Not Your Typical DIY Advent Candle Wreath :: A Tutorial ::


This year, I wanted to be really intentional about observing Advent.  I even shared a post with ideas for Advent readings and candles, here.

But, when it came to my own advent candle wreath, I had nothing.  Nada.

It was something I wanted….but it is not necessary.  Plus, I don’t exactly have money to be spending on something like this, and since I’m living “in between” with my stuff in storage, well…I really could go without.


Advent Candles :: Hope-Peace-Joy-Love Not Your Typical DIY Advent Candle Wreath ::


Several weeks ago I was invited to participate in an upcoming blogger event, All Things Dollar Tree for Christmas, where you create something from the Dollar Tree.

I decided that I would participate in that and spend a just a few dollars.

Have you been to the Dollar Tree lately?  Maybe it’s just the one in our town.  Or maybe it’s me.  But, I really couldn’t come up with any ideas.   It must be me.  My husband went along with me and I must tell you he was a saint.  Truly.  Oh my…I walked around that store forever.  Finally I decided to walk over to the nearby TJ Maxx and then on to Kohl’s to see if inspiration would strike.  It didn’t.

The next morning I woke up and remembered a few things I had seen and decided that I should create an Advent Candle Wreath, of sorts.

I’m not sure that you can call what I have put together a wreath.  Wreaths are usually round.  Or square.  Or oblong.  Usually some sort of shape.  Mine isn’t any of those.


Peace and Joy Candles :: Not Your Typical DIY Advent Candle Wreath ::


I gathered these mini red buckets with handles, glass jar candles, and a package of floral moss at the Dollar Tree for my DIY Advent Candle Wreath.

When I went to check out, I entered my pin number and it was rejected.  Oh no!  I had forgotten my pin!!  Yikes!  The cashier told me that I could just use the card as credit.  Whew!   Of course, on my way out of the store I remembered my correct pin.  Oh well.


Peace and Joy Candles :: Not Your Typical DIY Advent Candle Wreath ::


The next day I got up and thought, “What have I done?!”  How in the world could I have just spent nine whole dollars at the Dollar Tree?!!   It drove me crazy.  My cats could eat for at least three weeks for that money.   So, I did what I believed I should do….drove back to the store to return my goods.

Maybe you already know what happened.

The store has a new policy….they do not reverse your credit card charge.  No.  They don’t give you store credit.  No.  But, they will give you an equal exchange.


Not great!

Here I am trying to get my money back for what I thought was a foolish purchase and I’m stuck.  Equal exchange is not what I wanted.  I wanted the money back in my account.  [sigh]  So I went home.  Irritated.  At myself and the store.


 Hope Advent Candle :: Not Your Typical DIY Advent Candle Wreath ::


Advent began on Sunday.  We did the readings without an Advent Candle Wreath each day.  And then Wednesday I decided that if all I could do was exchange my purchase for other things, I should just go ahead and make the wreath.  Okay…I know it’s not quite a wreath….but what else would we call it?

This really is a very easy project.  Here are all the juicy details for making your own…


Easy DIY Advent Candle Wreath (Holders)




Supplies :: Not Your Typical Advent Candle Wreath ::



  • Mini Buckets – Dollar Tree
  • 8″ Glass Jar Candles – Dollar Tree
  • Bag of Floral Moss – Dollar Tree
  • Small Cardboard Squares (cut to fit container)
  • Sand or coarse dirt
  • Small Pine Cones
  • Stems of Fresh Red Holly Berries (If unavailable consider: Artificial Red Holly Berry Stems)
  • Assorted Fresh Evergreens (optional)
  • Long White Tray (optional)
  • Small Bowl and Warm Water
  • White Tags
  • Red Marker
  • Wired Cording (or Thin Ribbon – Dollar Tree?)
  • Scissors
  • Fiskars Pruning Shears
  • Fiskars Bypass Lopper

*I am an Amazon affiliate.  Any purchases you make through the links above will provide me a few extra pennies. Thank you!

FREE  Tips…

  • You should be able to purchase the fresh Red Holly Berry Stems at most florists and better garden shops if you don’t find them in your nearest marsh for free.
  • Fresh evergreens are available at Lowe’s and Home Depot.  Stop by their Christmas tree area and ask to take some trimmings…they’re free!


