It’s nearly Christmas, and Advent is about to start. You are just in time to make your own unique dinosaur Advent wreath to count down the weeks until Christmas. Here’s how you make your own.
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What is Advent?
Advent is basically the start of the Christmas season. Traditionally, it is a 40-day fast leading up to Christmas Eve. The name fromes from the Latin term adventus, which means “coming or arrival” and it is the period leading up to the coming or birth of Jesus Christ.
What are Advent wreaths?
Advent wreaths, also known as Advent crowns, are a Christian tradition that started in Hamburg, Germany. It is traditionally a wreath shape with four candles, sometimes with a Christ candle in the middle. One candle is lit for each of the Sundays before Christmas, so that in the end all four candles are lit.
Advent wreaths are traditionally circular to represent God’s infinite love. They are normally made of evergreen leaves, representing eternal life.
While Advent wreaths are traditionally round, more modern ones can be any shape and have Christmas themed decorations, flowers, spices or just general winter decorations.
Ours has Christmas dinosaurs.
What makes our dinosaur Advent wreath special
Our dinosaur Advent wreath is definitely free form. It does not actually have a wreath. We’ve put it on a round, green cake stand, but only because we already had one. Of course, you could easily attach the Advent dinosaurs to an evergreen wreath with some florists’ wire.
It has four candles and four Christmas dinosaurs (AKA Advent dinosaurs). Each candle is numbered with these handy number pins that we had in the cupboard, but I can’t find on amazon. The ever-practical Daddysaurus actually wished that we had not added the numbers as it makes it harder to burn the candles to keep them all around the same height.
Did I mention that our dinosaur Advent wreath has Christmas dinosaurs?
Instead of a more traditional Advent wreath, we have four loosely placed candles and four Advent dinosaurs trying to decorate a Christmas tree.
What do you need to make your own dinosaur Advent wreath?
You actually only need a few things to make your own dinosaur Advent wreath.
- Four candles – one for each Sunday of Advent. Size does not matter (though small birthday candles might not last long).
- Four dinosaurs – one for each candle, though you are welcome to use more or fewer. You may already have some at home that would be perfect – spray painting is optional, so you don’t have to ruin your little dinosaur lover’s favourite dinosaurs to make your own dinosaur Advent wreath. You don’t want the dinosaurs to be too small or too big – 15 – 20 cm is a good size Advent dinosaur.
- Small ornaments, ribbons, tinsel and whatever else you can rustle up from your craft and Christmas supplies or find at your favourite dollar store. The size needs to be appropriate for your Christmas dinosaurs.
- Spray paint – our LDA and I discussed whether to paint them or not to paint them for quite a while, before finally deciding to paint them. We used some dinosaurs that we had purchased especially for craft projects; obviously, if they had been some of her favourite toy dinosaurs, spraypainting would have been out of the question. Check your spray paint and try and get one that has a primer in it or is especially designed for plastic. We used this one, which we already had on hand from another project.
- A tray or plate to corral the candles and Advent dinosaurs.
- Numbers for the candles: if you don’t share Daddysaurus’ opinion, you can add some numbers to your candles. Write them on a nice piece of card and attach them with a drawing pin, for example.
- Some miniature Christmas trees. We used two of the tree from this IKEA set. These rainbow ones could be cute.
- Some gifts. You might be lucky enough to have some little gift box ornaments. We made our own. The trick is to find some small boxes – which is not always easy – who uses matchsticks anymore? We ended up using some of the ‘products’ from a toy shopping basket that we bought at Aldi and just wrapped them with bright paper.
What we used for our dinosaur Advent wreath
Apart from the obvious Advent dinosaurs and candles, we used the following things to ‘decorate’ our dinosaur advent wreath:
- mini pine trees
- gold sequin ribbon
- mini baubles, something like these ones (we used some with a 2.5mm diameter that we already had)
- mini santa hats
- mini string lights (I can’t find exactly what we used, but these bulb beads would work)
- gold string
- mini bells
- some tinsel – mostly for the stars: we ripped one off to use as the start on our mini Christmas tree
How to make your dinosaur Advent wreath
I was going to make a special how-to card but it didn’t really make sense as so much of it depends on what dinosaurs you have chosen to become your Advent dinosaurs and what ornaments, decorations and other craft supplies you find.
Simply set out your candles (with or without numbers), find your dinosaurs (with or without spray painting them) and play around with the things that you found to see what your Christmas dinosaurs can get up to.
As our biggest dinosaur, our Brachiosaurus was our tree carrier while our Stegosaurus carried our presents. T-Rex got all tangled in the tree lights. We ran out of inspiration when we got to the Triceratops. She is carrying some ornaments – three of course.
What if you don’t want a dinosaur Advent wreath?
There’s nothing to say that your have to make these dinosaurs into a dinosaur Advent wreath. In fact, our LDA is so in love with our dinosaurs that I know she is going to want to use them as regular Christmas decorations too. That’s part of the reason we decided to be fairly generic when designing our dinosaurs and what they are doing.
So why not make some dinosaur decorations this Christmas?
Let’s be honest: it’s not all about Christmas. Still, I can see similar dinosaurs helping to celebrate Hanukkah or Kwanzaa, for example.
Spray paint the dinosaurs blue or silver and attach mini Dreidls to their hands (T-Rex), or give them candles to hold, for example, and you have Hanukkah dinosaurs.
For Kwanzaa, have the dinosaurs hold some (plastic or wooden) fruit or black, red or green candles. You can even use only dinosaurs that were discovered on the African continent, such as the Brachiosaurs or the Kentrosaurus.
Make you own unique dinosaur Advent wreath
Whether they magically turn your normal advent wreath into a dinosaur Advent wreath, these playful Christmas dinosaurs are a fun addition to your Christmas decorations. So spend a little time, dig into your craft supplies and Christmas ornaments and get creative!