Shamrock Decor from Vintage Wooden Bowls

Shamrock Decor from Vintage Wooden Bowls

As much as I love Ireland and even traveled there in my 20s, I REALLY haven’t done many Celtic-influenced projects. For St. Patrick’s Day or otherwise! But the upcycling fates clearly had plans for me to make some shamrock decor. Because I kept finding these vintage wooden bowls that were clover- or shamrock-shaped in my thrifting path.

First, I found this gorgeous bowl during my junkin’ journey to Greensboro, NC

shamrock bowl

And then this smaller one locally here in Charlotte, which was probably the “clubs” from a set of bowls fashioned after each deck of cards suit.

wooden shamrock

To date, the only St. Patrick’s Day project I’ve ever made was this cute Irish scene in a vintage green mason jar.

Irish decor in a mason jar for St. Patrick's Day

But with these wooden bowls in my possession now, I was definitely itching to add a new St. Patrick’s Day project to my arsenal!

vintage wooden bowls

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Restoring a Vintage Wooden Bowl

First up, this large bowl that I found in Greensboro. It was a little beat up- scratched and nicked, here and there.

vintage wooden bowl

But it was one solid piece of wood. No seams, just one piece. And there was NO WAY that I was going to let a drop of paint was get anywhere near it.

Restoring it was all I wanted to do- and I used this simple tutorial to guide me.

First, I washed the bowl with dish soap and hot water to scrub off any schmutz, grease, etc.

cleaning a vintage wooden bowl

After hand-drying the vintage wooden bowl and letting it fully air-dry overnight, I grabbed some Wise Owl Furniture Salve and a clean cloth.

restoring a vintage wooden bowl

The tutorial that I referenced earlier used a different product. But I happened to have some of the Wise Owl furniture salve on hand, so it just made sense.

I rubbed the salve on and buffed it with the cloth and just SWOONED at the shamrock bowl. Isn’t it gorgeous now?

wise owl furniture salve

Thank goodness I committed to restoring it instead of painting it. Now, the smaller shamrock bowl, well…that’s a different story.

Celtic Knot Stencil for Shamrock Decor

I thought it would be fun to go in a completely different direction for the smaller of the two wooden bowls. In other words: paint and stenciling!

First, I found a good jar of kelly green paint in my stash to give the piece a pop of color.

painting the shamrock decor

Then, I grabbed a celtic knot stencil from this online store and some matte gold paint.

celtic knot stencil

Admittedly, stenciling this wasn’t as easy as I had hoped. The curves of the bowl required a lot of stencil trimming, and I had to use my fingers to hold it in place.

But, thankfully, the Celtic knot turned out pretty decently! I do love how that matte gold plays nicely with anything I stencil, that’s for sure.

celtic decor for st patricks day

And just like that, my shamrock decor was done! I loved that I had “transformed” them both in two very different ways.

shamrock decor for st patricks day

Shamrock Decor from Vintage Wooden Bowls

Now I have a lovely set of shamrock bowls to set out each March! I also found a pretty little vintage plate at a thrift store, too, and it fits in swimmingly.

shamrock decor from vintage wooden bowls


And, guess what today is? It’s Thrift Store Decor Team Day, which means my friends have been upcycling their thrifted finds, too.

repurpose project and ideas

1. Baking Soda Paint Thrift Store MakeoverHouse of Hawthornes

2. Thrift Store Stacked Box MakeoverOrganized Clutter

3. Vintage Garden Bench UpcycleShop at Blu

4. Thrift Store Urn TablescapeOur Southern Home

5. Shamrock Decor from Vintage Wooden BowlsSadie Seasongoods

6. How to Paint a Wooden Mirror FrameMy Repurposed Life

7. Bird Nest Vintage Water Dipper DisplayPetticoat Junktion

8. Succulent Terrarium Using Embroidery HoopsMy Uncommon Slice of Suburbia

9. Melamine Serving Tray MakeoverReinvented Delaware

10. DIY Wood Bowl CandleDomestically Speaking


So, which shamrock decoration is your favorite? The larger restored bowl or the smaller painted bowl?

shamrock decorations

I have to admit, I think I love the bigger one better. The wood just GLEAMS, and I feel like that $4.00 price tag was an absolute steal. All it needed was a little upcycling TLC!

Speaking of Spring, here’s another upcycling idea to consider as we get closer to Easter. Best part? It only takes a few minutes to put together!

Decorating with hobnail milk glass for Easter

Craft on!


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vintage wooden bowls as celtic decor

restoring wood with wise owl furniture salve

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Sarah Ramberg is the owner of Sadie Seasongoods, a website that celebrates all things secondhand. From upcycling ideas and thrifted decor to vintage-centric travel itineraries, Sadie Seasongoods is a one-stop shop for anyone who loves thrifting and approachable repurposing ideas. Sarah is also the author of “Crafting with Flannel” and has been featured in numerous media outlets and magazines.


  1. What a sweet collection for St. Pats! You are so creative. I need to get some of that wood salve for a few wooden bowls that I’ve picked up at the thrift store.

  2. Perfect for St. Patrick’s decor! The wooden bowl looks fantastic.

  3. LOVE monkey pod wood (acacia)!! I pick it up whether I have a plan or not.
    Try stripping it-the natural wood it gorgeous. I then use a mineral oil-beeswax combo to make the grain pop.

    • Sadie Seasongoods says

      Ooooh, I’ll have to do that! I’ve done several projects with Acacia/Monkey pod pieces, but never stripped them. Mmmm, must try- thanks for the tip!

  4. I need to try out that wood restore – amazing!

  5. I love your bowls, so cute and that plate is adorable!

  6. Sarah,
    You find the BEST wooden projects at thrift stores. I guess I’m always perusing booths for furniture, so I overlook the “smalls”. I love how your shamrock decor turned out. So happy you didn’t paint the large one, but the other one just makes me smile with that gold stencil.

    • Sadie Seasongoods says

      I always figure we’d be good shopping buddies- you’d get the big pieces and I’d get the small ones, LOL!

  7. Which is my favorite? The wood shamrock! And that’s coming from a lady who paints everything 😊 Great makeover Sarah! Pinned!

  8. Enjoyed your post! My last name was O’Malley for 15 years and I love all things Irish! One of my faves is your Irish Mason jar with the sheep! Always good to see it. I also love the eggs in the “grass” as I am a milk glass addict!

  9. Well, heck. Who knew a little cleaning and waxing would do so much good! Thanks for the tips!

    • Sadie Seasongoods says

      Right?? And it smells sooooooo good, too (well, this scent does- there are lots to choose from).

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