Once you have purchased your supplies and tromped through your nearest marsh for holly berries, clipped evergreens from your yard or your neighbor’s yard (with permission of course!), gathered pine cones from your yard or the nearest park and made them pop!, you are ready to assemble your Advent Candle Wreath, thingy.


Tutorial :: Not Your Typical DIY Advent Candle Wreath ::


Assembly Instructions

Cut Cardboard into squares to fit flat inside the Mini Bucket/container.  I cut 6 squares for each container and then stacked them inside each mini bucket.

Add some Sand/Dirt to your container…enough to cover the stack of squares by a 1/4 inch or so.

Carefully set the Glass Jar Candle in the center squarely…at this point be careful to make sure all your candles are about the same height.  If you’re persnickety…use a ruler…otherwise…eyeball it.

Next firm it by picking up the Mini Bucket (while holding the jar candle in place) and jamming it down on your counter or floor.

Fill around the Glass Jar Candle with more sand/dirt until about a 1/4 inch from the rim of the Mini Bucket.

Holding the Glass Jar Candle in place, jam the Mini Bucket down on the counter/floor again to firm the Sand/Dirt.

Get your fingers dirty by firmly pressing down the the Sand/Dirt to ensure that the Glass Jar Candle is securely in place.

Fill your small bowl about 1/4 to 1/3 full of warm water and add in several handfuls of moss and incorporate the warm water into the moss…squeezing the moss.

Squeeze out any excess water and add moistened moss around the the Glass Jar Candle to cover the Sand/Dirt filling to the rim of your Mini Bucket/container.

Add wired Cording to the rim of the Glass Jar Candle or tie on a thin ribbon.

Cut fresh Holly Berry Stems and insert through the Moss, into the Sand/dirt.

Add a few small Pine Cones between the Holly Berry Stems to the Moss.

With your Red Marker, write the words Hope, Peace, Joy, and Love separately on a white tag.

Tie the Advent Word Tags on the handles of the Mini Buckets.

Arrange the filled Mini Bucket arrangements on your White Tray.

Add fresh Evergreen and Pine Cones around the Mini Buckets on your Tray.

Voila! You now have a lovely and Not Your Typical DIY Advent Candle Wreath!


Not your typical Advent Candle Wreath ::


Once everything was put together I needed to do a photoshoot.

Murphy’s Law was in effect. [sigh]  The skies turned heavy gray and the clock was ticking its way towards night time.  So…I tried to save the day by taking my Advent Candle Wreath outside along with a couple of bright red placemats.  There was more light outside…but it was flat gray light.  And the wind was blowing stiffly and rearranging my evergreens on the tray, plus it was freezing cold. Not what you want for a photoshoot.  Regardless….I think you get the idea of how cute these buckets are filled with their seasonal dress and candles waiting to be lit.

Inquiring minds (that would be me) want to know….

Do you make your own Advent Candle Wreath?
Have you been Observing Advent this year?


I know that all good bloggers put together helpful tutorials before the season.  Yet, I am reminded that sometimes in the busyness of life, an on-time tutorial might not have made a difference.  Instead…here you are…busy…needing a few moments of peace to remember the reason for the season….and greatly needing to carve out time to breathe in the true goodness of THE GIFT.

You may or may not choose to create an Advent Candle Wreath like mine.  But…let me encourage you.  It is NOT too late to start observing advent.  Click over to this post and pick up some ideas for Advent readings and more.   Yes….you can start today…or even tomorrow.  No one is keeping track.

Savor the anticipation of Advent with me.

May your Advent be truly Extraordinary!


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  1. A D O R A B L E! So glad you are going to be sharing this with our party tomorrow. Your husband is a real trooper I have to say LOL!

    • Diane says

      Thanks for your kind words and the invite Debbie!! I’m looking forward to the party.
      My husband has been so patient with me. 😉 We actually went back that same evening again after stopping in the other stores…which I didn’t share in the post. And he made lots of suggestions and I dismissed every. single. one. Yeah…he’s a keeper. 🙂

  2. Gail says

    Like your original wreath.
    When I was a kid, we celebrated Advent on Sumday evenings with each child doing a portion of the service as age appropriate (reading Scripture, playing a hymn on piano, etc). Dad fashioned a “wreath” out of a foot long tree limb. Our family services are some of my best memories

    • Diane says

      Thank you so much Gail! 🙂
      I love that your family celebrated Advent together in such a meaningful way when you were a child. What a blessing to have such intentional parents.
      Hope your weekend is Extraordinary!!

