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.
6. I covered the nails with another layer of 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!