Leprechaun traps are basically Elf on the Shelf for St. Patrick’s Day—but they’re way less work for parents. These are our favorite DIY Leprechaun traps you can make before the holiday.

By Emily VanSchmus
February 07, 2019

The leprechaun trap is our new favorite St. Patrick’s Day tradition.  If you’re not already doing this with your family, you’ll want to start after you see these insanely cute DIY leprechaun traps. The tradition is similar to Christmas’ Elf on the Shelf, but with way less work for mom and dad. Make a trap and set it up the night before St. Patrick’s Day; if you wake up to find gold coins or treasure in the trap, you’ll know you’ve caught a leprechaun.

The best part about this tradition is that it can be easily made and executed by the kids—all you have to do is add the coins once the kids are asleep!

Related: Our Favorite St. Patrick’s Day Ideas

Image courtesy of Amazon

To start this family tradition, read the book How to Catch a Leprechaun. The kids will learn a bit about St. Patrick’s Day and get them excited to catch a leprechaun. Then, set them loose with craft supplies!

Buy it: How to Catch a Leprechaun, $9.89

Image courtesy of The Suburban Soapbox

Green Top Hat Leprechaun Trap

There’s nothing like the promise of free gold to lure a leprechaun to your trap. Kellie from The Suburban Soapbox made the top hat out of green poster board and topped it with a pipe cleaner rainbow (complete with cotton ball clouds!) and a black pot filled with gold candy. We’re loving the addition of the ladder made from green paper straws, too!

Related: Our Favorite St. Patrick’s Day Craft Ideas

Gold Inside Leprechaun Trap

This DIY leprechaun trap, from Mrs. Henry in First, uses recycled materials to attract the leprechaun. Repurpose an old cardboard shipping box and paper towel tube into a seriously adorable leprechaun trap. This box is balanced on a cardboard tube covered in rainbow stripes, which is attached to a string. When the leprechaun goes inside the box, a simple tug on the string will trap him. If your kids awake to find the box completely face-down on the ground with gold coins inside, they’ll know the trap worked!

Image courtesy of Modern Parents Messy Kids

DIY Leprechaun Trap Box

This homemade leprechaun trap is so easy to make. Steph from Modern Parents Messy Kids transformed a plain brown box with a stripe of green paint, sparkly shamrock shapes, and a pipe cleaner rainbow. Since chipboard boxes are inexpensive and can be found at most crafts stores, turn this into a fun St. Patrick’s Day activity by letting each child decorate their own trap.

Related: Throw the Ultimate Kid’s Rainbow Party

Lucky Charms Leprechaun Trap

This homemade leprechaun trap uses a recycled portion of a Lucky Charms box to attract leprechauns—which means finishing a box is part of the prep work. Count us in! Wrap a plain cardboard box with green paper and add rainbow embellishments, like pipe cleaners and rainbow candies. We’re seriously obsessed with the green footprints and green glitter that show the leprechaun has visited.

Related: 10 Lucky Charms Recipes for St. Patrick’s Day

Rainbow Leprechaun Trap

If we were a leprechaun, we’d be totally tempted by this elaborate leprechaun resort! We’re totally loving the resourcefulness used here too—recycle a plastic cauldron from Halloween to form a pot of gold, then add a few rainbow embellishments. Any passing leprechauns will surely be tempted by the Rainbow Café and the Lazy River, complete with inner tubes made from Lifesaver gummy candies.


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