  3. Mel says

    Oh my gosh….cuter than cute!! Well done YOU.
    Every once in a while, a bit of indulgence is allowed. It’s tough. I have no doubt of that. But creating beauty in celebration and worship…. It truly is adorable. Perhaps it was a G-d sent thing, being disallowed the refund. *hugs*

    • Diane says

      Awww….thanks, Mel!! 🙂
      You know….I’ve started to believe that it just might be a God thing, too. 😉

  4. Debbi Saunders says

    I love your advent candle buckets!!!! I am going to make a trip to Dollar Tree in the Morning…..A Beautiful way to celebrate the true meaning of Christmas….I think God would approve…

    • Diane says

      Thank you Debbi! I hope you’re able to find all the pieces and put something like it together too! If you do…snap a photo and put it up on the AED Facebook page. 🙂
      You know…at first I thought because I woke up with the idea that it was He who inspired me. And then I did the second guessing and well…you know the route that took me. 😉
      Thanks for making me smile with your kind words!

  5. THIS IS BEAUTIFUL! What a fantastic idea to celebrate Advent. Thanks for sharing! Visiting from the Best of the Weekend link party.

    🙂 Tasha

    • Diane says

      Thank you so much Tasha!! 🙂
      Wishing you an Extraordinary weekend and season of Advent.

  6. It’s gorgeous!!! Hopping over from Shannon and Debbie’s party. Hugs P.S. I hope you will share this at my Thursday hop ( its still open)

    • Diane says

      Thanks for your sweet words, Katie!
      I did link up something on Thursday, so as to not overdo it…maybe I should share this next week?
      Hope you weekend has been extraordinary!

  7. Diane
    What a beautiful idea for Advent. Isn’t it amazing the things you can make from the Dollar Tree store! I hope you enjoy this lovely season of Advent.

    • Diane says

      Awww…thank you so much Rhondi!! It really is amazing. 😉
      Wishing you a blessed Advent, too.

  8. Frankie Ann says

    It looks great! I did the same thing last year. Bought all this stuff with great intentions for Christmas. Feeling guilty at the extra expense I took everything back. I got a voucher to use for another time. Lesson learned.

    I read a blog a few days ago who’s goal for the next year was not to buy anything new. So, as the year progressed she would post how she did that month, what she bought (used) and when they blew it and how much they saved. It was very inspiring and I am considering doing the same for this coming year. It would sure bring out the creativity for gift giving, remodeling projects etc. Maybe that would be a fun challenge for your readers. We could link up our posts to encourage each other in our efforts with tips and tricks etc. Our battle cry, as those women from the 1930’s would be “Use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without.” Just a thought……..

    • Diane says

      Oh Frankie Ann, I’m so sorry that you had a similar experience. Some lessons are a little uncomfortable. Yes?
      I too have read where other bloggers have taken on challenges to not make any unnecessary purchases. It’s great when we can choose to do those things. Sometimes we are forced into that spot. Through job loss we have been on the challenge now for several years. Most of my projects are truly done on a shoestring…mostly with what I can find. This was very unusual for me to have made a purchase. Which is probably why it ‘stung’ a little bit when I was only offered an exchange. I’m not familiar with the 30’s slogan….but it’s undoubtedly a good one for all of us. 🙂 And yes…it has taken my creativity to new heights…which is an unexpected blessing.
      Thanks for taking the time to leave you thoughtful remarks. I appreciate it soooo very much!! [hugs]

  9. WOW 🙂 So gorgeous! I love the look of this one.I’ll make it even if I’m a little late .It’s just so darling.Denise, Your newest follower.

    • Diane says

      Awwww…Denise…you are soooo sweet!!! Thank you so much for you kind words. And yes…it is never too late. Please let, post a photo on my FB page of your “wreath.”

      Wishing you an Extraordinary Advent!

  10. Lucy @ Patina Paradise says

    Aweosome idea! Pinning it now to my ADVENT WREATH BOARD. Thank you for the inspiration.

    • Diane says

      Awww…thanks, Lucy!
      I absolutely will be popping over to see your Advent Wreath Board!!

