The closer we get to December, the more excited I get for advent calendars! I just love the joy of counting down to Christmas with some kind of fun, seasonal flare, especially if there’s a DIY element to it. I buy my kids chocolate advent calendars each year, but this year I decided I wanted to make some kind of cute advent for myself as well. I’ve been trying to watch my calories, though, so I opted to make it something that involves the only thin I love more than chocolate- crafting! That’s how I came up with this awesome advent candle holder idea. Since I’ve been so into creating things with DIY concrete lately, I decided to use that to make it happen. I also decided to document the process so other people might be able to follow along step by step, which I was very glad I did when I realized how cute the final product was!
Check out these step by step instructions complete with photos! If you’d rather follow along with a video tutorial instead of written words, scroll to the bottom of this post to find just what you’re looking for.
For this project, you’ll need:
- A spoon
- A plate
- DIY fine particle cement
- Hot glue
- Paint (preferably acrylic)
- A paintbrush
- A folding utility knife
- A milk carton
- Round candles
- Wooden numbers
Gather your materials!
Use your utility knife to cut the top off your milk carton about two inches from the bottom, freeing a squared cup shape that’s open at the top. Use your scissors to trim the edges all the way around where you just cut to make them an even square shape.
Apply hot glue to the front side of your wooden number, which would be the one facing you when you turn it so it faces the right direction the way it would be written. Stick it to the inside of your carton, central on one side. This will be the front of your candle holder.
Use your paintbrush to apply oil all around the inside of your carton section, including on the back of the number you just stuck down. This will help you peel the pieces away once your base concrete shape has been formed.
Pour water into your DIY concrete mix and stir it with your spoon until it’s the right consistency. Follow the instructions on the package to get the ratio of water to mix right, as it can vary from brand to brand.
Use your spoon to fill your carton with concrete until it’s few centimetres from the top. Tap the bottom of the carton on the table top to smooth the wet mix nice and evenly across its top surface.
While the concrete is still wet, take your tea light candle out of its little metal holder and press the holder into the centre of your wet concrete cube, so it nestles in the mix but doesn’t sink. Next, take a length of tape and stretch it across the top of your carton, from edge to edge, sticking it onto the top edges of the candle holder to keep it in place. Set the whole thing aside to dry.
Once your concrete has dried thoroughly all the way through, make a cut with your scissors to start and pull the carton away from the newly formed concrete block. Tear the paper away from its surface until the candle holder is completely free. You’ll notice that the wooden number comes away from the concrete as well, leaving behind an indentation in its shape on the side of the cube.
Press the candle back into place in its holder, which is now lodged in the centre top of the concrete candle holder.
Use your paintbrush to paint the indented number shape whatever colour you please; I chose a metallic gold for the season!
Repeat the entire process to make more advent candle holders but swap out the numbers for other numbers to make your countdown. Just in case you’d like to try this project out for yourself, here’s a fantastic tutorial video to help you!