It is pushing spring with birds nesting, buds forming on trees and daylight lasting longer. Now that the calendar says March, it surely is time for remembering the fields of green soon to flourish all around us. It also means it is time to celebrate St. Patrick's Day!
Colorful shamrock examples using coloring book pages (from 6704 - Natural Wonders Color Art for Everyone), and scrapbook paper (on left), or construction paper (on right).
The cloverleaf is a simple design that symbolizes St. Patrick's Day better than any other. So deciding on using the shamrock as my symbol of choice was the first step. Next, I wanted an easy design with materials readily available. I turned to Pinterest to get ideas and relied heavily on this post from Sugar Bee Crafts for guidance.
I wanted my completed project to be a little different than other shamrocks around me so I turned to my stash of coloring books. I chose two pages from Natural Wonders Color Art for Everyone (Leisure Arts' item 6704) and only colored selected portions of each page. My first page had a few shamrocks along with other leaves and blooms; the second page I chose depicted dragonflies, another example of expected blooming, warmer weather.
Using a gel pen and colored pencils, I added some color to a page with shamrocks in its design; from 6704 - Natural Wonders Color Art for Everyone.
Another page that reminded me of spring was that of dragonflies. I used a highlighter to color this page; from 6704 - Natural Wonders Color Art for Everyone.
Looking at examples of finished paper shamrocks on various social media sites, I knew that I wanted to use either one or two solid colored paper strips when making each shamrock. I relied on construction paper and scrapbook paper for my choices of solid colors. I always try to make a prototype of a project before its final version. So construction paper and any coloring book page whose coloring was an experiment would be perfect for the draft version!
The measurements for each paper strip were based on the size of the pages that I chose. The coloring book pages were 8.5"w X 11"h, the construction paper was 9"w X 11"h, and the scrapbook paper was a 12" square. Now I knew that the longest strip would be from either construction or scrapbook paper. I decided to use three paper strips for each section of my cloverleaf. Each strip would be 1"h with three varying lengths of 8", 9.5" and 12".
Since I wanted to use coloring book pages, I made the measurements for the two smaller strips fit those dimensions. The largest strip was cut from either construction or scrapbook paper.
One strip from each length were gently folded over with the ends held flush and stapled together. The two shorter lengths were my coloring book pages and I turned the design side towards the stapled end which will be the center of the shamrock. I did this on purpose so more of the design would be visible.
I decided to make a three-leaf shamrock; each of the three leaves were made in two sections of three strips. Staple two three-leaf sections together to make one shamrock leaf. See the image before all pieces are glued for better placement of each section.
Each clover leaf has been stapled and the stems prepared.
I decided to use my extra strips to make my stem. For extra stability, I used two strips for the stem. The shorter stem strip (inside) was glued to the middle cloverleaf, each end of the longer stem strip (outside) was glued to the underside of each respective outer cloverleaf. See the additional images and close-up to get a better idea of placement. As you will see in the photos, now is the time to cut four circles, two each in two different sizes; these circles will be the center of the shamrock. Use your judgment as to the size of circles; these will cover the glue that will hold the shamrock leaves and stems together.
Preparing to use a glue gun to hold all the pieces together. I cut four circles that will be placed in the center of the shamrock assisting in hiding the glue.
The gluing has begun with a little placed on the stems onto the sides of the clover leaves.
I have included two close-up shots so the placement of the center circles and hot glue can be seen more clearly.
A better contrast view showing the center before the hot glue is dispensed.
This mound of hot glue helps to hold the ends of each cloverleaf, as well as, each leaf to the stems.
Thank goodness the centered circles conceal the glue (two different circle sizes stacked and glued together).
Both sides have their center circles placed and glued.
Now that the construction paper prototype shamrock is constructed, I practice hanging it on a door. I suspended the shamrock by only one of the larger loops. It seems to sag a little, but not too badly.
One option is to hang on a door.
Moving forward, my next step is to make my second shamrock using scrapbook paper instead of construction paper for each of the longest strips. Scrapbook paper is sturdier, so I'm wondering what the differences will be in the design of the final product.
Second shamrock being constructed. The longest strips are cut from scrapbook paper. One drawback to my choice: it wasn't colored on both sides.
GREAT BONUS: I took my coloring book pages from being two-dimensional pages and made them into three-dimensional projects. Now that's taking creativity to the next level -- and it was fun, not hard!
Use 2-4 coloring book pages for your project. I made my shamrocks from 6704 - Natural Wonders Color Art for Everyone.
TIPS TO REMEMBER WHEN CHOOSING YOUR PAPER: The scrapbook paper was sturdier than the construction paper so it keeps its shape a little better when hanging by a single hook. The construction paper is colored on both sides; the scrapbook paper that I chose was not. You can see the differences in color visibility when hanging on a wall.
Two completed shamrocks used coloring book pages and either scrapbook paper (top left image) or construction paper (bottom right); 6704 - Natural Wonders Color Art for Everyone.
A straight-on front photo of the shamrocks hanging on a wall doesn't show all the colors well-enough. I think I want a shamrock shower and will try suspending them from the ceiling, but I'll need more shamrocks and some assistance with the hanging of each!
Both shamrocks are now done -- yeah; what an easy seasonal item to make! I have not tried suspending my shamrocks by string from the ceiling, or making a paper chain link from which to suspend them, so I still have some experimentation to do. I am pleased enough with this project that I would do it again -- maybe I'll make varying sizes of shamrocks using different colors of green? I have lots of future choices that will make the next round of shamrocks result in interesting variations.
Enjoy your spring; erin go bragh!