While the infamous South Side Irish Parade may no longer be, we in Chicago still make a big fuss over St. Patrick’s (Lá Fhéile Pádraig) Day with one of the largest St. Patrick’s Day Parade in the country, and of course dyeing the Chicago River bright green. No matter how you’ll celebrate this year, may the luck of the Irish be with you. Sláinte!

Shamrock Boutonniere | St. Patrick's Day craftClover Pendant Charm | St. Patrick's Day craftLucky Clover Speciman Art | St. Patrick's Day craft

  • The word “shamrock” comes from the Irish seamróg, a diminutive version of the Irish word for clover (seamair). The particular variety of clover shamrocks generally reference is the three-leafed clover Trifolium repens (white clover). Amongst the various species of trifolium, white clover in particular was held in high esteem by the early Celts of Wales as a charm against evil spirits.1 The folks at Martha Stewart share instructions for how to create your own trio of these trifoliolate-leafed perennials to wear as a boutonniere. The instructions call for the use of stiffened fabric, but they would be just as cute (if not quite as long-lived) made with patterned paper.
  • According to legend, the leaves of a four-leaf clover represent hope, faith, love, and luck. Bring these qualities closer to your heart my making this four-leaf clover charm pendant from favecrafts.com. All it requires is a little luck in wiring together some heart shaped beads.
  • It’s estimated that there are approximately 10,000 three-leaf clovers for every four-leaf clover. You may not want to maintain quite that ratio when putting together this Lucky Clover Specimen Art, but you’ll sure feel lucky when the results of your efforts are cute enough to hang on the wall all year round. While the original tutorial by flamingotoes.com does seem to require a bit of time and prowess with the sewing machine, a similar look could no doubt be replicated in a wink of a leprechaun’s eye with pretty patterned paper and a heart shaped craft punch.

Celtic Heart Knot | St. Patrick's Day craftRainbow Cupcakes | St. Patrick's Day craftsLazy Irish Beer Bread | St. Patrick's Day

  • I haven’t attempted it yet, but I suspect tying a gorgeous celtic heart knot is little harder than tying my shoes. But with both a video and step-by-step instruction sheet, there might not be an unknotted piece of string in my house by the end of the weekend. And once I master this variation, there’s a plethora of other decorative knots to experiment with thanks to the the excellent tutorials by J.D. Lenzen.
  • If you made these rainbow cupcakes cake size, you could create your very own full on double rainbow, but even as a single rainbow, these might be enough to make those you share them with cry out in appreciation and awe. Have a video camera ready just in case.
  • My favorite thing about St. Patrick’s Day is the plentiful servings of corned beef & cabbage — not considered an Irish national dish, but a contribution of Irish-American culture. Irish immigrants in the northeast substituted (the less desirable) corned beef in place of pork in the traditional Irish dish of Bacon and Cabbage (bacon in this case being more akin to Canadian style bacon or ham). Nonetheless, corned beef and cabbage has become synonymous with St. Patrick’s Day in the U.S., and a fine meal it does make. You can find Allrecipe’s highest rated recipe for that delicious dish here. And while that’s cooking, whip up a batch of Lazy Irish Beer Bread with that extra bottle of Harp you’re sure to have on hand, some self-rising flour, and a bit of sugar.

1 Clover Science and Technology, N.L. Taylor, 1985 (via Clovers Online)