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How to Make an Advent Wreath: Step-by-Step Guide with Tips and Ideas

Add a Festive Touch to Your Holiday Decor with This DIY Advent Wreath Project

Before Christmas, at the time of Advent, a candle is lit on the Advent wreath every Advent Sunday in most homes. The candles count down the weeks until Christmas. The Advent wreath is a beautiful traditional Christmas decoration. It brings the warm magic of the approaching Christmas into our homes. We can hang it on the front door, hang it in the room on ribbons, place it on a wide window sill, a chest of drawers or on a festively set table.

The classic Advent wreath usually takes the form of a wreath made of twigs with four candles. However, it can be made from a variety of materials and shaped to suit your taste and interior style. Each Sunday of Advent, another candle is lit on the Advent wreath until finally, on the last Sunday of Advent, all four candles are lit.

Do you know what the Advent wreath symbolises and how to make a classic, gingerbread or unusual wreath?

History, or why do we have an Advent wreath?

Wreaths made of green plants and candles began to be used in Europe before they became a tradition in most, especially Christian, households. The tradition was not established until the 19th century in Hamburg by the German Protestant theologian J. H. Wichern. He founded a school for poor children who, in the run-up to Christmas, kept asking him eagerly when Christmas was coming. He therefore made the forerunners of today’s Advent wreaths from a wooden wheel and glued 19 red candles for weekdays and 4 white candles for Sundays. Each day another candle was lit on the wheel.


The Austrian Paradeisl is considered to be a more similar predecessor of the Advent wreath as we know it. The wreath was made up of fir or boxwood branches and connected by four apples in which candles were placed. The Paradeisl could be further decorated with dried fruit, candy and nuts.

Advent wreath and religion

The tradition of lighting the candles on the Advent wreath is indirectly related to the 2,000-year-old Jewish tradition of the Hanukkah Festival of Lights, when eight lights are lit in sequence on Jewish Hanukkah candlesticks.

According to one interpretation, the Advent wreath is meant to be symbolic of the cross of Christ and, in relation to the four cardinal points, as his blessing on each side of the world.

The four candles on the Advent wreath signify the four weeks leading up to Christmas. Their light of Christ, who is the light of the world illuminating the flame of love of every person. For he said, “I am the light of the world; he who follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” (John 8:12).

Another interpretation says that since the wreath has always been given to the victor, according to the Christian faith this victor over darkness is Jesus, whose birth we await in Advent.
The purple and green color of the Advent wreath and the use of conifers and holly symbolize the continuation of life after death and the hope of Christ’s birth.

The tradition of the Advent wreath also recalls customs from pre-Christian times. In winter, people would bring fresh green branches into their dwellings to provide a comfortable home for good spirits. Bare straw wreaths were then used to ward off evil spirits.

However, today’s Advent wreaths are no longer primarily a religious symbol, but have become traditional Christmas accessories and decorations for the interiors and exteriors of our homes, schools, offices, shops, malls and other public spaces.

Candles according to Christian tradition

The gradually increasing number of candles being lit is an expression of the growing anticipation of the birth of Jesus Christ, who is also called the Light of the World. The candles on the Advent wreath can be of different colours, each of which has its own symbolism.

The Advent wreath may also have one extra candle – a fifth white candle placed in the centre of the wreath. White is a festive colour in Western Europe and also the colour of purity. The white candle is therefore a symbol of spiritual purity and Christmas, the Immaculate Virgin Mary or Jesus Christ. That is why it is sometimes referred to as the Christ Candle. It is lit on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

Forms of the Advent wreath

Advent wreaths can vary greatly in appearance. Whether in the material used, the shape, the colour or the number of candles. The appearance of the wreath also depends on the purpose and meaning of its use. An Advent wreath designed for a modern interior can take the shape of a metal rectangle or a crescent with candles, for example. A door wreath is also called an Advent wreath, even if it does not have candles. The traditional colours of the Advent wreath are red and green. The red colour is to commemorate the shed blood of Christ for the salvation of the world. Both colors symbolize life.

