fruit can may baskets

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~ fruit can may baskets ~

Happy May Day friends! Do you celebrate the first of May? I do. Ever since reading the beautiful, haunting story of the May-pole of Merry Mount by Nathaniel Hawthorne when I took my first college literature class, I’ve been enchanted by this holiday. It’s such a gorgeous tribute to spring. I’ve always wanted to host a May Day tea, complete with a May pole. Hmmmm….maybe next year? ๐Ÿ˜‰

Besides the May pole, there is another pretty May Day tradition that I observe (well,except for the chasing and kissing part), and that is to give my friends and neighbors May baskets. This is a tradition that originated in the U.S :

May Day was also celebrated by some early European settlers ofย  the American continent. In some parts of the United States, May Baskets are made. These are small baskets usually filled with flowers or treats and left at someone’s doorstep. The giver rings the bell and runs away. The person receiving the basket tries to catch the fleeing giver. If they catch the person, a kiss is exchanged. ~Wikipedia

My baskets are different every year, and this year I decided to create a few simple, unique vessels to hold the lilies of the valley that are blooming in my yard, in keeping with the French May Day tradition:

On May 1, 1561, King Charles IX of France received a lily of the valley as a lucky charm. He decided to offer a lily of the valley each year to the ladies of the court. At the beginning of the 20th century, it became custom to give a sprig of lily of the valley, a symbol of springtime, on May 1. The government permits individuals and workers’ organisations to sell them tax-free. Nowadays, people may present loved ones either with bunches of lily of the valley or dog rose flowers. ~Wikipedia

I’ve been holding on to the pretty Oregon fruit cans from when I made blueberry orange bars and “cherry on top” salad so I could share this fun, easy May basket project with you.

You’ll need:

pretty fruit cans

a hammer

a Philip’s screwdriver

twine

fresh flowers

Fill cleaned, empty fruit cans with water and place in freezer until the ice is completely solid. Using a hammer and the pointy end of the screwdriver, carefully pound a hole into the sides of each can, close to the top, so each can will have two holes, directly across from each other. Set the cans somewhere so the ice can thaw. Once the ice has thawed, gently pat cans dry (the labels will still be wet so be careful not to damage them.) Allow the labels to completely dry. Cut desired length of twine and poke an end into one of the holes in the can. Make a double knot on the inside of the can so the twine can’t slip out. Repeat on the other side to form the basket handle.ย  Repeat with as many cans as desired. Fill baskets with flowers.

Enjoy!

~Melissa

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  6 comments for “fruit can may baskets

  1. May 1, 2012 at 9:13 pm

    Ahhhh!! Cute as they can be! And talk about great conversation pieces!

    • Melissa
      May 1, 2012 at 9:15 pm

      thanks Carrie! xoxo

  2. May 6, 2012 at 7:00 pm

    I love this idea! Anything with tin cans. I don’t know what it is about tin cans, but I love them.

    • Melissa
      May 6, 2012 at 9:06 pm

      Thanks Mary! me too ๐Ÿ™‚ thanks for stopping by!

  3. Livia
    November 29, 2012 at 11:09 am

    Lovely project! But I don’t understand why do you freeze the water and then let it thaw, why not just fill the cans with fresh water? I feel like I’m not getting something ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Melissa
      November 29, 2012 at 6:14 pm

      Hi Livia! If you don’t freeze water in the cans before you make a nail hole the can will collapse. The ice inside the can will give it structure so you can pound a nail in cleanly. You’ll need the nail holes on each side of the can so you can string a twine/string “handle” onto the can. Hope that helps! ๐Ÿ™‚ thanks for visiting.

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