Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Advent Wreath, Thrift Style

Every year, I make an Advent wreath to mark the days leading to the Christmas season. Usually, I make a simple wreath of greenery with four tapers in the traditional purple and rose. I love the spare beauty of those wreaths, which befits the season, but this year I wanted to do something a little different.

I started with a sturdy square wooden base that I picked up on clearance (I believe I paid $5) at a home furnishings store a couple of years ago. I actually had the intention of turning it into an ice cream cone holder of all things, but that idea derailed and I needed to find another use for the heavy wooden tray. It did not take me too long to realize it would make a perfect base for my Advent wreath project.

Inside the wooden base, I placed four thrifted flower pots, which I filled with sand to weigh them down.

Then, I placed a thick taper candle (which were also collected in thrift shops) into the sand in each pot, three a pale lavender blue and the fourth a soft rose pink. I laid a bit of moss on top of each pot to cover the sand and add another layer of earthy texture.

Around the inside edge of the base, in a wreath-like shape, I arranged fresh greenery, a combination of variegated boxwood and spruce branches. To add interest, I tucked a couple of thrifted pinecone picks into the greenery.

I then added a set of silver plate Christmas angel ornaments which I found new in their box at a church rummage sale last year. They are absolutely perfect for an Advent wreath, as they read "hope, love, and faith," which correspond to the meaning of each of the purple or blue candles that traditionally appear in an Advent wreath.

Unfortunately, there were only three ornaments in the set, so there was no "joy" to correspond with the third, or rose, candle, but as this candle is different from the others, I see no reason why that ornament can't be different as well. So I made my own "joy" ornament, and placed all four among the greenery with some vintage violet ribbon as the final touch.

And here is the final product: a simple yet beautiful Advent wreath to lead us through this season of preparation and anticipation.

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