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DIY: Making a Maypole for a Maypole Dance

DIY: Making a Maypole for a Maypole Dance

These days, I’m all about celebrating and finding joy in the turning seasons without buying lots of stuff. For May Day, and May Day Weekend celebrations, I created a Maypole from a salvaged branch to serve as the focal point of a casual gathering with children ages two years-old to six years-old and their parents. It was extremely easy. Here’s how I did it, as well as simple instructions for dancing the Maypole dance:

1. Find a tall pole or branch around 10 feet tall.
2. Determine the amount of ribbon you’ll need by counting your “dancing” guests. Each guest will need one ribbon. I created a Maypole for eight people, so I had eight ribbons.
3. Cut ribbon into lengths of at least four yards long. If you have eight-yard-long ribbon, you only need half as many strips.
4. If your pole has a flat round top, you can make a Maypole like Martha Stewart by cutting a a circular disk, attaching your ribbons with a staple gun, nailing it to the top of your post, and then decorating.
5. My Maypole started as a large branch, so I arranged the colors of the ribbon in a symmetrical pattern and nailed them equidistant around the branch. If you have the eight yard ribbon, you’ll drape it over at the center point so that four yards hang on each side.
Hammer ribbons around the branch
6. I covered the nails with another layer of decorative ribbon
Cover nails with decorative ribbon.
7. Weave flowers around the decorative ribbon for a final springy floral look.
8. Dig a hole in the ground at least two feet deep. Secure your pole.
9. Dance! Four people encircle the pole in one direction, each holding a ribbon. Four others face the other direction. To weave the ribbons, a little song can help:

In and out, in and out,
Weave the ribbons tight;
‘Round the Maypole we will dance
To the left and to the right.

The children alternate between going in towards the pole, and under the ribbon of person coming towards them. Then, they go out away from the pole, raising their ribbon over the person moving towards them. (To start, one line of children to go in first, the other to go out first.)

Happy May Day!

Read more: Children, Crafts & Hobbies, Holidays, Holidays & Gifts, Life, Other Holidays, Outdoor Activities, , , , ,

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41 comments

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9:46PM PDT on May 2, 2014

Lovely way to celebrate! Thank-you for the instructions.

9:44PM PDT on May 2, 2014

Lovely way to celebrate! Thank-you for the instructions.

12:02AM PDT on Apr 30, 2014

When I was little,I used to love May day. Before we left for school ,we would run to various neighbors houses and hang little baskets with candies in them on the doors and then run away.It was like trick or treat in reverse. The baskets were in pastel and we had pastel candies or nuts in them. I loved it.

2:00PM PDT on Sep 12, 2012

thanks

5:45AM PST on Dec 12, 2011

I like to see maypole dance. It is my one of the best dance form. Maypole Dancing has had a bit of a revival for all sorts of reasons to do with a greater awareness of our own culture and the sheer enjoyment by dancers and audience alike.

7:52AM PDT on May 29, 2011

That sounds like fun... I'm always looking for new ways to celebrate the seasons (instead of celebrating crappy corporate holidays) !

9:01AM PDT on May 23, 2011

As 'May Day' is Beltane one of our high holy days, we Pagans often make and dance the maypole, it is a common thing in our community, but it is nice to see of of the rest of y;all joining us in celebrating Nature's Sacred fertility.

1:22PM PDT on May 20, 2011

I saw this dance done when I was in England,its very good,everyone enjoys it

12:47PM PDT on May 20, 2011

Noted with interest.

6:14AM PDT on May 9, 2011

Ah, the May pole dance,chaos set to music.: )
We use a skinny pine tree in my yard.I tried using crepe paper for ribbon thinking it would dissolve with the elements, but they must have changed how it's made. remnants of last year are sill there.

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