When I was putting together ideas for Scribble’s first birthday, I fell in love with Waldorf birthday rings.  The tradition can be adapted for your family’s needs, but in general, the idea is that you light a candle for every year of your child’s life, and buy or create a custom birthday ring decoration to commemorate his or her accomplishments during that year. Waldorf rings can be pricey, though, so I held off at his birthday.  Instead, for Christmas this year, I created an advent wreath that can double as a birthday ring! Bonus: it also happens to be a lot less expensive than most Waldorf rings!

I am a little late posting this DIY; Advent started last Sunday!  But this is an all-year craft because you can use it for birthdays as well.  You can also display this at the holidays outside of Advent.  But if you do want one for this Advent, you’re in luck; you can put this together in a few days and have it ready for this upcoming Sunday. Waldorf education also celebrates its own version of Advent, and you could use this wreath for that as well.

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You’ll need:

– 1 round wooden disc– I used a 14 inch one, which I bought at Michael’s. A bigger one would be even better!

– 8-16 wooden candle cups or “bean pots.” I got mine from the Etsy shop Clickety Clack, but they are available at better craft stores.  I found I could fit 8 bean pots around my disc without it looking too crowded. A bigger base would be better, so you can use it for more years! If you also want to use this as an Advent candle, make sure to use an even number around the outer edges (so that the four Advent candles will be in balance), and one in the middle for the Christ Candle. You can also use this area to display the yearly ornament if you choose to buy or make one per year.

– Food coloring or watercolor paints in your choice of color, a sponge brush, or your hand

– Wood glue or wood screws

– Beeswax/Olive Oil wood rub.  Here’s a good recipe.  I actually made mine out of a soy wax blend.  I know a lot of people are unsure about soy wax since the blends usually include paraffin, but I bought the wax before I realized this, and didn’t want to waste it. Also, I don’t expect Scribble to be mouthing this wreath, so it isn’t an issue for me personally!

And here’s the picture I used as inspiration from Bella Luna Toys.

To begin, sand your bean pots and wooden disc if needed. Mine didn’t need this, so I didn’t worry with it! I wanted the wood to have a little translucent color, like my inspiration image.  To achieve a similar look, rub your wood with food coloring or watercolor paints.  Water the color down as needed to achieve the look you want.  I didn’t want all the cups to look the same, so I dunked some in the wash, and painted some, etc.  Washing the wood also allows the wax polish to soak in.

Let the wood dry for a few hours. I did overnight, but that may not be necessary. Rub a little of the beeswax polish on all the items.  Think thin layer when you are doing this– it takes a lot of time for the wood to absorb the polish, and too much can make for a goopy mess! Let the wood soak in the majority of the polish.  This may take overnight.  Glue the cups into place, or screw them in. I actually would have preferred to screw them in (more zero-waste friendly!), but I figured that it would be a lot more difficult to make sure they were evenly spaced.  So I took the lazy way out!

Use a heavy book to weigh the cups down; I found that in about an hour, they were set.  Let them cure overnight before putting in candles though!

Our candle on the first week of Advent

Now you are done and ready to celebrate!

Do you use an advent calendar or a wreath? Do you use a birthday ring? Please share your family traditions with me!

Christmas Posts part 15 of 19

1. 19 Holiday Kids' Crafts by Mrs. Bee
2. Holiday Gift Tags by printables
3. Watercolor Gift Tags by printables
4. Baby's First Holiday Ornament Roundup by Mrs. Marbles
5. Counting Down to Christmas - Book Advent Calendar by Mrs. Paintbrush
6. DIY Holly & Berry Balloon Garland by Brittany @ The House That Lars Built
7. 18 Child Friendly Christmas Tree Alternatives by Mrs. Bee
8. DIY Artwork Gift Tags by Caroline @ Armelle Blog
9. DIY Jingle Bell Ornament by Danyelle @ Dandee Designs
10. DIY Modern Christmas Tree Art by Caroline @ Armelle Blog
11. 42 Inspirational and Creative Ways to Wrap Gifts by Mrs. Bee
12. DIY Paper Houses by Oana Befort
13. Holiday Traditions by Swarm
14. Low/No Waste, Toddler-Proof Christmas DIYs by Mrs. Sketchbook
15. DIY Advent or Waldorf Birthday Ring by Mrs. Sketchbook
16. DIY Cinnamon Ornaments by Mrs. Palette
17. Be present not perfect: my new mantra for the holiday season by Mrs. Train
18. Santa is real in our house by Mrs. Train
19. Wreaths Across America by Mrs. Train