When I was in elementary school, I remember the feeling of delight when I discovered a May Day basket on the door knob on May 1st. The one I can picture most clearly was made from a nut cup, decorated with crepe paper with candy inside. It was left anonymously by my mom which felt very special since I lived with my dad at the time.
Now that my children are grown, I don’t celebrate May Day every year but I do still make May Day baskets on occasion, usually for my mom. The last one I made her was in 2020 and it was filled with rolls of toilet paper ~ the perfect pandemic May Day basket!
I do love the tradition and creativity of May Day baskets. They’re fairly quick and easy and would be fun to make with and/or for little ones. Keep reading for a full May Day basket tutorial.
Gather Your Materials
- Peat pots (I used the 3″ size)
- Acrylic paints
- Crepe paper
- Assorted trims
- Pipe cleaners
- Tray of annual flowers: 4,6, or 8 pack
- Faux pearl white stamens (optional)
- Glue gun
- Glue sticks
- Large paintbrush
- Sewing machine (optional)
See this post for some of my favorite crafting tools: Top 10 Tools For Crafting
Make May Baskets
First, decide how many May baskets you’re making and set aside that number of peat pots.
Paint The May Baskets
Next, decide how and which colors you’ll paint your May baskets. I kept it simple with solid colors in Spring hues.
Paint each peat pot as desired. I just did one coat of paint to give a bit of a rustic feel. I also like to paint about 1/2-1″ on the inner rim of the pot as well.
Add A Handle
Add a dollop of (hot) glue to the inside of each peat pot, on one side. Stick one end of the pipe cleaner into the glue. Press and hold for a few seconds to secure. Repeat on the opposite side of the pot.
Embellish The May Baskets
First, add trim around the outside rim of each May basket.
I used three different styles of trim: ruffled crepe paper, ball fringe, and textile trim.
To create the ruffled crepe paper, simply feed a length of crepe paper through a sewing machine, scrunching the crepe paper as you go. I advise going slowly to prevent ripping the crepe paper.
Alternatively, you could glue several lengths of crepe paper together and then cut slits along the top and bottom to create a fringed look.
Glue your chosen trim to the outside of the peat pot rim. I used hot glue because it’s quick & easy.
For two of my May Baskets, I decided another piece of accent trim around the top of the basket would look good so I added a length of rick rack.
Add Felt Flowers & Leaves
First, make your felt flowers. I loosely followed this tutorial on the Paper & Stitch blog. The peat pots I used were fairly small so one felt flower per basket was fine.
Next, freehand cut out several felt leaves in various sizes.
Once you have the flowers and leaves, play around with placement on each basket to see where you want to glue them.
Use hot glue to attach the leaves and then the flower to each May basket.
For the larger flower, I glued it to the front of the May basket.
Once all the flowers and leaves are attached, you’re ready to fill the May Day baskets!
Finish With Filler
You can fill your May baskets with whatever you like. In the past I’ve filled them with small candies, colored pencils, and (paper) flowers. For these baskets I decided to fill them with traditional, real flowers.
Each basket is filled with one section of a 6-pack of annuals. This is sweet alyssum ~ thanks to my mom, Mrs. Blossom, for conveniently having this on hand when I came over with my empty baskets 😁. I cut one section of the 6-pack out and place it right inside a May basket, black plastic and all. They fit perfectly.
On the morning of May 1st, leave your adorable May Day basket on the door knob of a friend or loved one.
May baskets are such a lovely way to let someone know you’re thinking of them and to remind them that May flowers have arrived!
Happy May Day and Happy Creating!
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