Destinations Magazine

Candlelit Evergreen Lucia Table Wreath DIY from Scandinavian Gatherings Book

By Francoisetmoi

As a Scandinavian growing up in Northern Minnesota, I've been enchanted by the magic of Santa Lucia Day from a very young age. The 13th of December is a day dedicated to celebrating light and generosity in the ever-growing darkness of Winter months. Families celebrate at home with one of the daughters dressing up as Lucia in a white gown, red sash, + evergreen candle-wreath crown, and serving her family saffron buns and coffee before the sun rises. What a wonderful tradition! And one we're going to start with our (almost) 2 year old, Sylvie, this year.

Melissa Bahen of Lulu the Baker's book, Scandinavian Gatherings, is an amazing resource of recipes and DIY projects for celebrating Nordic traditions year round, and ESPECIALLY so around the holidays. One of my favorite sections in her book is Lucia Day, where she outlines everything you need to create your own authentic gathering at home. From saffron buns and gingersnaps to candlelit table wreaths and pinecone garlands, her recipes and projects capture the true essence of the celebration.

I think the candle-wreath is the pièce de resistance on St. Lucia Day, so I'm honored to be able to share Melissa's tutorial for making her Candlelit Evergreen Lucia Table Wreath with you guys. It's a beautiful centerpiece that will have you hygge-ing your way through the holiday season!

*(c)2016 By Melissa Bahen. All rights reserved. Excerpted from Scandinavian Gatherings; From Afternoon fika to Midsummer Feast: 70 Simple Recipes and Crafts for Everyday Celebrations by permission of Sasquatch Books.


Materials and Tools:
  • 12-inch wooden wreath form
  • 8 large 1-inch wood candle cups
  • Ruler or measuring tape (optional)
  • Wood glue
  • Newspaper or clean garbage bags
  • Dark-green spray paint that blends in with your garland
  • 12 feet of small-leaved greenery garland, real or faux (Melissa used faux boxwood garland)
  • Thin green floral wire
  • Wire cutters
  • 8 taper candles that fit your candle cups
  1. Put the wooden wreath form on a flat work surface. Place the candle cups on the wreath form, spreading them out evenly. If needed, you can use a ruler or measuring tape to help you place the candle cups. My wreath form had eight holes predrilled in it, so I placed each candle cup on top of a predrilled hole.
  2. Glue each candle cup in place with a small amount of wood glue on the bottom of the candle cup. Allow the glue to dry completely before moving on.
  3. Working outside or in a well-ventilated area, put garbage bags or newspaper on the ground to protect it from paint. A protected area about 4 by 4 feet should be big enough. Put the wreath form on the center of the garbage bags, and spray it with the paint following the application directions on the spray-paint can. Add as many coats as necessary (one to two), and allow the wreath form to dry completely.
  4. When the paint is dry, add the garland to the wreath. Place one end of the garland on the wreath form between two candle cups. Use about 10 inches of green floral wire wrapped around the garland and wreath form to hold the garland firmly in place. Gently weave the greenery between the candle cups, passing the garland outside one candle cup, then inside the next. Where the garland crosses the wreath form between candle cups, wire it in place. Make two complete circles around the wreath. On the second time around, go on the opposite side of each cup so that the candle cups are completely surrounded.
  5. When you've completed two full circles, wire the end of the garland in place. Use the wire cutters to cut small sections of the remaining garland (2 or 3 inches long), and tuck them into the centerpiece to make it fuller and cover any bare spots or wires that are visible.
  6. Fit the tapers into the candle cups, and place on the table.

Also, on December 3rd I'll be baking up Melissa's coveted Sugared Gingersnaps (Pepparkakor) from her book in my own kitchen as part of an upcoming Design Blogger Cookie Swap Blog Hop. Make sure to check back for the recipe, that is, if you haven't already picked up a copy of Scandinavian Gatherings!

Search more Holiday DIY projects, like these Dala Horse Clay Ornaments!

Saffron Buns recipe and Pinecone Garland tutorial are also found in Melissa's book, Scandinavian Gatherings.

Candlelit Evergreen Lucia Table Wreath from Scandinavian Gatherings Book

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