Shamrockin' Ideas for St. Patrick's Day

From recipes to crafts to decorating ideas, we’ve got your DIY projects covered for March 17.

By: Laura James

Parades, shamrocks, beer, Irish dancing and green everything – what’s not to love about St. Patrick’s Day?

The holiday originated as a day of feasting to honor Saint Patrick, the primary patron saint of Ireland, and is celebrated on his reported date of death on March 17. Established as an official Christian feast day in Ireland in the 1700s, St. Patrick’s Day spread to the United States in the 1800s and has become a widely-celebrated religious and secular holiday around the world. 

While my exact percentage of Irish heritage is unclear, I can totally get behind any excuse to feast, celebrate, share a drink with friends and wear the color green. And what's a celebration without festive food and drink recipes? First on my to-make list is this rainbow layer cake. Get the step-by-step instructions to make this easier-than-pie recipe >>

rainbow layer cake

Rainbow Cake

Baking colored cakes can be tricky – the cake may go in one color and come out a very different color. Why not avoid the trial and error by using rainbow colored icing to create a rainbow cake instead? Add sparkling gold sanding sugar on the top as a special added touch.

Photo by: Ellen Foord

Ellen Foord

More Mouth-Watering Recipes from HGTV

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Matcha Green Tea Gimlet

Give your St. Patrick's Day outfit the full effect with a green cocktail in hand. Sweet matcha powder, lime, simple syrup and gin combine to create a drink that's sweet, tart and incredibly delicious. Get the recipe>>

Lucky Vanilla Cupcakes

Give partygoers St. Patrick's Day luck with festive vanilla cupcakes topped with chocolate horseshoes and colorful ground pistachios. Get the recipe>>

Irish Nacho Dip

Flavored with stout beer, this hearty nacho dip is delicious served with potato chips, or turn it up a notch by serving it with French fries or tater tots. Get the recipe>>

Photo By: Abigail Barnes

Naked Rainbow Layer Cake

Get the luck of the Irish this St. Paddy's Day with a naked rainbow layer cake. This cake is simple to make, but your friends will think you're a pro. Get the recipe>>

Photo By: Abigail Barnes

Whiskey Cake in a Jar

Attention whiskey lovers: We have a recipe that combines your favorite alcohol with cake batter — in a jar. Plus, it's infused with a creamy Irish whiskey butter sauce that's irresistible to taste buds. Get the recipe>>

Celtic Knot Cookies

This year for St. Patrick's Day, replicate a traditional Celtic knot in the form of a graham cracker-flavored cookie. Don't worry, it's easier to make than it looks, and is the perfect accompaniment to a strong cup of coffee. Get the recipe>>

Chocolate Stout Cake Pops

These cake pops have an Irish twist because they're infused with stout. Decorate them with gold sprinkles to represent a pot of gold. Get the recipe>>

Photo By: Abigail Barnes

Shamrock Crispy Rice Treats

Your kids will love this take on the classic crispy rice treats, and so will you because they're naturally dyed with spinach. Get the recipe>>

Boozy Irish Coffee Sundaes

Enjoy a taste of the Emerald Isle with a dessert-style twist on traditional Irish coffee. Top coffee ice cream with rich, Irish whiskey-spiked hot fudge sauce, then top with whipped cream and a liberal dose of Irish cream liqueur. Get the recipe>>

Photo By: H. Camille Smith

Chocolate Biscuit Cake

This decadent, no-bake cake is a recreation of Prince William's groom's cake. The tea biscuits give it a delicious fluffy texture. Get the recipe>>

Irish Coffee

Top off the morning (or evening) with a warm Irish coffee. This tasty beverage is perfect on its own or as a sweet after-dinner treat. Get the recipe>>

Stout Pancakes

Serve these stout pancakes for breakfast this St. Patrick's Day. The bacon topping provides the perfect sweet and salty bite. Get the recipe>>

Healthy Shamrock Shake

Detox from all that green beer with a healthy version of the traditional shamrock shake. Get the recipe>>

Avocado Pistachio Cheesecake

This is for the avocado lovers out there. This dessert gets its green color and rich, creamy texture from your favorite fruit. If you're a fan of key lime pie, this just might be your new favorite treat. Get the recipe>>

Dublin White Cheddar Potatoes O'Brien

This cheesy potato dish is the perfect wake-up call the morning after festivities have ended. A perfect blend of vegetables, starches and meat are a great start (or end) to any day. Get the recipe>>

Key Lime Cake

If you need a little green at your party, this key lime cake will do the trick. Serve fresh seasonal fruits on top for extra flavor. Get the recipe>>

Pub Pretzel + Beer Cheese Sauce

What goes better with your stout beer than pub pretzels and beer cheese sauce? Not much. Serve this at your party for the perfect accompaniment to Irish beer. Get the recipe>>

