Making a Fresh Advent Wreath

One way we symbolically anticipate the birth and soon coming return of Christ is with an advent wreath. The wreath shows us that God is eternal. Jesus said He was the alpha and the omega, the beginning and the end. The greens are everlasting, like the love of Christ who dies for all. And each candle, with a different meaning, reminds us that He is the light that gives light to every man.

There are several different ways to make an advent wreath but I would like to show you one that will stay fresh throughout the advent season.

The first step is to acquire or purchase your supplies. Local craft stores usually carry the following items at this time of year: a wire wreath form (I chose a 14” size); a wire advent wreath form approx the same size; 1 roll of 3-4” wide green plastic wreath wrap; a bag of milled sphagnum moss (a bag about the size of a cinderblock should be ample/don’t purchase peat, spanish or green moss by mistake); a small package of greening pins; 3 purple and 1 pink dripless candle; 4 yds of #40 wired ribbon (optional).
advent wreath 1

Step two is to soak the moss in warm water until fully hydrated (about 10 minutes).

For step three place heaping handfuls in the inverted side of wreath form until it is evenly full. Do not squeeze the sphagnum dry, as this is what will hold the moisture in to keep your greens hydrated and fresh.
advent wreath 2

Step four: wrap the sphagnum and wreath form with the wreath wrap using firm pressure, overlapping each edge slightly. If you have ever bandaged a horse’s leg or a person’s it’s the same technique. Once the wreath is fully wrapped, secure the ends with two greening pins.
advent wreath 4

On step five you will need to place the advent wreath on top of your wrapped form and wrap again, leaving the candle holders exposed.
fresh wreath

Now you are ready for step six. Cut greens that you have collected from your yard or the woods into approx. 6” pieces using terminal ends. Greens can be purchased from garden centers and florists at this time of year also. I used white pine, noble fir and juniper but you may select almost any conifer. I find spruce hard to work with because of the sharp needles though it is beautiful. Boxwood works fine also.
advent wreat 2

Step seven: using a wooden floral pick (an ice pick or knitting needle would work fine) punches a hole into the wreath and enlarge slightly with a wiggling motion. Insert your stem of greens at an angle, making sure you removed the needles or foliage from the 1” stem to be inserted. Now, working towards yourself, keep making offset holes approx 2” apart across the top and sides of the wreath, inserting greens as you go. You may choose to integrate several varieties as you work your way around the wreath or insert all of one variety uniformly and then go back and add the others.

The last step is to add a bow if desired and the candles. Your wreath should be placed on a plate, tray or waterproof surface. Rehydrate as it becomes dry by allowing it to sit in a couple of inches of water.

advent wreath 3

I invite you to share your advent wreath ideas, traditions, insights and knowledge as we prepare to celebrate Christmas, the birth of the One who was, who is and who is to come.

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About Debi

I live in Leesburg, Virginia where I teach high school students in the Agriculture Department. Additionaly, I am self-employed as a horticultural consultant and landscape designer. "Beefriend the Bees!" and "Neither Here Nor There" are children's books I wrote and illustrated available from Amazon (http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_1?url=search-alias=aps&field-keywords=Deborah Chaves&x=12&y=25. Other interests include singing and playing my guitar (also have a CD for sale on Amazon called "Gardening Therapy"); walking my American Bulldog, Cloud and Olde English Bulldogge, Sky; staying active in my local church, and blogging on the www.thedailylily.com.

10 thoughts on “Making a Fresh Advent Wreath

  1. Thank you Debi for the gracious gift of giving specific directions and demonstrations on how to make an Advent Wreath.
    I have viewed your finished products, personally, and they are really beautiful, festive and with a touch of the divine.
    Thank you, again.

  2. The wreath should stay fresh for at least 1 month if kept cool. It will probably need water 1-2 times weekly depending upon where it is…in a warm dry house it may dry out sooner and will need more water. You can squeeze the form from underneath and if it feels full of water and drips it is ok.

  3. I made one of these beautiful wreaths last year and it lasted from early December to the New Years. It was so beautiful. I can hardly wait to take the class this year again. but this time I’ll make an advent wreath. Hopefully I will get to try my hand at the wreath making machine as well. Thanks for sharing your talent so many others can decorate their homes in beauty at Christmas.

  4. Debi, this is awesome. I have never seen this done. I think this would be a fun project for my boys to do. Thank you so much for sharing this beautiful wreath.

  5. What a beautiful centerpiece for one’s table; especially, at Christmas. Thanks, Debi, for sharing your instructions on how to make this advent wreath.

  6. Chickenfarmer, I think your boys would like this too. Besides learning about advent and its meaning, it’s a great motor skills project. Plus, you can incorporate plant sciences in learning about conifers, discuss peat bogs
    (where sphagnum comes from) and the relationship between water (keeping the sphagnum wet)and leaf and needle transpiration. They would also learn a nursing skill on how to apply an ace bandage as that is the correlation I use w/ my students in explaining how to properly wrap the wreath with the wreath wrap.

  7. haha Chickenfarmer, please tell me how many of the above from Debi’s comment do you know before you teach Noah and Luke? I looked in the dictionary and found conifers…a tree that bears cones and evergreen needlelike or scalelike leaves. Conifers are of major importance as the source of softwood, and also supply resins and turpentine. • Order Coniferales, class Coniferopsida, subdivision Gymnospermae: several families, including the pines and firs ( Pinaceae) and the cypresses ( Cupressaceae). Ok, I think it is a tree with pinecones? Right?

  8. Sara’s right about conifers. And they sure get your hands sticky when you cut that pine or fir or cypress and work with them. Tip for getting the resin off that Sara wrote about above: either use canned or spray crisco (or similar vegetable shortening) and rub hands thoroughly w/ this. Then wipe hands w/ paper towel and wash with soap.

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