Symbolism of the circle at the base of the Advent wreath

The circle is a symbol of eternity and the constant journey to the sun. In earlier times, the long dark winter nights of December were believed to be a time of elves, wanderers and white ladies. Their visit was supposed to guarantee a great harvest for the next year. And wreaths placed in the windows of dwellings were supposed to show the way to these creatures.

The evergreens used to make the Advent wreath are a symbol of life, indestructibility, eternity and constancy of faith. They were believed to house friendly forest spirits. Wreaths made of straw were thought to bring blessings and ward off evil spirits. Therefore, they were tied with golden ribbons, a sign of the sun.”


Candles of different colours are used on the Advent wreath, each colour having its own symbolism. The candles can be different heights, different colours and symmetrically or asymmetrically placed. Candles should be lit counterclockwise

Most used candle colors

According to Christian liturgy, the main color of Advent is purple. Therefore, purple candles are one of the most used candles in the Catholic Church. The color purple is the color of repentance, fasting, suffering during Lent, and welcoming the coming of Jesus Christ into the world.

In the Western Catholic Church, the color purple is used on only three of the four Sundays of Advent. On the third Sunday of Advent comes a time of rejoicing that Lent will soon be over so a pink candle is lit, signifying joy. These colours are according to the liturgical vestments – the liturgical colour of Advent is purple and pink on the third Sunday of Advent.

In Protestant churches, four red candles are usually lit. The color red symbolizes joy, heart, dignity, wealth, happiness, victory, Christ and blood. Today, most Protestant churches use the color blue. And on the fourth Sunday of Advent, they light a pink candle.”

Names of the candles on the Advent wreath

  • On the 1st Sunday of Advent, the first purple candle is lit – the candle of the prophets – the candle of hope and expectation.
  • On the 2nd Sunday of Advent, the second purple candle is lit – the candle of Bethlehem – the candle of love.
  • On the 3rd Sunday of Advent the pink candle is lit – the shepherd candle – the candle of joy.
  • On the 4th Sunday of Advent the purple candle is lit – the angel candle – the candle of peace and tranquillity.


Sometimes the Advent wreath has candles in four colours – purple, red, pink and white. The candles are lit in this order.

Colour and decoration of the wreath

Advent wreath was usually hung on four ribbons in the 20th century. At the top of the wreath were bows of wide ribbons between the candles. Stars, cherubs, gingerbread, straw and other decorations hung down from the inside of the wreath on thin ribbons at different heights. The most common colours used were red, purple and gold.

Advent wreaths on ribbons have now been abandoned and wreaths are usually placed on a table and lavishly decorated around their circumference. The emphasis is no longer primarily on the religious significance of the colours, but on the aesthetics and quality of the material.

How to make an advent wreath?

The Advent wreath is a traditional symbol of the pre-Christmas season used to count down the four weeks of Advent to Christmas. On each Sunday of Advent, one candle is lit on the wreath until finally, on the last Sunday of Advent, all four are lit. In recent years, the Advent wreath has taken on a more decorative significance in many homes, in addition to its original religious symbolism.

Anyone can make their own Advent wreath according to their own taste, following our instructions. When making a wreath, you can let your imagination run wild and create a beautiful and original Christmas accessory.

The base of the Advent wreath

You can use a straw wreath or a polystyrene or florex body for the base of an Advent wreath. You can also use newspaper, which is dampened, crumpled, shaped into a circle and left to dry. Crepe paper or fabric is suitable to cover the body.


The most commonly used are twigs of conifers – yew, yew, juniper or fir. A nice Advent wreath can also be made from branches of deciduous deciduous trees, such as ivy. Combinations of several trees, such as boxwood with juniper or yew, also look nice. Careful preparation of the material is important for the appearance of the wreath – cutting the twigs and winding them onto the wreath.


You can decorate the wreath with ribbons, bows, gingerbread, bark, dried flowers and fruits, pinecones, various twigs, mistletoe, nuts, rosehips, cranberries, dried citrus slices, cinnamon, star anise, small Christmas ornaments, lamé, angels or stars.

