Making a Maypole


Once the maypole is set up, the children can dance to a waltz, a polka, a jig, or any tune you choose. Our dancers kept track of their braiding by chanting, "Go over it, then under it, and over it and under it," to keep from getting tangled in their ribbons.

What You'll Need


  • Glossy latex paint
  • Drill
  • Two wooden discs, each 6 inches in diameter
  • 19/16-inch-diameter wooden pole cut to a length of 10 feet
  • Six 10-yard rolls of pastel, single-faced, 1 1/2-inch-wide satin ribbon
  • Scissors
  • Thumbtacks
  • Staple gun
  • 3-inch double-sided screw
  • Wooden finial


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    Paint pole, discs, and finial with glossy latex paint. Drill a hole slightly less than the diameter of the screw through the center of each disc, and a matching hole in one end of the pole. Unroll the ribbons, fold in half lengthwise, and cut a triangular notch into the center of each fold, creating a diamond-shape opening. Lay the ribbons flat, first dividing the disc into quarters, then placing two more ribbons in each quarter, centering the diamond-shape opening over the drilled hole. Secure the ribbons with thumbtacks, then use a staple gun to attach each ribbon along the perimeter of the disc and again at the center.

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    Insert the screw in the top of the pole; fit the beribboned disc, ribbon-side up, over the screw. Then add the top disc, and, finally, the finial. Twist the finial until it feels secure and the discs are tight. To secure the pole in the ground, dig a hole two feet deep, and line it with an umbrella ground sleeve. Tighten the nut on the sleeve until the pole is held firm. The pole will then stand eight feet above ground. A patio umbrella stand could work as well. Just be sure to stake it into the ground to prevent the pole from toppling.

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