Friday is May Day, which was once a grand party, but isn’t really observed these days. However, it’s such a lovely excuse to celebrate local flowers and the onset of summer that we’re all up for reviving it. The girls from Seeds and Stitches have a lovely DIY about how (and why!) you should make May Day posies this year for your friends.
The first day of May is a day that has been celebrated since Pagan times, and quite rightly so; nothing can compete with the beauty and optimism of May. The sun shines ever warmer, greenery thickens and weighs on the trees, bluebells reach tall into the sky heralding the start of this most beautiful of months.
May celebrations have waned over the years, but we believe there’s much to celebrate. May Day was traditionally a time for Maypole dancing, the crowning of a May Queen, and decorating with local spring greenery and flowers. Last year, we made May Day posies and gave them to friends, reviving an ancient tradition of anonymously gifting May Baskets, an idea originally spotted on our mate Lou’s Little Green Shed blog. We can’t wait to do the same this year.
Seeing as May is such a wonderful spring celebration of local, seasonal flowers and greenery, it would be a bit of a travesty to buy flowers shipped in from abroad. Buy British blooms, or better yet, pick them from your own garden, or do a bit of responsible scrumping from local wild spots. Ours are from the wonderful Great British Florist. We made watercolour paper cones for our posies this year. Heres how…
• British blooms cut to roughly 30cm
• A4 watercolour paper
• Watercolour paints and water
• Watercolour brushes
• Tape to hold the cones closed
• Hole punch
• Trodat or alphabet stamps to add greetings to paper cone
Paint your paper. Do this by mixing desired colours with lots of water – we’re going for a barely-there watercolour look. Paint water on paper, then using one colour at a time, begin painting splotches of one colour onto the wet paper. See how it bleeds. Try lines, flicks and blobs. Continue with complementary colours until the paper is filled. For stronger colour, mix more of the pigment into your watered down paint. Allow to dry.
Arrange your flowers. Create four posies (or as many posies as you’re making) combining different shapes and colour of flower. Roughly eight stems. Trim the ends. Wrap wet tissues or kitchen roll around the bottom of the stems and insert them into a small food bag as tight as you can.
Make paper cones. Fold one corner of your paper into the middle of the sheet, as pictured, and tape down the side to hold it in place. Trim the top to make a neat, round cone shape. Stamp or write messages onto the front or inside of your cone. We used our Trodat stamp for this. Punch two holes near the front of the cone and thread twine through them, tying them inside the cone. Note: if you punch the holes at the back of the cone, it won’t hang properly, but rather hang to the side.
Assemble! Put your posies which are wrapped in tissue and a plastic food bag into your pretty paper cone. Hang on your neighbours’ door and spread a bit of May Day cheer. The wet tissue should keep flowers perky for a few hours, but recipients will need to transfer them into a jam jar or some such once they’re inside.
This post originally appeared over at our friends’ blog, seedsandstitches.com. Go check them out!