Wednesday, March 10, 2010

May Day Surprise Free Tutorial From Molly of A Bit O' Shine Blog

Wouldn't it be wonderful to wake up one morning and find that someone had left you a wonderful bouquet of flowers? What a delightful way to start the day. Well, Molly of A Bit O' Shine blog has a wonderful tutorial on her blog regarding May Day and a surprise she used to leave for her neighbors.  Molly's May Day Surprise tutorial is shown below.

May Day surprise

My mom taught me about this when I was little and for years I took a May Day basket to my neighbor, sneakily hung it on the doorknob, rang the doorbell and disappeared. That's how May Day baskets are supposed to work - like ding dong ditch only with something nice!

Typically this is for children but it's also fun for adults...obviously since I'm still doing it. *grin*

This year I'm blending a few ideas to make this easy and free!

So grab your kids and make a May Day present for your neighbors that celebrates Spring and is something they are sure to enjoy.


toilet paper tube
1" paint brush or sponge brush
small bowl
white school glue
large string or medium sized ribbon
hole punch
large, circular object to trace

I used the largest pan lid I had and traced it onto the local advertisements we get for free. Doesn't really matter what is on there since I plan to cover it up anyway!

Cut out the circle. Kinda looks like a papery pie!

Then fold it in half. Now it looks like you have half a pie. Cut a triangle slice out of the pie.

Now you've got your basic shape and you need color. Make sure you've got a few layers of paper or ads to cover your work surface.

I made a thick wash - by adding just a tiny bit of water to the paint - to cover the paper, but it still has a slightly see-through, rustic quality to it. Once applied, make sure to move your newly painted paper so it doesn't stick down to the work surface and rip. I painted both sides of the paper so the inside of my cone would have color too.

While I was waiting for that to dry, I also applied the thick wash to the inside and outside of the toilet paper tube as well. Drying time is pretty short for something like this, even when doing both sides.

Once you're sure it's all completely dry, apply some glue to the bottom of the toilet paper tube and form your paper cone around it, with the tube sticking up directly in the middle.

The tube is going to add some stability to the cone (since newspaper is pretty floppy!) and at the same time it will contain your flowers in a tighter bunch and keep them from falling down into the cone.

Be sure to glue along your outside seam so the cone doesn't have a gap. It may not want to press down perfectly, but that's okay too!

While this is drying you can hole punch on either side of the cone and thread your string in. I threaded in a thick jute string and knotted it on the inside but if your string or ribbon isn't thick enough you can loop it through and tie it on top.

Still waiting for things to dry? How about making some embellishments! Use your scrap newspaper and cut small circles. Like before, fold in half and then freehand some "petals." When you open it up you'll have a flower shape!

To these I made a new wash using a cheery yellow. You could also try butterfly shapes in keeping with the spring theme. To the embellishments you only need to color one side. Again, make sure to move them after painting so they aren't sticking to the work surface. Let dry completely.

Once everything is dry you can glue on the extras (I used a couple of mine to help keep the seam tacked down).

Now it's time for the flowers! Wander around your yard and gather a variety of colors. For filler greenery I added several sprigs of thyme so not only does it smell good but it adds dimension to the bouquet.

Have fun surprising the neighbors and teaching the kids joyful giving!

They also make really cute chair decorations!

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