How to Make a May Day Basket

30 April
Do you know about May Day?

May 1st is May Day. The older generation may remember this fun day from their childhood.

It began losing popularity in the 1960s but I remember celebrating when I was young.

It was celebrated by leaving a small basket filled with flowers or treats at someone's doorstep or hanging from the door knob. The giver would ring the doorbell and then run away before being caught.

Tradition says that the person receiving the basket tries to catch the fleeing giver and if caught, a kiss is exchanged.

We celebrated with traditional May baskets we made and filled with flowers. We would hang them on our neighbor’s door knobs, ring the bell (or knock) and run like crazy, giggling the whole time! Then we would hide and try to see the person finding the basket without them seeing us!

I’m sure most everyone knew who was doing it, I can remember an elderly neighbor lady exclaiming just a little too loudly, “Oh what pretty posies! I wonder WHO could have left them for me!”

It’s kind of sad to see such an innocent, sweet holiday fade into history but today’s world seems just a little more dangerous and grumpy.

But if you remember celebrating when you were young maybe you’d like to make a little basket to give to a friend or relative, or for yourself to remember those younger days 😊

How to Make a May Day Basket

How to Make a May Day Basket

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Here is how you can make one... or two like these!

Supplies Needed:

Step One - Choose a suitable item to become a basket.

I chose a cardboard cone and an empty toilet paper roll. 

Cover each one with your desired papers using Mod Podge. I chose blue polka dot and rose papers along with a paper doily for the cone-shaped basket.

Step Two - Create the bottom.

If you are using a toilet paper tube to make your basket, flatten out the bottom portion and punch some holes along the bottom edge with a hole punch.

Lace it up with ribbon to form a basket.

How to Make a May Day Basket

Step Three - make a tassel and line the basket.

If you are using a cardboard cone for your basket, you can make a tassel for the bottom with yarn.

To make the tassel wrap the yarn around 4 fingers until it is the desired thickness.

Carefully remove the yarn from your fingers and then tie another piece of yarn through the top.

Cut the bottoms of the loops then fold them in half and tie another piece of yarn around the top 1/3 to create the tassel shape.

How to Make a May Day Basket

Glue the finished tassel to the bottom of the cone (or wherever else you want one!). 

Line the top edge of your basket with crepe paper if desired. I used a crepe paper streamer that was already gathered and ruffled but you can easily make your own by running a gathering stitch down the center of a regular crepe paper streamer and snipping the edges.

 Glue it around the inside edge of your basket top.

How to Make a May Day Basket

Step Four - decorate and embellish!

Next, decorate your basket with little bits and bobs!

How to Make a May Day Basket

I used various scrapbooking ephemera (flowers, butterflies, tiny clothespins, etc.) and some vintage items (tiny mushrooms, a yellow bird candle holder, velvet ribbons, etc.)

How to Make a May Day Basket

How to Make a May Day Basket

Step Five - add flowers.

I used plastic flowers in my baskets but if you want to use them for fresh flowers,  use the floral water picks inside to hold the stems.

How to Make a May Day Basket

How to Make a May Day Basket

How to Make a May Day Basket

Bonus! Here are some ideas for what to put in your May Day Basket:

  • Fresh or faux flowers
  • Wrapped candies
  • Cookies (for larger baskets)
  • Small gifts and trinkets (lip gloss, earrings, key chains, etc.)
  • Gift cards or lottery tickets

Happy May Day to you!

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  1. Your May baskets are so sweet! I remember, as a little girl, making and delivering them when my family lived in Wisconsin. It didn't seem to be done in other places where we lived. We made them out of wallpaper, folding it into cones to hold the flowers and adding a ribbon handle. It was fun!

  2. Yes, it's sad this fun tradition has all but faded away. Your little baskets are adorable!


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