Thursday, April 29, 2010

Recycling DIY: How to make a May Day basket

May 1st, aka May Day is a fine way to celebrate springtime, friendship and neighborly love.

Ever since I was a young girl, I've looked forward to the arrival of May Day and the chance to bring a little surprise and sunshine to an unsuspecting recipient.

Now as an adult I've moved on from the construction paper creations of my youth, but I still like to be creative with my May baskets.

Today I'm going to teach you how you too can turn an old can, some sticks, wire,  a bit of ribbon from your stash and some pretty spring flowers into a little basket of joy to leave on a lucky neighbors door.

For this project you will need the following:
  • a hammer and nail
  • needlenose pliers
  • a thick piece of elastic (or several rubber bands)
  • about 3 feet of medium gauge wire
  • a can from your recycle bin
  • pruners
  • some sticks
  • about 2 feet of ribbon, string or leather strip
  • some pretty flowers and foliage
  • and about 1 1/2 hours of free time
 Step 1:  Using the nail and hammer punch 2 holes in the side of the can near the upper rim.  Try to space them evenly apart

 Step 2:  Cut a piece of your wire about 18" long.  This will form your handle and needs to be long enough to hang over a doorknob.  Run wire through the holes you made in Step 1.  Allow the wire end to poke through about 3".  Using the needle nose pliers, wind the wire around itself tightly.  Cut off any wire ends.

Step 3:  Remove the paper label from your can and place it in the recycle bin.  If you dont remove this, some of the label will show through the gaps in your stick basket.  

Step 4:  Using the pruners, cut your sticks to varying heights at least as tall as your can.  Use sticks from different types of trees for a variegated effect which adds visual interest, or use all the same type for a cohesive more refined look.  It's up to you. 

Step 5:  With your thick elastic or several rubber bands on your can, add the sticks until the entire can is covered.  Vary the height of the sticks for interest.  I like the way this is starting to look.

Step 6:  Leave the elastic in place and run some wire around the can over the sticks.  Use your needle nose pliers and twist until this is tight and secure.  Now remove the elastic.  Check around the can for any loose spots and add twigs to fill those. If you like, add some vine around your handle to camouflage the wire handle.

Step 7:  To cover the wire from view, use your piece of ribbon and wrap around the can several times.  I used a bit of leftover leather strapping on mine for a natural effect.  You may want to use bright ribbon, raffia or even yarn cover your wire.

Step 8:  Fill  your May Day basket with beautiful blooms! Don't forget to add some texture with different types of foliage too. Or for a garden buddy you may want to fill with starts from your garden.  

Step 9:  Hang your basket on a neighbors doorknob.  You could add a little card if you like, but my idea of May Day is to try to be anonymous.  I'm a little to slow now days for the "ring and run" of my child hood.  Instead I just wait for an opportunity and hang these up while my friends or neighbors are out.


  1. Christi, not only so cool and I love this, but you've rekindled fond memories of May Day when I was a little girl. My Mother would help me pick dandelions and other wildflowers(well, weeds actually) and some cut flowers from our yard, I'd tie them in bunches and hang from paper cones on my neighbors front door......ring and run, as you describe. Thank you for the memories and such a great green idea!

  2. Fantastic recycle craft! I didn't know about the May Day tradition of surprising someone with flowers - what an excellent idea!!!

  3. very cool!

    hey, I just posted my Kreativ Blogger award today. :o)

  4. This is so cute, i love the twigs! Hehe. :)

    Pretty please post some of your recycled crafts on my first linky party this weekend (it runs from Friday to Sunday) - the theme is recycled crafts, and you can find it here:
    I'd love to see your goodies there, and you can post as many as you like!
    Many thanx!
    Naturally Me Creations

  5. Love your basket... cool idea... thanks for sharing.

    xxx Monica


Questions? Comments? I'd love to hear what you think!


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