These St. Paddy’s Day Ideas Really Are Green
We’ve been hearing a lot lately about upcycling — the reuse of items you already have. Our readers have been reusing things you might not think of to commemorate birthdays and holidays. So here in the office, we brainstormed great St. Patrick’s Day ideas that don’t cost a penny (or any extra resources).
What we found is that two holidays prior to St. Patrick’s day are goldmines (pun intended) to celebrate the Holiday of All Things Green.
Christmas. Look for anything green, which isn’t too hard with Christmas decor. Green ribbon is perfect — you can make a cute St. Patrick’s Day garland by printing out “Happy St. Patrick’s Day” or “Erin go Bragh” or even “Drink Up!”.
Another find: Christmas boxes and wrapping paper! If you’re a total nutter like I am, you keep these even if they’re dented or torn. You say guiltily to the spouse, “I’ll find a use for it eventually.” Well today’s the day, folks. Get out all that green cardboard and start tracing images of shamrocks, leprechaun hats and cool rainbows (use scraps of other colors to make these).
Green Christmas balls and green garland are perfect too. Hang the garland over doorways and hang the balls wherever — on St. Paddy’s day, you just can’t have too much green.
Mardi Gras. Another great holiday for scavenging decor is one you might not think of: Mardi Gras. Hunt garage sales and thrift shops at this time of year to find Mardi Gras extras that people will be practically giving away. The reason is simple: one of Mardi Gras’ time-honored colors is (you got it) green!
Green Mardi Gras beads are awesome for St. Patrick’s Day party decor. Hang them prettily over lampshades or heck, just wear them. Hats and other pieces of clothing are also indicative of Mardi Gras and may come in green; grab some if you find it. You may also find confetti and other decor in green.
Voila! — St. Paddy’s Day decorations at a total cost of nothing, or next to it. Have fun scavenging — you never know, you might just find a pot of gold while you’re in the attic digging around.
View More St. Patrick’s Day party ideas
Hot Idea: Host a “Coming Out of Hibernation” Spring Party
Woo hoo, spring’s here in a couple days! And although some of us may not see T-shirt weather quite yet (though there’s a heat wave in Canada right now), a party is just the tonic to get people in a sunny mood.
Here are some easy tips to hold a Coming Out of Hibernation Party at your house:
- Send invitations that have a springtime theme. This is an easy tie-in at this time of year as the Easter cards are all out in stores. You can also download your own animals, rolling hills, sun imagery, etc. on a document to make your own invites. Or try evites, which should have some pretty, spring like options.
- Make it a tea party. This is a great idea for children, too. Make yummy sandwiches, cut the crusts off and cut into thirds vertically. Arrange on a pretty plate. For youngsters, make iced tea and have a fruit juice choice available as well. Or if it turns out to be a surprise snow day, whip up some hot chocolate instead!
- Make a game of it. Organize a softball, baseball or soccer game for the grown-ups. Make sure there will be space at your local park for the party day. Cleanup is so easy when you hold a party at the park, so we really recommend this option.
- Use last year’s Easter decor. Easter grass is great for a springtime party. Other images of Easter are all about spring, of course; ducks, bunnies and chicks, rolling green hills and trees in bud are all gorgeous spring icons. Hang these Easter images around the party area as coming out of hibernation emblems.
- Place food in woven baskets around the table. You can get a bunch of these at your local dollar store and save bundles.
- Have a picnic party indoors. This is so much fun! It’s perfect if your Marches tend to be chilly and/or snowy. Lay a big checkered disposable tablecloth on the living room floor or on a table in the dining room. Load up the table with picnic favorites: sandwiches, fried chicken, salads, chips and ice pops. Use plastic picnic-style plates and forks.
Have fun with this party and hang on…spring really is on its way.
Super Cool Drink Recipes with an Irish Flavor
We all know St. Patrick’s Day involves drinking. But kids love the day too. Here are two choices, one for a grown-up’s St. Patrick’s Day party and one for a children’s soiree. (By the way, no fair dipping into their option, Mom and Dad! Okay, maybe just one sip.)
For the Grown-Ups: Emerald Isle Cocktails
It’s green, minty and oh so cool and refreshing — your guests are going to love this recipe.
- 1 oz. Cork Irish Dry Gin (or gin of your choice)
- bitters, 2 dashes
- 1 tsp. creme de menthe (make sure you buy a brand that is green, for color)
You will also need:
a cocktail shaker
a cocktail glass; chill this ahead of time
Pour all three ingredients into your shaker. Shake well, until blended. Pour and serve immediately in your cocktail glass. Makes one cocktail.
For the Kids: Minty McD-style Milkshakes (no alcohol)
Mmm, Shamrock Shakes! Think you can’t make them like McDonald’s does? We think it’s the other way around — you’ll never go back to a fast food shake after this frosty and fabulous non-alcoholic treat. You’ll also be the most popular mom or dad on the block. Read on for the easy instructions.
