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Shamrock Boutonnieres

Saint Patrick would have approved of these little green accessories. According to popular legend, the fifth-century Christian missionary to "heathen" Ireland used a three-leaf clover to explain the Trinity. The shamrock later became the Irish national emblem, proudly worn on Saint Patrick's Day (March 17) to honor the Emerald Isle and its patron saint. This year, add a personal touch: Wear shamrocks of your own design.




  • Cotton fabric in a mix of green solids and patterns
  • Waxed paper
  • Paintbrush
  • Liquid starch
  • Iron
  • Scissors
  • Pencil
  • Floral wire
  • Craft glue
  • Green ribbon
  • Corsage pins
  • Shamrock template


  1. Step 1

    On waxed paper, use a paintbrush to coat both sides of a cotton swatch with liquid starch. Let it dry. Iron the fabric to flatten it.

  2. Step 2

    Photocopy shamrock templates to desired sizes. Cut them out, and trace them on fabric; then cut out fabric shamrocks. Crease each leaf in half lengthwise.

  3. Step 3

    To make a stem, cut a 4-inch piece of floral wire; fold it in half, and twist it until the ends form a tiny V. Bend the V forward slightly and attach it to the back of each shamrock with a small dab of craft glue. Tie a bow around one stem or a bunch of shamrocks. Use a corsage pin to fasten to your clothing.

Martha Stewart Living, March 2003



Reviews (26)

  • pizmyr 8 Mar, 2014

    I have made these nice little pins several times. One difference that I have used is, instead of starch, I use fusible backing on the fabric. I iron it on to give it body and go from there. They turn out very nice and are attractive.

  • khillman1009 17 Mar, 2011

    ladyViv...if these are so easy to make and you don't need a template...then you should not complain about having 5 days to do it.
    Thanks Martha... I think these are a great idea, simple and FAST to make!

  • LadyViv 12 Mar, 2011

    In MY world, it is March 12th...St Patricks Day is on March 17th...five days is not THAT much of a limited timeframe! Shamrocks are basically three hearts and don't really need a template to make, this is an easy free-form pattern!

  • Gayleen 11 Mar, 2011

    Turn off your pop up blocker to recieve templates.

  • kayleedrew 10 Mar, 2011

    I can't find the template for the shamrock. Can anyone help me get it?

  • SimplyMeantToBe 8 Mar, 2010

    A little sooner again..starting on Easter

  • Hilarina 16 Mar, 2009

    Yes, this should have been sent out sooner. It's something I would have enjoyed, but a few day's notice is needed!

  • dragonswing 16 Mar, 2009

    I wish this was shown sooner than the day before St Patrick's day

  • jnapier 16 Mar, 2009

    really cute and easy, Will make a great kids project for either Boutonnieres or make larger for a teachers gift. Doesn't have to be limited to a lapel!

  • JACKIE2830 16 Mar, 2009

    fordors......are you sure you have Adobe? If you don't, go to

  • carolinedefran 16 Mar, 2009

    you should show a picture of them on a lapel

  • tinkonthebrink 16 Mar, 2009

    If instead of starch you have some decoupage glue on hand or even dilute white glue they will be easy to wipe off later and will be stiff enough that you can even use cool paper as well as fabric - stick two pieces of paper together to make both front and back look nice with the wire sandwiched between. If you aren't one of the folks desperate for the template you can also make up templates for flowers this way, which look super adorable on hats and summer flip flops.

  • fordors 16 Mar, 2009

    Why is it that your templates will never print out for me?

  • sewswell 16 Mar, 2009

    wouldn't they work with cardstock?

  • CraftCarolynn 13 Mar, 2009

    Hi This looks sooo cute but I can't get the instructions? The link is blank boo hoo

  • PogosMom 13 Mar, 2009

    Hi! I am anxious to work on this project, but each time I cllick on the print incon, a new page opens up that is totally blank. I have closed and reopened my browser to no avail. Please fix this broken link. Thanks so much!

  • Kris_JKD 10 Mar, 2009

    I love this idea! Think of all the fun fabric combinations you could make with these!

  • Clifford4 17 Feb, 2009

    I love this idea! It is so fresh and it puts you in the green holiday spirit.

  • shishie 17 Mar, 2008

    I made these when they first appeared in the Magazine. I made about 50 for my Mom's Senior group and they loved them. I made them while I was watching tv.

  • CraftTestDummies 17 Mar, 2008

    I would make these using fusible web on the wrong side of the fabric, and then place 2 hearts together with the wire in between and fuse. They would last for years, and would lend themselves to cards, wreathes, etc. A great way to use up little scraps!-

  • DorothyDownUnder 13 Mar, 2008

    I just tried one of these using my CM Heart punch, looks cool! Think I might have to make a few bunches for our family afternoon tea for the "Kelly Gang" and give them all one. I'll do the cup cakes too. I really enjoy this site and the projects are affordable for the little ones to hand out. I love the looks on their faces when they see what they have achieved.

  • tracerace 9 Mar, 2008

    My 9 year old daughter and I made these for her teachers and they turned out adorable. We didn't notice any loss of stiffness in the starched cotton at all - in fact we made them last week and they are as good as new. I wrapped the stems in floral tape for the finished look they have in the photo (but not the directions).

  • mpainting 8 Mar, 2008

    Can not wait to get started on this one!! I like the idea of the Stiffy Fabric stiffener and fusible web. I may try both of those to see which works best.

  • Patoir 25 Feb, 2008

    I made about 35 sets of these for friends I work with. I used Stiffy fabric stiffener so that they could be tucked in a grapevine wreath as a decoration and last for several years.

  • jmeisen 19 Feb, 2008

    This sounds like an easy craft with a lot of "bang for your buck"! I'd be interested to try this with decorative cardstock. Bet it would work great, I look forward to experimenting!!

  • beckyann2597 28 Jan, 2008

    I loved making these and enjoyed giving them to friends, but I think I will try to make them fusible web instead of starch so they last for years...the starch seemed to not keep them crisp looking past one day. I also glued a pin back to the back of the shamrock.