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Easy Leprechaun Trap for Kids in Under an Hour

Bring the magic of St Patrick’s Day to life with our simple Leprechaun Trap! Step-by-step directions on how to make an easy leprechaun trap project in under an hour!

A green leprechaun trap made out of a wooden bug catcher on a white background.

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One thing I have in common with my mom is that we both dislike school projects! Don’t get me wrong, I can see why kids love them. Teachers love building a leprechaun trap because it is a fantastic STEAM activity for children of all ages! And if you are a parent to one child, really they are no big deal. I wouldn’t mind them so much.

But when you have multiple children, all coming home saying “I have to do this big project…” Mom gets a little overwhelmed and tends to get a little rebellious like I did with the leprechaun trap school project.

But I can tell you, even if you are an overwhelmed and a bit rebellious busy mom, there is still a way to compromise so that the kids can have their DIY leprechaun trap craft to catch their leprechaun’s gold coins, and you can come out the hero without too much stress!

A side view of a green leprechaun trap made out of a wooden bug catcher on a white background.

🍀What is the Point of a Leprechaun Trap? 

 According to legend, leprechauns are a type of mischievous fairy that finds and hoards gold coins that they stow away in pots. The idea is that If you catch a leprechaun they’ll grant you three wishes to escape. Setting simple leprechaun traps has become a fun tradition, often done in school or at home, starting as early as preschool or even kindergarten. 

Traditionally a leprechaun trap is made by young children whether at home or as part of a school project and set out the night before St. Patrick’s Day.

After the children leave the classroom for the day the teacher will add signs of a leprechaun visiting, and pretend that a leprechaun did it.

Likewise, at home, the parents will do the same after the children have gone to sleep.

What do you leave in the leprechaun trap?

Leprechauns are notorious for their sweet tooth and love of gold. Legend has it that the best way to capture these mischievous creatures is to set a tempting trap. Think glittering gold coins and sweet treats like candy and green desserts. Who knows, the allure of these goodies might just be their undoing!

green, purple, and green wrapped chocolate coins on a wooden background.

How do you leave leprechaun evidence?

You could use green construction paper or washable green paint and make leprechaun footprints throughout the house or classroom.

You can also leave chocolate-wrapped gold coins or treasure left behind inside the trap or scattered in around the classroom or home. It’s all fun and enjoyment in imagination for the kids.

You can sprinkle some gold or green glitter in a path to the door or a window, showing the leprechaun’s “escape route.”

You can also have the “leprechaun” leave your kid some candy or a note, bragging about not being caught and how they will need to try harder next year. 

So, grab your glitter and get creative—who knows, you might just snag a wish or two!

☘️ How to Make a Leprechaun Trap

One year I had a total Mom fail moment. Miss Jade came home with a note saying they had to make a Leprechaun trap and take them to school on Thursday, 3 days away.

A green leprechaun trap made out of a wooden bug catcher on a white background, looking through the opening to see the pot of gold left inside.

Well, this mom set the note aside and completely forgot about it until Wednesday mid-morning while I was grocery shopping.

So while at the store I scrambled and grabbed an adorable bug catcher and a couple other supplies to throw together a quick and easy leprechaun trap that she could take to school with her the next day.

So let me show you how to make an insanely easy and FAST Leprechaun trap that your kids can take to school!

Or if you happen to be more on top of it than I am, you can even have your kid put it together themselves. It’s really easy. A little paint and a few accents and you are done!

A pink wooden bug catcher next to a green leprechaun trap made out of a wooden bug catcher on a white background. Showing the before and after of the leprechaun trap craft.

Simple Leprechaun Trap supplies:

What I love about our Leprechaun trap is that it is oh-so super simple, fast, and cheap!

Supplies for a bug catcher leprechaun trap laid out on a wooden table

I just happened to have a pot of gold and cloverleaf accent left over from a St Patricks Day wreath project that completely failed. So I took them off the wreath and used them for this project instead.

two leprechaun decorations on a wood table

I already had the Irish Folkart chalk paint and furniture wax on hand, left over from our Furniture Makeover Project.

Close up image of the green chalk paint used in the leprechaun trap craft

The first step is, you need to paint the box green. Ours was bright pink. That’s not going to work.

