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Friday
Apr272012

Easy Craft: How to Make a May Day Basket Out of Paper

When my family returned from a spring weekend away last year, we had a lovely surprise waiting on our door -- a May Day basket! The basket came from a sweet neighbor and her young daughter, and it's a tradition I decided to adopt this year for some of our neighbors and friends. After a bit of surfing, I found directions and a free printable template for a paper basket and flowers. It was so easy even a non-crafter like me could handle it. And there was plenty of work that my preschooler could help out with, too.

Look how cute it turned out:

Here are the supplies you'll need for your paper May Day Basket:
  • Heavy paper, either scrapbooking paper or construction paper, at least 8 1/2 inches by 11 inches. (I used scrapbooking paper that was 12 x 12; cardstock weight worked best, but I used some lighter-weight sheets, too.)
  • A glue stick or double sided tape
  • Scissors
  • Some kind of "sticks" to mount the paper flowers. I bought a big bag of popsicle sticks from the craft store, but pipe cleaners or straws would probably work fine, too.
  • Embellishments for the inside of your paper flowers, such as pom poms, buttons or stickers. (These are optional; your kids could also just color the flowers.)
  • A short piece of ribbon or string for attaching the tag.
  • A paper punch would make attaching the tag easier.
  • This awesome free printable template from Skip to my Lou, which is a great site full of arts & craft tutorials, ideas for handmade gifts and free printables.
Step 1:

Cut out all the pieces. If your printer will handle it, you can print the template directly onto your paper. But instead, I printed the template on regular office paper and used it as my guide when cutting out all the pieces on my scrapbook paper. Since the template is designed for 8 1/2 inches by 11 inches, I used the extra paper to make more flowers. 

Step 2:

Spread glue (or use tape) on an edge of the straight side of the paper you'll use for your cone. Fold the paper into a cone shape, overlapping the edges. (I had to smush mine just a bit to make this happen. I also used a paperclip to hold the cones together while they dried.)

Step 3: 

Glue edges of the paper handle and attach to the cone to form a loop you'll use to hang it from a door.

Step 4:

On to making the flowers! Decorate or color the inside of the flowers. (Skip to my Lou used candy, like Hershey's kisses, for the inside of her flowers.) I was making multiple baskets, so I was able to mix up the patterns with flowers from other sheets of paper. Glue the paper flowers onto the top of your craft sticks, straws or pipe cleaners. This is the step my 3-year-old daughter was able to help out with easily.

Step 5:

Write your message onto the gift tag and attach it to the cone with ribbon or string. I think May Day baskets are supposed to be anonymous, but feel free to claim credit!

Step 6:

Fill your cone with the paper flowers. (If needed, you can put some tissue or Easter grass in the bottom of the cone to make the flowers sit up taller.)

Step 7:

Now decide who among your neighbors and friends are going to be lucky enough to come home and find this charming May Day basket on their door!

Notes:
  • You could make just the basket (the easiest part) and fill it with live flowers, but my tulips are long gone, unfortunately.
  • In addition to handling the flower work, my daughter put some of our decorations on the cones as well. Not by the book, but still cute.
  • Making one basket and three flowers probably only took us about 10 minutes, and she loved it. By basket No. 4, she got bored. Next year I won't be as ambitious about how many baskets we will make!

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