Advent Wreath Craft for Catholic Kids

We’re getting ready for Advent around here, and I love making Advent wreaths with my kids. Last year we made a functional Advent wreath craft with birthday cake candles, and we love those! This year we tried something a little different that’s cheaper and easier for little kids.

 Craft Supplies Needed to Make these Advent wreaths:

  • Pipe Cleaners (1 Green and 2 Yellow per wreath)
  • Pony Beads (24 purple and 8 pink per wreath)
  • Green tulle (you could substitute ribbon, fabric scraps, or evergreen)

That’s it! These are super easy to put together. I wanted to think of something that didn’t involve a Styrofoam wreath because that stuff is so expensive! What are they thinking charging those kinds of prices for Styrofoam??? So start by making your green pipe cleaner into a circle, and twisting it together.

Take a yellow pipe cleaner, and cut it in half. Then fold one piece in half again, and pinch it over your green circle. This will be your first “candle”.

Take a pony bead, and put it over both ends of the yellow pipe cleaner. Push it down firmly. The force of the beads will hold your candle upright.

Put 7 more pony beads on, so 8 total for each candle.

Push all the beads down firmly, then open the pipe cleaner ends to hold them on.

Then shape the top like a flame on a candle, bring the 2 ends together, and give them a twist.

Repeat until you have an Advent wreath with 3 purple candles, and 1 pink one.

Now add “greenery” around your wreath. We first did this by tying little pieces of tulle all the way around, tu-tu style. To do this, I’d say you need to cut your toulle in pieces about 3 inches long. If they’re a little wider, the wreath gets full faster.

We used several shades of touille to do this. You can either get tulle from the fabric section (it’s very cheap per yard) or you can get it in rolls in the wedding section of craft stores.

It does take some patience to tie on enough pieces of toulle to make a full wreath, so I decided for my little kids, to give them one long piece of touille and let them wrap it around and around the wreath instead.

This worked very well. When you get all the way around the wreath, just tie or tuck in the ends. It’s a very fast alternative to all the tying. You could definitely substitute cheap green garland, evergreen, fabric scraps, green ribbons, or whatever else you can think of for the wreath.

*UPDATE* I have a lot of comments about the candles falling over when making this craft. Pushing the beads down firmly worked for us and held the candles up. I never post crafts that don’t work- nothing is posted on this blog before I test it. My best guess is that some pony beads made with bigger holes in the middle, and those won’t hold the pipe cleaners upright. My suggestion would be to either hot glue them into place to stand straight up, or even put wads of green clay around the bottom before tying on your tulle. White glue would also work, but then you have to let it dry. I’d probably use hot glue.

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Craft an Easter Candle with Kids

Check out all of my faith-based Easter crafts and recipies for kids here!

Making an Easter candle (also known as a Paschal Candle) to use at home can be a great religious Easter tradition for your family! The ones we made were made were super easy to do, and I used candles from the Dollar Tree, so this project seriously only cost us $1.

These are so much easier to make than it first appears!
  1. Scratch your design onto the candle with a dull pencil.
  2. Let you kids paint on it however they see fit.
  3. Wipe the candle with a baby wipe.
  4. Your design is complete! :-)

Easter candles can have all kinds of symbols. It seems they mostly commonly have a cross with the year written around it. We also have a Paschal lamb on the back of ours. Some other things you could try would be an alpha and omega, wheat and grapes… all kinds of stuff really!

Also, poke some holes in each end of the cross and one in the middle to insert cloves. I actually had real cloves this year, but last year I didn’t so we just stuck in some grains of brown rice. The cloves are inserted like nails, and there are 5 of them to represent the 5 wounds of Christ.
I actually love the color variation this painting technique creates!

I was trying to come up with a religious Easter craft to use with my preschool class, and thought that making Paschal candles would be perfect! It went even better than I thought it would! I scratched the design into their candles ahead of time, poked the holes for the cloves, and they took it from there. (We used washable tempera paints).

 Didn’t they come out nice? The kids in my class
are only 2 years old!

