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Get your holiday craft on—here's how to make an Advent wreath

’Tis the season to DIY

Lit advent wreath with four candles on an evergreen wreath and a white pillar candle in the center. Credit: Getty Images / Kara Gebhardt

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Advent wreaths represent the joy and love of Christmastime. Traditionally, the Advent wreath is part of Christian celebration, and it has become a popular harbinger of the season across many different Protestant and Catholic sects.

Of course, you can buy a fully constructed advent wreath in various styles, from contemporary to classic. But, if you want to really get into the spirit of the season and save a few dollars, you can easily make your own.

The basic composition of the Advent wreath remains relatively simple despite the varying traditions: an evergreen wreath surrounds four candles. Three purple candles represent hope, peace, and love, while a pink or rose colored candle symbolizes joy. Some wreaths also include a white candle to be lit on Christmas Day. Other wreaths feature all one color of candle.

Similar to a classic Advent calendar, there’s a staggered use of the candles in the lead up—known as Advent—to Christmas. Starting four Sundays before the holiday—Nov. 28 this year—one purple candle is lit. The following week, you’ll light two purple candles, and then, the week after, you’ll light two purple and one pink candle. On the fourth Sunday, you’ll finally light all four candles. On Christmas Day, some choose to add a white candle to the center of the Advent wreath and light all four candles plus the white candle in honor of the holiday.

Part of the beauty of Advent wreaths is that one can take inspiration from tradition to make this wreath feel personal to your own Christmas celebration. While you can buy a wreath premade for upwards of $100, they’re straightforward and fun to make yourself—easy for any level of crafter.

Here’s how to make an Advent wreath.

How to make an Advent wreath (Easy version)

A eucalyptus wreath and advent calendar in front of a colorful background.
Credit: Background: Reviewed / Tara Jacoby | Products: Amazon

You can make an Advent wreath in no time with products you can order online right now!

If you like the idea of making an Advent wreath on a budget, but are nervous about whipping out a hot glue gun, good news! You can buy everything you need to make a wreath with minimal assembly.

The three main pieces to look for are a wreath, a candle holder, and some taper candles.

Start with some lovely greenery. You can buy a live wreath or a pre-made artificial wreath. A faux Eucalyptus wreath is simple and looks like the real thing, or you can get a wreath with other florals built in for added flair.

Look for a candle holder that can sit on top of or inside the inner ring of the wreath. If you already have some short stature candle holders for taper candles, then you’re halfway there. If not, there are ring-shaped candle holders that can sit on top of the wreath. If you’re worried about the holder slipping over with the lit candles, some clear zip ties can securely attach the holder fairly inconspicuously.

For candles, you can buy packs of Advent taper candles with the correct colors so you don’t have to buy entire sets of purple and pinks to mix and match. If you prefer to go for a more neutral color-scape, try all-white candles.

An advent wreath looks beautiful anywhere in the home, but it can serve as an especially festive table centerpiece. If you want to spruce it up with more winter accoutrements, consider adding pine cones, winter berries, and pine needles into or around the wreath to complete your design.

What you’ll need to make an easy Advent wreath

How to make an Advent wreath (Professional DIY-er version)

Floral foam, faux greenery, a ceramic dish, and candle holders in front of a colorful background.
Credit: Background: Reviewed / Tara Jacoby | Products: Amazon and Crate & Barrel

If you want to take your Advent wreath to the next level, you can make one from scratch.

If you want to take your Advent wreath to the next level, you can make one from scratch. The perfect base to use will be a piece of floral foam. This foam comes in all shapes and sizes and helps lay out your design in the desired arrangement. Then you can stick in your florals and greenery of your choice as the foam securely holds them in place.

But, before you get started on those floral arrangements, using plastic candle holders designed for floral foam, place your holders where you’ll want your candles to sit on the wreath. Spaced out evenly among the wreath, make spots for four candles. Once placed, you can get designing.

The traditional choice for greenery is evergreen cuttings from fir to cedar to pine, and you can go for fresh or artificial—to really knock down project cost, take a walk into your backyard with a pair of pruning shears.

Eucalyptus stems are another great option to adding some abundance to the wreath. For additional ornaments, jasmine stems paired with bright red winter berries and woodsy elements like pine cones can really help complete the look.

Once your wreath is set, just add in the Advent candles in the classic pink and purple or a set of crisp white candles. Your guests during the holidays will ogle your work and you can brag that it’s one of your original designs.

You’ll also want to place the floral foam in a dish and water it every few days if you are using live cuttings. You certainly want to avoid sparking a fire.

What you’ll need to make an professional DIY-er Advent wreath

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