Welcome back to my second post for today!
I know that May Day isn’t celebrated as it was when I was growing up, but I have such fond memories of making and delivering baskets to my friends’ doorsteps that I have decided to keep the tradition alive for my own enjoyment.
If you’re not familiar with the tradition of May Day baskets, I go into quite a bit of detail in my very first blog post here so I won’t repeat myself now. Instead, I’d like to get right into this year’s project. Since the treats set the tone for the entire theme, I’m going to start there and end with the basket.
I chose to make sugar cookies for my treats this year, but not just any sugar cookie–I made Swig Sugar Cookies. Have you heard of them? I saw the recipe several years ago on a blog I follow, and I have been wanting to find a time to make them ever since. These cookies were started by a bakery in St. George, Utah and are reported to be the best sugar cookie known to man. It’s said that the magic of these cookies is that the cookies are cold and the frosting is at room temperature. What intrigued me the most is the cookie’s shape–it reminds me of a flower and with the pale pink frosting, I think they are really pretty.
After you make the dough, you roll it into balls. Then you dip the bottom of a glass into some sugar and flatten out each ball, which gives each cookie it’s signature shape and creates a well for the frosting.
Even after baking, the cookies retain their shape:
The frosting is tinted with one drop of red food coloring, and I just love the pale pink color. Don’t you just love how the cookies look once they are frosted?
I think they are such pretty cookies, and they really do look like flowers. Now that I had the cookies made, it was time to focus on the basket.
I already knew what basket I was going to make, as I had saved the directions to a basket I had seen online several months ago. I thought it would be the perfect size for my cookies. I spent quite a bit of time picking out the colors and the designer paper for this basket, as it was important that the basket be as pretty and sweet as the cookies were. I ended up using the same patterned paper that was used in the online tutorial, as the floral pattern and the colors matched the cookies perfectly.
The basic basket is a 4 x 4 box with 3/4″ flaps on all sides. The fun part comes when you add on 1″ strips of paper going both directions.
The ends of the strips get attached just underneath the top flaps and create these arched slats. Here is a front and side view of the slats:
Once you have all of the paper strips attached at the top, you fold the flaps down.
All that was left to do was add the handle, which I edged on both sides with lace for some added charm.
I kept the tag simple, so that the basket shape and colors could really stand out.
Ta da–I present to you my May Day basket for 2016! I love the shape and details of this basket, and I think it’s the perfect basket to hold my sugar cookie treats. Here’s what it looked like with the cookies inside:
The sugar cookie recipe makes a lot of cookies–71 to be exact–so I still have a lot of cookies left over. As an additional surprise, I have another packaging idea for cookies for you that doesn’t involve a handmade basket.
I decided to make a paper backing for the cookies that would hold the cookies in place inside a cellophane bag. This type of packaging would work for any occasion and for any size of cookie. I simply measured the height and width of my cookie, and cut a piece of white paper that was 2 1/2″ longer and just as wide as my cookie. My cookies were 3 x 3, so my paper was 5 1/2″ x 3. I scored the bottom at 1/2″ and 1 1/2″. Once the paper is folded on those score lines, it will create a cradle for the cookies. I decorated my paper backing with stamped flowers in pastel colors, made a tag by stamping a small doily with coordinating images, and this is what the final set looked like:
I’m sure this all makes more sense, now that you have a visual! I took a picture of the cookies sitting the backing before I package them up, as the glare from the cellophane bag makes it difficult to see everything clearly.
You can see that I added a piece of patterned paper to the bottom flap of the backing, as otherwise it would have been white.
You could make this packaging even simpler by using patterned paper for the backing instead of stamping designs of plain paper.
Before I close, I thought I would pass along the links for the cookie recipe and the basket pattern in case you are interested to try either or both yourself.
Well, this has been quite a day here at “Made By The C”! An anniversary and May Day, all in the same day! I hope you’ve enjoyed my projects today, and, as always, remember:
“May the waves kiss your feet, / the sand be your seat, / and your friends out-number the stars.”