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Make Nest-Inspired May Baskets

Make Nest-Inspired May Baskets
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If you have followed The Crafty Yankee blog for a couple years now, then you know May Day (May 1st) is one of my favorite holidays. My grandparents used to deliver May Baskets to our house when my sisters and I were young and from then on I was hooked on this holiday.   Not many people celebrate May Day anymore, but May Baskets can be a pleasure to make, fill, and deliver to loved ones.  For me it feels like a rite of Spring.  If you haven’t made May Baskets before, it’s never too late to try!

These particular May Baskets are inspired by bird’s nests and made with recyclable materials.  You only need a few materials to make them!

Nest Inspired May Baskets
Photo/Art by Bonnie Thomas
Nest Inspired May Baskets

Materials needed to make Nest-Inspired May Baskets:

  • Large paper cups
  • Masking tape
  • Scissors
  • A paper bag
  • Glue
  • Natural dried grass (I used Tim’s Real Easter Basket Grass)
  • Treats to fill the baskets

Directions to make Nest-Inspired May Baskets:

Making Nest Inspired May Baskets
Photo/Art by Bonnie Thomas
Making Nest Inspired May Baskets
  1. Trim the top 2/3  from the cup.
  2. Cut a straight strip of paper from the part of the cup you just removed.  This will become the handle of the basket.
  3. Use masking tape to attach the handle to the cup.
  4. Cut thin strips of paper from the paper bag– about 1″ wide.
  5. Stack the strips of paper bag on top of each other and cut fringes into the paper all along the length of the strips.  The fringes are made by making small (about 1/4″ deep) cuts along the length of the paper.
  6. Separate the strips from each other.
  7. Apply glue to the bottom (non-fringed) of one paper strip.
  8. Wrap the basket handle with the  paper strip.  The trick to this step is to place the fringe-side of the paper strip toward the table (or away from you) and then wrap the handle from there.  Press the paper down as you wrap the handle so that the glue adheres.
  9. Add another paper strip if needed to cover the entire handle.  Trim the paper if you have too much.
  10. Now that the handle is covered you can start wrapping the basket.
  11. Apply glue to the bottom (non-fringed edge) of another strip of paper.  Wrap the strip of paper around the rim of the basket so that the fringe is seen above the rim.
  12. When you have covered the rim of the basket with the paper strip, continue wrapping the basket by moving the strip slightly downward each time you get back around the basket.
  13. When you get to the bottom of the basket then trim any excess paper.
  14. At this point you can gently press and pinch on the fringed areas to shape the baskets.
  15. Wait for baskets to dry thoroughly.
  16. Fill the baskets with all natural dried grass.
  17. Last, fill your baskets with treats and then give the baskets to loved ones on May Day.

    Nest Inspired May Baskets
    Photo/Art by Bonnie Thomas
    Nest Inspired May Baskets



Bonnie Thomas


Bonnie Thomas


Bonnie Thomas shares her ideas and instructions for simple Yankee crafts. Bonnie Thomas works full time as a child and family therapist in Southern Maine and is also an established artist and author. She has published two books via Jessica Kingsley Publishing, titled Creative Coping Skills for Children: Emotional Support Through Arts and Crafts Activities and Creative Expression Activities for Teens: Exploring Identity Through Art, Craft and Journaling. Don't miss her latest book, How to Get Kids Offline, Outdoors, and Connecting With Nature
Updated Monday, April 21st, 2014
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