Easy Ideas to Create a Beautiful May Day Basket

Welcome spring with some easy ideas to create a beautiful may day basket for your neighbors, friends, and family.

May Day is a tradition that has been lost. In my small corner of the world, I hope to bring it back again.

May Day basket with flowers and a card hanging on a front door.

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Why we Celebrate May Day

May Day is the ancient festival to celebrate the return of spring and the return back to agricultural rituals. 

It is still a current traditional spring holiday in many European cultures. They have a spring festival that includes the May Pole dance, singing, and cake as part of the May Day celebrations.

My Introduction to May Day

I had completely forgotten about May Day until I looked at a blogger’s calendar of upcoming events to celebrate. 

When I was young, I was a girl scout. My girl scout leader was my best friend Lori’s, Mom, and also our next-door neighbor. 

She was an unconventional Mom in the 60s as she worked full-time. 

She was on our school board and was also going to night school to become a lawyer. 

Mrs. Hart was very creative. She took us on nature hikes and we learned to make Sumac Tea from the berries along the nature trails we walked. 

She hosted the most elaborate Halloween parties. Mrs. Hart brought culture into our 60’s suburban kid lives. 

Her knack for teaching us a little bit about everything was uncanny. I thought she was just the most fascinating person alive. 

One year, in early spring she told us about May Day. She shared the sweet tradition of delivering little baskets as a celebration of spring on the first day of May.

scrapbook paper cone with flowers and seeds

Before the big event we each made a paper basket in a cone shape that we were going to deliver. There was construction paper, colorful ribbon, and I’m sure a pipe cleaner or two. We didn’t have a glue stick or hot glue guns so I’m sure a lot of Elmer’s glue was involved.

May Day

May Day is a European festival of ancient origins marking the beginning of summer, usually celebrated on May 1st, around halfway between the spring equinox and summer solstice. Festivities may also be held the night before, known as May Eve. Traditions often include gathering wildflowers and green branches, weaving floral garlands, crowning a May Queen (sometimes with a male companion), and setting up a Maypole, May Tree, or May Bush, around which people dance. Bonfires are also part of the festival in some regions. Regional varieties and related traditions include Walpurgis Night in central and northern Europe, the Gaelic festival Beltane, the Welsh festival Calan Mai, and May devotions to the Blessed Virgin Mary. It has also been associated with the ancient Roman festival Floralia.

Our May Day Adventure

On the morning of May 1st, we would get up very early and fill our little May baskets (small baskets) with spring flowers then deliver them to all the neighbors in secrecy. 

We were instructed by Mrs. Hart to sneak out of our houses at 6:00 am. The meeting spot was in her garage, where we would assemble our paper baskets filled with flowers. 

I remember I couldn’t sleep the night before; so excited about this clandestine adventure. 

I went to bed with my clothes on so that I could quickly make my getaway in the morning. To this day I remember the stillness of that morning. Dew was still on the grass as it was starting to warm up. The sun just barely peeking above the houses; so very fresh in the sky. In my mind, the flowers were just so beautiful and I was so thrilled that we were bringing joy to the neighborhood Moms.

All of us girls quickly put together the most amazing little spring baskets and then like a goddess of flowers, we quietly ran from house to house and hung them on the door handle. After we had finished our mission we slipped back into our homes and back into bed and waited for our moms to find their sweet little spring baskets. 

As an adult, I know now that Mrs. Hart had surely informed all the parents of this adventure. My Mom never let on. She put the flowers in a vase on our kitchen table. Every day that they survived she fussed over them, saying how pretty they were and

“Who in the world would leave her such a pretty surprise?”

tulips from a May Day basket in a vase in front of iron plates

I would smile to myself knowing my little secret. It brought me great joy.

It was such a fun tradition.

I wonder if Mrs. Hart isn’t partly to blame for my love of flowers and fancy. The reason I go nuts is when I entertain. Was it the reason I was a girl scout leader for twelve years? The leader who went to summer day camp with the girls; who hiked and did crafts and put fresh flowers on our picnic table every day.  