So I unscrewed the little trap door and painted the box and the door IRISH green.

wooden bug catcher that has been painted green

I even went so far as to paint the handle!

close up view of the fabric handle of a bug catcher painted green for st patrick's day.

Chalk paint is my favorite paint because it dries so fast and there is zero prep work! No sanding or wood conditioning is required. I just painted right over. And it covers very well!

I had to wait maybe 10-15 minutes between each coat. Which is much faster than the typical 1 hour wait period for acrylic paint to dry.

Once, you have the box and lid painted and dry, you need to seal it. I use our Furniture Wax. Just really lightly brush over with a wax brush. It doesn’t take much.

Close up image of chalk paint wax and the wax brush.
Wax brush covered in furniture wax brushing the furniture wax onto the bug catcher after it has been painted.

Allow that to dry 10-15 minutes.

Glue the Clover Leaf accent to the front of the trap door and set aside to dry. I used Elmers Probond glue for a secure hold.

Close up of the leprechaun trap door with the clover applique adornment.

I used Velcro Command Strips on the bottom of the Pot of gold and placed it in the trap near the back. This secured it in place so it wouldn’t roll all over as Miss Jade carries it to school.

A closeup of a command strip on the bottom of a plastic pot of gold to go inside the leprechaun trap

I had to use tongs to get the pot of gold into the Leprechaun trap and secured into the right location.

Metal tongs putting the pot of gold decoration into the leprechaun trap.
side view of metals tongs putting a plastic pot of gold inside the bug catcher leprechaun trap
Viewing the pot of gold through the open door of the leprechaun trap

Reattach the trap door to the Leprechaun trap. Now we get to fill it!

Add in some Easter Grass at the bottom of the leprechaun trap to make it look nice and inviting.

Side view of the leprechaun trap filled with easter grass

Lastly, toss in some gold coins.

This makes it even more appealing for the leprechaun.

Chocolate coins sitting inside the door of the leprechaun trap.

And that’s it! You are done! Easy Peasy!

A green leprechaun trap made out of a wooden bug catcher on a white background.
Overhead view of the bug catcher leprechaun trap where you can see the goodies inside

One thing I love is that this bug catcher leprechaun trap is much more durable than the go-to shoe box leprechaun trap. This means I can even save this for when Miss Rose is required to take a Leprechaun trap to school!

You now have a leprechaun trap in under 1 hour! Total Mom save!

A green leprechaun trap made out of a wooden bug catcher on a white background.

Super fast and easy and can easily be done in an hour to save us all from the Mom Fail moment and come out a triumphant Mom Hero!

And all thanks to a cheap Bug Trap and chalk paint, you also can have this made for your little Leprechaun Hunter in under an hour!

Simple DIY Leprechaun trap project for kids in under an hour!

Remember to pin this Easy Leprechaun Trap to Pinterest! 
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[…] […]

Linda Sue Johnston

Sunday 19th of March 2017

cute idea you shoud send this POST to all schools they need to know not all parents have just one child and it is overwhelming sometimes but the children are supposed to do it not you lol. I do understand you forgot

Personally there should be NO HOMEWORK thats what they go to school for TO BE TAUGHT.Hugs,Linda Sue


Monday 20th of March 2017

I forgot to include the disclaimer, that Miss Jade is special needs and unable to do regular projects like most kids, so she has leeway. In which case it falls to mom to do, so she is still allowed to participate in the group activity at school. But otherwise, I always make my other kids do all their projects.

But yes, I agree - I don't agree with homework for Elementary grades either. I'm totally fine with them required to read every night, but the extra homework I don't think is beneficial at all. At least I haven't seen it benefit my kids. Just homework battles when they would rather go be kids and get their pent up energy out playing outside.

But, this leprechaun trap is great for when the schools insist on yet another project from the kid. It is simple enough that Most kids can do it themselves with a little parent assistance and can be done quickly so they can get back to playing. Or it's also great for the other Special Needs Parents who have to do these kinds of projects themselves so their child can still participate in the classroom activity but are unable to do the actual project themselves.


Friday 17th of March 2017

This is super cute! Now I wish I had picked up some of the little bug traps from the Dollar Spot at Target.


Friday 17th of March 2017

Right? those traps are so handy!! I grabbed 2 just in case. lol. Now Miss Jade has a fun Bug Trap and a Leprachaun trap. :) That is until this Mommy discovers another thing I can make with that cute bug trap.

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