How to Create a Lucky Irish Leprechaun Look
The traditions and folklore that surround St. Patrick's Day go deep into history. The legendary patron saint of Ireland, St. Patrick, actually lived way back in the 5th century. St. Patrick's Day celebrations in Ireland can be traced back as far as the 9th or 10th century and these festivities were then, as now, a time of great revelry amongst the Irish people. The dietary restrictions that were put upon by Lent were lifted just for St. Patrick's Day so that this truly could become a time of great feasting, dancing and of course, drinking. If anyone knows how to throw a good party, it's likely the folks of the Emerald Isle. The traditions surrounding St. Patrick's Day continue to this day and are enjoyed by many, of Irish descent or not. Here in the United States, St. Patrick's Day has become a day to embrace all things Irish, even amongst those who are not actually Irish themselves.
The legend of the leprechaun is one of the most pervasive parts of Irish culture that has survived for centuries. A leprechaun is actually a type of a fairy. The Irish leprechaun has the reputation of being rather curmudgeonly, sneaky, and mischievous and at times, even a bit devious. Leprechauns were traditionally shoemakers that hoarded their money. Tradition states that the leprechauns would hide their money in pots that could be found at the end of rainbows. In Irish folklore, many a human would seek out these "pots of gold" that were supposedly hidden away by the leprechauns, but more often than not, the leprechaun would outsmart the human involved, foiling most of the best efforts to steal away the leprechaun's hidden treasure.
St. Patrick's Day celebrations have endured the test of time, and this Irish holiday continues to be enjoyed by the masses. If you are looking to do a little "wearing o' the green" this St. Patrick's Day, we've created a look just for you! By following our simple step-by-step instructions, you can create an authentic leprechaun look that will amuse and delight all your friends and fellow St. Patty's revelers. This look is perfect for a St. Patrick's Day parade, an Irish party, or is great to wear for fun down at your local Irish pub. May the luck o' the Irish always be with you!
Follow These Six Steps to Create Your Lucky Irish Leprechaun Look
Step One: The focus of our Leprechaun look is centered on the beard application. We have created a fun and realistic leprechaun beard by using crepe wool that is attached to the skin by using spirit gum. Crepe wool comes in many different shades and colors, but we have used the Light Auburn and Medium Auburn colors for a truly authentic "Irish" look.
Remove the crepe wool from the packaging. You will note that it comes in tightly woven braids. You need to begin to unravel the braid and pull it apart until you have the length you desire to use. It is better to make your beard a little longer than you need as you can trim it later to the desired length. For our beard, we have used crepe wool (product #CB29). Once you have the desired length of crepe wool completely unraveled from the braid, tug gently or cut it to remove it from the braid. Since we have used 2 colors, we have pulled them apart and then worked them carefully together. The more you fluff and pull on the crepe wool, the more hair-like it becomes. Crepe wool can be carefully ironed if you want it to be straighter, but we have used it in its naturally curlier state to create our leprechaun look.
Step Two: Apply spirit gum (Product #DD118) underneath the chin. Our beard will be built up like shingles of a roof from this point, but the starting point will be just underneath the chin. Apply spirit gum liberally with the attached brush applicator. HINT: If you are shaving prior to crepe wool application, you should probably do it the day prior to the application, as applying spirit gum to freshly shaven skin can be somewhat irritating!
Step Three: After applying the spirit gum, take your first beard layer and cut the top edge straight with scissors. Shift the fibers downward toward the back so that more fibers will be exposed to the spirit gum. Press the crepe wool onto the spirit gum. Apply more spirit gum if needed along the edges to get good adherence. Apply spirit gum above this layer and repeat the process. When you get to the last layer that will be applied right under the lower lip, be sure to cut the fibers into a bit of a point to simulate the look of natural hair growth in this spot.
Step Four: Apply more spirit gum and layers of crepe wool up the sides of the jaw line and up into the sideburn area. Repeat this process until you have the thickness of beard that you desire. Don't worry if your beard is too long or too thick; this can always be trimmed down later.
Step Five: We have left our leprechaun traditionally mustache-less but you can create and apply mustache pieces if desired. When creating a mustache, remember to apply crepe wool to each side of the upper lip separately and cut each piece at an angle so it fits along the upper lip nicely. The mustache pieces can then be trimmed to a desired shape and length.
Step Six: Trimming of the crepe wool with scissors is critical to get a perfectly coifed beard. Cut a little bit off at a time, making sure you don't cut it too short, too soon. You can always go back and cut off more. The beard will look less bushy if you trim the area near the sideburns so it is fairly close to the skin. (Be careful and use caution when you cut near the face!) You can keep as much length as you desire near the bottom and sides of the beard. For a more "Abe Lincoln" look you will want to trim your beard fairly short. If you want a more biblical look, keep the beard longer. Have fun and use your imagination. We dare you to do any of this without laughing! HINT: Spirit gum can easily be dissolved (and your beard taken off) with Spirit Gum remover. On the Halloween Express website spirit gum and remover are frequently sold together for your convenience.
After you have finished applying your beard, it's time to get into your favorite leprechaun costume. Our leprechaun is wearing the Lucky Charms Costume #GC4125. This leprechaun has his Pot of Gold Dutch Kettle (#PM547218) completely filled with Gold Doubloons (#QA69) and he is ready to hide it at the end of the nearest rainbow! Our female model is wearing the Sexy Leprechaun Costume (#RL5199) with lace top thigh highs #UA1912 along with platform shoes #HA3.
Getting lucky this St. Patrick's Day never has been easier! Create one of these whimsical and magical Irish looks to make your St. Patrick's Day one of the luckiest (and most fun) ever!