DIY party ideas for St. Patrick’s Day for college students

Credit: National Library of Ireland on the Commons

Credit: National Library of Ireland on the Commons

If you’re on a dry campus, you’ll have to forego the green beer, but that doesn’t mean you can’t throw a great St. Patrick’s Day party. Besides, don’t you think St. Patrick, that plucky saint who legendarily chased the snakes out of Ireland, would approve of a little do it yourself? Check out these DIY party ideas for a fun time celebrating the luck of the Irish.

What to eat

Need to put together a St. Patrick’s Day menu, but you’re not up for cooking corned beef and soda bread? There are plenty of options for low-tech appetizers and snacks you can make right in your dorm room.

The easiest, which can be finger food for your party goers, is the shamrock sandwich, as described on Taste of Home in “Shamrock sandwich recipe.” With ingredients including cream cheese, mustard, deli sliced corned beef and rye bread, the only tools you need are a shamrock shaped cookie cutter for the bread (or some talent with a bread knife to make the shape you want), a bowl for your ingredients, a spoon to mix and scoop the filling, and a bread knife to spread. Voila! A taste sensation without too much effort. “Dill and Dijon mustard add zip to the creamy corned beef filling in these party sandwiches,” noted the Taste of Home Test Kitchen contributor.

Another easy idea is creating a fruit rainbow: cut up strawberries, oranges, pineapple (or apple), kiwi, blueberries and grapes and arrange them on the cutting board in a rainbow row. Put marshmallows at each end for clouds.

Feeling a little more ambitious? Here’s a list of foods you can dye green, according to a Divine Dinner Party post, “St. Patrick’s Day food ideas: Green color foods & great green recipes“:

  • Alfredo sauce
  • Cake frosting
  • Cheese sauce
  • Cookie dough
  • Cream cheese
  • Mashed potatoes
  • Scrambled eggs (perfect for a green eggs and ham reference)
  • White rice


You don’t have a ton of space in your dorm for decorating? You can create small decorations (or party favors) by using mason jars or wine bottles and decorating them with green or gold yarn. Wrap the yarn around the bottle and use a hot glue gun to stick the ends in place. Add some ribbon or a charm (this could be a printable slogan like “Kiss me, I’m Irish!” or a chocolate coin wrapped in gold foil) to top it off.

You can also buy white carnations and dye them green. How? A little green food coloring in their water will turn their edges a nice green shade overnight.


One easy way to entertain is to have contests for your guests. Give door prizes (or just a kiss!) to the person:

  • Wearing the most green
  • Who can name the most jigs on your Gaelic Storm CD
  • Who can peel the most potatoes in a time limit

Challenge your guests to a Limerick contest — the sillier the better. Or, if you want to descend into Leprechaun games, take a spin on “pin the tail on the donkey” and pin a hat (or shamrock) on the Leprechaun. If your town has a parade, take a mass pilgrimage down to the parade route and cheer on the floats! 


However you celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, remember to keep your wits about you and make sure you and your guests stay safe. If you go out and about, or if you’re serving alcohol at your party, be smart. “St. Patrick’s Day is known as a ‘drinking holiday’ so it is always a great idea to have a phone number for a local cab company stored in your cell in case you need a last minute ride,” wrote Nicole Gentile for College Lifestyles in her article “St. Patrick’s Day Safety.” She also recommended sticking with a group if you’re going out to watch a parade (or grab some green beer from a local pub). It’s not only a safe option, it’s fun. As Gentile concluded, “Can you honestly think of a better way than to spend this green holiday then surrounded by your best friends?” 

How are you spending St. Patrick’s Day? Tell us in the comments.

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