On the first of May, people used to leave little baskets around the doorknobs of friends and neighbors filled with candy and flowers. This is a more popular tradition in Europe than it is here, and actually predates Christianity. I think we should bring it back! My children love our neighbors and would seize any excuse to leave them a surprise. I started thinking about making some easy May baskets this year. I came up with an extremely simple and fast project that can be infinitely customized.
These May baskets are simply cones with handles. I had 9 x 12 inch craft felt squares that are readily available in many colors at crafts and hobby stores. That determined my size. If you have felt by the yard you may go ahead and make larger cones. I traced around a cookie tin on the felt to get a circle. I used a ruler to mark out where a third of the circle would be. You will cut out the 2/3 part. I did this freehand but you can locate “cone” templates online and find a pattern if you want to. I then formed my felt into a cone shape, glued it with fabric glue and pinned it with straight pins while it dried.
Next I decided what kind of handle I would make. For one cone I used lace trim that I found. I glued it on and pinned it while it dried. For the second basket I cut two strips out of felt that were long enough to go around the door knob and used my pinking shears to cut one of them down into a skinnier zig zag. I glued the zig zag over the plain strip for my handle. I attached it to the cone with glue and pins. You could use any kind of trim, yarn, pipe cleaner or fabric for your handle.
Finally I decorated the cone. I glued on flower shapes and a button for one cone. For the other one I glued on the letter “m” cut out of felt and had my son pick out some buttons to add on. You could decorate these simple cones in many different ways. You could embroider on the felt before gluing it into the cone shape. You could glue trim along the top edge, you could put a name or message on each cone….each one can be different. This is a project that is fun for children because they can do virtually everything on their own. If you provide them with items to glue on and felt scraps to cut and some felt cones they can make their May basket quite elaborate.
I cut out a second cone in a contrasting color to glue inside for stability and to hide the point where the strap is attached.
Now, wait until April 30. Pick some flowers, add some candy, and sneak over to your neighbors’ homes to deliver your May baskets.
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