  11. This is so pretty and a great way to celebrate Advent! I know why the Dollar Tree does not refund Credit Cards, because it costs them to process the sale and the refund and I guess their loss would be too much…still that would be nice to know before charging something. Still I’m glad you made this and I’m so happy you shared it! Blessings to you and your family!

    • Diane says

      Oh Linda…I pretty much know why Dollar Tree doesn’t give refunds. But…as you say…it would be helpful to have known that.
      Thanks for your kind words about my Advent candle wreath. [hugs]

  12. Dee says

    Oh I love it! Your advent candle idea is so very creative.

    • Diane says

      Thank you soooo much Dee!!
      Hope your season of Advent is filled with anticipation. 😉

  13. Jane says

    Hi! I love this idea… it is definitely not typical, which is nice 🙂
    I’d love for you to drop by and link up at our Holiday link party if you can:

    Have a wonderful rest of the weekend 🙂

  14. Love these and I feel your pain about the refund! Awesome and detailed tutorial. We would love if you have time to link up to our Snickerdoodle Sunday! We would love if you linked up to our Snickerdoodle Sunday @!

    • Diane says

      You are so sweet Kristina & Millie! Thank you for popping by and leaving your kind words and invitation. [hugs]

  15. Gwen says

    The Lord will provide. He wanted you to have an advent reminder visual for your readers. And I really like the mixture of textures!!! And real greens mixed in too.
    We’ve been doing our Advent book each night. I think the blogs inspired me to create a display which then is a visual reminder and then we are doing the anticipation together too! Thank you.

    • Diane says

      You are such a wonderful encourager Gwen! Thank you so much for your warm words.
      How special it is that you and Curt are anticipating Jesus together. [hugs]

  16. Zenda says

    This is a great idea!! It’s a wonderful addition to your Advent devotionals! Thanks for sharing it.

    • Diane says

      Thanks for popping over Zenda and leaving your warm thoughts.
      May your Advent be Extraordinary!

  17. Julie says

    This came out so beautifully! And I think your photos look great, I also am reassured that I am not the only person who is very with her Christmas projects!

    • Diane says

      Haha! Maybe we should start a club!!
      Thanks for your kind words Julie. You put a big smile on my face. 😀

  18. Amy W says

    I adore this non traditional advent wreath! Thanks for linking up at our Link It or Lump It party (I’m going to feature you this next Sunday!)

    • Diane says

      Amy….you are so sweet. Thank you for your kind words and for the blessing of the feature!! 🙂

  19. Love it and such a great tutorial too. Thanks tons for linking to Inspire Me. Hugs, Marty

    • Diane says

      Awwwww…thanks, Marty! It was a fun project to put together. 😉

  20. Beautiful candle advent !! Very festive !!

  21. Tammy says

    I just love this…so cute! Thank you for sharing at One More Time Events

  22. Diane I love it! I am sorry you couldn’t get your money back. I think we all have experienced buyer remorse. I’ve never heard of a store refusing to refund a credit purchase. The advent display turned out so pretty though.

    • Diane says

      After some thought Deborah, I realize that it’s probably because it will cost them and they no doubt have a pretty tight margin. Oh well…maybe others can learn from that. 😉 I’m glad you love the ‘wreath’ though. I do too and we’re enjoying it every evening.

  23. Your error in shopping turned out to be a good thing in the end. I love this advent candle display aka wreath. It’s really beautiful! Visiting from HOME at Rose Chintz Cottage. Blessings. Pamela

    • Diane says

      Pamela…you just said the nicest thing. 🙂 Thank you!! I must tell you that I am really enjoying it right now, too.

  24. So pretty! Thanks so much for sharing on the Monday Funday party!

  25. I love this and how it turned out! Who says you have to do things the traditional way! I’ll be featuring this on the next Frugal Crafty Home Blog Hop on Sunday evening! Congrats and thanks so much for sharing this project with us!

    • Diane says

      Awww…Carrie…you just made my day. 😀 See my big cheesy grin?
      You’ll laugh…I have a tendency to find non traditional ways of doing lots of things! 🙂

  26. This is so beautiful! I love love the whole display.

    • Diane says

      You have such an amazing eye for decor Taryn….thanks!!! Truly!!

  27. This is so lovely. It turned out great. Thanks for sharing at Silver Pennies Sundays! x

  28. Kathy says

    I love this idea. Such pretty and unique idea in place of the traditional advent wreath!