Chocolate Stout Pudding

St. Patrick's Day is the perfect holiday to combine dry stouts, like Irish favorite Guinness, with dessert. This stout-infused chocolate pudding and topping is the ideal party closer that will leave guests asking for more. Get the recipe>>

Dark Chocolate Stout Mini Pie

You can use cupcake tins to bake these stout-flavored dark chocolate pies. Get the recipe>>

Photo By: Abigail Barnes

Gruyere Potato Gratin

Use red potatoes and Gruyere cheese to make this delicious, hearty and comforting gratin. Get the recipe>>

Salted Caramels

The sweet and salty combination will have your St. Paddy's Day guests will have your guests coming back for seconds — maybe even more. Get the recipe>>

Cranberry Orange Irish Soda Bread

Add a punch to traditional Irish soda bread with dried cranberries and orange juice and zest. Make them into individual sizes by baking in a muffin tin. Get the recipe>>

Salted Stout Caramel Popcorn

Serve a snack alongside beer and cocktails, such as this stout caramel popcorn. The distinct stout flavor will have your guests coming back for more. Get the recipe>>

Stout Corned Beef With Roasted Vegetables

An Irish meal isn't complete without corned beef. This version includes a stout broth and colorful vegetables. Get the recipe>>

Photo By: Abigail Barnes

Bloody Rosemary

Put a twist on the classic Bloody Mary cocktail by adding Irish whiskey and stout. Place a skewer of garnishes like turkey, olives and grilled potatoes. Get the recipe>>

Photo By: Abigail Barnes

Mini Matcha Tea Cakes

Transform your afternoon tea into dessert with this matcha tea cake filled with black sesame mousse. Get the recipe>>

Green Bloody Marty Martini

Made with green heirloom tomatoes, this twist on the classic Bloody Mary will become a new weekend favorite with its peppery spirits and earthy flavor. Get the recipe>>

Frozen Irish Banana Cocktail

This cold concoction may not seem like a traditional St. Paddy's Day treat, but it will definitely make partygoers feel like they're leaving winter behind. Combine rum, bananas, Irish cream and coconut to create an icy beverage that feels beachy with a touch of Irish charm. Get the recipe>>

Blueberry Scones

Whether you serve this for brunch or dessert, these perfectly tart yet sweet scones will serve as unexpected treats your guests will love. Get the recipe>>

Homemade Shamrock Marshmallows

Give your hot chocolate or coffee a festive touch by making shamrock-shaped homemade marshmallows, or skip the green food coloring and make them any time of year! We have an easy no-cook version, too. Get the recipe>>

Although St. Patrick’s Day is traditionally a day of indulgence, we’ve got recipes for the health-minded, too.

Eat Your Greens

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If you're looking for healthier food and drink options for St. Patrick's Day, try one of these naturally-green recipes from HGTV.

Mini Lamb Pot Pies With Minted Peas

Brussels Sprout Flatbread

Healthy Shamrock Shake

Detox from all that green beer with a healthy version of the traditional shamrock shake this St. Patrick's Day.

Try our twist on the traditional shamrock shake that features more greens and less guilt. Get the recipe >>

Healthy Shamrock Shake Recipe

How To Make A Healthy Shamrock Shake

If you wait impatiently each year for the arrival of the Shamrock Shake, but this year, you’re trying to eat healthier, have no fear. Blogger Ellen Foord recreated a healthy Shamrock Shake - all the deliciousness, none of the guilt.

If you wait impatiently each year for the arrival of the Shamrock Shake, but this year, you’re trying to eat healthier, have no fear. Blogger Ellen Foord recreated a healthy Shamrock Shake - all the deliciousness, none of the guilt.

After you've set your menu, set your table to fit the occasion. Instead of going with a more common all-green tablescape, make a rainbow table runner and floral arrangement the central features of your tablescape, and add hints of green and gold. 

St. Patrick's Day table setting and floral arrangement

Add Water

Carefully fill the vase with water before setting on the table.

Photo by: Ellen Foord

Ellen Foord

St. Patrick's Day Table

Create this St. Patrick's Day table setting with these DIY projects.

4 Easy DIY St. Patrick's Day Flower Arrangements

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Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Who says that flowers are reserved for Valentine's Day? With a variety of green-tinted blooms to choose from, St. Patrick's Day is prime for sending a sweet token of luck to a friend or filling your home with vibrant fresh florals. Read on to learn how to create a fun leprechaun garden, sweet DIY paper flowers, a lush vase of romantic fresh blooms or a unique fruit and vegetable arrangement from a variety of seasonal green florals.

