Janelle Peregoy and her son demonstrate how even non-crafty moms can help their children create a homemade Advent wreath.
I do not own a glue gun. Glitter makes me cringe. I am not a crafty mom.
That being said, all hail to the crafty moms who use their fabric-scissors-cutting-skills to evangelize! Catholic Icing is a fantastic website for the moms who aspire to do so.
When my son’s kindergarten announced that there would be a family retreat activity, I was instantly on board. Then, I learned that we would be making family Advent wreaths … out of felt.
Fortunately, at some point the Holy Spirit quieted my head space. This was an opportunity to be present with my son and to intentionally prepare for Advent with him.
Here are my overly-specific instructions designed for the craft-averse. Please make it your own.
Instructions for Making the Advent Wreath
- 3 feet of green felt, ideally in two different shades of green
- Flat wood circle, approximately 8-10 inches in diameter
- 4 glass votive candle holders
- 4 Advent votive candles
- 5-6 red pom-pom decorations (1-inch size)
- 1 Sharpie pen
- pair of sharp scissors
- fabric glue
- Trace your child’s hand on the felt with the Sharpie. Repeat four times.
- Have your child trace your hand on the felt with the Sharpie. Prepare for your hand to look conspicuously like a baseball glove. Repeat four times.
- Cut out all eight fabric handprints.
- Flip the handprints over to the side without Sharpie residue.
- Using the fabric glue, adhere the adult handprints to the wooden circle with the wrists pointed toward the center and fingers outward.
- Using the fabric glue, overlay the adult handprints with the child handprints. Make sure to cover any of the remaining exposed wood.
- Using the Sharpie, write one of each of these words on the glass candle holder: Peace, Love, Joy, and Hope. Insert candles into the holders. The pink candle (3rd Week of Advent) should go in the holder labeled Joy.
- Arrange the votives in a circle of the wreath.
- Optional: Glue the pom poms around the wreath to simulate holly berries.
- Enjoy the result!
My son, Nicky, and I spent nearly an hour on this project. Most other parents and children finished far faster than we did. I didn’t even really notice until others were gathering up to leave.
For my part, I was really absorbed in enjoying the quality one-on-one time with Nicky. He was meticulous in his placement and the handprints and the gluing of the pom poms. He was proud to show off his writing on the candle votives. It was heartwarming to have completed this project together as a Mommy-Son team.
As part of the retreat experience, the teacher prompted a question.
How can we as a family grow closer to Jesus this Advent season?
On behalf of our whole family, Nicky and I decided to focus our “Advent energy” on Sunday evenings. We will gather together to pray as a family, light the newest Advent candle and share dinner together around the Advent wreath. My family recommends the Daily Advent Prayers from MagnifiKid! if you do not already have an Advent prayer resource.
There is still time to discuss Advent with your kids and determine any family goals for this year. Please see my Advent at Home article for additional thoughts and suggestions.
Whether your Advent wreath is home-crafted or not, this is a friendly reminder to bless it. The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops offers this Blessing of an Advent Wreath.
May God hold you and your family close during this Advent season!
Copyright 2022 Janelle Peregoy
Images: copyright 2022 Janelle Peregoy, all rights reserved.
About the Author
Janelle Peregoy, M.Div, is an Associate Director in the Office of Family Life & Spirituality at the Diocese of San Diego. So yes, she has found one of the few positions where it is professionally acceptable to contemplate the spirituality of potty training. A Pope Francis bobble-head sits on her desk for inspiration. See more from Janelle on her blog, Faithfully Irreverent.