- 6 oz. any brand mint ice cream, NO chocolate chips; slightly softened
- 1 oz. 2% or whole milk
- whipped cream
- 1/2 tsp. mint flavored candy chips (Amazon carries these if you can’t find them at your local grocery store)
You will also need:
1 minimum 2-c. capacity blender or food processor
a glass, chilled in the freezer ahead of time
Instructions: Place ice cream into your blender. Blend for 5 seconds. Add the milk. Blend for an additional 20-30 seconds, until fully blended but still fairly solid. Pour into chilled glass. Top with whipped cream. Sprinkle mint flavored candy chips on top. Add straw and serve immediately. Makes one shake.
Easy Holiday Recipe: Shamrock Sandwiches
Say that five times fast! This recipe couldn’t be simpler, yet it looks so incredible when you set it out for guests to grab. We’ve seen a few versions of this recipe floating around the net of late and they’re all delicious. Here’s our favorite.
Shamrock Sandwiches (Makes four sandwiches)
- 8 slices soft white bread
- 2 thin slices (1 oz. each) orange colored cheddar or other orange colored cheese
- 4 tbsp. light cream cheese OR other soft, spreadable cheese of your choice
- 4 large pieces thinly sliced deli ham
- cilantro OR parsley, about 3/4 tsp. per sandwich (3/4 tsp. X 4 sandwiches)
You Will Also Need:
a shamrock shaped or leprechaun hat shaped cookie cutter
Instructions: Lay out 4 of the pieces of bread. Fold 1 piece of ham on top of each bread slice; don’t go out to the very edges — make it centered on the bread. Lay 1 piece of bread on top of each ham slice.
Spread the top piece of bread (4 pieces total) with cream cheese. Lay ½ slice cheddar cheese over one-third of each bread slice, to the left (see picture).
Now cut out each sandwich using your cookie cutter. Discard the excess cheddar cheese. Sprinkle the right-hand one third of the sandwich with cilantro or parsley.
Serve sandwiches on a tray to party guests or enjoy with your family on St. Patrick’s Day. Experiment with different cheese combinations to find your favorite. Vegetarians: omit the ham and stuff your sandwich with uncooked spinach leaves and a slice of tomato. Yum! Can also be made as open-faced sandwiches (makes 8).
Sliante! – Awesome Irish Toasts
Salud! What, not Irish enough for you? Then try these Irish drinking toasts this St. Paddy’s Day. Enjoy.
- “Slainte!” (“Health” or “To your health”): pronounced slawn-cha
- “Aways remember to forget the friends that proved untrue. But never forget to remember those that have stuck by you.”
- “May your glass be ever full. May the roof over your head be always strong. And may you be in heaven half an hour before the devil knows you’re dead.”
- “Here’s to being single, drinking doubles, and seeing triple.”
- “May your home always be too small to hold all your friends.”
- “I-rish (I wish) you a very nice place to live, I-rish God’s greatest gifts he’ll give. I-rish you health, and wealth, and more–I-rish your smiling face were at my door.”
- “May St. Patrick guard you wherever you go, and guide you in whatever you do–and may his loving protection be a blessing to you always.”
- “May the Good Lord take a liking to you…but not too soon!”
- “To wives and sweethearts (or: to husbands and boyfriends): may they never meet.”
- “To your health. May I see you gray and combing your grandchildren’s hair.”
- “May you live as long as you want, and never want as long as you live.”
- “May the road rise to meet you, may the wind be always at your back, may the sun shine warm upon your face, the rains fall soft upon your fields and, until we meet again, may God hold you in the palm of His hand.”
- “May the luck of the Irish possess you. May the devil fly off with your worries. May God bless you forever and ever.”
Theme Party of the Month: St. Patrick’s Day Office Party
In most offices, one of the integral St. Patrick’s Day elements must be absent: beer. However, it is still possible to have a fun party! Start with a potluck of green and/or Irish foods. Irish Boiled dinner, or corned beef and cabbage, is a great meal to share at a work potluck lunch. Try to get someone to cook it as a main dish.
Colcannon is another yummy recipe good for potlucks. It serves a lot, and it is cheap! We have the recipes for these two delicious treats on the blog!
Serve green drinks, too! Sprite with a bit of food color, or Mountain Dew, or green smoothies. Anything green!
For dessert, lime sherbert or Pistachio ice cream hits the spot.
Read more ideas for a St. Patrick’s Day Office party …
Sales and Coupon Codes for Online Party Merchants
Celebrateexpress.com – coupon code MEGAMAR – FREE BANNER with the purchase of $65! Good for 1 (one) Free Standard (18″ x 61″) Personalized Banner when you spend $65 or more. This coupon only applies to standard-size Personalized Banners and standard-size Personalized Photo Banners. Merchandise total of $65 must be after any coupons have been applied and does not include the cost of the personalized banner, shipping, handling, taxes or duty charges. Order the banner, then use coupon code at checkout – your banner will be discounted. Good through March 18, 2012
Shindigz.com – Coupon code VS3F3D – Save $10 on orders $65 and over! Order is for ground shipping in the continental US, and can not be combined with any other offer. Expires at the end of March 13, 2012.
Next issue in late March. See you then, and Slainte!