Historically, the first of May marked the beginning of summer, which resulted in celebrations of flowers and food and dancing, which still take place in many countries. A widely known “ritual” pertaining to May Day is the act of anonymously leaving a basket of sweets or flowers on a neighbor’s doorstep. To commemorate this thoughtful ritual, and the start of May tomorrow, we have made this Thursday’s Theme all about May Day baskets, and how you can create your own.
Mason Jars and Planters
In true spring fashion, we will talk about flowers first. Simple planters that come with purchased flowers or plants can easily be transformed into the perfect May Day basket. Buy some decorative ribbon – the thicker the better – and cut holes into the sides of the top of the planter. Cut a long enough piece of ribbon to make a handle, and knot each end in the holes. Voila!
If you have a little more time, find an old Mason Jar and add a wire handle to it (if you don’t already have one of these handles, they can be found at most craft stores). Pour soil into the jar and plant a flower or a small variety of blooms inside. Tie a ribbon around the jar for a bit more decoration, or use a printout like the one on the Yesterday on Tuesday blog to add more personality.
Whether it’s wooden or wicker, there are endless ways to decorate a basket for May Day (or for keeping around the house as a decorative), here are some basics. Find pretty linen or even a cloth napkin to place in the basket. This will avoid making your basket look like you just threw everything into it. Ribbon is also a basic item to invest in. Wrap it around the handle or the bottom of the basket and tie it in a bow. Or, use it to tie together bags of candy or other goodies inside.
Also, don’t be afraid to just be simple! Cut flower or butterfly shapes out from colored paper and just scatter them inside, or hang them from the handle. If you’re planning on giving a basket to a family member or close friend, make them that batch of cookies you’ve been promising, or bake some muffins and take them over (in your basket!) and have brunch.
We hope you have fun crafting your May Day basket; share with us your designs – we’d love to see what you came up with!