Making an Advent wreath yourself is worthwhile in several respects: Parents design the Advent wreath together with their children and thus create one of the rituals that is so important for family cohesion. Such handicraft hours are welcome opportunities for a little deeper communication than is usual in everyday life – and you don’t need to be upset if you take a closer look at an Advent wreath you have bought and realize that a few green twigs and four candles cost more than 20 € have paid. Otherwise, you can simply enjoy the creative activity when making an Advent wreath yourself, but it is particularly worthwhile to lend a hand if the Advent wreaths from the trade do not usually meet your design requirements.

Creation of the Advent wreath

The Advent wreath originally comes from northern Germany, it was invented in 1839 by the theologian and educator Johann Hinrich Wichern, who at that time had just begun to look after poor children in the “Rauhen Haus”. Like all children, these children kept asking when Christmas would finally be during the Advent season.

At Johann Wichern’s, however, it wasn’t one or two children who asked when Christmas would finally be, but more than 100, and that’s a little more time-consuming… In any case, Wichern came up with the idea of ​​putting one on an old wagon wheel for each weekday of the Advent season small red candles and four large white ones for the Sundays in Advent, and the children could count the days until Christmas themselves in the candlelight. The Advent wreath with the candles for each day of Advent still hangs in the run-up to Christmas in the Sankt Michaelis Church in Hamburg and of course in the “Rauhen Haus”…

Above all, however, the idea from Hamburg conquered the world of faith, in 1925 the first Advent wreath appeared in a Catholic church in Cologne, in 1940 the Advent wreath had reached Austria, and today this tradition is known and popular in actually all parts of the world, where a predominantly Christian population lives.

The basic structure

The classic basic structure of an Advent wreath is a circle of fir branches with the four Advent candles and various decorations. Depending on the country or region, the wreath can also be made from the green of other plants, conifers or other plants whose branches are green and durable (spruce, boxwood, thuja), and the decoration is of course subject to even richer regional variance.

As described above, an Advent wreath like the “original wreath” can also be equipped with 24 candles, or you can choose the “space-saving variant” conceived in modern times, a arrangement with a little decoration and one candle, both variants allow completely new forms of the Advent wreath. But let’s stay with the traditional form, which can also be used for a number of things:

1. The classic Advent wreath

The classic Advent wreath also has a classic structure, which is created in the following steps:

  • You need a round wreath of pine greens or other durable, green branches.
  • To make this, you can buy a so-called straw roman, a round straw wreath that is available in various sizes.
  • The green branches are now laid out around this and pinned with needles.
  • Such so-called moss needles or ivy needles are available from florists, and your florist will probably be happy to sell you a pack.
  • This florist also has an even more convenient solution: a pre-tied blank wreath that only needs to be decorated.
  • First, however, the four candlesticks are attached to the wreath and the candles are attached to them.
  • Then the Advent wreath is decorated with baubles and pine cones, berries and stars, many things can be used to decorate the Advent wreath.

2. Variationsideen

  • You can get a wealth of decorative ingredients for your Advent wreath from your florist, such as beautiful red preserved berries.
  • But there is much more in the decoration needs that you can attach wonderfully to your Advent wreath, stars and baubles, ribbons and chains.
  • An extraordinary Advent wreath is quickly created if you simply match the colors of the decorative materials and the candles.
  • You can decide to choose everything in one color, which then results in e.g. B. an Advent wreath all in pink, with pink candles, ribbons and berries.
  • But you can also work with contrasting colors; For example, a combination of light blue, gold and cream looks very good.
  • Any kind of decoration can be easily attached to the wreath if you tie or glue it to a piece of floral wire beforehand.
  • This floral wire should be around 20 cm long so that it can be easily inserted through the wreath and anchored in it.

3. Colorful classic Advent wreath for children

  • The Advent wreath for smaller children will cause a lot of delight if it is designed as imaginatively as possible.
  • You can work with a lot of effort, but you can also design the wreath with very simple means that still have a great effect.
  • You can e.g. B. apply pink, light red, dark red and violet candles, these colors are all part of the classic Advent wreath.
  • A decoration that is very easy to attach works with bows in many bright colors, in all shades of red and all shades of green, for example.
  • With this simple decoration, you can extend the classic range as far as you like, right up to really flashy color combinations.
  • If you would like to put in more effort, you could use the wreath decoration as an opportunity to teach your children about symbols.
  • You choose e.g. B. together choose the various Christian symbols that could be attached to the wreath and make them together.
  • Or you choose flowers or fruits as a theme, then the children should put together a selection of local plants.
  • These can also be made very well from a wide variety of materials and painted colorfully.

