Are you excited about Saint Patrick’s Day? I am because we can do anything we want to celebrate. I’m a big fan of “minor” holidays for this reason. We can be creative and silly and spontaneous, and even do something different every year, if we want.
I thought I would share this with you. I made up this shamrock window transparency, building on what I’ve learned from Magical Window Stars by Frédérique Guéret. Although there is a beautiful clover leaf design in the book, this is not it. This design that I’ve created uses the square kite paper that is most commonly available. The basic point I teach below is Guéret’s invention, but the configuration and the assembly of the shamrock was my idea. I hope you like it. In any case, I fully recommend this book if you love window stars like I do.
- 7 sheets of square kite paper in dark green
- glue stick
- ruler or straight edge for making crisp folds
This photo above is a detail of that final fold. Congratulations! You’ve make one point. Now— sorry about this part—you repeat that process five more times, so that you have six of these points. Two points will make one lobe of your shamrock.
Once you have six of those points, you can make the stem. Take another square of kite paper and fold and cut it in half. Now fold and cut piece in half again and cut along the fold. You should now have a skinny, rectangular strip that is one-quarter the width of the original square.
For each lobe of the three-lobed shamrock, you’ll need two points. The sharpest point—what I was calling the top in the photos above— goes in the center. The front side of each piece is the side with the points. If you run your fingers across the front, they will catch on the little triangles created in the folding process. The back side is smooth; your fingers won’t catch on any part. Turn one of the two points over so that the back side is up, as in the picture above. Run your glue stick along the right edge (where the glue end of the glue stick is in the photo above).
Align the points at the bottom as close together as you can, hold your two points up to the light, and align the darkest edges side by side, as you see in this photo above. They make a very dark upside-down triangle in the middle. The broad (formerly bottom) end of your two points will be overlapping. You now have one lobe of your shamrock done. Do the same thing two more times to make two more lobes of your shamrock.
If it helps, hold up each lobe to the light before gluing them together. You should see a medium green triangle in the center when all three points are aligned. Now put all the center points together on top of your stem. Glue them to the stem with your glue stick so that the points of the center are just barely touching and the three lobes are almost touching halfway up, just beyond the edge of that inner triangle. The stem should extend down in the gap between the left and right lobes of the shamrock.
Now you can hang your shamrock in the window. Make three or four loops of tape and put at least one on the back of each lobe to stick it to your window. Perhaps your window shamrock with bring you good luck!
The Dear Little Shamrock
There’s a dear little plant that grows in Ireland.
‘Twas Saint Patrick himself sure that set it.
And the sun on his labor with pleasure did smile.
And a tear from his eyes oft-times wet it.
It grows thro’ the bog, thro’ the brake, and the mireland,
And it’s called the dear little Shamrock of Ireland.
That dear little plant still grows in our land,
Fresh and fair as the daughters of Erin,
Whose smiles can bewitch, and whose eyes can command,
In each climate they ever appear in:
For they shine thro’ the bog, thro’ the brake, and the mireland,
Just like their own dear little Shamrock of Ireland.
That dear little plant that springs from our soil,
When its three little leaves are extended,
Denotes from the stalk we together should toil,
And ourselves by ourselves be befriended.
And still thro’ the bog, thro’ the brake, and the mireland,
From one root should branch, like the Shamrock of Ireland.