It’s been a crazy few weeks around here and there’s so much going on that my head feels like it may explode if things don’t start to calm down very soon. With so many changes happening I’ve almost completely been ignoring the fact that Christmas is now only 30 days away (not sure what happened to the rest of 2016!).
Now that the advent weeks are fast approaching we thought it would be fun to make an advent wreath. Here in Germany, everyone has one so making one seemed like a perfect addition to our Christmas decorations.
Traditionally they’re fir wreaths with four candles and decorations such as berries and dried fruit but we decided to take a much more modern approach and made four concrete advent stars instead.
This is what you’ll need if you’d like to make your own DIY concrete advent stars
- Concrete – (ready mixed craft concrete or you could mix your own)
- Candles (we’d recommend using thin ones – these are the ones that we used)
- Star moulds – you can download the free printables to make them here
- Polypropylene sheet – ideally around 0.5mm thick (basically a sheet of clear plastic)
- WD-40 (optional)
- A bowl & something to mix the concrete with
- Craft knife
- Printer & paper
This is how to make the concrete advent stars
Make your star moulds.
#1 To make your moulds download the templates and print them onto some standard paper. Like most people, we only have an A4 printer which is why we set out the templates so they can easily be printed and glued together.
#2 When you’ve prepared your four star templates place them under the polypropylene sheet and secure them with some sellotape.
#3 Next cut out the four star templates – the solid lines are where you have to cut right through the polypropylene and the dashed lines are where you just need to lightly score it to enable a cleaner fold. Don’t forget to cut out a hole for your candle. We’ve added a dashed circle on the template which is where your hole should be but the exact size will depend on the candles you’re using (we’d recommend using slim ones).
#4 When you’ve cut out the stars it’s time to fold them. The polypropylene is really easy to fold if you’ve scored it beforehand. Then glue the shape together with some sellotape. Make sure that the tabs are glued to the outside of the star – you want the inside where you’ll be pouring the concrete to be as smooth and clean as possible.
We also added a piece of sellotape to the inside corners of the star where there were any joins. It probably wasn’t necessary but we wanted to make certain that none of the concrete could leak.
Prepare & add your concrete.
#5 When you’ve prepared all of your star moulds it’s time to mix your concrete. Because we wanted to try something new we used a ready mixed craft concrete for this project but for all previous concrete projects we mixed our concrete ourselves (you can see our concrete recipe here). Both concrete methods worked well but mixing your own is a lot cheaper!
#6 Before you add your ready mixed concrete to the star moulds give them a quick spray with WD-40. It’s probably optional as the polypropylene is smooth but it should still make it easier to remove the concrete from the mould once everything has dried.
#7 Stick some tape over the opening you made for your candle and pour in the concrete. Make sure that the corners of the star are completely filled, too.
Add the candle.
#8 Remove the piece of tape that covered the hole in the side of the mould and insert the candle about 1cm deep into the concrete star. You might have to support the candle so that it stays straight while the concrete sets. You can remove the candle when the concrete has set but you have to insert it now in order to make the hole to place your candles in.
Tip: Don’t worry if one of your candles gets stuck in the dried concrete. We sprayed the end of the candle with WD-40 before pushing it into the concrete but one of ours still got stuck so we just lit it and let it burn completely down before removing the last bit of wax that got stuck in the hole.
#9 For me this is always the most difficult part of any project. You should wait at least 2-3 days before even thinking about removing the concrete from the mould. It probably still won’t be completely dry so it’s a good idea to give it a couple more days to thoroughly harden.
Decorate, light & enjoy.
#10 Decorating your concrete stars is, of course, totally optional. We really like the concrete finish so just left them as they are but you could get as creative as you’d like.
#11 All that’s left to do is insert a candle and enjoy your new concrete advent stars!
Although it seems like there are loads of steps to this project it’s actually really easy. Making the star moulds is the fiddliest and most time-consuming part but then it’s almost just a matter of mixing concrete and waiting.
I love how these turned out and how modern and clean they look. I really enjoy using concrete and whilst I know it’s not the most festive of materials I actually really like the modern take on an advent wreath.
Do you decorate your home for Christmas? Do you usually have an advent wreath? Have you ever made anything with concrete?