So, I know Lucia Day has come and gone, but the spirit of Saint Lucia and the theme of light in darkness holds throughout Advent season, right? Plus, you may be like I was as a child and celebrate St. Lucia on Christmas morning. We did this because:
A. It was the only morning we wanted to get up early. (I mean, HELLO. Presents!)
B. It was one of the few mornings we could wake up before our parents, since my dad was an early commuter.
Regardless of when you celebrate, this tutorial will show you how to make a Saint Lucia crown. Even better? Nearly all the materials come from your local Dollar Tree!
First, I found these 15 inch wreaths! They are very basic, but I saw their potential as the foundation for a Lucia Crown.
Luckily, I had a model with me to check the fit of the wreath! It was a little large on Eliza, but I figured I would attach the candles inside the crown. This would reduce the internal circumference enough to fit a child’s head.
Speaking of candles, those were next on my list! I opted to use these 6-inch, battery-operated ones instead of real candles with flames. Fire + hair = no bueno. Ask my nine-year-old self after blowing out my birthday candles…Let’s just say, I was blessed that the worst that happened was that the tip of my braid was singed and very stinky. I could have gone up in flames!
Eliza is the perfect shopping companion, by the way! She is so methodical and eager to help.
Each candle required two, Triple-A batteries. Yes, the Dollar Tree also sells packs of batteries!
I also picked up this roll of Christmas ribbon to wind around the wreath.
I decided that the Lucia Crown needed some additional interest, color, and texture. So, we went back to the Dollar Tree on another day and bought some gold, artificial foliage.
Before you start making your Lucia crown, open each package of candles and test them with batteries. Occasionally, a package will have a defective candle. All of my candles passed this initial test, but one inexplicably failed after I finished making the crown. I was glad that I bought an extra package of candles to replace it. I recommend doing the same!
Here’s a collage of the basic supplies needed to make this wreath. I also used wire to wrap the around each candle and to secure them to the wreath. I already had this wire in my stash. Unfortunately, I am unable to tell you its grade or material, since its packaging was missing. However, I recommend getting something sturdy!
This next bit takes some patience and experimentation. I cut the wire into six lengths (one for each candle) and began by twisting the middle of the wire around each candle. Then, I wrapped the remaining tails of wire around the wreath, from above and below. I crossed it in an “X” shape and wrapped around the wreath again. I repeated this until I had no wire left.
If your wreath looks like this, at this point, Do. Not. Panic. (Okay, I panicked a bit!) It looks rather dreadful, doesn’t it? Maybe this is because I should have used stiffer wire. However, I remembered that I had bought this ribbon for a decorative effect and to secure the additional foliage I was going to add to the crown. Maybe it could also help to brace the candles upright?
Sure enough, it did! I tied the end of the ribbon around one of the candles. Then, I twisted it around each candle a couple times and wrapped it around the wreath 2-3 times between the candles. I used almost the entire spool, which contained three yards! The candles were much less floppy and much more upright. I figured that they would probably stand up even more when the crown was worn and the candles were trapped between the wreath and the wearer’s head.
Next was the most enjoyable part of this project! It was fun to snip apart the clumps of gold foliage with the pliers. I tucked the shortened stems into the ribbon wrapping, making sure to place the stems in the same direction around the wreath. I recommend adding a few drops of hot glue inside the ribbon wrapping to secure each bit of foliage. You can skip this step, but you may lose some foliage when the crown is worn.
Here is the finished Saint Lucia crown with the rest of the outfit I assembled for Emma! I will share how I put this whole look together in my next blog post. Emma said the Lucia crown was somewhat uncomfortable because the faux pine branches were scratchy. The candle ends also dug into the sides of her head, and the wreath was still loose and prone to slipping. SO, it looks like this crown will be a work in process. I am going to create a fabric “doughnut” of padding inside the wreath. This will hopefully solve all three of these issues.
A friend from church delivered a fresh, beautiful wreath to our door right before we were going to take pictures. What a perfect photo prop!
This is what the wreath looks like when it is lit at night! The battery candle in Emma’s hand was also purchased at the Dollar Tree.