What symbols do you think of when you think of Ireland, also known as the Emerald Isle?
Perhaps you think of golden harps or leprechauns. Maybe you think of Celtic knots or Irish wolfhounds. One symbol I bet comes straight into your brain is the shamrock! The shamrock is intertwined with the legend of St Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland. This is because he used the shamrock in his teachings to the Irish.
Shamrock derives from the Irish seamróg which translates to ‘little clover’. Today the shamrock is a symbol for Ireland and Irish culture and is recognised as such the world over! In this activity you can make your very own shamrock badge.
* We wanted this activity to be accessible for all ages and abilities, so we’ve included two options.
Make a Felt Shamrock Pin
You will need:
a safety pin
2 pieces of green felt (we used a dark green piece and a light green piece), approx. 10cm square
Use the shamrock template to trace the shape on to each piece of the coloured felt. Cut out both pieces.
Put the two pieces of felt together. Offset them slightly so you can see a few millimetres of the back colour of felt underneath the top side.
Thread your needle with a length of cotton and tie a knot at the end.
Starting at the back of your badge, sew the two pieces of felt together, using a running stitch along the edge of the top piece of felt.
Once you've finished stitching around the outside of the shamrock, flip the felt over to the back side and thread the needle under the nearest stitch and pull it to make a loop. Thread the needle through the loop and pull tightly to make a knot. Repeat to make a double knot. Trim the excess thread.
Now it's time to stitch the safety pin on the back of your badge. Place the safety pin in the middle back of the badge.
Re-thread your needle and knot the end. You want to stitch the side of the safety pin that does not open to the back side of the felt. About 5 stitches along the side of the safety pin should secure it in place. When you stitch, make sure you are stitching through the back side of felt but not through to the front piece of felt.
Make a Cardboard Shamrock Pin
You will need:
a safety pin
1 piece thick cardboard (we used a scrap piece from a packing box), approx. 10cm square
a selection of paper in different shades of green (we cut out pieces of green paper from a variety of old magazines)
Use the shamrock template to trace the shape on to the square of cardboard
Turn the cardboard over and glue the pieces of green paper onto the cardboard. Overlap if you wish, leave no part uncovered.
Allow to dry.
Flip the cardboard back over and cut out the shamrock shape.
Secure a safety pin onto the back side of the shamrock badge with a small piece of washi tape.