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DoomBuggy Productions presents: A "Nightmare Before Christmas"-themed St. Patrick's Day Decoration

DoomBuggy Productions presents: A "Nightmare Before Christmas"-themed St. Patrick's Day Decoration

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Hi gang,

Patrick here from DoomBuggy Productions. I'd like to start off today's article by wishing everyone out there a very Happy St. Patrick's Day!

St Patrick's Day is a holiday near and dear to my heart. Now I know you figure that I'm just being corny because my name is Patrick. But the real reason that I'm such a fan of this holiday is that I'm 100% Irish!

So -- before I dive into Part II of our "Nightmare Before Christmas" Doorway Trees project -- I thought I might offer JHM readers a little background on St. Patrick's Day. Over the years, March 17th has unfortunately become a day to pinch those not wearing green, and to drink emerald colored libations. But what's the true story behind this holiday?

The person who was to become St. Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland, was born in Wales about 385 AD. Far from being a saint, Patrick considered himself a pagan until he was nearly 16 years old. At that time, he was sold into slavery by a group of Irish marauders that raided his village. While held captive, Patrick became closer to God. After six years of slavery, he escaped to Gaul where he studied in a monastery for twelve years.

During his training, Patrick became aware that his calling was to convert the pagans to Christianity. he was eventually appointed as second Bishop to Ireland and began converting pagans to Christianity. The Celtic Druids quickly became upset with Patrick and arrested him several times. He responded by escaping each time.

Traveling across Ireland, Patrick established monasteries as well as schools and churches throughout the country. These were used to help in his goal to convert all of Ireland to Christianity. Patrick's mission in Ireland lasted for thirty years. After that time, he retired. And then -- on March 17th, 461 AD -- Patrick passed away. And -- ever since that day -- March 17th has been commemorated as St. Patrick's Day.

That concludes the truthful portion of this tale. As for the folklore aspects of St. Paddy's Day ... Sadly, most of the folklore surrounding St. Patrick's Day is false. For example: Patrick never brought anyone back from the dead. He is also said to have given a sermon from a hilltop that drove all the snakes from Ireland. Which would have been difficult, given that no snakes were ever native to this country. (Given Patrick's life's mission, one would have to assume that this snakes-out-of-Ireland story was just a metaphor for his conversion of the pagans. Anyway ...)

A shamrock -- the traditional icon of St. Patrick's Day -- stems from a more bona fide Irish tale. Patrick is said to have used the three leafed plant as a way to explain the Trinity. He supposedly used the shamrock in his sermons to represent how the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit could all exist as separate elements of the same entity.

As a tribute to St. Patrick, His followers quickly adopted the custom of wearing a shamrock on March 17th. Which eventually evolved into the practice of just wearing green on that particular date. Originally a Catholic holy day, St. Patrick's Day eventually evolved into more of a secular holiday once the celebration arrived in America back in 1737.

Ok, that's enough with today's history lesson. Let's get on with the project, shall we?

St. Patrick's Day Doorway Tree banner

First off, you'll need to create the tree itself. That process is exactly the same as it was when we did that St. Valentines Day Tree back in February. The shape of the door is the only thing that changes on this tree. As with anything repetitive, I'm sure that you'll find that the second tree comes together a lot easier and a lot faster for you than the first tree did. In fact, I'm betting that your second tree looks a lot better then your first tree does. I know mine did!

As for the steps leading up to the door: This time around, they're three mushrooms sculpted from Sculpey clay. And -- instead of painting them red -- this time, you'll be painting the inside of the tree as well as the St. Patrick's Day door bright green.

The next major step in this seven part "Nightmare Before Christmas" themed project will be getting started on the base for all the trees to be set into. For this, we'll be using a sheet of foam core. Now that you have two competed trees, you'll be able to see how closely they need to sit together. The real trick here is to make sure that the branches in the tops of the trees intertwine when they're sitting next to each other.

The completed doorway tree

Of course, you'll find a more in-depth explanation along with photos and illustrations over at my website. Next month, I'll be hopping right into step three of this project: Our Easter-themed "Nightmare Before Christmas" Tree as well as the wooden display box to house the entire decoration in.

Of course, after that, you'll have three months to catch up on this "NBC" project before we get started on our Fourth of July-themed Tree and its lighting effects. But that's still no excuse for falling behind!

That's it for today, folks. Happy St. Patrick's Day ... and happy crafting!

Patrick Hurd


Visit the DoomBuggy Productions web site.

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