Can you believe that April is over and we are officially into May. Here in the midwest we only have 4 weeks of school left! GULP! Due to the long, dark, dreary winter I am particularly excited for May Day this year. This will be our first year celebrating at home, but I have fond memories of making may day baskets as a child when I was younger.
May Day has been around for centuries and originated in the Celts of the British Isle and was originally known as the Beltane Festival. Being the most important day of the year, celebrating the return of light and life to earth. So, like I said, after this past winter I believe that the sunshine, green grass, birds chirping and flowers blooming is worth honoring.
May Day baskets are to honor the holiday and share with your neighbors and friends. The tradition is to hang the basket on the doorknob, ring the doorbell and run away. Cute, right? I decided to make some flowers, but wasn’t quite sure how I was going to do that, and didn’t want to have to run to the store. There was a lot of making up as we went along, but I think they turned out SO CUTE!
Here’s What You’ll Need
- Paint Brush
- Paint Tray (we used a paper plate)
- Crayola Washable Paint
- Heavy Paper
- Craft sticks
- Green Pipe Cleaners (I used pink and blue pip cleaners also for the handle to our basket)
- Hot Glue Gun
- Aluminum Can
- Scrap Book Paper/Construction Paper
Start off by choosing your colors and painting your kiddos hand. London had a lot of fun with this and ended up mixing colors painting her own hands. Have them spread their fingers the best they can and stamp their hand on the paper.
With London’s hand I was able to fit 4-5 hand prints on the paper. So 1 sheet of paper made enough flowers for one basket. Once the handprints dry, you can cut around each print. This will be your flower’s bloom.
Next, you’ll want to work on the stem. If you have an older kiddo and a low heat glue gun you could probably have your child help with the assembly. I did the rest of the project while London napped.
The craft sticks that I had were not long enough to stand up in the aluminum cans, so I used hot glue to stick two together. This way I also had varying heights in the May Day basket which I liked. You are then ready to glue your hand print to one end of the ‘stem’. The green pipe cleaner was a fun addition to make the handprints look more floral. I took pipe cleaner and twisted small loops to resemble leaves. Once I was satisfied with my greenery I added it to the craft stick. Your Flower is complete!
To make the basket I first hot glued the two ends of the pipe cleaner to the top of the aluminum can. You could use ribbon here as well. The next step was to wrap the scrapbook paper around the can. I used the height of the can to measure the paper, then cut a long strip. Use your hot glue gun to put a line of glue from the top of the can straight to the bottom and stick a short edge to the glue line. Wrap the paper around the can and glue the second edge down. There should be some overlap.
Add your handprint flowers (and maybe some candy too!!) and you are all set to spread light and kindness to your neighborhood! Do any of you have May Day traditions? The return of light and life seems like such a worthy and magical reason to celebrate! I look forward to many May Day basket deliveries in the years to come.