Wednesday, April 29, 2009

May Day surprise

This project featured on: One Pretty Thing, The Crafty Crow and My DIY Wedding Day

My mom taught me about this when I was little and for years I took a May Day basket to my neighbor, sneakily hung it on the doorknob, rang the doorbell and disappeared. That's how May Day baskets are supposed to work - like ding dong ditch only with something nice!

Typically this is for children but it's also fun for adults...obviously since I'm still doing it. *grin*

This year I'm blending a few ideas to make this easy and free!
So grab your kids and make a May Day present for your neighbors that celebrates Spring and is something they are sure to enjoy.


toilet paper tube
1" paint brush or sponge brush
small bowl
white school glue
large string or medium sized ribbon
hole punch
large, circular object to trace

I used the largest pan lid I had and traced it onto the local advertisements we get for free. Doesn't really matter what is on there since I plan to cover it up anyway!

Cut out the circle. Kinda looks like a papery pie!

Then fold it in half. Now it looks like you have half a pie. Cut a triangle slice out of the pie.

Now you've got your basic shape and you need color. Make sure you've got a few layers of paper or ads to cover your work surface.

I made a thick wash - by adding just a tiny bit of water to the paint - to cover the paper, but it still has a slightly see-through, rustic quality to it. Once applied, make sure to move your newly painted paper so it doesn't stick down to the work surface and rip. I painted both sides of the paper so the inside of my cone would have color too.

While I was waiting for that to dry, I also applied the thick wash to the inside and outside of the toilet paper tube as well. Drying time is pretty short for something like this, even when doing both sides.

Once you're sure it's all completely dry, apply some glue to the bottom of the toilet paper tube and form your paper cone around it, with the tube sticking up directly in the middle.

The tube is going to add some stability to the cone (since newspaper is pretty floppy!) and at the same time it will contain your flowers in a tighter bunch and keep them from falling down into the cone.

Be sure to glue along your outside seam so the cone doesn't have a gap. It may not want to press down perfectly, but that's okay too!

While this is drying you can hole punch on either side of the cone and thread your string in. I threaded in a thick jute string and knotted it on the inside but if your string or ribbon isn't thick enough you can loop it through and tie it on top.

Still waiting for things to dry? How about making some embellishments! Use your scrap newspaper and cut small circles. Like before, fold in half and then freehand some "petals." When you open it up you'll have a flower shape!

To these I made a new wash using a cheery yellow. You could also try butterfly shapes in keeping with the spring theme. To the embellishments you only need to color one side. Again, make sure to move them after painting so they aren't sticking to the work surface. Let dry completely.

Once everything is dry you can glue on the extras (I used a couple of mine to help keep the seam tacked down).

Now it's time for the flowers! Wander around your yard and gather a variety of colors. For filler greenery I added several sprigs of thyme so not only does it smell good but it adds dimension to the bouquet.

Have fun surprising the neighbors and teaching the kids joyful giving!

They also make really cute chair decorations!


M.L. @ The House of Whimsy said...

Okay, this is the cutest thing EVER!
Thanks so much for showing instructions step by step. I just love the end ADORABLE!

B said...

This puts a more adult spin on nicky nine doors. While you where ringing bells and running, leaving sweet gifts behind, I was doing the same thing, with the lack of gifts. I've since given it up though. This project makes me want to dust off my bell ringing finger though!

the ungourmet said...

That looks so easy and cute! I have always wanted to do a May day surprise but I always get busy and forget! Maybe I will get it together this year! said...

Aww, this is so sweet! I'll be linking.

Domestic Goddess said...

so cute!! wish you were my neighbor!!

Heather @ Sugar N Spice Mostly Nice said...

Very cute and easy, my kind of project!! Wish you were my neighbor!

Mercedes said...

OOOh I love this Idea. I think I am going to steal it!

Mon Cheri said...

That's a great easy to make a May-Day basket. Very cute and nice that it's FREE. I'd almost forgoten about that fun May dradition.*May*be I'll surprise a few people this year. thanks for the reminder.

Laurel @ Ducks in a Row said...

This is so cute - I used to do this when I was little. Hopefully we have time today to whip something up for tomorrow!

jeanne @ Inspiring Ideas said...

Yours is cute, too! Fun to see different approaches to a sweet May Day tradition!

Brittany said...

I LOVE it!

Xazmin said...

That is so cute! I love it! You always have the best ideas!

Tanielle said...

I love that so much!!! Too stinkin' cute!!! Wonderful idea too!

Have a great weekend!

Rebekah said...

That is such a great idea!!

BTW.. thank's for stopping by my blog!

Kristin said...

Stopping in from SITS and seriously what a sweet idea! Might do it for Mother's Day!

myDIYweddingday said...

So adorable! I love the idea and your instructions are really easy. Linked to it from my blog!

Julie Lynn Ivens said...

I love May Day Baskets! Great instructions :)