19 Leprechaun Traps to Start a St. Paddy’s Day Tradition (2023)

You probably have established family traditions for most holidays, but do you have one for St. Patrick’s Day? Why not start one by making leprechaun traps with the kids?

These fun and easy traps are designed to catch a leprechaun, and they encourage kids to use their creativity and problem-solving skills. Set it out the night before to catch one to see for yourself.

Fun Leprechaun Trap Ideas for Kids

Of course, to build a DIY leprechaun trap, you’ll need bait (like candy, Lucky Charms, or gold) as well as something to trap him in.

Want some inspiration? Check out the easy leprechaun traps below!

1. Paper Roll Leprechaun Trap

Go the simple route with a paper roll leprechaun trap like this one from The Best Ideas for Kids. Decorate the trap with shamrock stickers and place some gold coins inside to lure the leprechaun. A little sign to entice him doesn’t hurt either. Prop a toothpick under the trapdoor, and your trap is set!

(Video) Making Leprechaun Traps for St. Patrick's Day

2. Shoebox Leprechaun Trap

Grab an old shoebox and paint it green to make this classic shoebox leprechaun trap from The Crafting Chicks. Dangle a pot of gold inside with a few gold coins sprinkled on the bottom for good measure. As the leprechaun tries to escape with his pot of gold, he’ll hit the dowel, activating the trap, and BOOM, you’ve (hopefully) got a leprechaun.

3. Wooden Box Leprechaun Trap

Transform a wooden treasure box or upcycled jewelry or music box to turn it into a sturdy little trap no leprechaun can escape. This simple tutorial from B-Inspired Mama shows all the steps, from painting to embellishing the trap.

4. Leprechaun Slide Trap

Leprechauns can’t resist having a little fun on their way to find gold. This free slide for leprechauns looks like lots of fun, but uh oh! It’s much more difficult to go up the slide than to go down. The kids will love this cute idea from Grey House Harbor.

5. Oatmeal Canister Leprechaun Trap

You’ve probably got a nearly empty oatmeal canister in your cupboards right now, don’t you? Ditch the rest of that oatmeal (or, you know, eat it) and then use the canister to make one of these oatmeal can leprechaun traps from Little Bins for Little Hands.

The rainbow ladder and pipe cleaner rainbows add colorful touches. Did you notice the trap gets lowered from above on the leprechaun? Clever!

(Video) How To Make Leprechaun Traps | St Patrick's Day for Kids Lesson

6. Rube Goldberg Leprechaun Trap

For little engineers in the making, this Rube Goldberg leprechaun trap is a creative challenge! Plus, it really moves, which makes this activity all the more fun.

A Rube Goldberg machine, as Steam Powered Family explains, is a chain reaction that involves three or more steps. Goldberg was a famous cartoonist who is known for his drawings of contraptions, so this leprechaun trap is inspired by his illustrations.

7. Strawberry Basket Leprechaun Trap

The Suburban Mom has a quick and easy idea if you’re short on time: a strawberry basket leprechaun trap. You’ll need a stick, a piece of string, some Lucky Charms marshmallows, and a strawberry basket. Pretty simple, right? Any hungry leprechaun will fall for this trap.

8. Mason Jar Leprechaun Trap

This mason jar leprechaun trap from The Tiptoe Fairy sits atop an elaborate scene designed to tempt the leprechaun toward the trap. The road is paved with gold coins and shamrocks with signs pointing the way to the pot of gold. And what do you know—there’s even a handy green ladder to help him climb up there.

9. Leprechaun Trap House

We don’t think any leprechaun would mind being trapped in this cozy little leprechaun house made from a birdhouse. The shimmery gold and green roof is sure to appeal to your favorite little guy in green. We also love the mushrooms and yard flamingos added by Giggles Galore.

(Video) Three Ways to Trap a Leprechaun 🍀🌈 St. Patrick's Day Read Aloud

10. Recycled Materials Leprechaun Trap

Mollymoo has the right idea by making a leprechaun trap out of recycled materials. The Leprechaun Inn is made with a recycled box, while the tulips are made from toilet paper rolls and cardboard. The rainbow roof is made from paint chips. Isn’t that clever?

