Celebrate the spirit and meaning of Christmas with this easy tutorial to make a beautiful advent wreath DIY using fresh or faux winter greens.
Advent wreaths are an old tradition that has been revived in recent years. They’re a fun way to decorate for Christmas, but they also serve as a reminder of the arrival of Christ’s birth.
Make your own advent wreath DIY using these easy instructions!
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What is an Advent Wreath?
The Advent wreath is a Christian tradition symbolizing the four weeks of the Advent Calendar during the Christmas season.
Made of evergreen cuttings, it is traditionally a circular garland of greens that represent eternity.
Advent wreaths traditionally have 3 purple, one pink candle, and sometimes a fifth white candle in the center. But some make a homemade advent wreath with white candles.
Each week, a candle representing the spiritual preparation for the coming of Jesus is lit, beginning with the first Sunday of Advent.
Today, I’m sharing this blog post in the Celebrating Advent Blog Hop hosted by my talented friend, Amber of Follow the Yellow Brick Home.
If you are coming from my good friend Michelle’s from Thistle Key Lane, welcome to my home!
Because I love to make both faux and fresh arrangements, I made a pretty Catholic advent wreath to celebrate the meaning of the season.
What Do the Four Candles in Advent Represent?
The Advent season is comprised of four weeks that are represented by four candles, which are lit each Sunday.
And the neat thing about them is that each candle gives the Catholic advent wreath meaning.
To understand the significance, the meaning of the Advent wreath is as follows:
- The first week of Advent (Sunday) symbolizes hope and is known as the “Prophecy Candle”. The first purple candle is lit in remembrance of the prophets who foretold Christ’s birth. This candle is purple.
- The second week Sunday’s candle symbolizes faith, known as the “Bethlehem Candle”. This is the second purple candle and serves as a reminder of Joseph and Mary’s journey to Bethlehem.
- A pink candle is lit on the third Sunday that represents joy, known as “the Shepherd’s Candle.” It serves as a reminder of the joy in the birth of Jesus and the faithful reaching the middle of Advent.
- The fourth week (Sunday) is the last candle that symbolizes prayer and penance while we wait for the birth of baby Jesus. The final purple candle is known as the “Angel’s Candle” and signifies peace.
In a modern day 5 candle advent wreath, a fifth candle (usually white) is lit on Christmas Eve, known as “Christ’s Candle” that symbolizes purity.
Supplies Needed to Make an Advent Wreath
Not many supplies are needed to make your own wreath.
And if you are blessed with a landscape that has lots of fresh evergreens to cut?
Then you can make this Christmas DIY budget-friendly and sustainable. Here’s what you need:
- Floral foam
- Taper or Pillar candles (typically using 3 purple and 1 pink)
- Evergreen branches (fresh or faux)
- Pruners or scissors
- Pine cones, berries or other natural elements.
While I’m a huge proponent of using fresh greens, sometimes you just want to use something that’s set and forget that will last without thinking about it.
If you choose to use faux greens to make this Christian advent wreath, go for it!
I’ve made it both ways and it’s really a matter of preference what types of greens you choose to use.
How to Make an Advent Wreath DIY
To me, making your own advent wreath is very similar to making a centerpiece for the dining room table.
In a nutshell, here’s the DIY advent wreath tutorial::
- Gather supplies.
- Cut or buy fresh greens.
- You can also use faux greens, like I did with this arrangement.
- Depending on the size container or vessel you are using, cut floral foam to fit.
- Add tapered candles.
- Start with layer of fresh greens to drape over the edge of the container.
- Add filler greens.
- Tuck in pinecones and berries.
Choosing the Container
For my advent wreath, I started with this vintage urn that belonged to my grandmother.
I haven’t polished the silver on it because I kind of like the patina on it for this project.
Selecting the Greens and Candles
To stabilize the greens and taper candles, I cut some floral foam to size. Feel free to use candle holders to help stabilize them and catch the wax from the candles.
Since I am making my advent wreath so close to Christmas, I just used what I had on hand here to make the wreath.
I had a bunch of faux greens that I wasn’t using in my decor so I decided to use those instead of fresh cut greens.
But it’s just as easy to walk outside and cut fresh greenery from the yard.
When using fresh instead of faux greens, make sure to use a little dish or something to catch the water in on the bottom so nothing leaks out.
The only thing to keep in mind when cutting evergreen branches, some types of greens have prickly leaves like holly, so wear gloves when working with them.
Designing the Advent Wreath
As with any arrangement, keep in mind the thriller, filler and spiller technique to container design.
It’s a great way to design any container garden or centerpiece arrangement.
I started the Advent Wreath by inserting the four candles into the floral foam at the center of the wreath. The candles are the thriller or height element of the design.
Because I am using what I have on hand, I don’t have the pink and purple candles, so I’m using white instead.
I then inserted a few pine looking sprigs to the base of the arrangement so it creates a spilling effect.
To keep the greens to scale with the urn, I want them to drape 2x the width of the container.
Then, I kept stuffing around the base with the pine looking sprigs until it looked full enough to add the filler.
Next I added some filler greens to make the arrangement look fuller, as well as to add more texture and dimension.
So I tucked in some cedar branch and juniper faux greens. The sprigs were smaller than the pines I used, making great filler.
When tucking in the greens, be sure to keep some space away from the candles so when they candles burn down they don’t ignite the greens.
To add more texture and dimension, I tucked in some pinecone sprigs.
The ones I have are flocked and grouped in threes on a floral pic.
But I love how they instantly added some life to the advent wreath, don’t you?
And finally, I tucked in some faux red berry sprigs to coordinate with my Christmas decorating style this year.
Adding them really makes the whole arrangement pop, don’t you agree?
For Safety Purposes
As with any burning candles, ALWAYS keep an eye on them.
As the candles burn down into the greens, swap them out for fresh ones, or use flameless, battery-operated candles for safety.
Thanks so much for following along. I hope you have a Merry Christmas!
Want to Learn How to Decorate With Fresh Greens for the Holidays?
Sign up here to get my email and get a discount on my ebook, 15 Easy Ways to Decorate With Fresh Greens for the Holidays that offers beautiful, budget-friendly, and sustainable holiday decorating inspiration using fresh greens from the landscape.
This 40-page guide is full of simple DIY holiday decorating ideas that includes how to cut, care for, and design with fresh greens, as well as tips to purchase and incorporate faux greens with your holiday decorating style to create a cozy, beautiful, and organic vibe.
From porch styling to cozy centerpiece and tablescape inspiration, wait until you try these budget-friendly holiday decorating ideas using fresh greens for every room in your home.
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- Where to Buy the Best Faux Winter Greens and Florals
- Winter Gardening With Outdoor Planters
Wait Until You See These Advent Celebration Ideas!
Thanks so much for stopping by my home today. Next up on the tour is my good friend Kelly from The Tattered Pew.
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