As much as I love a good practical joke, green beer and leprechauns, I don’t normally do much decorating for St. Patrick’s Day.
But this year, I decided I wanted to make some holiday thumb tack art, with the help of my 8-year-old son.
Here’s what we came up with — this lucky four leaf clover canvas decorated with a gazillion gold thumb tacks. (I’m exaggerating just a little bit!)
It’s kinda fun and festive, right? And it’s definitely cheap and easy to make — though it takes a little bit of time.
This is a perfect TV-watching craft. Just put on your favorite episode and get crafting.
Here’s what you’ll need to make your own St. Patrick’s day artwork:
- 9X12-inch artist’s canvas
- DecoArt Glamour Dust Fine Glitter Paint in Emerald
- 2 packages gold thumb tacks
- Shamrock pattern
- pencil or chalk
Trace your shamrock pattern onto the center of the canvas. Paint around the outline with Emerald Glamour Dust paint and allow to dry.
You’ll see I overlapped my outline some with paint. That’s perfectly fine because the thumbtacks will cover any white spots.
Once the paint has dried, begin adding thumb tacks to the outside edge of the four leaf clover pattern. If you painted over the pattern, you may need to trace it again with chalk.
The thumbtacks will go easily into the center of the gallery wrapped canvas, but you may need to use a hammer around the edges.
Be careful when handling the artwork, as the back will be sharp where the thumb tacks stick through the canvas.
Follow the pattern until the shamrock is completely outlined in thumbtacks. Then add a second row, working around the pattern and overlapping slightly. Continue working around the shamrock, from the outside in, until it is filled with thumbtacks.
I can’t say exactly how many thumb tacks you’ll need. It really depends on the head size and how much you overlap them. I started with a half-full pack of 300 thumb tacks and had to go back to the store to get a second one. It’s better to have more thumbtacks than you need, and be sure to buy the same brand.
When I went back to the dollar store to buy more thumbtacks, I found that the newer ones were slightly smaller and a slightly different color than the ones I originally had. But I didn’t feel like redoing all my work, so I just rolled with it. I figure the thumb tacks will all tarnish and patina over time until they’re the same golden color.
To finish our artwork, I added a frame of thumbtacks around the shamrock using a hammer. When nailing the thumb tacks into the canvas, be sure to put something underneath it to protect your work surface. (The back of the canvas has staples on it, and when you hammer that on your kitchen table, you may get little gouge marks on your table. Don’t ask how I know this!)
For more St. Patrick’s day ideas, check out my burlap shamrock pillow and St. Patrick’s Day Rainbow Candy Treat.