May Day, or, The Art of Surprise

May is such a busy month for us–it’s Lupe’s birthday (it happens to fall on Mother’s Day this year!) and Nacho Man’s and my anniversary. But we’re always game to squeeze in another celebration. So we’re adding May Day to our repertoire. The European version of May Day has been celebrated for centuries, but it’s new to us. Since even our spring has been winter-like, I’m all for celebrating a holiday that embraces warmer weather.

Last year, a co-worker told me about how she and her mother used to sneak onto neighbors’ porches and drop small bouquets of flowers–the nicest kind of surprise you can find on your porch. We live in a neighborhood where “booing” is a Halloween tradition and I loved the idea of leaving a small reminder that spring is actually here. So we created paper cones from recycled picture books and sheet music and filled them with little goodies.

I’m not a crafter and with two active kids, I measure a craft’s worth in terms of time and frustration. Can a four-year-old feel as successful as a kiddo who’s practically eleven? That’s important to me. This craft scored high for time, use of readily-available materials, and ease–you can whip these up in just a few minutes. Our only upgrade? We used our Cricut machine to die-cut paper flowers, but that’s an optional extra, not a necessity.


An assortment of papers in a fairly rectangular shape–old books, scrapbook papers, the Sunday ads–whatever you have lying around

Glue stick

Hole puncher

String, yarn, or twine, cut into 12-inch lengths

Embellishments such as paper flowers (optional)


Roll your sheet of paper into a cone. Lupe did a much better job of this than I could manage. Apply glue along the inside edge of the paper, and press it to the cone.

Creating the Cone

Use the hole punch to create two holes on either side of the opening.

Lupe Demonstrates the Hole Puncher

Tie the ends of the string into each hole.

Tying the String

Optional–decorate with paper flowers or other doodads.

All Those Hours of Playing "Operation" Paid Off

Almost Finished...

Load ’em up! We filled ours with organic lollipops from Trader Joe’s, Hershey’s Kisses (Rue’s idea; I didn’t do much to try to talk her out of it), and wax paper envelopes of sweet pea seeds (Rue’s favorite flower to grow).

Definitely Finished

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