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How to Make a Tissue Paper May Basket

May baskets are a part of an ancient tradition that started with early Celtic cultures. May Day was a celebration of the beginning of May and the summer months. The festivities usually centered on a Maypole. May baskets came along a bit later and were baskets that were filled with branches and flowers. Nowadays, May baskets are usually made by children and left on the doorknobs of friends, family, or neighbors. They are filled with treats or flowers.

Things You'll Need:

  • Hole Punch
  • String
  • Disposable Cup
  • Pipe Cleaners
  • Tissue Paper In Assorted Colors
  • Clear Plastic Cup
  • Glue
  • Stickers

The Basket

Mix one part glue with two parts water in a disposable cup.

Tear up strips of tissue paper into an assortment of shapes and sizes. Use an array of colors.

Dip the pieces of tissue paper into the glue mixture. Use your fingers to wipe away excess glue and paste the tissue paper to the clear plastic cup. Cover the entire outside of the cup. Make sure the pieces of tissue paper overlap. You can either place the pieces randomly for an abstract look, or you can place them in a pattern.

Allow the glue to dry thoroughly by leaving the cup to air dry overnight.

Use a hole punch to place a hole on each side of the cup. The holes should be parallel and about 1/8 inch below the lip of the cup.

Use piper cleaners to make a handle for your basket by feeding the ends into the holes and wrapping them around.

The Flowers

Cut or tear tissue paper into 4-inch squares. You can use multiple colors or one single color.

Place five squares on top of one another.

Pinch the squares in the middle and tie a piece of string around them.

Pull the pieces outward to fluff them into a flower shape.

Feed the end of a green pipe cleaner through the tied piece of string. Wrap the pipe cleaner around twice to secure it. Place the flower in the basket. If needed, cut the pipe cleaner down to shorten the stems. Repeat this flower-making process to fill the basket. Fill in the empty space around the flowers with crumpled green or brown tissue paper.


After the tissue paper is dry, you can add additional decorations to your May basket by adding stickers, if you desire. You can also seal the tissue paper with a spray lacquer. If you prefer, you can leave the tissue paper flowers out and fill the baskets with candy, cookies, or even fresh flowers. If you use fresh flowers, you can add water to the cup to keep them alive longer.

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