Ireland has been linked to the color green since the 11th century, and green has been worn to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day since the 1640s, going back to when St. Patrick himself explained religious ideas using the green shamrock and turned it into an iconic symbol.
During all that time, we’ve learned how to turn a lot of things green—even those that maybe, probably, shouldn’t be green. But that shouldn’t stop you. Here are some of the things you can green-ify this St. Patrick’s Day to create a unique experience at your party or event:
Guinness is by far the most popular choice for St. Patrick’s Day. Is it too dark to turn green? Science says: “Yeah, it is.” Unfortunately, Guinness is too dark to truly turn green, although you might be able to get some green foam out of it.
Instead, pick something pale. Harp is the perfect pale, Irish, beer to turn green. The easiest method is to simply get your hands on some classic food coloring, place 3-5 drops in a glass, and then pour your beer. Remember to put the drops in first — if you do it after, it tends to get stuck in the foam and never really mixes in. If you want to go natural, you can also use spirulina or matcha powder, although these will definitely change the flavor.
Time to bust out that green Halloween makeup again. Or, for just about $5, you can by a brand new tube of green body paint. If you don’t have time for shipping, try your favorite local party supply store. And yes, you can also get your body airbrushed green, but a bottle of the makeup solution alone runs close to $40, and you’ll have to track down someone willing to do it.
Chicago does it, so why can’t you? Well, unfortunately, the Chicago green dye recipe is top secret—and, of course, environmentally friendly. So, we don’t know exactly what they use, but we do know they use about 40 pounds of powder to do it. It actually starts out orange until it mixes in.
That fountain outside
The Chicago river might be a little daunting, but that fountain you walk past every morning seems a little more doable. If you’re worried about kids or pets ingesting the water, you can take the safe route and try liquid chlorophyll—the pigment that turns plants green. A bottle should do it, at least for a little while, which will run you about $10.
Your photo booth backdrop
What? You’re not planning a photo booth for your St. Patrick’s Day party? What kind of a monster are you? First get that photo booth secured, then ensure you’ve got a green backdrop and plenty of ridiculous green props for the photos. Bonus points if someone shows up in green body paint and blends in with the backdrop.
Not everyone will be on board with Guinness, so why not serve up some green ice cubes for cocktails? You could even fill up a kiddie pool with green ice. All you need to do is turn some water green with food coloring and start filling up ice cube trays.
You’ve heard of red velvet cupcakes, so why not make them green instead? You can also just use regular chocolate cupcakes and use green frosting with green sprinkles to keep it easy, but still festive.
Go beyond just getting a green light and actually create an effect of the air itself turning green. Grab a fog machine and place your green lighting so that it’s shining up through the fog (aka uplighting). It will be a St. Patrick’s Day miracle!
A fondue or chocolate fountain
Adding some food coloring to your cheese or chocolate fountain will make delicious waterfalls of green. Just be sure you’re using either light-colored cheeses or white chocolate, or the color might not come out so appetizing.
Chips and dip
Get some kale corn tortilla chips and mix up some fresh guacamole for a green appetizer, no food dye needed. You can also add some celery to the mix. You can also bake your own spinach chips in the oven.
Pizza may or may not be Irish (it’s not), but that doesn’t mean you can’t turn it green. Use fresh dough and some food dye to get a nice green crust and top it off with items like green bell peppers and spinach. You can even find some greens that resemble shamrocks to throw on top.
Ever been to a St. Patrick’s Day party with green toilet water? Now’s your chance. You can use these bath color drops designed for kids—just place one yellow and one blue one in the tank the night before and let them dissolve. Voila, everyone will be seeing—and other things—green.
At Simple Booth, we’re all about creating unique experiences that leave a lasting impression. Making stuff green is just one way to do that. Our favorite way? Creating amazing photo experiences.