Happy May Day - May Basket Tutorial

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Some of my favorite traditions are "leftovers" from France which are still observed in various areas of the U.S. For example, ever since I was a young girl, it has tradition in our area to pick flowers from the garden to share with neighbors on the first day of May.  I remember fashioning crude "May Baskets" from small, wax covered milk cartons, bits of construction paper and chenille stems (pipe cleaners) when I wasn't more than six or seven. Filling them with whatever was blooming in our yard (usually lilacs, violets and often, dandelions) and hanging them on the door knobs of neighboring homes, ring the bell and run. If the person caught you hanging it on the door, they got to give you a kiss! Over the years, I've made May Baskets out of a variety of materials. This year, I decided to try chicken wire and moss.

Here's how you do it
  • Make a paper template of a cone and cut the chicken wire in the same shape as  the pattern. 

  • Shape the wire into a cone (cutting off any sharp edges) and stuff the inside with moss, leaving a hole in the center.

  • Use the template to make a liner from a one gallon plastic bag which  I then place in the center of the cone. Roll the wire cage around the top of it to hold it in place.

  • Decorate by gluing  leftover bits of  ribbon and lace to the top and the sides of the basket. I then printed a cute French image from The Graphics Fairy which says: "small flowers speak for me" (appropriate, don't you think?!) to which I added my own note at the bottom. I cut them out with my "fancy scissors" and attached them at the side of the basket. 

  • I filled the basket with Lilacs and Heuchera Leaves from my yard, Delphinium, Spray Roses and Wax flowers from the market. You can use whatever you have on hand.

I've decided that I like them so much that I'm going to make a few for Mother's Day and maybe a bridal or baby shower  this summer! 

Happy May Day!!!!



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