To make a classic Advent wreath you will need:

  • scissors
  • a knife
  • pliers
  • gloves
  • binding coarse and thin wire on the spool
  • 4 candles
  • straw or hay
  • twigs or branches of evergreens
  • green crepe paper
  • 4 pine candles
  • various ornaments and decorations


  • Shape a circle out of the coarse wire according to how big you want to make the Advent wreath. This wire circle will serve as the base of the wreath. You have to take into account that the circumference of the wreath will increase when you add the scrolls and other decorations. So don’t overdo it with the size so that it will fit on your table or dresser.
  • Wrap the straw around the circle and attach it to the wire body with thin wire. Gradually add straw around the circumference until you have a solid base for the Advent wreath.
  • Wrap crepe paper around the straw body of the wreath. The paper will colour coordinate with the wreath and the straw will not fall out of the wreath.
  • Cut the twigs or branches to about 15 centimetres. Gradually wrap the twigs around the wreath and secure with thin wire. Always bend the ends of the wires and tuck them into the centre of the wreath to prevent them from being cut. Wrap the twigs around the wreath at least until the body and most of the wires are completely covered. Mask the remaining wires with decorations later.
  • At this point, use garden shears to trim the wreath to the shape you want it to be. If you prefer a natural look, you can leave the branches sticking out of the wreath at will. If you want to achieve a sleek design, trim any protruding branches. This will accentuate the circular shape of your Advent wreath.
  • Cut 4 pieces of several centimetres of thicker wire. Thread the wire into the wreath where you want the candles. Leave a long piece of wire sticking out of the wreath so that the candle can be easily impaled on it. If you get the wire over the bottom edge of the wreath, bend it and push it into the center of the wreath. If the wreath is not going to be used for decorative purposes only and you will be lighting the candles, you will need to place them in metal holders for safety reasons.
  • Now all that’s left to do is to decorate the wreath with pinecones, bows and other arbitrary decorations according to your taste. Attach the decorations to the wreath using thin wires.

Advent wreath on the door

Christmas decorations start at the front door. Therefore, with the arrival of Advent, decorate the door of your apartment or house with a wreath that will festively brighten up an otherwise ordinary door and make every arrival home more pleasant. Even beginners can make an Advent wreath. Just prepare your tools and materials and follow our instructions.

The body of the wreath

You can buy the body in a garden shop. It is usually made of polystyrene or arrangement material. However, you can also make it yourself from straw, wire or wicker. When making a wreath, it is important to consider where the wreath will be placed. Wreaths for the outdoors must be able to withstand the harsh winter weather – rain, snow, frost and wind.

Advent wreath of twigs and branches

You can make a beautiful Advent wreath for your door with twigs of evergreen deciduous trees and conifers in different shades of green. Combinations of several types of trees also look beautiful.

Fir trees

Fir trees are ideal for making Advent decorations. It doesn’t fall off, stays green for a long time, is easy to work with and is one of the most beautiful conifers thanks to the density and structure of its needles.

Norway spruce

In our country we call it silver spruce for its needles with a blue-grey tinge. Advent wreaths made from it look very nice, but they start to fall off soon.

Cypress, cypress tree

The cypress has beautiful, interestingly cleft branches and also nice cones that serve as decoration on the Advent wreath.


Zerav, i.e. the yew tree, is widespread in our country, especially as a part of hedges. You can use different coloured cultivars to brighten up your Advent wreath.


Buxus is a shrub whose twigs are densely covered with small rounded leaves. A wreath of buxus looks very fresh.

Mahonia holly-leaved

Holly Mahonia – the edges of its leaves are similar to those of holly. They can also be interestingly coloured, which will brighten up an Advent wreath.


Care must be taken when working with holly, as some species can have sharp leaves. Variegated holly cultivars with red berry branches make an elegant and very showy Advent wreath.


Ivy has large and interestingly coloured leaves – green, green with yellow spots inside, or with light edging around the edges of the leaves. Ivy fruits ripen in winter. You can therefore use them to decorate your Advent wreath.

Red Yew

The needles of the yew are not sharp, so its twigs are easy to work with. It stays green for a long time. However, it is poisonous. However, as long as you don’t taste its needles, it shouldn’t do you any harm.


The eucalyptus wreath looks very attractive thanks to its silvery rounded leaves. In addition, it has an unmistakable scent.