When to light your Easter Candle at home:
The Catholic church lights the Paschal candle through the whole season of Easter (so from Easter Sunday through Pentecost Sunday), and also at baptisms and funerals. We plan on lighting ours at dinner each night during the Easter season.- all 50 days! :-)
Don’t Miss a Chance to Teach your Kids!
After making your Easter candle, take it to mass and have the priest bless it for you! Also, take them to the front of the church and show them the really big Easter candle there. Easter is almost here! :-)
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Designing a Paschal Candle- by Guest Blogger Ingrid Lee

Easter for me is a time of reflection, it’s a really special time and place where I can go within myself and make that connection to God within and truly explore the spirit of Lent and Easter. I usually do the flower arranging in our Church at St Jude’s Parish for Holy Thursday, using the white roses and other Australian Native flowers around the parish, which I really enjoy. But last year I was really honored when I was asked to paint the Paschal candle.

Here was the design I made for last year’s Paschal candle:

How I painted the candle:
I didn’t seal the candle, or mix the paint with candle medium, I just painted straight onto the candle with acrylic paints. I used a stylus tool to freehand draw or inscribe the design into the wax, so that I could see the designs. I under painted everything in gold paint to create a rich colour that would show through the layers of paint. The style of artwork on the hands was more graphic so that you could see the details of the hands from the back of the church (of course I wanted everyone to see it!!).

What does the artwork mean?
The overall idea of the candle was to express of all Easter’s significance for me in the limited area of work of a pillar candle! This was certainly a challenge because of the limited workspace! All of the detail work in the painting was completed in purple, a significant colour of Easter.

At the very top of the candle I’d painted the verse “We Lift up our Hearts, ” which pretty much summed up the meaning of the artwork…while we accept the bread of Christ, we offer our hearts and consciousness to Christ during this time of Lent, right through to the celebration of Easter Sunday.

The base of the painted candle was completed with the Easter flower of white Lilies, the hands are offering the sacred heart,and the cross symbolising Easter 2010, represents the joy and celebration of Easter.

This was certainly an enjoyable and fulfilling artwork for me to complete. I’ve really enjoyed sharing this artwork with you, and hopefully it may inspire you to express your meaning of Easter on your own candles for your centre pieces or paschal candle at home or church.

Ingrid Lee is an artist, writer and educator about finding and exploring everyday creativity through art, porcelain painting, baking, embroidery and sharing the artworks of other inspiring people. Join her creative and inspiring adventures at Ingrid Creates.

Candlemas Activity and Craft

I wrote this post for Candlemas last year, but most of you weren’t readers back then and I really liked this idea, so I thought I’d run it again. You can also check out my post from last year on ideas for celebrating Candlemas here, and my roundup of candle crafts and food ideas here. St. Blaise’s feast day is also coming up on February 3, so these candle crafts will be useful for him as well! :-)

Candlemas is coming up on February 2, which is the feast of the presentation of Jesus in the temple, and the traditional end of the Christmas season. Among many things, this a a traditional day to bring your candles in to be blessed and to light candles in your home. There is often a procession into mass with candles as well. Click here to read more about Candlemas.

This is a craft I came up with where you make faux candles out of rolls of change, then you take them to mass on Candlemas to put into the collection basket! :-)

Completed Project

What you’ll need:

  • Rolled Change
  • Paper (white, yellow, and orange)
  • Decorative Paper (optional)
  • Glue Stick
  • Scissors

Start by rolling some change. This can be a good math
activity for elementary aged children!

Cut your paper a little longer than the tube of
rolled change, attach with a glue stick.
Allow the extra length to overhang the top.

Fold down the top to close the same
way you did with the top of the change roller.

Cut teardrop shaped flames from yellow paper, leaving
a tab at the bottom. Embellish with a football shaped
piece of orange paper and attach with a glue stick.

Fold the tab backwards and use it to attach the
flame to the candle with glue.

If you use white paper, your kids can decorate the candles with markers or stickers. Voila! Your “candles” are ready for the collection basket! :-)