Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Happy May Baskets

Happy May Day, dear friends. I believe this is an under appreciated holiday. I have loved it since my Mother first explained the whole basket of flowers deal to me. I fondly remember my childhood neighborhood in San Rafael California, where I would pick flowers from our yard and put them in a home made paper basket. Then, I would choose the neighbor I wished to bless, hang the basket from their door knob, ring the bell and run like crazy back home to watch through my window. Now, who wouldn't love a holiday like that?!

I don't even know it was already an antiquated custom back then, but I have tried to revive it as best I could in my adult years. I passed on the tradition to my children, who may not be quite as enthusiastic about it as I am.  When I sit down each year to make May Baskets, my inner child gets excited!

I love bringing out all my little "bits and bobs" and ribbons and paper and making a huge mess on my dining room table!

Isn't this a darling poster from the 50's! It brings to mind the other very fun May Day tradition: The May Pole. I'm afraid that tradition has pretty much fallen by the wayside.

So. this was my process this year: I'm using these pre-fabricated cardboard forms for the first time. I usually just use scrapbook paper, but these really did make things easier and sturdier.

Next, I painted them white. I found out later that was unnecessary, since you couldn't see the brown through the paper. It does look nicer though if you paint the inside.

Next, I covered the cones with scrapbook paper. I coated the cones and the paper with matte "Modge Podge" and rolled the paper on. It adhered immediately...I was very pleased.

Now, for the fun part...just start embellishing! I was determined to use what I had on hand, so you could do much more inventive things with your baskets! I put labels through my printer, cut out flower motifs, and glued on fancy flowers and trims, etc.

Then I added the ribbon. The cardboard was too thick to punch a hole in for the ribbon, so I glue gunned it on - worked fine.

I used to make a loop with the ribbon on top, but nowadays, lots of people don't have front door knobs, so I have two ties that I can tie into a bow, no matter what the front door arrangement is.

Now, I must tell you, that the "ding dong dash" part of the equation is getting more difficult for me at my age. Plus, some people don't go in their front door regularly, so I have had to come up with other ways to let them know there is a surprise on their porch.
Of course, fresh flowers always look best in your baskets. I collected some today at the store and from my yard. I usually cut them to fit, wrap the ends of the stems with a wet paper towel, put that into a zip lock sandwich bag with a little bit of water, zip up the bag as much as possible and them gently slide them into the basket.

Thank you for letting me share my little May Day rituals with you. I hope yours is delightful and filled with unexpected surprises! Love, Derrith
Wednesday Morning Update: I myself had a delightful and unexpected surprise this morning when I opened my door at 7:00 AM. Look what I found...
Someone left me a May Day basket! I was so surprised and excited and I haven't stopped smiling since. They are glorious lilacs and they smell SO wonderful. I don't know who did this, but I am so touched and thankful. You truly made my day!


Mom E. said...

These are so sweet! I want to do this too! I used to as a child, we even took them to the grumpy neighbor. and al of yours are lovely! I am glad you received soime may flowers. Lilacs are such beautiful flowers, I can't wit until my Lilac bush has blooms! I don't know how long it will takke, but it is planted anyway!
Hugs to you!

Anonymous said...

Where did you get those cardboard cones? I want to do this with my class this year and am getting supplies now.

Thanks for the email with the details: