Not able to meet in our church buildings at the moment? No reason to miss out on the Advent Wreath – make your own! It’s a great way to mark to season, and you can use many of these as Advent Calendars as well.
Here’s selection of ideas for making your own Advent Wreath with materials you probably already have at home.
Salt Dough and Birthday Candles
- Mix 2 cupfuls of plain flour with 1 cupful of table salt and add water, kneading until it is the consistency of play-doh.
Alternatively you can use plasticine (and omit the baking section below.)
- Mould the dough in a doughnut around a tealight candle and poke four birthday candles in to the doughnut. (Either four red, or three purple and one pink.)
- Add any decorations you like with a blunt knife or cocktail stick, or press (non-metallic) sequins or beads into the dough.
- Remove the candles and dry the dough in a cool oven, or in a microwave for in 10-second bursts.
- When cool, paint the dough green (gold highlights look good, too), then put the candles back in.
You can make this craft in two forms: as a table decoration or as a wall hanging, depending on how you attach the candles. You can make the whole thing all at once, or assemble as far as the candles then add the tissue paper leaves and flames day-by-day as an Advent calendar.
- Cut the centre out of a paper plate and paint the back green.
- Print out the candle templates onto thick paper or card. (Click here for PDF including instructions.)
- Cut out the Jesus candle and colour it silver, white or glittery. Put glue down one side and roll it into a tube.
- Colour the JOY candle pink and the other three purple. Alternatively, colour all four red. You can leave the ‘drippy’ sections white if you like. Make these four candles into narrower tubes.
- If you are making a table wreath, snip the bottom edges of the tubes to make tabs so that the candles can stand upright. Use staples, glue dots or magic to attach the candles evenly around the wreath.
- If you are making a wall hanging, arrange the candles at 1 o’clock, 4 o’clock, 7 o’clock (pink) and 10 o’clock, and attach the Jesus candle at 12 o’clock. Add a cord for hanging if required.
- Overlap a couple of green squares of tissue paper and scrumple the middle to make a bunch of leaves. Make 20 of these.
- Do the same with red, yellow or orange tissue paper, twisting the top together as well, to make 5 flame shapes.
- For each day that is not a Sunday, add a scrumple of green, and on each Sunday, ‘light’ a candle by attaching a scrumple of flame. Light the final candle on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day.
Advent Spiral Labyrinth
Another salt dough craft (see recipe above) this time with a moving figure and candle.
- Make a long snake from salt dough about 2-3cm in diameter and long enough to make a spiral.
- Arrange your dough on an oven-proof plate, then use a tall candle to make 25 indentations in the dough evenly along its length. Make sure the dents are deep enough to hold the candle securely.
- Decorate and dry your dough (see above).
- Each day, place the candle in the next hole and light while you have your Christmas devotions. You can have small figures from a crib scene walk along side as well, making their way to Bethlehem.
Table Centrepiece Labyrinth
For a larger labyrinth with readings for each day, see this post [click], or the book Walking to Bethlehem, which includes more ideas for making tactile Advent calendars.
Ideas from other sites
Check out these other great resources:
- Names of Jesus Advent chain
- Doodle prayer templates
- Advent play-doh mat (from the awesome Flame Creative Children’s Ministry)
- 25 Advent activities, including more Advent wreaths (also from Flame)
- Printable Christmas tree ornaments, featuring names of Jesus. (You have to sign up to get their templates, but it’s just 20 circles with equilateral triangles inscribed. So it’s pretty easy to draw your own.)