Today the concept of recycling, up-cycling and re-purposing is embedded in the hearts of many modern day crafters. The Victorians were quite familiar with this process, as well, and often made new treasures from bits of leftover fabric and odds and ends. They often scavenged through their own sentimental mementoes, craft notions and drawers of broken jewelry to create precious arts and crafts. This Victorian May basket project is a prime example of using recycled goods to create up-cycled gifts. They are easy to make and in a few short steps you can fashion May baskets that will become tomorrow’s keepsakes.
Here’s what you need to get started.
Heavy paper: scrap book or heavy construction paper or old greeting cards
Hot glue gun or tacky craft clue
Embellishments: buttons, upholstery trim, tassels, fabric, bits of costume jewelry and clip art
- Working on a flat surface, cut your paper into a rectangle. The size depends on the desired size of the finished cone. Start with a piece roughly 8” X 12”.
- Roll the paper into a cone and secure the edge with glue.
- Trim the open end of the cone so the edges are level all the way around.
- Cut a piece of ribbon 12” in length. Then glue each end of the ribbon to the inside of the cone opening at the center point directly across from one another to create a handle.
- Embellish until your heart is content! Add trim to the opening, a tassel to the bottom, buttons along the seam and bits of bling everywhere.
Once the May basket is complete, find clever ways to fill and display them. One lovely element of spring décor is the inclusion of hard-boiled and dyed eggs. They have traditionally become synonymous with the arrival of spring and remind us of new beginnings. Create a “nest” in the cone using natural packing material like raffia, straw or excelsior wood shred. Then tuck an elegant decorative egg or two into the basket. In no time at all, you will have beautiful handmade May baskets ready for display throughout your home or to give as gifts to special friends. Put on your running shoes before you hang one on someone’s door or else be prepared for a kiss! May Day is a time for celebration, but you can celebrate spring all season long by creating these one-of-a-kind May baskets. Become a modern day Victorian by scavenging for clever bits of trimmings and start crafting today.
Shopping Guide for Materials:
Scrapbook papers: Michaels, www.michaels.com.
Fabric trims and tassels: Joann Fabrics. www.joann.com.
Crackled eggs and metal flower hooks: Surroundings by Melinda, (239)579-0409.
Natural excelsior packaging, www.save-on-crafts.com.
Photographed and written by Melinda Graham