Thursday, May 1, 2014

Felt May Baskets

May Day this year was a rainy, dreary affair. So the girls and I made colorful May Baskets to cheer ourselves (and the neighbors) up. Usually, we make them in paper or cardstock but this year, for a change, we made them in felt. 

We used the inexpensive acrylic craft felt that comes in 9x12 sheets. Each sheet makes one basket. The exact dimensions of the sheet are not important.

We folded the sheet in half, bringing the short sides together and sewed the side and bottom seam. I used my serger because it trimmed and sealed the seam in one run but you can use a regular sewing machine to sew a regular straight seam, because felt doesn't fray.

Here are those two seams. This is the WS of the basket, incidentally. And yes, if you are a perfectionist, you would probably enjoy using coordinating serger thread. Today I wasn't feeling particularly perfectionistic.

Dart the bottom corners (see this post for more detailed instructions on making a darted tote). Again, the exact dimensions are not important, but our darts were roughly 2" long.

Turn the basket RS out - the bottom should look a bit like this.

We pinked the edges of the opening

and folded that top edge down to make a cuff.

Then we broke out our skinny ribbons

and made braided straps. We started out with 20" lengths of ribbon, but the exact length is, again, unimportant. We tied both ends of the braids with a knot to prevent them from unraveling.

To attach the straps, we snipped slits near the opening of the basket, through both layers of felt. We made two slits, on opposite ends of the opening.

Then we threaded them through the slit and tied a knot.

You can embellish the baskets if you want to. We did one, and then gave up in favor of more efficient mass-production.

Then we filled the baskets with candy and granola bars and went out to ring some doorbells.

The girls loved these little baskets. These were so easy to make that we decided we'd save the idea for future party goodie bags. They're sturdy enough to stand up on their own, even when unfilled. 

Here are the baskets in rainbow order (sort of).

Kate told me yesterday, very seriously, that rainbows happen when it's both sunny and rainy. Well, rain we've had an overabundance of this past week. Now we need some sun to get all those colors out of the sky, and declare it -finally - spring. 


  1. They look cheery & so delightful, I'm sure that they'll cheer up the neighbourhood!

  2. They are really cute. Good idea for goodie bags ! I hope we finally get some Spring, too.

  3. Such pretty little baskets! Yes, we certainly do need sunshine. It was peeking out here when I first woke up, but it's gone already. :(

  4. People are shocked when they find out I still do May Day Baskets.
    File folders rolled into a cone with strap for hanging on doorknobs.
    Good to know it's not just me!
    Seriously, hanging one of these on the neighbors door, pressing the doorbell, and then running away doesn't sound too fun......

  5. Lovely. Is May Day a Singaporean tradition or American?


    1. Lisa: it's definitely not Singaporean. I only learned about it after moving here, when some of the neighbor kids rang our doorbells and left treats behind. It's like Halloween Boo Bags but without the imminent winter ahead.

    2. Sounds like fun! I've never heard of it here in Canada.


  6. What fun! This looks like a great first sewing machine project idea. I don't know any May Day traditions, but it's one of my sisters' birthdays.

  7. I haven't heard about May Day treats but the bags are cute. Maybe I'll make some for Teacher Appreciation Day/week.

  8. cute, cute, cute bags. What a lovely tradition for the girls.

  9. My mom did this when my big sister was born...with the baby. I guess the neighbors were pretty shocked to find an abandoned baby on their doorstep! Mom wasn't far away. But I don't think she tried it the next year. ;)


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