Holiday Crafts

Crafts for and about the holidays!

May Day Baskets | From Blue Bells and Cockle Shells
I have often wished that we could celebrate May Day properly with a May Pole, but every time we have known of a place that was hosting such a celebration, the event was ridiculously crowded. Then May Day became associated with protests and riots in Seattle, so it just started to seem best to stay close to home on May Day and keep things simple.

May Day Baskets | From Blue Bells and Cockle Shells
This is the general shape you need to cut to make a paper cone. We used scrap-booking paper to make our cones.

Then one day, I saw a photo online of a beautiful May Day paper cone filled with flowers, so I decided to do some research. I found this article about May Day baskets, which explained the tradition.

A reporter in the Sterling, Ill., Gazette in 1871 explained the seasonal ritual this way: “A May-basket is — well, I hardly know how to describe it; but ’tis something to be hung on a door. Made of paper generally, it contains almost anything, by way of small presents you have in mind to put in it, together with your respects, best wishes — love, perhaps. It is hung after dark at the door of anybody the hanger fancies. — Which done, the said hanger knocks and scampers.”

May Day Baskets | From Blue Bells and Cockle Shells
We used a doily paper punch to decorate the top of our cones.

I thought the idea was such a nice and simple way to celebrate May Day, so Sola and I decided last year to make some simple paper cone May Day “baskets” and deliver them to our neighbors.

May Day Baskets | From Blue Bells and Cockle Shells
Role the paper up into a cone shape and apply glue to the outer edge and hold the cone shut for a minute or so.

Unfortunately, we had to buy flowers from the store, because Sola had sacrificed all of our flowers to her fairy gardens.

May Day Baskets | From Blue Bells and Cockle Shells
Punch holes on both sides of the top of the cone and then tie a pretty ribbon to both holes. Make the knots firm, so they can support the weight of your flowers.

We used the wet paper towel/foil method of keeping the flowers fresh that my mother always used when she brought roses from her garden to friends or neighbors.

May Day Baskets | From Blue Bells and Cockle Shells
To help keep your flowers fresh longer, wrap the stems in wet paper towels. Then wrap the wet paper towels in aluminum foil, so the water doesn’t ruin the cone.

Our neighbors enjoyed the surprise and we found delivering the “baskets” to be a nice way to celebrate the beauty of this time of year, when the flowers are beginning to bloom, the bees are buzzing, the birds are singing while they go about their job of nesting, and the days are getting brighter and longer.

May Day Baskets | From Blue Bells and Cockle Shells
Put your flowers in your cone and hang them from the doors of your unsuspecting neighbors!

Have you ever celebrated May Day? If so, how?

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