How to Make a Lucky Leprechaun Trap

Photo: Mike Krautter

This St. Patrick's Day, stop those pesky leprechauns in their tracks by creating an easy-to-assemble leprechaun trap; it'll help you and your family capture the troublemakers or, at the very least, receive a few gold chocolate coins for your trouble.

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How to Make a Leprechaun Trap

The lore of the leprechaun has been passed down for centuries. According to Irish legend, these magical elves appear donning a top hat and dapper little suit, wile away the hours mending shoes and making practical jokes, and have a hidden pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. They are especially notorious for causing mischief the night before St. Patrick's Day. Fortunately, there's a way to fight back. Our simple-to-make leprechaun trap will help you and your family capture the troublemakers. Start with our basic tutorial, then follow our tips to build the ultimate leprechaun trap.

Leprechauns, like all Irish fairy-folk, are drawn to green spaces. So, color your trap green and decorate it with shiny embellishments like stickers, glitter, and bits of gold. They are also attracted to lucky four-leaf clovers. Since they live in the forests of Ireland, most leprechauns are believed to feast on wild foods (wildflowers, nuts, potatoes, and mushrooms) with the occasional cup of dandelion tea. Consider plating a miniature meal as a lure for your trap. His homeland favorites will definitely do the trick. Add other irresistible enrichments: A little ladder made out of skewers and a sign that reads "Do not climb!" plus a few "gold nuggets" from paper clay and craft paint.

Those who are lucky enough to find a leprechaun and capture him can barter his freedom in exchange for treasure. And if he sneaks out? At the very least, you'll receive a few gold chocolate coins for your trouble.

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The Materials

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  • Clear glass cylinder
  • Cardstock (Recollections "Feathered Greens" Cardstock, 5'' by 11'', $5.99 for 50,
  • Paper cutter (Martha Stewart Paper Trimmer, $22.99,
  • Edge paper punch
  • Clear tape
  • Double-stick tape
  • Circle cutter (Fiskers Circle Cutter, $23.99,
  • Bamboo skewers
  • Scissors
  • Craft glue
  • Heart-shaped paper punch
  • Glitter markers
  • White paper clay
  • Gold paint (Martha Stewart Multi-Surface Metallic Acrylic Craft Paint in Gold, $10.19 for 2 oz.,
  • Paintbrush (Martha Stewart Basic Brush Set, $12.90,
  • Gold-covered chocolate coins
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Step 1

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Cut strips of green and gold paper using a paper trimmer, and use a paper punch to embellish the edges.

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Step 2

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Tape the strips around a glass cylinder or vase, layering them as you go up the cylinder. The last strip should extend 1/4 inch above the top of the cylinder.

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Step 3

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Using a pair of scissors, carefully poke two small holes on opposite sides of the top strip of paper.

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Step 4

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Slide a wooden skewer through the two holes across the middle of the cylinder.

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Step 5

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Use the circle cutter tool to cut out a circle of paper that measures slightly smaller than the opening of the top of the cylinder.

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Step 6

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Tape the paper circle to the skewer to create a secret swinging trap door.

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Step 7

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Build a ladder for the leprechaun out of skewers. Cut small pieces to create the rungs and glue them to two long skewers, making sure to trim the sharp ends off, especially around small children. (Tip: Assemble the ladder on a piece of waxed paper to protect your surface from glue drips.)

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Step 8

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Using a heart paper punch, make shamrocks out of leftover craft paper: Punch out three heart shapes and cut a stem; overlap the pieces slightly and glue them together to form the shamrock.

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Step 9

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Make a small sign out of craft paper that reads: "Do not climb." (Leprechauns won't be able to resist.) Tape the sign to a skewer and shape paper clay into a base. Once dry, paint the base gold and attach paper shamrocks to the sign and the cylinder using glue.

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Step 10

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To tempt the leprechaun into your trap, craft "gold nuggets" out of paper clay and, when dry, paint gold. Balance a few nuggets on the center of the trap door.

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The Escape

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On the morning of St. Patrick's Day, most children will find that the tricky leprechaun has managed to escape in a glittery trail of green dust—but not before leaving them a few gold coins in the bottom of the trap.

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