My parties have been elaborate and crazy. Is her May Day adventure the reason that I’m so in love with fresh flowers in my home? Not just on May 1st but every day of the year!

How to Make a May Day Basket

May Day Flower Baskets

Cute project for May Day Gifts
Prep Time20 minutes
Keyword: May Day
Author: Lynn


  • Scrapbook Paper
  • Colorful Ribbon
  • Spring Flowers
  • Plastic Bag
  • Paper Towel
  • Rubber Band
  • Double sized tape or hot glue
  • Little Treats
  • Easter Grass
  • Tissue Paper


  • Roll your paper into a cone and adhere with hot glue
    hot gluing ribbons onto a May Day basket
  • Cut off the top so it is level, if you would like
  • Trim your flowers so that they will just peek out of your cone
    wrapping the stems of the flowers for a May Day basket
  • Get a piece of paper towel wet and wrap around stems. Place the stems in a plastic bag and secure with rubber band. Trim the baggie so that you won't see it in your cone.
  • Place the flowers into the cone
  • Use some pretty ribbon to make basket handles – I used my hot glue gun to glue them to the sides but you could also use a hole punch and tie them
    grocery store flowers for a May Day basket
  • Tuck a card, gift tag, or special message into your May Flower Basket
  • You could also add tissue paper or easter grass to your basket as a pretty way to dress it up.


I used assorted bunches from Trader Joe’s but you can also get them from your local grocery store.

May Flowers for your May Day Baskets

Here are some traditional flowers that you may be able to get from your own garden:

  • Daffodils
  • Tulips
  • Lilacs
  • Lily of the Valley
  • Spray Roses
  • Peony
  • Greens: green branches, fern leaves, hosta leaves

Any flowers in soft pinks, yellows, and blues work for me.

chart of flowers with spring flowers

Craft Supplies

Other Great May Day Basket Ideas

Instead of a paper cone, you can cover an empty tin can, a small glass jar with wire wrapped around it for a handle, or use a tiny basket. A paper plate can easily be rolled into simple may day baskets. 

plant seed packets made into a flower shape for a May Day basket gift

Another idea would be to buy flowers from your garden centers and wrap the bottom with cute paper and deliver them to the neighbor’s front porch. They then can plant the flower and remember you all season long.

You can get as creative as you would like

I’m thinking I might make a bouquet of flower seed packets to deliver

Leslie from My 100 Year Old Home makes the most amazing paper flowers. She recently shared how to make Daffodils from paper.

I plan to celebrate May Day this year. It’s a fun little holiday that can bring a smile to the faces of my friends and neighbors who get a little flower basket from me on May 1st!

Happy Spring!

Peace and Love,

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Mother’s Day Gift Ideas

Living Large Podcast

I shared my tale of “Lynn’s Small Recollections & Reflections #1” on this week’s podcast.


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  1. What a wonderful idea. Your post brings back fond memories of making May Day baskets and being a Girl Scout as a child. Happy Spring!

    1. It was honestly something I hadn’t thought about in many, many years. I’m pretty sure I still have my girl scout sash. I should find it, take pictures and add it to my blog post!

  2. Leslie Watkins says:

    I love this, Lynn! I have made these sweet little cones with embossed wallpaper and often, sprayed white or silver and hung with ribbon for wedding pew markers. I love this story! A beautiful reminder to keep adding fresh flowers at every opportunity!

    1. That is such a good idea, I could probably incorporate something just like that on the chairs for Annie’s wedding!

  3. Thank you for sharing a memory of my mom! Brought a smile to my face and a tear to my eye!

    1. It was pretty bizarre that I was looking at a calendar of upcoming events and when I saw May Day, those memories just came back to me. I’m sure my perspective as a neighbor was different than yours, as her child but it was as if I was there again. To think how your world pivoted years later is so surreal.

  4. Libbie@alifeunfolding says:

    What sweet memories! I still make May Day baskets for my neighbors. 🙂

    1. Hi Libbie – I haven’t made them since I was that little girl scout. I’m definitely going to resurrect this tradition.