DIY Customised Advent Stand

November 21, 2013 | Christmas, DIY

DIY Customised Advent Stand

While we’re on the theme of Advent this week (did you see my Advent Calendar? So fun!), I thought I’d share with you what I’m doing for my Advent candles this year. I bought a lovely rustic candle holder locally a few weeks ago and, once I got it home, decided it could use a bit of flower power. So, using the same techniques I used for the Wreath DIY last year, I bound my holder in greenery and little puffs of baby’s breath. Naw :)

Doesn’t it make it look so fresh and festive?! I wanted to give this to you guys as a little DIY, in case you have something similar lying around at home that could also use some flower power ;)

So here we go:

DIY Customised Advent Stand

You’ll need:
– The base candle holder to work on (see some similar to mine here and here)
– Various types of foliage and flowers cut into small pieces (Fragile plants won’t work too well here, look for hardy wooded plants and sticks that will last a while without water)
– Green florist wire
– Wire cutters.

**Note: When you’re adding the flowers and foliage to your candle holder, please take extra care to ensure that the plant material is kept well away from the candles and flames. If the plant material is too close it could cause it to catch on fire. Never leave it to burn unattended, and always keep an eye on it!**

Step 1.
Starting at the base of a candle mount, secure the wire onto the stand (loop it around and twist the pieces together). You can either work with the wire continuously from the spool, or cut off a length and keep attaching new lengths as you need. Up to you – I prefer working off the spool.

DIY Customised Advent Stand

Step 2.
Assemble a small bunch of foliage/flowers in your hand, then hold them in place against the stand, where you just tied the wire (close to the candle mount). Holding it in place, loop the wire around the base of the bunch and around the stand, and pull firmly. Loop again if you’d like it extra secure.

Step 3.
Assemble the next small bunch and place it over the bottom half of the first, so as to cover the wire. The aim will be to cover the wire as you go, so always work in the same direction. Holding the bunch with one hand, pass the wire around the stand to secure it in place. You’ll keep doing this until you’ve reached the start again – just remember to make sure you’re also covering the inside and outside of the stand (not just the top!), and be sure to keep checking that it looks consistent.

DIY Customised Advent Stand

Step 4.
Once you reach the end, the idea is to hide the ends of the last bunch under the tops of the first bunch you put in. It can be a little tricky to tuck the stems in and wire them in place under the first bunch, but see how you go. Tie the wire off underneath, and you’re done! Now stand back and admire your work :)

**Note: When you’re adding the flowers and foliage to your candle holder, please take extra care to ensure that the plant material is kept well away from the candles and flames. If the plant material is too close it could cause it to catch on fire. Never leave it to burn unattended, and always keep an eye on it!**

DIY Customised Advent Stand DIY Customised Advent Stand DIY Customised Advent Stand DIY Customised Advent Stand

DIY Advent Calendar

November 19, 2013 | Christmas, DIY

Hiiiii! Happy Tuesday :)

I’m curious – do any of you do Advent Calendars in your house? We didn’t really have them growing up, but when I did an exchange to Switzerland in year 11, my host family did it beautifully, with boxes lining the staircase, each one holding a little gift or message. I loved it, and it’s stuck with me all these years (thanks Maryline!)! So I thought it might be fun to do another one this year – for my Husband, seeing as we have no kiddies ;)

I had grand plans for this advent calendar, but I’ll be honest – it ended up being a little more time-consuming and tricky than I’d thought! It was one of those DIYs that had me debating whether to keep pushing on with it, or pack it in and admit defeat. As you can see, I did push on with it, and I’m glad I did. I think it’ll be really fun :)

Advent Calendar DIY

So this is it: I made some lidless boxes out of Kraft card, fill each box with a gift/message, then covered the openings with tissue paper. So when each day comes, my hubby will break through the tissue and find a prize. I can imagine kids would love the act of breaking into each box with their hands to find a surprise inside, don’t you think? And I’m pretty sure normally Advent Calendars only go to day 24, but I thought opening one on Christmas day would be nice too.

So, if you’d like to give this a go I’ll put some instructions below. If you’re not crazy like me and would prefer to just buy 25 boxes (approx. 10cm x 10cm) instead of making them – I’d recommend it! It’d make the whole DIY easier and save a lot of time and hand-ache! In that case, you can skip to Step 4.

Here’s what you’ll need:
– 25 x A3 size, medium weight card (any colour, thick enough to hold it’s own weight, but thin enough to be cut and folded)
– Scissors, Ruler, Pencil
– Stapler and lots of staples
– Tissue Paper
– Sticky Tape
– Advent Numbers printed on sticker paper, then cut or punched out (LETTER or A4)
– Little gifts or messages to fill your boxes!

Step 1.
On one sheet of A3 card, measure out a box template (see below). I ended up doing mine with 99mm sides so that it’d fit exactly across the width of my A3 card. You can make them whatever size you like though – just make sure they’re deep enough to hold little gifts, and wide enough for a hand. Cut template out.

Advent Calendar DIYStep 2.
Use this first box as a template, and trace around it onto the rest of your A3 sheets of card. Cut them all out.

Advent Calendar DIY

Step 3.
Using a ruler as a guide, fold in the sides and the flaps on each box. Make sure they’re clean, sharp folds. Use a stapler to attach the flaps to the sides, forming your box. You can also glue these, but it takes a lot longer!

Advent Calendar DIYStep 4.
Now that you’ve got your boxes (or if you bought boxes), it’s now time to fill and seal them. I’d recommend writing a list of which gifts will go in each day so you can keep track of what’s where, and spread out any bigger gifts.

Start by cutting the tissue paper into approx. 13 x 13 cm squares. Choose whichever colours you’d like – I chose gold :)

Advent Calendar DIYStep 5.
Take a box, and put the gift inside. If the gift is too big to fit in the box, put a little note or clue to tell them where to find it. It’s fun that way! :)

Advent Calendar DIYStep 6.
Cut off 4 lengths of sticky tape, each slightly longer than one side of the box. Stick the tissue over the box opening, starting with two opposite sides first, then fold in the other two sides like you’d wrap a gift. Use the remaining sticky tape to stick them down. Tissue paper is quite fragile, so you might have to be gentle.

Advent Calendar DIY

Step 7.
Lastly, take the Advent Numbers you cut out before and gently stick the corresponding number into the middle of the tissue paper. That’s it!

Finish the rest of the boxes, then work out how you’d like to stack them. I found that when mine were stacked, they could be a little wobbly, so I ran a strip of washi tape along the length (underneath and on top) of each row to hold them together. You could also stick them to a board.

Advent Calendar DIY

So as you can see, it’s fairly involved! But it’ll make December just that much more fun :)

See all our DIYs here!