Crafty Green Shenanigans

Top o’ the day, friends!

Here is a brief, life-of-Alison recap:

  • It is now March, and probably colder than it was in January
  • It snowed today. Again. Always.
  • Groundhogs are fuzzy little liars (even Chuck from my hometown in Staten Island, who I am highly partial to).
  • In the world of my “day job” every miserable government grant ever invented is due yesterday, and I have to write them all forever.

But inside my humble Victorian abode? It’s St. Paddy’s Day party time! Bring on the green and the Irish pride and the whiskey and the beer. Dear lord, please bring on the whiskey and the beer. And the glue gun – maybe at the same time!

The antidote to all the unpleasant life circumstances – including my continued home décor spending diet in the name of a closer- to-balanced household budget, is crafting green things. In fact, I think the budgeting may even be, dare I say, sparking my creativity!  Let’s recap.

In the hazy moments between grants and kiddo snow days and bouts of kiddo winter strep throat, I’ve made:

  • 2 Irish-inspired wreaths for under $4 a piece
  • 2 St. Patrick’s Day garlands
  • 18 recycled, fabric-covered shamrocks and 4-leaf clovers (there’s a difference people – educate yourselves here)
  • 1 hallway floral arrangement


  • I upgraded two on-hand Dollar Tree candle holders and one Dollar Tree vase by gluing fancy green gems on to them
  • Decorated five windows, three entry ways, two mantles, a secretary, and one china cabinet

Let’s talk thrifty wreaths!

This one is made from a Dollar Tree Styrofoam wreath form, three-Dollar Tree-succulent-picks, ribbon, and always-on-hand twine. And that’s it! $4 – and this is the “expensive one”.

succulent wreath

It was also highly therapeutic. I doubled long lengths of twine, hot glued the ends in place, tightly wrapped the twine around the wreath form, tied off and glued the ends, and repeated the process till the whole darn thing was covered. It took about as long as one conference call (and took the edge off considerably, I must say).

This one cost less than $2 to make!

wreath 1

The wreath form is made from – get ready – a recycled frozen pizza cardboard round! After tracing a circle in the center and cutting out the middle, I wound green burlap ribbon around the form, securing each end with hot glue. Then I went to town with more Dollar Tree green glass gems. I finished it by pulling in some on-hand silk floral leaves with more green gems in the center.

The most satisfying was the shamrocks/clover making project. These were the “splurge”. I bought ¼ of a yard of 4 coordinating green and white calico fabrics from Walmart for a grand total of $4. I actually only used 1/8 of a yard of each, which means I have more for future projects – win!

Once again, using recycled cardboard, I decoupaged 1/8 of a yard of each fabric to 4 roughly 8 ½ x 11 pieces of cardboard and let them dry.  I traced a Google Image-sourced template on to the back of each piece of cardboard, getting about 4-5 shamrocks per sheet. I cut each one out, then applied more decoupage glue to each piece, again allowing them to dry. Then I spaced them out and glued them to my twine. An important lesson I learned the hard way (and my fault for paying no attention in Physics class) is to glue them at the top, not the middle, so they lay straight. What was leftover from the garland project became china cabinet ornaments:

And voila! Crafty, thrifty, Irish fun. Whatever your life circumstances, get lucky – with your glue gun! It will help (leprechaun’s promise).


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