11. Lego Leprechaun Trap

Lego lovers will quickly find a way to devise a trap for a leprechaun. Try to recreate this Lego leprechaun trap from Pots and Pins or use it as inspiration to come up with your own ideas. Don’t forget some sparkly shamrock garland to spruce the place up and some gold coins to toss inside the door.

12. Rainbow Popsicle Stick Trap

Here’s a unique take on the traditional trap. Club Chica made a rainbow popsicle stick leprechaun trap that’s just beautiful. Fill it with Golden Oreos and rainbow-decorated pretzel sticks for hungry leprechauns looking for a bite to eat. Once St. Paddy’s Day is finished, this will make a cute box for jewelry or for storing photos and trinkets.

13. Shadow Box Leprechaun Trap

This elaborate shadow box leprechaun trap from Moms and Munchkins is super fun to build. You’ll need a pipe cleaner ladder going from the rainbow candies up to the oh-so-tempting frame filled with gold and Cheerios. There’s also a rhinestone pathway, a marshmallow seating area, and lots of sparkly shamrocks leading the way.

14. Paper Leprechaun Hat Trap

Make a tall, top-hat style leprechaun trap out of construction paper, scrapbook paper, poster board, tissue paper, and glitter paper. You’ll also need a little flower pot, painted black, to hold all your chocolate gold coins. The paper rainbow on top of this trap from Who Arted is gorgeous!

(Video) PLAY | Surprise Your Kids on St. Patrick's Day! 3 Easy Ways

15. Leprechaun Mini Garden

Spring is when we’re all beginning our gardens, so why wouldn’t leprechauns want one, too? This lovely leprechaun garden from Little Bins for Little Hands has some faux plants, a string of beads, a rainbow, a pot of gold, and a few golden jingle bells for good measure. The ladder leads him up to his rooftop garden.

16. Hat Trap for Leprechauns

Here’s another version of the leprechaun hat trap that’s super easy to set up. First, a mini pot full of Rolos is set up. Even I would fall for that trap—don’t you just love Rolos? Once the candies are in place, you’ll need a stick to prop up the hat. Wrap the stick in green pipe cleaners to make it more inconspicuous. You’ll find a couple more trap options at Simple Easy Creative if you need more inspiration.

17. Cereal Box Leprechaun Trap

Cut a cereal box in two to make this fun leprechaun trap that includes a shamrock-decorated slide down to a pot of gold. All he has to do is slide right into the trap. Follow the step-by-step tutorial from Fun Money Mom to learn how to make a leprechaun trap.

18. Bug Catcher Leprechaun Trap

This bug catcher leprechaun trap is one of the easiest ideas on the list, so it’s one of our faves for sure. Busy Creating Memories found the bug traps in the dollar section at Target and then just embellished the trap with shamrocks and other St. Patrick’s Day themed embellishments.

19. Outdoor Leprechaun Trap

Surprise your leprechaun by setting up an outdoor leprechaun trap with a HUGE pot of gold on top. The colorful rainbow hearts look friendly and inviting, and we love how the ladder is made from sticks. This is a super fun idea from Me and My Inklings.

(Video) Homeschool Stem || Make Your Own DIY Leprechaun Traps

We hope you enjoyed this leprechaun traps post and found an idea or two to catch a leprechaun this St. Paddy’s Day. Pin the post so you can come back to it when you’re ready to build yours!

Related St. Patrick’s Day Ideas:


19 Leprechaun Traps to Start a St. Paddy’s Day Tradition? ›

A trap is traditionally made by young children and set out the night before St. Patrick's Day. After the children go to sleep, parents add signs of a leprechaun visiting, such as chocolate coins or treasure left in their bottom drawers, and pretend that a leprechaun did it.

What is the leprechaun trap tradition? ›

A trap is traditionally made by young children and set out the night before St. Patrick's Day. After the children go to sleep, parents add signs of a leprechaun visiting, such as chocolate coins or treasure left in their bottom drawers, and pretend that a leprechaun did it.

What can I leave from the leprechaun? ›

Many people choose to have leprechauns leave something related to gold behind, like gold coins or gold foil-wrapped chocolate. Really though, leprechauns can leave whatever kind of treat your family or children like best, whether that's a certain candy bar or fresh cookies.