  • wreath body
  • twigs or branches of evergreen deciduous trees
  • wires (preferably in green)
  • scissors
  • secateurs
  • a melting gun
  • natural materials – nutshells, whole nuts, pine cones, dried fruits, crucifers, dried citrus slices, cinnamon and star anise
  • ornaments and decorations – ribbons, Christmas ornaments, dyed twigs


  • Using secateurs, cut your twigs and branches.
  • Gradually wrap the twigs around the body and secure with wire. Continue adding branches until the body is shining through.
  • Then attach the ornaments and decorations to the wreath using the wire and the hot glue gun. Tie a sturdy ribbon on the wreath to hang it on the door.
  • The choice, placement and colour scheme of the decorations is up to your taste.

Advent wreath otherwise

If you haven’t gotten an Advent wreath yet, try making your own. You don’t have to stick to the traditional materials and instructions on how a wreath should look, but you can let your imagination run wild and make an original Advent wreath to match your taste and interior style.

Advent wreath made of pine cones

Glue the pine cones around the perimeter of the wreath with a hot glue gun and decorate only lightly. You can use moss, cranberries, rosehips and other natural materials.

Last minute fruit wreath

Advent is knocking on the door and you still don’t have an Advent wreath? If you have citrus fruits or apples at home, you’ve won. Just slice them, dry them and use a melting gun to attach them as the main material or as a decoration to the body of the wreath. If you don’t have a body, you can string the dried fruit on wire, add dried leaves, nuts, cinnamon and star anise and shape into a circle. The fruit Advent wreath will also make your apartment smell nice.

Simple Advent wreath

A simple Advent wreath design is quick and easy to make by placing the wider candles, which can be of varying heights, on a decorative tray and decorating around them with dried citrus slices and nuts.

Golden Advent wreath

Create a golden Advent wreath using a plate on which you arrange wide candles of different heights in a square, semicircle or in the centre. Wrap a chain of small gold beads around the candles and fill the spaces around the candles with gold Christmas balls of different sizes

Poinsettia Advent wreath

If you love living plants, take advantage of their fragile beauty and create an Advent wreath, for example, from a poinsettia – place a small pot with a low poinsettia in the centre of the Advent wreath so that its leaves do not touch the candles and decorate as you like.

Modern Advent wreath

To make an interesting Advent wreath, use a round baking tin with sand poured into the middle of it. Place the candles in the sand, cover the surface with moss, sticks or nuts and tie a decorative ribbon around the mould.

Fragrant Eucalyptus Advent Wreath

An exotic and fragrant Advent wreath is made from a blackthorn tree wrapped around a straw wreath. This wreath looks luxurious, and it also scents the surroundings with its unique aroma.

Forest garden

Use a suitable branch, preferably covered in moss. Hammer nails into it, first chipping off the head. You can also use longer headed nails, which you hammer through the branch and stick candles and pine cones on the protruding tips. Glue the rest of the ornaments on with a glue gun or attach with wire.

Advent basket

An Advent decoration in an oblong basket will look good at the head of a table or on a chest of drawers and won’t take up as much space as a traditional Advent wreath.

Log wreath

A nice, healthy log of the right shape can be a good base for a natural Advent decoration, on which you can place candles, decorate with pinecones and other natural materials.

Fish wreath

Not only fishermen will appreciate the original Advent wreath made of four fish carved out of wood, with a hole for a candle.

Birch logs

Birch bark is very decorative, so birch branch logs don’t even need elaborate decorating. Just impale the candles on hammered nails and wrap them with red strings.

Candles in a pot

Place candles in four small pots, filled with moss and painted the desired color, and arrange freely as an Advent wreath. The pots can also be painted with the numbers of the Sundays of Advent – that is, the order in which the candles will be lit.

There is beauty in simplicity

Just place four candles (they can be tea lights) on an oblong tray, preferably with a Christmas motif, and the simple Advent “wreath” is complete.

Gingerbread Advent wreath

Do you want to make an original and more durable Advent wreath than the classic wreath made of cornflowers? Make a gingerbread Advent wreath! The gingerbread wreath will not fall off, plus it looks great and will scent the whole house.