Photo By: Chelsea Faulkner

Fruits and Veggies

With most of its materials sourced from the grocery store, this unique, punchy arrangement is not only super fresh, but is also a great low-cost alternative to a traditional fresh flower bouquet. Make your own from an assortment of Granny Smith apples, limes, ornamental kale, green hypericum, Bells of Ireland, Italian ruscus, Silver Dollar eucalyptus and lemon leaf greenery. 

Photo By: Chelsea Faulkner

What You'll Need:

To make this bouquet, you'll need a large glass beer stein, a Collins glass, thin wood craft dowels, floral leaf ribbon and a selection of fresh fruits, veggies and flowers (listed in previous slide). Place the Collins glass inside the beer stein and fill the space between the two glasses with thin lime slices. With remaining limes and apples, remove produce stickers and insert the sharp end of the wood dowels at an angle into the bottom of the fruit. Line the Collins glass with leaf ribbon, fill with fresh water and arrange flowers and produce as desired. Tip: Cut stems at an angle and place immediately into water for long-lasting results.

Photo By: Chelsea Faulkner

Leprechaun Garden

Wow your guests with this St. Patrick's Day take on the classic fairy garden. It's also a great project to do with the kiddos!

Photo By: Chelsea Faulkner

Realistic Details

According to Irish folklore, leprechauns enjoy living in seclusion and are attracted to areas where they can bury their many treasures away from prying eyes. To create the ideal leprechaun retreat, surround a miniature fairy cottage with lush green plants, moss, river rocks and, of course, a pot of gold.

Photo By: Chelsea Faulkner

What You'll Need:

For this project, you'll need two small wood planters, fresh mood moss, clear plastic wrap, small river rocks, floral tape or clear tape, miniature fairy garden accessories, faux gold gems and five to seven small green potted plants in a variety of shades and heights. Line the insides of both planters with plastic wrap, and secure with tape around the top rims. Fill the bottom of each planter with a handful of small river rocks for drainage, then stack the planters to add depth and interest. Create a custom design by staging plants and garden accessories before planting. Once you've achieved the desired look, remove plants from pots, loosen the roots and plant, filling any empty space with potting soil. Lightly water the soil before covering with moss and adding leprechaun garden accessories.

Photo By: Chelsea Faulkner

Pretty Paper Flowers

This whimsical paper arrangement will last all season long and its vibrant blooms are easily repurposed for future projects. Follow these simple instructions to make paper tulips, peonies and daisies. To make shamrocks, cut four heart-shaped petals from crepe paper, and bind the bottom 1/4 of the petals to a wire stem using floral tape. Gently pull petals apart until desired look is achieved. To make trailing vines, cut petal shapes from crepe paper, then stretch and crimp petals for an organic look. Attach petals down the length of a piece of bind wire using floral tape, and shape the wire as desired. Get materials and more instructions on the next slide.

Photo By: Chelsea Faulkner

What You'll Need:

For this arrangement you'll need crepe paper in green, white and gray (I used party streamers), green floral stem wire, green floral tape, paper bind wire, plastic gold coins, moss and a block of dry floral foam. Follow the easy step-by-step instructions on the previous slide to make the paper flowers. Place dry floral foam in a vase, and arrange paper florals into a full, asymmetrical bouquet, placing trailing vines above and below for a whimsical look. Add St. Patrick's Day flair by hot-gluing plastic gold coins to floral stem wire and distributing throughout the arrangement. Finish the bouquet with natural moss and curly willow branches. 

Photo By: Chelsea Faulkner

Chic and Romantic

This charming bouquet makes a great St. Patrick's Day dinner centerpiece or a thoughtful gift for good luck. To achieve this high-end look, choose premium flowers such as fresh green hydrangeas, Green Trick dianthus, ornamental kale, green-tinted Mondial roses, white wax flower, Silver Dollar eucalyptus, Italian ruscus and lemon leaf greenery.

Photo By: Chelsea Faulkner

Make Your Own

Although this arrangement looks intricate, it's actually quite simple to make. Place a block of wet floral foam in a wide, low-lying dish, and secure with tape. Cut flower stems long at an angle and insert about 1-1/2 inches into the foam. For best results, place large flowers such as hydrangeas, kale, roses and dianthus first, then fill in with greenery and wax flower until arrangement is lush and full.  

Photo By: Chelsea Faulkner

Display and Enjoy

Toast to your good luck (and great style) as you enjoy a gorgeous display of fresh handmade flower arrangements this St. Patrick's Day.

Photo By: Chelsea Faulkner

Take the decorations to the door and welcome luck into your home with a holiday wreath.

Last but not least, don't forget to have an outfit game plan that involves green to avoid any possible pinching incidents. Get wearabale craft ideas for you and the kids. 

Green St. Patrick's Day Crafts

Make one of these wearable crafts and ensure a pinch-free St. Patrick's Day.

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