    • Diane says

      Awww..thank you so much Kathy!!
      May your Christmas be Extraordinary!!

  29. So well done. I love how you can show your items before you even start! I’ve got a whole pile of stuff and what works together works but I love that you can envision the finished project before you’ve even started. You are quite talented 🙂

    • Diane says

      Oh my….Allison….sometimes things change and morph as you go so you’ll notice I didn’t use everything. And I’ve had plenty of projects go ‘south’ so to speak. Thank you for your warm words…I so very much appreciate it. 🙂

  30. Sandi says

    Hi Diane,
    We celebrate Advent every year at church. We usually do at home too but not this year. Yours is such a cute idea. It’s fantastic when we come up with these inspirations and even better when we share them. Thanks for sharing at my HOME.
    Christmas blessings,

    • Diane says

      This really was a fun project for me Sandi.
      It was important to me to do something truly meaningful this year.
      I’m glad that I finally put it together in the end.

  31. This is beautiful and meaningful and “straightforward” way of celebrating Advent. And sometimes God takes a back road approach to showing us our needs and wants are important, too. 🙂

    • Diane says

      Thank you Charlene…
      You know, I never thought about it that way. God is so good to us. 🙂

  32. Sharon @ Elizabeth & Co. says

    So pretty and unique Diane! And a wonderful way to remember the meaning of the season!

    • Diane says

      It has added something special to our advent. 🙂
      Thanks for your kind words, Sharon.

      May your Advent be filled with awe and anticipation.

  33. I love this! You were featured on Give Me the Goods. Come by and grab a button!

    Rachel @ Maison de Pax

    • Diane says

      Thank you sooo much Rachel!! It was fun to put together and we’ve really enjoyed lighting out candles each evening.

  34. Saw your feature over at Elizabeth and Co and had to swing by. This is gorgeous! It was surprising to see it was from the dollar store! 🙂

    • Diane says

      Awwww…thanks Denise! 🙂 You know…elements from Mother Nature really make the difference….and she’s so good to me. 🙂
      Wishing you JOY this Christmas!

  35. Kathy says

    This is terrific Diane! I do appreciate you sharing with Home and Garden Thursday,

  36. Thank you for sharing this with the HomeAcre Hop!
    Its beautiful!

    • Diane says

      Thanks Sandra!!!
      Wishing you an Advent filled with awe and anticipation!

  37. I am so excited to be sharing this on Tickled Pink Times Two, tonight!! LOVE it!!

    • Diane says

      Oh Meegan….now I’m tickled pink!!!!! Thank you soooooo much!! [hugs]

  38. Debby says

    Hi Diane! Just had to share with you a little “after the fact” that I made these for our mantel this year and got so many compliments! I started by cutting berries off some bushes on a nearby city path (shhhh…hehe) but because we’ve had so little rain in California, they looked dry and shriveled up..nothing like yours. Ended up tossing them and found some beautiful artificial berries at the local fabric store and they looked much better. I live in a small town, so it took me awhile to get my supplies but now I’m all set for next year. Thank you for sharing your wonderful, creative ideas with us! Btw, hubby loved the “Father Christmas” book you recommended!! Sending love and blessings your way for 2014!

    • Diane says

      Debby, you just made my day!! I’m so excited that you made the “wreath” and found even better berries. I hope you love yours as much as I love mine.

      I’m so excited that your husband loved the book. It is such an imaginative work. Hope your husband is doing well…am I remembering he has been ill for 2 years?

      [hugs] and wishes for a blessed and joyous New Year.

      • Debby says

        Hi Diane!

        I’m sorry that I missed your reply! Thank you for asking about my husband. He’s had cancer for 2 1/2 years and not given much hope. We literally have hundreds of people praying for him and a strong faith that God can do the impossible and He has! His last two scans have been clear!! 🙂

        • Diane says

          Debby…that is so exciting!!! I’m rejoicing with you right now!!! Thanks for letting me know!!

  39. Cheri says

    I love this! Years ago I went to the craft store for red and white candles to make an advent wreath. The checker was scandalized that I wasn’t using purple and white – or whatever the “right” colors are. Let’s be flexible people. All hail Pinterest!

    • Haha!!! That is so funny! We’ve used all the colors, but I think the white ends up being my favorite, until next year, and then it might be red!!! 😉
      Thanks for stopping by Cheri! All the best for a joy-filled Christmas!


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