May Baskets: Fun for All
May Baskets: Fun for All turned 4 today!  Get ready for May Day 2015….

May Baskets: Fun for All turned 4 today!  Get ready for May Day 2015….

Julia shows off our May Baskets before heading out to deliver them on April 30, 2014

Julia shows off our May Baskets before heading out to deliver them on April 30, 2014

The 2013 May Baskets are here!  Some of these are the best we’ve ever made.  Enjoy.

Here’s one of the BEST reasons to love sending May Baskets…the thank you notes!  This year we got several mailed thank you cards and in-person thanks from about 6 other people.  Bring on the warm fuzzy’s!

Here’s one of the BEST reasons to love sending May Baskets…the thank you notes!  This year we got several mailed thank you cards and in-person thanks from about 6 other people.  Bring on the warm fuzzy’s!

Here it is at last!  It’s May Day eve 2012.   Check out my collection of May Baskets.  Can’t wait to go out and hang them on our neighbor’s doors.

May Day is only about a month away.  I said I would explain how to make your May Baskets, so let’s get to it!  All you need are some containers and some pictures to decorate them with.
What can I use for containers?  Personally I’m a big fan of using new Chinese food take-out boxes.  They are inexpensive and come with their own handle that makes them easy to hang on your neighbor’s door knobs.  You can buy them at a party supply store for about $1 each OR (as I did) get them from the place you buy Chinese food.  I have, at various times, gotten them for free or had to pay 25¢ or 40¢ each.  Either way, it’s cheaper than buying them from a store. (Don’t try to recycle ones that have actually had food in them…you’ll attract bugs and the health inspector.)
But you don’t have to buy anything if you want to be creative.  You can use cottage cheese containers or the bottom of a 1/2 gallon plastic milk jug or anything that you can manipulate into a small basket.  Be creative!
How do I decorate them?  I’ll be honest, I cannot draw to save my life.  My coloring skills peaked at age 3 and never improved.  If you can operate a pair of scissors you’ll do just fine making May Baskets.  If you haven’t been saving pictures all year (like I have) then grab a couple of magazines or catalogs or the local paper and start clipping.  The more fun and festive the better, but even just pictures of animals (like the dog basket shown here) can be cool.
If you are using newspaper photos then I recommend doing decoupage.  (Wait!  it’s easy!)  Just mix some Elmer’s glue with an equal amount of water.  Using paint brushes or foam brushes, apply the glue mixture to the container.  Lay the photo on top of the glue and apply a coat directly over the photo.  Don’t worry, the glue will dry clear.  Make sure you thoroughly wet and press down the corners, so they don’t fold up.
If you are using “shiny” pictures from a magazine, catalog or an old calendar, you may want to use a glue stick.  The decoupage can work with heavier paper, but it’s harder to get the pictures to stay in place.  It’s OK to mix pictures that are glue-sticked (new word!) with those that are decoupaged.
If you have extra creative skills you can also decorate the baskets with paper flowers (made from colored tissue paper.)
Send your questions or comments!  Good luck.

May Day is only about a month away.  I said I would explain how to make your May Baskets, so let’s get to it!  All you need are some containers and some pictures to decorate them with.

What can I use for containers?  Personally I’m a big fan of using new Chinese food take-out boxes.  They are inexpensive and come with their own handle that makes them easy to hang on your neighbor’s door knobs.  You can buy them at a party supply store for about $1 each OR (as I did) get them from the place you buy Chinese food.  I have, at various times, gotten them for free or had to pay 25¢ or 40¢ each.  Either way, it’s cheaper than buying them from a store. (Don’t try to recycle ones that have actually had food in them…you’ll attract bugs and the health inspector.)

But you don’t have to buy anything if you want to be creative.  You can use cottage cheese containers or the bottom of a 1/2 gallon plastic milk jug or anything that you can manipulate into a small basket.  Be creative!

How do I decorate them?  I’ll be honest, I cannot draw to save my life.  My coloring skills peaked at age 3 and never improved.  If you can operate a pair of scissors you’ll do just fine making May Baskets.  If you haven’t been saving pictures all year (like I have) then grab a couple of magazines or catalogs or the local paper and start clipping.  The more fun and festive the better, but even just pictures of animals (like the dog basket shown here) can be cool.

If you are using newspaper photos then I recommend doing decoupage.  (Wait!  it’s easy!)  Just mix some Elmer’s glue with an equal amount of water.  Using paint brushes or foam brushes, apply the glue mixture to the container.  Lay the photo on top of the glue and apply a coat directly over the photo.  Don’t worry, the glue will dry clear.  Make sure you thoroughly wet and press down the corners, so they don’t fold up.

If you are using “shiny” pictures from a magazine, catalog or an old calendar, you may want to use a glue stick.  The decoupage can work with heavier paper, but it’s harder to get the pictures to stay in place.  It’s OK to mix pictures that are glue-sticked (new word!) with those that are decoupaged.

If you have extra creative skills you can also decorate the baskets with paper flowers (made from colored tissue paper.)

Send your questions or comments!  Good luck.

It’s FINALLY HERE!  May Day eve and time to deliver our May Baskets.  We have 21 this year, all decorated with cool photos.  Check out the video of the baskets before they were loaded with delicious cookies!  (Yes that’s the Beatles on one of them.)

Get ready for May Day!  It’s tomorrow night!

Get ready for May Day!  It’s tomorrow night!

May Day? I’d rather celebrate Independence Day!

The 4th of July is coming this weekend.  As I think about fireworks, barbecues and American flags, I’m also reminded of May Day.  While July 4th is the quintessential American holiday, it turns out that May Day also has some pretty strong American roots.  

In much of the world, May Day is the workers holiday, similar in theme to the US Labor Day.  The basis of May Day goes all the way back to pre-Christian celebrations such as the festival of Flora, the Roman Goddess of flowers and the Celtic festival of Beltane.  In 1886, following large labor protests in the US (particularly in Chicago), May Day took on the meaning of a day to celebrate the worker and to push for stronger protections from powerful bosses.  It was from these beginnings that May Day became a major holiday, outside of the US.

In keeping with the American traditions of May Day being about celebrating a new season, let’s celebrate our great country as we complete 234 years of freedom. 

Happy Independence Day, 2010.  (It’s only 10 months until May Day…and May Baskets…yea!)

11 Months ‘til May Day 2011!

OK, so you’re probably not thinking about your 2011 May Baskets right now, BUT YOU SHOULD BE!  (No I’m not smoking anything weird and I’m not still celebrating Memorial Day.)

Why think about May Baskets in June?  Because it’s never too early to start collecting cool images to paste on next year’s baskets.  I know I may be a dinosaur, but I still read the newspaper (yes an actual printed copy that the delivery man, just like kids on May Day, delivers right to my door. I never catch him either, but I still get a good feeling when I find the paper there every day…but I digress.) 

I’m always on the lookout for cool photos in the paper that I can paste onto May Baskets.  This weekend there were a lot of nice ones with flags and dogs.  Next year when it’s time to make my baskets, I’ll have a bunch of different themed ones, based on whatever pix I accumulate over the year.  My dog-crazy sister-in-law got one with a ton of neat dogs.  Families with kids got a nice Big Bird/Ernie one. 

So be on the look-out for great newspaper or magazine photos.  Cut them out and put them in a drawer somewhere.  I’ll tell you how to paste them onto baskets once we get a little closer to the big day….even I know that 11 months is a little early to start getting ready.

Enjoy June!

Boston Common Flags 2010

(Boston Common covered with 20,000 flags for Memorial Day.)