into a rainbow shaped arch.
- Bend the orange pipe cleaner inside the red arch and cut off any extra. Repeat for the remaining colours of the rainbow.
- Pinch together the ends of the pipe cleaners, making sure the colours are lined up properly. Then add a line of hot glue across the pipe cleaner ends to hold them together. Hold the pipe cleaners together until the glue is mostly dry. Add more glue if needed. Repeat for the other end of the rainbow.
- Add a generous dot of hot glue to each corner of the box on the side where the trap is. Place the rainbow pipe cleaner ends in the glue and hold it until it stands on its own.
- Use hot glue to attach three cotton ball clouds to each side of the rainbow.
Step 4: Make a rainbow path
- Cut coloured construction paper into strips that are roughly 2.5 inches long by 1/2 inch wide.
- Use glue tape to attach the paper strips to the top of the box. Start at the end of the box and create a rainbow coloured path towards the "X".
Step 5: Create and attach the 'Free Gold' sign
- Cut a piece of white cardstock into a 5.5 inch by 1.5 inch rectangle. Then cut out triangles from the short ends.
- Outline the sign with a black marker and write "FREE GOLD" across it.
- Use glue tape to attach a paper straw to each end of the sign on the back.
- Carefully poke a hole, using scissors, on each corner of the box (at the beginning of the rainbow path). An adult must do this step.
- Slide the straws into the holes until they reach the bottom of the box.
Step 6: Add the finishing touches
- Cut a strip of green paper to be approximately 5.5 inches by 2.5 inches. Fold it back and forth accordion style to make stairs.
- Attach one end of the "stairs" to the top of the box in front of the red path marker.
- Cut "gold coins" out of gold coloured glitter cardstock. We cut out close to 20 circles that have a diameter between 1/2 and 3/4 inch.
- Place the gold coins leading up the stairs and down the rainbow path. Pile the rest of the coins under the rainbow.Now the leprechaun can fall and be trapped in the box as he goes for the treasure!
- Your leprechaun trap is complete!Set it out the night before St. Patrick's Day and see what mischief awaits.
- There are certain elements that every leprechaun trap should have (more on that below!), but it’s easy to change your design. Use all kinds of different craft supplies (buttons, sequins, pom poms, popsicle sticks, and more!) to create your own.
- Lay out the rainbow path on top of the box before you glue it down to get a feel for the spacing.
What is the point of a leprechaun trap?
A leprechaun trap is sort of like the St. Patrick’s Day version of leaving out milk and cookies for Santa… except it’s a little more devious, because you’re attempting to trap a leprechaun! Leprechauns are mischievous creatures from Irish folklore. Legend says that you’ll be granted three wishes when you catch one!
Kids can celebrate St. Patrick’s Day by making this festive craft. Set out the leprechaun trap the night before (March 16) and kids might wake up to find signs that leprechauns have visited. Make sure they know that leprechauns will only come if everyone is asleep. (No peeking!)
What do you put in a leprechaun trap?
There are four different parts to the trap that you’ll need to include:
- Bait: things to entice the leprechaun, like gold coins and treasure, or even candy and treats. (Skittles are rainbow coloured, wrapped Rolos look like gold coins, and Lucky Charms are obviously irresistible!)
- Access to the trap: stairs or a ladder (make one out of pipe cleaners or popsicle sticks!) that the leprechaun can use to access the trap.
- The trap itself: we made a trap door in the floor, but there are lots of other ways to trap a leprechaun. Try making a basket that falls on the leprechaun as he goes for the treasure!
- Entice the leprechaun with decorations they’re known to enjoy, such as shamrocks, the colour green, and rainbows. (After all, you find the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow!)
What is the leprechaun supposed to leave?
Kids MIGHT see signs that the leprechaun has visited the trap on St. Patrick’s Day morning. Sometimes the leprechaun leaves a note. Other times you can see little green footprints near the box.
The feisty creatures are hard to catch. Don’t be surprised if the gold coins are missing or moved around! If you’re really lucky, they might leave a trail away from the trap to some kind of a treasure – like chocolate coins or a favourite candy or treat.
Build a leprechaun trap and leave it out the night before St. Patrick’s Day to see what shenanigans have occurred!
Here’s even more St. Patrick’s Day ideas:
Our book Low-Mess Crafts for Kids is loaded with 72 fun and simple craft ideas for kids! The projects are fun, easy and most importantly low-mess, so the clean up is simple!