May Day Baskets are a delightful and charming tradition that has been celebrated for many years. It is one of our most loved family traditions! On the first day of May, we create small baskets filled with sweets and flowers and then deliver them to the doors of friends and neighbors.
What is May Day?
In some parts of the United States, May baskets are made as part of the May Day tradition, a celebration of Spring that can include activities like a maypole dance and crowning a queen of May. May baskets are small baskets usually filled with flowers or treats, left anonymously on someone’s doorstep. The giver rings the doorbell and runs away. We call it the ding and dash! It is supposed to be a surprise for the lucky recipient.
How to Make May Day Baskets
It is super easy to Celebrate May Day with these easy to make May Day Baskets and you will be so glad you did! You will love the friendly feeling you get when you deliver a basket. You will especially love the printable templates. All you need to do is download, print, cut, and fold your way to a cute basket to bring spring cheer to someone special. Grab some supplies and get ready for fun!
Printable May Day Gift Tags
These tags are perfect to attach to any May Day Basket. They can be printed on any color of cardstock. I used kraft colored cardstock for these tags.
May Day Poem
These gift tags have a cute little poem. Find unique containers at the Dollar Store or a thrift shop and fill them with real flowers. A child-sized watering can works perfectly!
April shower bring May flowers,
And what do these May flowers bring?
Happy thoughts and sunshine smiles
And wishes for a wonderful Spring.
May Day Basket Ideas
May Day Baskets can be as simple as you like. Most baskets are made from a piece of paper rolled into a cone shape, which is perfect for holding a bouquet of fresh flowers. We love using wildflowers right from our yard.
To make this easy diy, just use the printable basket template complete with a gift tag. This template is made so you can print on patterned scrapbooking paper.
If you want to print a basket and be ready to go, this darling printable basket is the way to go. Download, print, cut and fold. Complete with a selection of cute gift tags. Fill with flowers and you are ready to go!
Fashion a basket out of crepe paper! These little baskets are the perfect size for a cupcake with a candy flower topper and a ricrac handle making them extra cute!
Some years because of the weather, homegrown or even store-bought live flowers might be hard to come by. If you find yourself in this situation and need something last minute to celebrate, print this basket on some fancy scrapbook paper and make homemade flowers with candy centers!
Make lovely paper tulips to fill your basket. All the free templates are provided.
Kids are sure to love making and eating these lollipop flowers. Just put them in paper cones.
Did you know that an old tin can makes a great recycled basket? Larger steel cans (like the kind spaghetti sauce comes in) are the perfect size for holding a beautiful bouquet of flowers. Drill a hole in each side of the can at the top and add a wire handle for the perfect basket-hanger. Or for a larger arrangement, a big coffee can is perfect!
Another up-cycled craft for May Day is to use take out drink holders for your basket. Kids will have fun decorating the cardboard containers. These sturdy and absorbent drink holders are perfect for holding some potted bedding plants, another great solution if you find your own garden flower supply limited.
Petunias add a beautiful scent of spring to your basket – and you can hot glue miniature candy bars to flower picks to make the basket extra sweet and overflowing with goodies.
You can even fold up paper to make your own basket. This craft also makes a great classroom activity for Mother’s Day or any end-of-the-year springtime celebration.
How about turning candy into butterflies and worms to adorn your gift basket? This recycled can has a beautiful wrapper that any child can decorate!
No flowers? No problem! Hot glue a seed packet to a stick and they can grow their own! Or fill with cute flower crafts, sweets, and crepe paper for a super simple springtime gift.
Baskets purchased from the Dollar Store can make great May Day baskets! Make your own gift tag or print off the gift tags above.
There is still time to celebrate! These little flower pot wraps will make a great last-minute May Day Basket! Gather a few supplies, and you will be ready to “ding and dash” and spread some springtime cheer.
These are perfect when you don’t yet have flowers in your yard because all the garden centers are full of bedding plants and you can usually purchase a large flat for a couple of dollars. We especially like geraniums because not only are they vibrant and cheery, they are hardy and will last for years as a house plant.
What is the History of May Day?
In the United States, the tradition of hanging May baskets on neighbors’ doors began in the 19th century. But May Day’s history is ancient – the spring festival has roots in pagan agricultural traditions when people marked the beginning of planting season in the Northern Hemisphere and the holiday celebrated nature.
In the British Isles, the festival of Beltane marked the division between winter and summer, and when the Romans conquered that region, they incorporated it into their own culture by creating a goddess of flowers named Flora.
That is why so many of the May Day festival activities – like dancing around a maypole with ribbons and crowning a May Queen – involve fresh spring flowers and beautiful bright colors.
May Day Baskets may be a tradition that has faded over time, but the memories and feelings they created still live on. Let us remember the warmth and kindness that this tradition brought, and continue to spread joy and happiness to those around us.