What you’ll need:

  • 400 g of plain flour
  • 140 g icing sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 150 g honey
  • 60 g Hera
  • 2 whole eggs
  • 1/2 bag (50 g) Dutch cocoa
  • 1 tbsp gingerbread spice
  • 1 tbsp baking soda
  • 4 teaspoons milk for brushing
  • gingerbread decorating bag
  • tea lights

For the egg white frosting:

  • 160 g icing sugar
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • for the coloured icing gel food colouring


  • Mix all the ingredients for the batter together with a food processor or in a food processor.
  • When a smooth dough is formed, let it rest in a plastic bag in the refrigerator for 24 hours.
  • In a mug, whisk the egg and milk.
  • Divide the dough in half. Wrap the part you will not be working with now in a plastic bag to prevent it from drying out.
  • Roll the first half of the dough into a smooth ball and roll it into a sheet about 25 cm in diameter and 3-4 mm high.
  • Take a round container of the desired size, place it on the dough and use a ruler to cut a circle out of the dough.
  • Carefully transfer the round dough to a baking tray lined with baking paper.
  • Cut out a smaller circle in the centre of the circle, about 8 cm in diameter.
  • Bake in a preheated oven at 180°C for 8-10 minutes.
  • Immediately brush the baked gingerbread with the egg and milk mixture to make it shiny and leave it to cool.

Making candle holders for the gingerbread corpus:

  • Roll out the other half of the dough into a sheet 3 – 4 mm high.
  • Using a cookie cutter of any shape (for example, a circle or a flower), cut out 4 candlesticks about 8 cm in diameter.
  • Place the candlesticks on a baking tray lined with baking paper and cut out circles in the centre with the aluminium base of a tea light.
  • Insert the aluminium parts of the tea lights into the resulting holes.
  • Bake on a baking sheet lined with baking paper at 180°C for about 8-10 minutes.
  • Immediately after baking, brush with a mixture of beaten egg and milk.
  • Remove the aluminium moulds from the still hot gingerbread and press the whole tea lights into the hole and leave to cool.

Making decorations for the Advent wreath:

  • Work through the remaining dough and cut out four gingerbread men of the same shape with any cookie cutter. You can also use the circle left over after cutting out the centre of the candlestick.
  • Bake on a baking sheet lined with baking paper at 180°C for about 8-10 minutes.
  • Once baked, brush the gingerbread with the egg and milk mixture and leave to cool.

White icing for decorating gingerbread cookies:

  • Sift the icing sugar several times through a fine sieve.
  • Add the egg white and lemon juice to the bowl with the sugar.
  • Whisk on high for about 5 minutes to make the frosting stiff and white.
  • If you want a colored frosting, take several parts and mix each with food coloring of desired colors.
  • Fill the decorating bag with the finished icing.

Decorating the wreath and gingerbread houses

  • Draw basic shapes on the gingerbread houses with white icing and let dry.
  • Then use a brush or decorating bag to decorate the gingerbread with coloured icing.
  • Decorate the inner edge of the wreath first, then the outer edge, and allow to dry.
  • Decorate the candles and the decorative circles with icing (you can paint a snowflake on the circles, for example) and leave to dry.
  • You can then use white or coloured icing to decorate or repair any cracked contours.
  • Brush white icing on the bottom of the candle holders and glue to the body.
  • You can decorate the wreath with any ornaments according to your taste and the gingerbread Advent wreath is finished.

Advent wreath – inspiration gallery

Advent is coming and you still can’t decide what Advent wreath to make this year? Here are some interesting tips for inspiration.


  • Even in Advent, don’t be lulled into the festive atmosphere of the approaching Christmas season and take care when making an Advent wreath. Be aware that candles will be burning on the wreath and may cause a fire.
  • Dry tussock, wreath body and other materials used to make wreaths tend to be highly flammable. If candles are placed carelessly on the wreath, everything can become soaked with candle wax and catch fire.
  • Candles on an Advent wreath should be placed in metal holders to prevent them from burning out completely and starting a fire.
  • There should be no flammable materials near the candles – ribbons, pine cones, plastic decorations, etc.
  • Candles should be secured against falling or breaking.
  • The risk of fire is mitigated by placing the Advent wreath on a non-flammable surface, such as a porcelain bowl or plate.
  • Never walk away from lit candles in your home so that if the wreath or surrounding materials catch fire from the candles, you can take immediate action.

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