Advent Wreath Craft for Children (That Actually Functions!)

I love to craft Advent wreaths with kids! When you send a child home from co-op or religious ed with an Advent wreath, you have sent them home with so much more than a craft. You have sent them home with a new cherished Advent tradition in their family! I can’t tell you how many families told me that they kept this craft and used it for all of Advent, and that years later they were now actually using an Advent wreath in their homes! Religious education makes a huge difference, and we are not just crafting… we are changing lives! 

So, I now bring you an Advent wreath craft of kids that actually works! The candles are lightable, which basically makes this the easiest advent wreath to make ever!

If you are looking for an Advent wreath craft that actually works, this is the craft for you! It’s fairly simple to make, and the supplies are totally affordable, even for making classroom sets!
 

Supplies Needed To Craft Advent Wreath:

  • Styrofoam circles or small wreaths (You can order a classroom set from Amazon here)
  • Birthday cake candles in purple and pink
  • Green paint
  • Paint brushes (we used 1 inch foam brushes)
  • Cheap fake evergreen greenery or garland (these pine craft picks would be perfect and then you wouldn’t even need to glue anything!)
  • Fake red berries
  • Glue
  • A Phillips head screwdriver (for punching holes in the Styrofoam)

As I’m sure you can instantly tell, this advent wreath is child sized, and crafted with pink and purple birthday candles. This is a great way to have fun with kids for advent! My kids were very excited to set it up with their little teddy bear! 
 
 
These wreaths can be made for about a dollar a piece. The Styrofoam circles I got 2/$1 at the Dollar Tree, along with the “wired pine”. I cut the center of the circles out ahead of time with a serrated steak knife to make it a wreath shape. It would obviously be easier if you found wreath shapes to start with, but in my case the circles were cheaper. This wasn’t too hard to do and it can be done ahead of time. (Use caution when you do this please!)
 
You can buy small pre-made Styrofoam wreaths at many craft stores for about $1.50 each, but I needed several for my preschool co-op class. I also got enough red berries at the Dollar Tree for all the wreaths for just $1. The birthday candles came from my local grocery store for .99/box. Obviously, you need pink and purple, so you will need 2 boxes. I found that the grocery stores had the best variety to find the colors of candles you need. You’re going to need 3 purple candles per child, and 1 pink candle per child. 
 
Have the children paint the wreaths green. They love this! I know you could start with floral foam which is already green, but that stuff is super crumbly and will make a big mess with small kids. It also won’t be durable. It doesn’t matter if they don’t paint it perfectly, but try to encourage them to paint the inside and outside of the circle as well as the top. As you can see, we used foam brushes. I find foam brushes to be especially handy for small children.
 

After you paint them, set them to the side and allow the paint to dry. The process can be helped quickly along with a hair dryer if time is an issue.
 
 
The wired pine we used as kind of a lacing exercise. It’s not glued at all, just wound around the wreaths and twisted together at the ends. Even if your evergreen greenery isn’t wired, it can still be wrapped and just fixed at the ends with some glue.
 
 
We let the kids squeeze on their own glue and stick on the clusters of berries. It’s ok if they use a lot of glue – it will dry eventually! ๐Ÿ™‚ I am always a fan of actually letting the kids do as much as possible, as it is their craft after all. Remember, when we do it for them, the only thing they learn is that we do it better than them! 
 
 
Because the regular Styrofoam is stiffer than floral foam, you can’t stick the candles right in. First, poke the holes with a Philips head screw driver, and have the kids insert the candles themselves. This worked perfectly for us! Test the size of your screw driver ahead of time.
 
 
Here’s one that I made where the pine stuff was all glued on top of the wreath with a glue gun. We’re going to be using this as my class’s advent wreath on our portable classroom prayer table.
 

The kids in my class had such a great time making these! ๐Ÿ™‚
 
 

Here’s Julian’s. He is so proud of it! It is so important to let them do it on their own, even when the result is not what you would have done. Really, let them do it themselves! 

Here is one from a craftier student in my class. (Ya’ll don’t tell Julian that I called him not crafty, ok?) lol

You can substitute other Christmas greenery if you don’t have the wired stuff that we had. Check out an example of that here. You just glue it straight to the Styrofoam. 

 
Yes, these are working advent wreaths, so they can be lit. But please use caution and don’t burn your children… or you teddy bear. ๐Ÿ˜‰
 

 
You can find all of my Advent wreath resources for Catholic families here, including other Advent wreath crafts, so definitely check that out!!! Does your family use an Advent wreath? Tell me about your traditions in the comments. 
 

Comments

  1. the perfect size advent wreath for little fingers and hands.

  2. We will be making these tomorrow if I can make it to the dollar store today!!! Thanks so much Lacy!

  3. welcome to our wonderland says

    those are great and make our totally recycled wreath look a little lacking ๐Ÿ™‚ but we love ours, however, we will be starring this in google for next year.

  4. frugalfriends says

    Hi Lacy,
    I was just googling "Advent Wreath Crafts For Kids" (I know… I'm a little late to just start searching…) and your post came up on the first page of results! Cute craft, and I hope you're doing well and enjoying the Christmas season. It was a blessing to meet you at the Relevant Conference this fall!
    Laura, Frugal Friends in Northern Virginia

  5. This is a really cute idea, and I’m going to grab supplies for it this week so my son can have his own to play with. We set the big wreath up before he left to go visit his grandparents with daddy, and he was very interested.

    But I just wanted to note, there are two types of florist foam, wet and dry. The crumbly stuff is wet foam for preserving live flowers, but they also make green styrofoam forms for artificial flowers, and it isn’t crumbly at all, to my knowledge.

  6. Thank you so much for posting this, here I am Sunday planning our Advent Night for 50 kids K-5th grade Wednesday Night. This is my first year as CRE, (hope I make it to year two). A friend and I were thinking this morning about a wreath we could make for a couple dollas each and funny, she thought of the same thing with the syro wreath and birthday candles only when I went to Michaels the syro wreath was 3.99. I thought I would have to start from scratch with a new idea but thanks to you and your Dollar Tree tip… The wreaths are back on. God Bless You!

    • I know- they charge CRAZY amounts of money for Styrofoam at Michael’s! What’s up with that?!

      • Rabia @ The Liebers says

        I know it’s way late, but I’m making this with my Sunday school class this week and I cut up an old, green pool noodle to use instead of the styrofoam.

  7. Thank you so much for this terrific idea! I got all the supplies today (except I couldn’t find purple birthday candles, so we’re using blue…where did you find them?) I’m doing them with my Religious Ed. Class tomorrow morning, and I can’t wait! I put together my sample this afternoon, and it’s adorable! Thanks for a great idea!

  8. I made these today with my 3 year old preschool religion class and they were a huge hit. We looped the garland around the top instead of over the sides and the children were able to push the garland into the top of the styrofoam. The parents were quite surprised when they came back from mass and were greeted with these wreaths. Thank you for this great idea. Will definitely use this again next year for my class.

  9. One question – what kind of glue did you use?

  10. I do this craft with my kids also but we use green homemade playdough instead of the styrofoam. It is much cheaper and the kids love to roll and shape the playdough. I give each child a small white paper plate that they decorate with berries and ivy (with markers) and then they place the rolled playdough on top of the plate. Then they put in the candles. It is really cute and dries after a few days. My kids love it!!!!

    • Great idea! That’s how I do our crown of thorns, so I don’t know why that didn’t occur to me. Thanks for sharing!

  11. Heather Ann says

    What size are the Styrofoam disks? I may have to order online & want to make sure I get the correct size ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks!

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