How to Make a DIY May Day Nosegay Bouquet

May Day, celebrated on the first of May, is a time to welcome spring with open arms, and what better way to do that than with a charming nosegay? A nosegay, also known as a posy or a tussie-mussie, is a small, fragrant bouquet traditionally given as a gift on May Day.

It symbolizes new beginnings and the beauty of nature in bloom. Crafting a May Day nosegay bouquet is a delightful project that combines the joys of springtime flowers with the pleasure of giving. Here’s a simple guide on how to make your own DIY May Day nosegay bouquet.

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Materials You’ll Need:

  • Assorted Flowers: Choose a variety of faux blooms. Think of lilacs, tulips, daffodils, violets, and any other spring flowers.
  • Styrofoam Base: A simple green styrofoam cone or round disc.
  • Scrapbook Paper: 12X12 sheet of floral scrapbook paper or gift wrapping paper and/or paper doilies. I used heart-shaped paper doilies leftover from Valentine’s Day.
  • Ribbon: To wrap around the cone and add a festive touch.
  • Hot Glue: For assembling the cone for the flowers.
  • Optional: Decorative buttons or a small card for a personal message.

Step-by-Step Guide:

Step 1: Arrange Flowers

Start by collecting the flowers and greenery you want to include in your nosegay. When selecting flowers, consider color combinations and balance between different types and sizes of blooms.

Using the styrofoam base, place flowers in an arrangement that suits you.

Trim the stems so they are about 6 to 8 inches long, removing any leaves that are on the stem. This will ensure a neat appearance in the bouquet.

Begin with the larger flowers as the base. Add taller flowers around the back to create variety. Incorporate greenery at the edges to enhance the fullness and give a natural, lush look. Hold the arrangement in your hand, adjusting the blooms until you’re satisfied with the design.

Step 2: Prepare Your May Day Basket

Prepare the cone portion of the bouquet by attaching paper doilies to the scrapbook paper as shown.

Fold over the scrapbook paper into the shape of a cone and hot glue the seam as shown below.

Step 3: Personalize Your Nosegay

Add any embellishments to your May Day basket at this point. I added buttons using hot glue. Ribbon bows are always a good choice, too!

gluing buttons on a may day nosegay

Cut a length of ribbon that complements the colors in your bouquet. Wrap it around the cone to add some whimsy. Tie the ribbon in a bow for a traditional look, or consider a simple knot for a more modern style.

ribbon and buttons on a may day nosegay

If you’re giving the nosegay as a gift, you can also pin a small card to the ribbon with a warm message or a happy May Day greeting.

Step 4: Secure the Nosegay

Add a ribbon to the back of your May Day nosegay as an easy way to hang from a door knob or a front door in place of a more traditional spring wreath.

That’s it! It is so easy and fun to make one of these!

close up of may day basket on front door

I added mine to the front of a simple boxwood wreath and it really pops on the front door.

may day nosegay on front door

I hope you’ll try this for yourself… let me know in the comments if you make one!

another view of wreath and may day bouquet

More May Day Nosegay Bouquet Ideas

A beautiful and thoughtful way to partake in May Day celebrations is by creating and sharing nosegays.

You can make these small bouquets and hang them on your neighbors’ doors as a surprise gesture of friendship and community spirit. This act not only revives a delightful tradition but also spreads beauty and a sense of shared joy in your neighborhood.

wreath and may day nosegay bouquet on front door

The surprise of finding a fresh, fragrant bouquet on one’s door is a heartfelt reminder of the beauty of nature and the warmth of human kindness, making it a perfect way to celebrate the vibrant spirit of May Day.

May Day Basket Filler Ideas

  • faux flowers like mine
  • real flowers
  • candy or treats
  • notes of encouragement
  • spa goodies like these bath bombs

What would you put in one? Let me know in the comments below.

What is a Nosegay?

A nosegay is a compact cluster of flowers and greenery, tightly bound and often arranged in a symmetrical fashion. Historically, nosegays were used in the 15th through 17th centuries to mask unpleasant odors, hence the name “nosegay,” which essentially means “to please the nose.”

These charming little bouquets were also carried to ward off diseases and are steeped in folklore and tradition, serving as symbols of love and appreciation. Today, nosegays are popular at weddings, as decorative elements, and as special gifts on occasions like May Day.

nosegay with florals pink and blue

When is May Day this year?

May Day is celebrated the first day of the month of May each year making it easy to remember. Signifying the official return of Spring, May Day indicates the halfway point between the spring equinox and the summer solstice! 

What is May Day?

Celebrating May Day with nosegays brings a touch of historical charm and joy to the festivities. Traditionally, May Day is associated with the celebration of spring and fertility, featuring activities like maypole dancing, singing, and cake eating.

“Mayday!” is not to be confused with the “May Day” celebration, but instead it’s a special code alerting to the need for help when repeated three times in a row.

Ways to Celebrate May Day

Creating a May Day nosegay is a beautiful tradition that revives the enchanting customs of celebrating spring. It’s a wonderful way to express care, friendship, or love.

Whether you’re making nosegays as gifts, decorations, or even as part of a May Day celebration, the act of crafting these small bouquets is sure to spread joy and the spirit of renewal.

Enjoy the process of selecting flowers, arranging them, and seeing how they bring smiles to faces, reminding everyone of the beauty that spring brings.


  1. Christy Morrill says:

    Love the May Day Nosegays. I was just talking with my Mom . Both parents remember leaving the bouquets on people’s doors growing up. I do have 1 family member – a niece who has a May Day birthday.

    1. That is so fun! I had never heard of it until now myself. I think it’s a great idea to cheer people up!

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