Monday, April 28, 2008

Make a May Basket

Some of you may remember the arrangements that dangled from my dining room chandelier for Mary Ashley's fourth birthday party. Lovely and pink, those posies have added a touch of spring to a neglected light fixture. I'm sharing directions for this easy craft here, hoping you'll consider making one to use as a May basket to celebrate the beauty of spring. Wouldn't these arrangements add a sweet touch hanging from branches at a garden party or outdoor wedding?

To get started, you will need a plastic foam cone, fabric, scissors, straight pins, rick rack, fabric glue, silk flowers, wire cutters, wire-edged ribbon and a floral pick. First choose fabric for your pretty posy. For Mary Ashley's party decorations, I used polka dotted fabrics, ribbon and rick rack in shades of pale pink, dark pink and lime green.

Press the fabric first, then place the cone on a straight edge of the fabric. Align this straight edge with the seam that runs lengthwise down the cone, and secure the fabric along this seam with straight pins. Then roll the cone to wrap the fabric around the cone, and overlap the pinned edge of fabric. Cut the excess fabric away, leaving enough to turn under the loose fabric edge to make a seam along the length of the cone. Before securing this seam with straight pins, trim excess length from the bottom of the cone. Leave only about an inch of fabric dangling, then fold this up and pin it to the side of the cone. Now wrap the fabric taut around the cone. Fold the rough edge under and pin it to the cone, careful to keep this line straight. Trim fabric from the top of the cone, leaving about an inch extending over the cone's edge. Pin this fabric to the top of the cone.

Next, cut two pieces of rick rack a little more than twice the length of the cone. Fold the first piece in half, and pin the center point to the bottom of the cone. Pull the rick rack to the top of each side of the cone, and secure with straight pins. Repeat with the other piece of rick rack, making sure you cover the cone's fabric seam with one of the pieces. Secure the rick rack to the fabric with a couple of dots of fabric glue to keep it in place.

Next, use wire cutters to cut silk floral stems, leaving enough length to insert the flowers into the foam. You might want to tentatively arrange your bouquet before poking stems into the foam. Generally, it is easiest to plan your arrangement working from largest to smallest flowers. And an odd number of flowers is usually most pleasing to the eye. Insert the flowers into the foam, then fill in with greenery as needed. When you are satisfied with the arrangement, finish it off with a ribbon bow attached to a floral pick and inserted into the foam. Pin a length of ribbon to the sides of the cone, and you are ready to greet spring with a little loveliness all your own!

A petite posy welcomes little ones who visit our playhouse this spring.

Playhouse photo by Nathan Prichard

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