There is a custom here in Germany to have an Advent Wreath on the four weeks before Christmas.
On each Sunday in Advent, a further candle is lighted, i.e. one candle on 1st Sunday, two candles on 2nd Sunday, etc.
Though being from Christian origin, many non-religious people have Advent Wreaths at home as well. It became a kind of standard Christmas decoration.
Usually an Advent Wreath is made from twigs of fir. But personally I do not like the twigs leaving their needles everywhere. So I came up with the idea to design a very unique Advent Wreath that is based on a picture of a Wreath my mother made last year. It uses tea candles, looks great and is definitively free of fir needles. Hope you like it!
By the way, you find some more information about Advent Wreaths on Wikipedia.
Step 1: What You Need...
I used the following things for building my Advent Wreath, but of course you are free to change anything you like (e.g. think about different colors, adapt the size, etc.).
- a print of the Advent Wreath (you find it attached on the next step as a .pdf file)
- MDF board (11in x 11in / 28cm x 28cm - approx. 1in / 2.5 cm thick)
- white felt (10.5in x 10.5in / 27cm x 27xcm
- 4 tea candles
- a drill of the size of tea candles (approx. 1.5in / 4cm)
(for me, this was the hardest part to get, but I found one on the Internet)
- a drill/driver
- a x-acto knife
- white paint & brush
- a hammer
- a big nail or anything with a pointed top
- any kind of spatula (a piece cardboard would work as well)
- pencil & ruler
- white glue / wood glue
(for gluing the paper print on the MDF-board - I also tried using normal glue, but white glue works much better!)
- normal glue (for gluing the felt on the MDF board)
Step 2: Print!
Print out the Advent Wreath illustration and cut it to a square of 11in x 11in / 28cm x 28cm.
I printed the file in a copy shop and asked for some thick paper. Personally, I really like the matt look of the print. But I guess glossy would also look quite nice...
Above, you find the illustration in two formats for different paper sizes. I hope these files work for everyone; if not: just drop me a line!
Step 3: Measure!
Mark on the MDF board where the holes for the candles need to be drilled.
You find a diagram above where the exact measures are explained.
Step 4: Drill!
To make sure the drill meets exactly the market position, I used hammer & nail to punch small holes in wood.
Then, go ahead and drill the holes. Make sure you do not drill through the whole board, but only approx. 0.75in / 2cm deep.
Step 5: Paint!
I decided to paint this board in white; but I also made some version with neon pink sides which look quite stylish. You can also think about skipping this step and leaving the board wood colored.
To make the glue stick better on the wood, I did not paint the top and bottom. However, I'm not sure if it really helped; so it's up to you to try.
Step 6: Glue!
Put the glue on the wood and spread it with the spatula to a thin & even film. Make sure you do not forget the edges and boarders around the holes.
For me white glue / wood glue worked best here, but you can also try using regular glue as well. However, I made the experience that normal glue more likely leads to bubbles between wood & paper.
Press the paper with the print out on the glue and use a napkin to rub out any air that got stuck between paper & wood.
Step 7: Cut!
Cut out the holes for the candles.
After rubbing across the paper with the napkin, you should see quite good, where you have to cut.
Step 8: Glue Again!
Use regular glue to stick the felt on the bottom of the board. That gives the lower side of your Advent Wreath a nice finish and makes it more convenient to be put on a table.
I made the experience that white glue did not work well with felt, so I used regular glue here.
Step 9: Get Ready for the First Sunday in Advent!
Grab some tea candles and get ready for lighting the first one!