Tomorrow is the first Sunday in Advent and my elder daughter and I put our advent candle decoration together this morning. Making a decoration like this is really as easy as anything – don’t feel intimidated. I suspect it’s one of those things that really can’t go wrong!
This is what we started with:
I was given the box, sleigh or whatever you want to call it by a friend who emigrated to the States a few years ago. You could actually use anything – a basket, a pretty box – just make sure that it’s lined with plastic and doesn’t leak. After we had finished we discovered that ours does leak – I guess the plastic lining is so old that its perished and split. Luckily for us, the decoration stands on a stone worksurface, so a little water isn’t going to do any harm.
Soak enough oasis to fill the container and put it in place, wiring it or tying it down if you think you need to.
Put the candles in place. I cut a little of the oasis away and then push in the candle, using the oasis I removed to pack around it to make sure the candles are stable. They need to to be far enough into the oasis that they don’t wobble. You can use any sort of candle. By the time I made it to my local supermarket the candles were almost all sold out and I couldn’t get four the same in any shape, size or colour. I opted for two sizes of the same candle. I think that it’s nice here not to have too much symmetry or regularity – being a little irregular and haphazard with your placement looks best (IMHO that is!)
Then start to fill up the oais with greenery – we use pine, holly, and a couple of types of box, along with whatever else we can find in the gaden. You are aiming to cover all the oasis and the sides of the container so that the inner container (if you have one) and plastic aren’t visible.
Once we had gathered all our supplies I don’t think the whole project took us more than half an hour to make – and year on year all I really need to buy are new candles and some small apples to decorate with.
A word of warning – as the foliage dries it will become more and more flamable. You need to keep a close eye on both the candles and the surrounding greenery to avoid anything going on fire. Once we light the smaller candles in weeks 3 and 4 I will remove some of the greenery nearest to them. I don’t want the house to burn down right before Christmas!
This year my daughter bought a set of small battery-powered starts which she wanted to incorporate – in the end we didn’t use them because the combination of water and candles and electricals didn’t seem like such a good idea. Also it would have been tricky to cover the wires.
Happy advent to you all!