Bringing in the May
Celebrate spring with these easy May Day baskets
Ever since the raucous festivals of the ancient Celts, May Day traditions have celebrated the joy and beauty that spring brings. Today, celebrating is as easy as 1, 2, 3 with a May Day craft that brings back the neighborly tradition of giving a basket of treats to mark the season.
1Start with a sturdy base
The cone-shaped center of a 1-pound spool of twine (available at craft stores) makes a good basket base; simply slide out the cone and put the twine aside. You could also substitute a paper drinking cup in the shape of a cone or even an old party hat. Then apply a spray-mount adhesive and cover the cone with paper. We used bright polka-dot craft paper, but decorative tissue, sheet music, wrapping paper or even a pretty page from your favorite magazine will work. Tuck the edges of the paper into the cone and secure in place with hot glue for a finished edge that’s nice and neat.
2Add a handle and edging
Cut two equal lengths of ribbon or string about 10 inches long to make a handle. Use hot glue to stick the pieces to the inside of the cone, one directly across from the other. (After filling the basket, you will tie the two loose ends into a bow.) Use a paper doily to create a decorative edge around the top. Cut a slit from one edge of the doily through to its center. Overlap the cut edges, rolling the doily into a cone shape that will fit inside your cardboard base. Use hot glue to secure the doily so that the lacy edges peek out over the top of the basket.
3Apply finishing touches
With hot glue, attach a pom-pom (or a tassel, button or large bead) to the bottom of the cone. Buy some artificial butterflies, bees, dragonflies or little birds at the craft store (pick up extras to keep on hand, since they seem to disappear from shelves once spring is over!) and glue a few to the cone. Finally, fill it to the brim with freshly cut flowers (put the stems in water tubes, found at floral suppliers, so they stay perky) and treats like packaged candy.
Hang the basket on a neighbor’s doorknob and, as per tradition, dash away before you are seen.