4. The gifts Advent wreath for children

  • An Advent wreath for children can make the children even more happy if you include a few unusual ideas.
  • The joy does not have to be limited to the decoration, but the wreath can “really do something” for the children.
  • You could e.g. For example, look for chocolates or colorful sweets wrapped in brightly colored cellophane and attach them to the wreath.
  • Or you can attach small packages with mini gifts to the wreath. Every Sunday one can be unpacked and reattached empty.
  • Or instead of candles, you can attach funny little LED light figures to the wreath, which will belong to the children after Christmas.
  • It can also be crazier – the whole wreath lights up, all around and more and more every week, because the Christmas present “LED shoelaces” glows here …

As I said, these are only the first suggestions for a “decorative arrangement” of the Advent wreath – if you have the time to plan the production of the Advent wreath together with your children, this planning alone is great fun and will certainly bring a lot more other ideas on how the wreath could be designed.

Various wreaths for adults

If you prefer to see the decoration in your household traditionally attached, you will find enough instructions for handicrafts above. However, if you are not tied down by teaching your children about traditions, you can also take a completely different approach to making your Advent wreath. Here are a few ideas:

1. The “delicious wreath” for the Advent season

The pre-Christmas period is also for adults to snack on, and an Advent wreath is ideal for making an unusual decoration from all sorts of sweets. You can simply wire your favorite chocolates to a pine wreath, a tricky option for people who don’t want to pack too much in the run up to Christmas – as the wreath grows bare, it puts a bit of a stop to the urge to snack. But you can also bake biscuits, which only become really delicious after a while, and wrap them in cling film and attach them to the wreath – when the Advent wreath is empty, you just have to bake again.

2. The wooden Advent wreath

But you can also say goodbye to the “needle monster” made of fir green and make your own Advent wreath out of wood. The experienced do-it-yourselfer goes to the nearest hardware store and buys a nice piece of wood, from which he then makes a beautifully even wooden wreath according to his own design or according to instructions from the Internet. With holders for the candle holders, with hooks for attaching decorations, with feet for standing…

The creative gets his accessories in his own garden or in the forest. He collects branches that are as bizarre as possible, which he binds into a wreath after thorough cleaning and a drying phase on the heater. The candle holders are then drilled. Or he takes various thick branches or thin tree trunks and places them next to each other in a wreath. These pieces of wood, arranged in a circle, are then fitted with the usual candles. Both wreaths can now be decorated with Christmas decorations according to your wishes and imagination. Such extraordinary natural Advent wreaths can also be kept very puristic … However, the result has one advantage in any case: The Advent wreath not only lasts for one season, never loses a pin and can be decorated differently every year just like a fir wreath.

3. Other materials for crafting

The basis of an Advent wreath can actually come from anything that can be formed into a circle:

  • A metal wreath cut from a steel plate, perhaps leftovers from a metal trade.
  • oak wire can even be braided into a circle, a very filigree, futuristic variant.
  • You can felt thick strands of your sheep’s or your dog’s wool to make a wreath.
  • You can very well tie the branches of a wide variety of aromatic herbs into a wreath, e.g. sage. B. or laurel.
  • A wide variety of hedge shrubs from the garden provide material that can be tied into a wreath, such as willows.
  • Some of these materials can be wound into a wreath on their own, while others are easier to attach to a wreath blank or moss wreaths with floral wire.

You can then decorate the Advent wreath with just about anything that fits on a round circle:

  • For the design wreaths made of metal or metal mesh, e.g. B. feathers, ribbons, angel hair.
  • Even thin plastic film such as polypropylene, which is available in many colors, can be cut into decorative shapes with scissors.
  • This is how e.g. B. themed wreaths that tell a story with letters or pose puzzles with figures.
  • You can quickly punch out a wealth of decorative figures from strong paper with motif punches, which can be glued to wire and inserted.
  • These figures become even more meaningful with a background of slightly transparent tissue paper. For example, green “forest” for the deer or light blue “sky” for the shooting stars.
  • Don’t forget the four candlesticks, each in the middle of a circle segment.

To make an Advent wreath yourself, there really isn’t just one guide. Rather, you can indulge in creativity, process all kinds of material and, if you enjoy it, even expand your Advent wreath into an Advent calendar.

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