Whether you’re looking to adorn some blonde locks with a DIY St. Lucy wreath in honor of St. Lucia’s feast day on December 13, or if you just need a simple Advent ornament craft, this little gem of an idea just might help.
St. Lucy was an early martyr. Much of what’s known about her is wrapped in folklore. But we know that she lived at a time when being Christian was against the law. She was caught, and like all good martyrs, refused to renounce her faith even though they were going to kill her. You can find more about her here.
The St. Lucy crown of light, on the other hand, comes from popular Sweedish traditions where the eldest girl in the household wears a wreath of candles on her head and delivers sweet breads to the family. Differing explanations on this point to St. Lucy, or Lucia, feeding the poor in secret, and to both her name and the candles being reminders of the Light that will overcome darkness.
DIY St. Lucy Crown
You’ll need a sturdy paper plate, green yarn, 3 green pipe cleaners, 5 tongue depressors or jumbo popsicle sticks, white felt (sticky back or not), red felt, and sticky back yellow or goldenrod felt. Clothespins are helpful for wrapping up the green yarn. In addition to supplies, this one needs a hot glue gun and scissors to make the magic happen, and an exacto knife makes it easier.
Prepare the Wreath
Cut the middle out of the paper plate and fit it on your child’s head. Once it sits with just a little bit of wiggle room where you want it, mark 5 slots for the candles.
Cut these slots either with scissors or an exacto knife.
Give your daughter(s) the paper plate and a clothespin wrapped generously with green yarn. When she runs out, you can give her a second clothespin full of a different green to add more depth to the colors, and keep repeating this process until the whole paper plate is wound with yarn. The younger the girl, the more she’ll need help finishing. You can also cover it in green paper before handing it over so that the yarn wrapping doesn’t need to be stellar to make it look like a wreath.
Prepare the candles
While she’s wrapping the yarn – which is a great activity for a long car ride – you can get the candles ready.
Cut white felt large enough to cover your tongue depressors, leaving the bottom of the wood exposed. The uncovered portion will be what slips through the slots you made in the paper plate.
Cut the green pipe cleaners in half. Near the base of the tongue depressors, hot glue the pipe cleaner in place. Then, hot glue the white felt in place. Even if you’re using sticky-back felt, it’s not going to stay of it’s own accord. The hot glue will keep it secure.
Cut strips of red felt and tie them into bows around each candle, trimming off the ends to make them even.
Once the candle is together, you can cut the flames out of sticky back goldenrod felt. To do this, fold a piece of the felt over and cut two flames at once. Give the flames to your daughter to stick on the top of each candle. Sticky back to sticky back felt holds very well, so you won’t need any other adhesives.
Put it all together
Slip the pipe cleaner and the exposed wood of each candle through the slots in the wreath once your daughter is done wrapping it, or has abandoned it and handed it to you. In the pictures, I’m showing you without the yarn so that it’s easier to see.
Loop the pipe cleaner up and over the interior of the plate. Then, wrap it around the tongue depressor and secure it by slipping the pipe cleaner end under the loop you just made at the back of the candle.
Celebrate tomorrow in honor of St. Lucy with these fabulous ideas. When your daughter is done wearing it, you can unhook the candles so that it all lays flat to store for next year. If you know she won’t wear it, you can make a small one for dolls or ornaments instead.