Legends say that anyone who can catch a leprechaun is entitled to a sweet reward. Unfortunately, it isn’t exactly easy to catch one of these little green tricksters most times of the year.

With St. Patrick’s Day coming this weekend, though, there will be thousands of leprechauns will be out and about all over the world, polishing their gold coins, hunting rainbows, or hiding their lucky charms. It’s the best time to catch one, so let’s build a Leprechaun trap!

What You’ll Need

Leprechaun traps can be made from anything and everything: shoeboxes, paper bowls, napkins, old coffee cans, popsicle sticks, construction paper, you name it. You probably already have most of what you need in your home right now!

Keep in mind, however, that one of the reasons why leprechauns are tough to catch is because they are extremely clever. They’ll sense a trap a mile away unless you disguise it in the colors are shiny things they love. So here are a few suggestions for what to use to entice a leprechaun into your trap:

  • Green and gold glitter
  • Green and gold crayons or markers
  • Shamrock and rainbow drawings, cut-outs, or stickers
  • Pipe cleaners
  • Some tape or glue
  • Scissors (with a parent’s help, of course)
  • Plastic gold coins, marshmallow cereal, shiny Legos, or a tiny sandwich for bait

Remember: there’s no right or wrong way to build this trap. Use your imagination and don’t be afraid to get crazy. The more creative you are with your trap, the more likely you’ll be to catch a leprechaun. For example, here’s a photo of the one we built here in the office!

How To Use Your Trap

Another thing that makes leprechauns hard to catch? They’re so small! They could be anywhere! So now that your trap is done, you’ll need to find a good place to put it.

A good trick for setting your trap is to think about the places you’d hide if you were a leprechaun. The second place you think of is always the best place. No one knows quite why, but this is always true.

And just like other magical creatures that no one has ever seen, leprechauns only ever seem to show up when you’re napping, sleeping, or off on a family outing. So, once you’ve baited it, don’t be afraid to leave your trap alone for a while. After all, you don’t watch a leprechaun to catch you trying to catch it.

What To Do When You (Sorta) Catch One

The trap is sprung! You did it! You’ve caught one! Race over to your trap and carefully open the trap, ready to ask for your wish or pot of gold or maybe a unicorn or…

Hey! Where’d the leprechaun go?

The last thing to keep in mind when trying to catch a leprechaun is that, even though they’re small, they’re extremely magical. So no matter how diabolically amazing your trap is, there’s a good chance the leprechaun will, upon realizing it’s trapped, will simply tap its shillelagh twice on the ground, and teleport itself to safety.

That being said, a good leprechaun will always reward the clever child whose trap captured it. With another tap of its shillelagh, it will magically leave a little treat – chocolate coins, cookies, or maybe even a small toy – as a way of saying “excellent work on your trap.”