I really have come to like St. Patrick’s Day, for a number of reasons. I love the green and making soda bread, and a good chunk of my family comes from Ireland. We actually have lords and knights and, I think, even some duchesses or princesses thrown in there. My family had castles there under the O’Carroll name. I know of at least two that are still standing and in operation, though not under my family’s ownership anymore. Sadly, we lost a lot of it to the Vikings. Slightly comical to say, but it’s true.
But who was Saint Patrick? Many believe he was Irish, but he was actually born British. When Patrick was 16 he was taken to Ireland by Irish raiders as a prisoner, where he spent 6 years in captivity, working as a shepherd. It was during this time that he turned to Christianity for solace and became a devout Christian. After 6 years, he believed he heard God telling him to escape. He then when back to Ireland, after they say he was prompted by an angel. Patrick then had 15 years of religious training and was ordained as a priest. He then believed he had the mission of ministering to Christians in Ireland and converting the rest. Visit the History Channel for more information on Saint Patrick and the day.
And how about some of these traditions? Many of the traditional St. Patrick’s Day meals are Irish in origin. Three-leaf shamrocks, or clovers, were believed to have been used by St. Patrick to teach the Irish about the Trinity – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. But why do we wear green? In part, it is to honor the Emerald Isle. The most common ancestry in the United States comes from Ireland. There are more, way more, Irish descendants in the United States than there are people in Ireland. One of the reasons why we wear green, though, according to the Christian Science Monitor, is that it is an American tradition started in the early 1700s, saying that wearing green makes you invisible to leprechauns, who would pinch anyone they saw not wearing green, because leprechauns weren’t always the cute creatures we see now. In folklore, they are sons of an evil spirit, degenerate fairies, “not wholly good, nor wholly evil”. So people began pinching those not wearing green to remind them that the leprechauns would pinch them if they didn’t wear green, and you don’t want to know what happens when they pinch you…
So today I give you your green! Don’t let that leprechaun pinch your little girls this year! Make this adorable little barrette for them.
*Edit 2/22/15 My photos for this post disappeared so I no longer have step-by-step photos for you, but hopefully it still makes sense.

St. Patrick’s Day, Cascading Barrette

The first thing we need to do is gather supplies. Go ahead and plug in your glue gun so it will be warm when we’re ready for it.
My supplies:
green felt
manilla folder or cardstock (something sturdy)
various green & white ribbons and yarns, I also included green eyelash yarn and green curling ribbon
alligator clip
fabric and paper scissors
glue gun and glue sticks
needle and green thread (I used white because that’s what I found first)

Step 1: Draw a half heart on the folded edge of the folder and cut it out to use as a template. I made mine about an inch from the center indent to the pointy tip.

Step 2: Using your template, cut out three felt hearts. I just held the heart onto the felt and cut around it, but you could also trace it onto the felt, if you find that easier.

Step 3: Grab your needle and thread. I used about a 24″ length (probably too much), thread it onto your needle, double it and knot the end. Then string the hearts onto the thread. Once all hearts are on the thread, pull snug to form a shamrock shape, and knot to secure it on the back side.
Step 4: Cut 8-10″ lengths of your yarns and ribbons. Be sure to cut your curling ribbon longer so you have length for it to curl up. You can always trim the ends later. I used 15 strands total. I really like the texture and visual appeal that the eyelash yarn and the curling ribbon give it.Step 5: Once you get them cut, take a 4″ piece of thread to knot around one end to secure them all together. I used yarn. Thread would have given less of a bump.

Step 6: Put a bit of glue on the back center of your shamrock and put your knotted ribbon ends in the center of it. Careful with your fingers. That glue is hot!! I burnt mine a couple times. The back of mine isn’t very pretty, but no one sees that side.Step 7: So then we cut out a small circle of felt. Just big enough to cover the ends and touch the shamrock on the sides of the ribbon, but not be seen from the front. Then put some hot glue on the ribbons and stick the circle to it.

Step 8: Put some hot glue on the back side of your alligator clip. Make sure it will open the right way. Also be careful not to glue it closed or burn your fingers. Then place the clip on the back of your circle. I had to place mine below the knot in the ribbons, because it was too bumpy and the clip is curved.

Step 9: Then turn it over and carefully place a small bit of hot glue on the back of your rhinestone and place in the front center of your shamrock.

Step 10: All that’s left is to gently curl the curling ribbons with scissors and trim to the length you want.

My daughter loves her barrette. She has been begging me to make or buy her something to wear for St. Patrick’s Day, so she was thrilled when she came home from school and I had this made for her. She actually wanted to wear it today!

I would love to hear what you think of this tutorial, and if you make one I’d be thrilled to see your photos! You can post a link in the comments to your blog where you posted your photos, or you can post a photo on my Facebook page.
Come back next Tuesday for another March-themed D.I.Y. to celebrate my favorite month, which just happens to be National Craft Month!


DIY St. Patrick’s Day Cascading Barrette
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