Tuesday, April 29, 2008

May Day Tussie Mussies

Have you ever celebrated May Day? It takes place on May 1st and is a lovely way to celebrate springtime and to surprise your neighbors with tussie mussies filled with flowers.

Louisa May Alcott wrote about May Baskets in Jack and Jill:

"The job now in hand was May baskets, for it was the custom of the children to hang them on the doors of their friends the night before May-day; and the girls had agreed to supply baskets if the boys would hunt for flowers, much the harder task of the two. Jill had more leisure as well as taste and skill than the other girls, so she amused herself with making a goodly store of pretty baskets of all shapes, sizes, and colors, quite confident that they would be filled, though not a flower had shown its head except a few hardy dandelions, and here and there a small cluster of saxifrage."

Completed Tussy-Mussy
Completed Tussy-Mussy
Completed Tussy-Mussy

I had lots of fun making these tussie mussies and the girls and Benjamin will make some of their own on Thursday. We give them to several older neighbors who remember celebrating May Day as children.

Come on over to Seasonal Delights if you would like to make some tussie mussies of your own!

Oh, let's leave a basket of flowers today
For the little old lady who lives down our way!
We'll heap it with violets white and blue,
With Jack-in-the-pulpit and
Wildflowers too.

We'll make it of paper and line it with ferns
Then hide - and we'll watch her surprise when she turns
And opens her door and looks out to see
Who in the world it could possibly be.

~Virginia Scott Mike


Anita said...

Good morning Kelli!

Oh, Tussie Mussies! Did you know that they are (as well) on my to-do-list since long??? They look so very pretty, especially the last one, I love those colours! Well, unfortunately, I won't have enough time to make them by May 1st.

By the way, it's raining over here but we had such a fabulous sunny and HOT week-end!


Unknown said...

Never heard of them here, but they look beautiful. What a lovely gift to give to your neighbours. Thanks for sharing.

Adrienne said...

What a beautiful old-fashioned craft that brings joy to such dear folks. They are delightful. You and your dear children can leave one on my door if you like. I'm older! ~Adrienne~

Rachel said...

beautiful! I might have to make those for the kids :)

Unknown said...

What a lovely poem.

And your tussie mussies are lovely too. Great idea.

I remember making them when I was a school girl. I had fun hanging them on the door knob and ringing the bell and running away to hide and watch. The recipient ALWAYS had a big smile.

Happy May Day to you!!

Anonymous said...

I love Tussie Mussies and made some for the pews when my daughter got married as pew markers.

dot said...

I bet your neighbors really enjoy those!
When I was growing up we always had the may pole at school and a nice little festival. It was fun to watch the pole being braided. I wonder if anyone does that any more.

Martha said...

Absolutly beautiful! I like the last one.


Jen said...

I remember you doing this last year. How special someone will have this Thursday. You are so thoughtful.

Simply Heart And Home said...


Your tussie mussies are lovely! I have made them in the past but it has been a few years. What a wonderful idea to share them with your elderly neighbors.

Kelly @ Growing.Learning.Playing. said...

Oh how pretty, Kelli! The girls and I will definitely have to do this!

Kerri said...

Hi Kelli,
These are so beautiful! Acelia and I will have fun making some of these for May Day. We have never celebrated it before. Thank you for the great ideas. I will be heading over to Seasonal Delights.
Have a wonderful day!
Love Kerri

Needled Mom said...

Kelli, these are beautiful! I like to make May baskets but think that I might try these instead. Thanks for the great tutorial.

Carole Burant said...

Dearest Kelli,

Oh how I love your Tussie Mussies!!! Your elderly neighbours will no doubt love receiving them and I really do love the idea of doing that on May Day. I'm wishing I was one of your neighbours!!! hehe xoxo

Unknown said...

Hello! Absolutely beautiful! I love Louisa May Alcott! Thank you for sharing this today! :) Hope you are enjoying a beautiful Spring Day today!

Sharon said...

I love your May day baskets and what a fun project. I also adore your new header.

Robin said...

Oh, I remember May Day! We always celebrated it when I was a child. I wonder why we don't anymore?
You're Tussie Mussie's are so sweet!

TJ said...

I love the book Jack and Jill! It's great to find someone else that knows Louisa May Alcott's lesser known books.

What a wonderful gift for your neighbors.

.. said...

Hi Kelli, That is such a nice idea. I love that poem you posted too. I think that would be so fun to find hanging on your door on may day. :)

A Hint of Home said...

They are just precious, as is the poem. I love the colors and trim.
I have a metal one that I keep flowers in on the guest bedroom for company.
Your neighbors will love them.

Mike Golch said...

Great photos.

nancy said...

This is one of the loveliest traditions I know of, though never in my life have I been aware of it until just recently. Yours are so beautiful. Somebody tell my neighbors! I *am* the little old lady who lives down the way.Nancy

Anonymous said...

I have never heard,but so neat.


I have to make this for my next door neighbor! She is just so
wonderful to our family! I better get busy!

Susie said...

Hi Kelli,
That is such a cute idea and one that I'd love to find hanging on my doorknob May 1.
Thanks for sharing!

Yellow Rose Arbor said...

What pretty May Day Tussie Mussies! Makes me want to do some too!


The Liberty Belle said...

Very pretty! What a nice way to bless and brighten a neighbor's day!

Kathi said...

These baskets are so pretty Kelli. You have such a creative heart. Your children have so many memories to cling to because of you. Enjoy your Wednesday. Kathi

Susan said...

A lovely, delightful treat from you as always. We have never celebrated May Day. But we do, and will, celebrate our National Day of Prayer on May 1st.

Jennifer Hoots said...

Those are absolutely lovely. My grandmother's birthday is May 1st. I wish she lived closer. I would take her one!

GranthamLynn said...

Oh how sweet. And what a lovely thing to do for your neighbors. They turned out so beautiful.
You Bless.
Have a great day. Sherry

Katie said...

Hi, Kelli! You inspired me to make a May basket for this morning! Your tussie mussies are so pretty! Don't you just love the name "tussie mussie"?? It makes them even cuter!

Julie said...

We didn't make tussie mussies or May baskets - we don't have blooming flowers this time of year.

We used to open a pastel paper napkin, put candies in the middle, draw up the ends and tie them with curling ribbon. Those were our "May Baskets."

Anonymous said...

How beautiful! And easy as well. With all of the preschool stuff, I totally missed May Day! Oh well, maybe next year! =0)