May Day flower baskets are a delightful tradition and are quite easy to make. Anyone can make these for their friends and neighbors. I left four of these on doorsteps and received an awesome reaction.
When I was growing up, we made little baskets as a tradition and filled them with flowers on the 1st of May, May Day. These little baskets hung carefully on our friends doors until they came home to find them. We usually just made a few and I remember fragrant white wildflowers as one of my favorites. We didn’t do it every year, but even as a kid I could appreciate the simple gesture as being thoughtful and sweet. Even at the age of 7, I understood that the simplest holidays could bring the most joy. I also remember it as a great project for my mom and I to do after school. Now I am all grown up only to wonder what happened to the May Day holiday. I have a few friends who didn’t even know what it was. Maybe May Day just falls too close to Mother’s day.
The May Day Tradition
The 1st of May is celebrated as a public spring festival and dates back to pre Christianity. It was celebrated with Floralia, festival of Flora, the Roman goddess of flowers. It is traditional to crown a May Queen and for children to dance around the May pole. The traditions were brought to the United States by some early European settles. The early tradition of leaving flowers on anothers doorstep involved ringing the doorbell and running away. If the recipient caught you a kiss was exchanged. In Hawaii, this day is known as Lei Day. It is a great cultural event in Hawaii. Curious about the Maypole. Wikipedia has some amazing photos and details of the game from many different cultures.
Easy Golden Book May Day Baskets
This easy tutorial will show you how to make traditional cones for your May Day flowers, but we will use printed materials and easy to find materials.
What you will need to make a few baskets:
- A few pages from a Golden Book, newspaper, classic childrens book or coloring book. You need a page for each basket.
- Hole punch
- Washi Tape or Gold Pen
- Choose pages from colorful books. One per basket
- Roll the cone and tape it
- Cut the cone across
- Add washi tape or a gold pen detail
- Hole punch and add a ribbon
- Add flowers or herbs
I have a few old golden books with pages falling out, and I didn’t want them to go to waste. Even if you don’t have any around that you want to use for this project, you can order reproductions off Amazon for just a few dollars. I love the Pokey Little Puppy and We Help Mommy golden books so I started with those. You can also use classics like Dr Seuss or The Big Hungry Bear. These are a few books I started with
You can also us coloring books or activity books for a larger cone. I even thought newspaper would be adorable. Here are a few that I had to use.
In order to make the cone to put the flowers, you will need to roll up the paper. Make the cone at the bottom very small and widen the top. Fasten with a piece of tap. Now you have a shape like an upside down cone hat. Carefully cut the top into a shape you like.
You will see my obsession with my gold calligraphy pen. I would have never even known I needed one until we sold them in our Tinselbox Easter Box. Now I use it as an option in so many projects. On some I used the gold pen to make a top lining detail. On the others I used washi lace tape.
Now you need to hole punch the cone and add the ribbon. The bow looks best tied above the doornob. Add fresh flowers or herbs from your garden. I have one made with fresh rosemary. Please note that it could be several hours til your gift is received, so pick flowers that will not wilt too quickly.
May Day Baskets using Recycled Cans
I was really inspired today looking at a beautiful post from Martha Stewart on May Day. She had an amazing post with three cans brimming with wildflowers. I thought to myself, what I do have here that I can use to make these. The light bulb in my head went off and I started looking through the pantry. I choose two Mandarin cans (all eaten by the kids by noon) and a beer can. How fun is that. My plan was to give these baskets to my 3 best friends in town and my daughter would too. Seems like I am going to spend my afternoon driving around, but it will all be worth it. They will know we appreciate them.
Here is what you need for the beer can flower basket:
- Beer can or other can
- strong tape
- can opener
Here are the steps:
- Open the beer can or food can and wash it out
- cut a piece of ribbon to tie to a doorknob (only if this is for May Day!)
- tape the string to the inside of the can
- Insert flowers & deliver happiness
You can see I chose a beer can and 2 mandarin cans. I took the top off all three with a can opener. The mandarin label was hard to remove so i took a scissors and cut a piece. Then it all peeled off. These will be so cute! It was pretty easy to tape a string inside to hang on a doorknob. I want to say these were adorable as little table top flower vases as well. Then you don’t even need the string.
For more follow us on Pinterest.