What night do you put out a leprechaun trap? ›

In the days leading up to St. Patrick's Day, you help your kids build the leprechaun trap, fill it with "bait"—gold coins, candy, rainbows... anything that might strike a leprechaun's fancy—then leave it out before bed on March 16, St. Patrick's Day Eve.

What is the leprechaun rule? ›

The rule is, if you're lucky enough to catch a leprechaun, you can never take your eyes off him or he'll disappear. In one tale, a man managed to catch a leprechaun and forced the fairy to divulge the secret location of his treasure.

What is the leprechaun tradition for kids? ›

Leprechaun Treasure Hunt

Plant paper shamrocks, shiny pennies or gold wrapped chocolate around your house or backyard. Whoever finds the most, collects the leprechaun's pot o' gold. You can also give clues to lead your tiny tots to the pot o' gold at the end of the rainbow.

What must a leprechaun do if he is captured? ›

If caught by a mortal, so the legend goes, a leprechaun may offer to tell you where his hoard of gold is hidden in return for his freedom. The leprechaun must tell the truth, for in this it is bound by courtesy and fairy law.

What can I leave my child from the leprechaun? ›

These can be as simple or as involved as you want to make them. For an extra dose fun, have the leprechaun leave a little treasure (gold chocolate coins, rainbow candy, etc) as a reward for dealing with the Leprechaun Tricks!

What are parents supposed to do with leprechaun trap? ›

The basic premise is this: You craft some kind of elaborate-looking trap that you then convince your children has the potential to tempt a leprechaun and then contain him until the morning so that they can see this magical creature in the flesh.

Does the leprechaun come the night before or after? ›

Folklore holds that leprechauns are very active the night before St. Patrick's Day (March 17). Go looking for secluded spots around the yard. Leprechauns like to use rocky places, caves, holes and other hidden areas to live and make their shoes.

Does the leprechaun come the night before or the night of? ›

Leprechauns are one of the most elusive creatures, second only to Santa's elves. According to legend, the night before St. Patrick's Day is notorious for leprechaun trouble, and mischief is one of their favorite things to create.

What is the folklore of the leprechaun? ›

In Irish folklore a Leprechaun is one of the faerie folk and are often associated with faerie forts, the ancient Celtic settlements. According to popular belief, this small elf like figure is pictured wearing traditional emerald green clothes and is often sporting a beard and smoking a pipe.

How many wishes do you get if you catch a leprechaun? ›

If you catch a leprechaun they'll grant you three wishes to escape. Beyond being a fun family tradition, the idea behind leprechaun traps is steeped in Irish folklore.

What must the leprechaun give to be released if a human captured a leprechaun? ›

Because every leprechaun knows that if he is careless and gets caught, he must surrender one pot of gold. That is punishment enough for a miserly leprechaun.

What happens if you don't wear green on leprechaun Day? ›

According to folklore, you get pinched on St. Patrick's Day for not wearing green because green makes you invisible to leprechauns. Leprechauns like to pinch people (because they can!).

What is the leprechaun ribbon story? ›

According to the tale, an Irishman named Shawn O'Malley frees the leprechaun from a tree in exchange for the location of his hidden gold. After marking the spot where the gold is buried with a yellow ribbon, the sly leprechaun covers the thick, wooded area in identical yellow ribbons.

What do leprechauns have to do with Ireland? ›

One icon of the Irish holiday is the Leprechaun. The original Irish name for these figures of folklore is “lobaircin,” meaning “small-bodied fellow.” Belief in leprechauns probably stems from Celtic belief in fairies, tiny men and women who could use their magical powers to serve good or evil.

Why do people pinch on leprechaun Day? ›

According to folklore, you get pinched on St. Patrick's Day for not wearing green because green makes you invisible to leprechauns. Leprechauns like to pinch people (because they can!).

Why does the leprechaun pinch you? ›

The pinching rule on Saint Patrick's Day

As the tradition goes, wearing green on St. Patrick's Day is supposed to make you invisible to leprechauns. They will pinch you as soon as you come upon their radar if you don't wear green!


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