Advent Wreath

This craft combines the traditions of the Advent wreath and the Advent calendar.  Use the presents as a calendar to count the days until Christmas.  Just fill each box with scripture verses or small treats and open one on each day of Advent.  When all the boxes have been opened, it will be Christmas. 

You will need:

1.  7 sheets of 12" x 12" paper

2.  Ruler, scissors, and tape

3.  Florist wire

4.  A garland

5.  A spool of white 1/8" ribbon

6.  A thumbtack

7.  A hot glue gun and glue

8.  Contact paper (optional)

9.  A hole punch

8.  Three purple candle and one pink candle

10.  Small treats and/or scripture verses for Advent

 

An Advent calendar with present attached 
25 small boxes made from brightly colored paper
 

 1.  Advent begins on the fourth Sunday before Christmas.  Find this Sunday and count the days until Christmas.  You will need to make this many mini boxes.  (Probably 21-25.) You may also want to begin the countdown on December 1 and make 25 blessing boxes.

Make the appropriate number of boxes using 4" squares of paper for their tops and 3 3/4" squares for their bottoms.  How to make a mini box

We found that we could hold two pieces of paper together and fold and cut them at the same time.  This saved time and work.

 A wreath  2.  Shape the garland into a circle and fluff out the greenery
 Florist wire cut into four inch strips  3.  Cut a 4 in. piece of florist wire for each box.
 Two holes punched into the bottom of a box  4.  Open each box.  In the bottom of each box punch two holes with the thumbtack.  Put them about 1/4 of an inch apart.
 Wire inserted into the holes in the bottom of the box  5.  Bend the florist wire into a V shape.  Put one end through each hole going from the inside to the outside of the box.  Pull the ends through.
 Ribbon glued into the top of the box  6.  Cut two pieces of ribbon for each box top.  Make them about six inches long.   Glue one piece of ribbon onto the left inside side of the box and one piece of ribbon onto the right inside side of the box.
 The tags to indicate the days of Advent  7.  Write or type the numbers 1-25 (or the appropriate number of days) onto white paper.  Cover it in contact paper and then cut so that each number is on a small rectangle.  Punch a hole in each rectangle.
 A completed box with a tag and a bow  8.  Put the top of each box back onto the bottom.  This is a good time to put the scripture versed or treats into the boxes.  The pieces of ribbon will stick out the sides.  Knot the ribbon and then slip one number onto each box.  Tie the ribbon into a bow, securing the number in place.
 Twist the wires into the greenery to attach the boxes to the wreath  9.  Place the boxes around the wreath.  Find an arrangment of color and spacing that you like.  Then use the wire on the bottom of each box to attach it to the wreath. 
 An Advent calendar with present attached 10.  Put the candles in the center of the wreath.  If you wish, you may glue the wreath onto a candle plate and then glue the candles in place.  This will make it easier to move the wreath.  Enjoy lighting your candles and opening your boxes as you count down the days until Christmas.

Advent comes from the Latin word Adventus or "coming."  It is a time set apart to prepare for the coming of Christ on Christmas.  The Advent candles are purple because the Advent season is penitential, a time to repent and heal so we will be ready to greet Christ worthily.  However, it is also a time for joy and celebration and that is why there is a pink candle.  It is lit on the third Sunday of Advent to indicate that Christ will come soon and we should rejoice.

Crafts

These little houses are as cute as gingerbread houses, but easier to make.

Use Rice Krispy treats to make festive and tasty Christmas treats.

You can use these little stars as ornaments, miniature tree toppers, or hang them along garlands.