I absolutely adore the countdown to Christmas. I know it’s lots of hard work but when you’ve got children it can be so much fun too. There are loads of great Christmas crafts to try, recipes to bake and excitement to be had. One of the Christmas crafts the kids have really enjoyed over the years is Homemade Advent Candles.
DIY advent candles are a fun addition to advent calendars. We open our calendars in the morning and then light our homemade advent candles in the evening while we’re having dinner. It gives us two hits of Christmas is looming excitement every day!
I’ve enjoyed making homemade advent candles with my children for years now. It’s an easy craft to set up and a lovely way to spend a cold and rainy afternoon tucked up inside when your thoughts are just beginning to turn to Christmas creeping up in the distance.
My kids have enjoyed making advent candles since they were tiny and just starting out with their mark making. It’s been fun to see them making their designs more intricate as they’ve got older. I really like the tiny holly leaves and totally original swirls we’ve got on this year’s candles.
Don’t worry if you’re reading this post on the day before advent, this christmas candle craft is so easy you can get away with doing it totally last minute!
If you find yourself wanting to give this homemade advent candle craft a try and you’ve already missed the start of advent all is not lost! You can either adjust the number of day measurements you add to your advent candle or let the candle burn down to the correct day the first time you light it.
Before we get started on our homemade advent candle tutorial you might like to take a peek at some of our other Christmas crafts that are popular at this time of year. In the run up to Christmas readers always LOVE our Printable Reindeer Antlers, these are so much fun for imaginative play. Our Glitter Candles and Tin Can Lanterns are popular if you’re looking for homemade gifts the kids can make for others. If you are looking for some super easy Christmas table decor then you might like our 5 Minute No Sew Rustic Table Decorations, great if you want to do homemade but don’t have much time! If you fancy making your own advent All Free Kids Crafts have a fun one here.
Now let’s get back to our Christmas countdown with these fun kid made advent candles!
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How To Make Homemade Advent Candles
DIY Advent Candle Materials
Homemade Advent Candles Tutorial
We chose table candles for our advent candles but you could use any kind of wax candle shape or size you like.
To make sure we could fit on all the days we cut a piece of paper slightly shorter than the candle and roughly marked that out. We folded it in half to find the 12th day, half again to find the 6th and half again to find the 3rd. Once every third day was marked it was easy to fill in the gaps by eye.
We used our Posca Pens to write directly onto the candle marking out the days. (Want to know how much I LOVE Posca and why? Check out this post. Once you try them you’ll want them in your craft supplies forever!) We did some of our advent candles with straight numbers top to bottom and then tried one with the numbers going in a spiral all the way down.
The trick to working with the Posca Pens on the wax is not to push on the pens. You don’t want to scratch the candle’s surface at all. We loved the vibrant colours of the Posca Pens but for younger children with a heavier hand you might find it easier to use Sharpie markers instead.
Once we’d drawn the numbers on our homemade advent candles we started to draw on the decorations. We found it easier to do one colour at a time and to let that dry before applying another. If you use Posca Pens the paint will only take a minute or two to set.
I really like how my 10 year old decided to use non traditional colours and patterns for his Christmas candle. It turned out beautifully.
It’s worth having some scrap paper to hand working with Posca Pens so if the ink flow slows you can wipe the nib and depress it on the paper to release more ink/paint.
We’ve recently discovered gold and silver Posca Pens for the first time and they are everything I hoped they’d be. The nib of ours were a little fine for this purpose but the rich gold looked great and teamed up really well with the purple for a more traditional Christmas feel.
I always love our homemade advent candles and wouldn’t swap them for shop bought any day! This is such an easy Christmas craft for kids and one that the whole family gets to enjoy day after day. It’s fabulous seeing the pride the children have in their creations as they get lit every evening.
A word of warning though…light your advent candles when you know you can keep a close eye on their burning levels. One year I completely forgot and we burnt through about 6 days in one go! That’s why we burn ours at dinner time now so there are many eyes on the candle’s progress!
(Safety notice: Never leave candles unattended. Always burn them in a safe place. Never leave children unattended with candles.)
More Fun Christmas Activities To Try: