Amy’s Free Ideas

An advent wreath is used to count down the 4 Sundays until Christmas. Traditionally purple candles are used, with a pink one lit for Christmas day, but any color can be used.

How to use an advent wreath: Count the Sundays back from Christmas--sometimes the first Sunday of the advent season is the last Sunday of November. Then choose a time on that first Sunday to light just one candle to mark the first Sunday of advent. You can light it during Sunday dinner, or during family devotions when you read the Bible and talk about the true meaning of Christmas. Each Sunday, light a new candle along with the candles that have been previously lit. If your children are allowed to use matches, this can be an exciting responsibility to light the candles. If you have several children, they can take turns lighting the candles, and snuffing them out as well.

How to make an advent wreath: There are lots of ways to make them. One of the easiest ways to make an advent wreath is to stick candle holders into an artificial wreath. Just make sure the candle holders are solidly on the table so they don’t tip over when they are burning.

Hint: When the candles burn very short, the combination of artificial wreath and flame can create a fire hazard. To avoid this problem, when the first candle gets very short, I take out the shortest candle, add a new one, and continue burning the next shortest candle as if it were the shortest.

I ordered the advent candle holder in the photo on the left that depicts the whole Christmas story from an on-line company. Then I layered it on top of 2 white miniature Christmas trees turned sideways and added pink poinsettias and small flowers for a spectacular centerpiece (trees and flowers from hundred yen stores). If you want to make one similar to this, you can line up 4 candle holders and loose figures on a dollar store lazy susan, or pedestal cake plate. Garnish with greenery of your choice (see more photos below.)

Many Christian bookstores sell simple advent wreaths like the one shown on the left. They can be used as is, or you can put an artificial or fresh wreath on top of it to make it more decorative (like the one shown in the top photo.) Some are sold with greenery attached.

If you can’t buy an advent wreath locally, you can make your own. Be creative in looking for a container--just because it is being sold as a dog dish doesn’t mean you can’t use it for an advent wreath!!

I used a plastic planter bottom and cut the sides shorter with a box cutter. I looked around for something that was the same diameter as candles, and found candy sold in plastic tubes.

I used a box cutter to slice the plastic tube into shorter sections and glued them to the planter bottom with a glue gun.

I draped a holly swag around the frame to complete the wreath.

I LOVE the scent of fresh fir branches!! The color and  fragrance lasts long after the branches are dried out! So if you bought a Christmas tree, don’t throw away those branches you cut off so it will fit in the tree holder. Cut small branches off and arrange them around the candles.

Some greenery will not last without water. For these, you can buy oasis or floral foam that is used for flower arranging. Be careful not to buy the foam blocks for dried flowers, because they will not absorb water. These are sold at craft stores, florists, and some dollar stores.

Cut the oasis blocks to fit around the candles. Soak them fully immersed in water for 30 minutes, or else the center of the blocks will remain dry, and branches will not get the water they need. Craft stores also sell candle holders that can be pushed into the oasis. or you can simply push the candles into the oasis itself.

Just because you buy a plain advent wreath doesn’t mean it has to stay plain. Keep adding things until you like the way it looks. Berries, bows or pinecones are just some of the things that you can add to make the wreath look better.

Try layering the wreath on top of various kinds of cloth or runners to add another layer of interest.




For an elaborate advent wreath, start with a decorated wreath, either artificial or real.

Add a pedestal cake plate on top of the wreath. An alternative way to achieve this would be to arrange greenery and floral picks under the pedestal cake plate instead of the wreath.

Put a small advent wreath with candles on top. An alternate way to do this would be to put 4 candle holders in the middle.

Add nativity figurines around the candles. You will want to arrange this where you will be using it, since there are so many parts that could fall off if you tried to move it.

Arrange nativity set figures around the advent wreath to keep the true meaning of Christmas central in your home. If you plan to use it on your dinner table, put everything on a lazy susan--this will allow your children to spin is around to see all the figures, and it also makes it easy to move off the table to wipe off the table, or change the tablecloth. You can put them on a tray or pedestal cake plate instead.

Again, you can change the look by varying the background with  an assortment runners or place mats under the advent wreath.

Seasons > Christmas > Decorations for the home >6 Ways to Make an Advent Wreath