teacup & pedestal advent wreath

by | Dec 4, 2015 | All Things Home, Antiques, Decorating, Dining Room, Holiday, Ironstone, My House | 42 comments

Last year, I made an advent wreath out of an ironstone ring mold.  I was planning to do the same this year, but my ring mold was at the studio when I was in the heat of the decorating moment, so I shifted gears.  (Of course, I could’ve hopped in the car and made the two minute drive to the studio to get it, but that seems like too much of a disruption to someone who is in the thick of a creative moment.)

I tend to thrive on decorating MacGyver-style, anyway.  Well, sometimes.  Some of my best ideas have happened on the fly.  But then again, sometimes I get impatient and force things and it’s a disaster.  And the worst part is that I know it’s a disaster even as I’m doing it.  Like the time I thought it was a good idea to hot-glue exterior velvet ribbon to the bottom of a pair of old shears.

Let’s not get into that debacle any further.

 Anyway, back to the advent wreath.

With the ring mold an entire mile away, I decide to use four handleless cups and my ironstone cake pedestal to make an advent wreath for this year.

teacup & pedestal advent wreath | miss mustard seed

And I love how simple and pretty my DIY Christmas decorations turned out.

DIY Christmas decorations | Plant Aesthetics | missmustardseed.com

I placed a candle in each cup, “sticking” it to the bottom by heating the base of the candle and using the melted wax as glue, and then tucked moss tightly around each one to hold it in place.  I set the cups on the cake pedestal and tucked mixed greenery and nuts around until it looked right.  I used a mix of cedar, pine, juniper and boxwood.

DIY Christmas decorations | live greenery and candles | missmustardseed.com

And my little crush on juniper continues.

teacup & pedestal advent wreath | juniper berries | missmustardseed.com

Christmas tablescape| moss, juniper and nuts | missmustardseed.com

Christmas Tablescape | Holiday Plant Decor | missmustardseed.com

I know advent wreaths are supposed to have pink, white and purple candles but pink and purple aren’t my thing, so I’m breaking tradition and going with white. That’s the fun of DIY Christmas decorations, you can showcase your personality.

teacup & pedestal advent wreath | DIY Christmas decorations | missmustardseed.com

Last Christmas was the first time I really didn’t pull out a bunch of Christmas decor, but opted to go with beautiful pieces used in simple ways with fresh greenery and I have discovered that is the look I love.

DIY Christmas decorations | Fresh Greenery & White Candles | missmustardseed.com

The lemon cypress topiaries and pots are from Terrain.  (And yes, you can buy plants online!)

DIY Christmas decorations | Lemon Cypress Topiaries | missmustardseed.com

You can find more advent and Christmas decorating ideas HERE.


Shop this look…

[show_shopthepost_widget id=”1253228″]


Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.


  1. Becki H.

    Simply beautiful! I have an out of control juniper bush and never thought of using it with fresh Christmas greenery. Now, if only I had an ironstone pedestal…

  2. Jan P

    Beautiful I like it better than the ring mold. You are very creative – thanksfor sharing.:)

  3. Deanna Rabe

    I love what you’ve done Marian! I am loving the fresh greens and nuts and berries.

    Terrain is such a great place for inspiration. I need to make a Christmas visit.

  4. Argelia Brown

    Beautimous!!! Simple is always classic and the best. Happy Holidays to you and your family!

  5. beck campbell

    I tried to transition from my “red and green” Christmas decor several years ago…my youngest daughter threw a fit (as teenagers are prone to do occasionally!) “MOM, RED AND GREEN ARE OUR TRADITION.” Seriously, at the time she had lived 16 years…what the heck! But I knew it would turn out like the pajama tradition…they moaned every year about having to wear matching pajamas but the one year I tried to do something different, everyone threw a fit! LOL! LOVE this look…maybe I could try it with traditional green and red!

  6. Sian

    I don’t know what it is, but I actually like this one much more than the ring mold. Good Job!!

  7. sharon ulrichsen

    Love it! Would you be selling this cake pedestal after Christmas ?

    • marian

      No. 🙂 Ironstone cake pedestals can be hard to find and they are expensive when they surface. I used all of my birthday money one year to buy this, so it’s the “crowning jewel” of my ironstone collection. You can find similar ones on eBay and Etsy.

  8. Alicia

    Simple but absolutely beautiful & timeless! I love that you thought outside the box with those gorgeous cups & pedestal. And your juniper greenery has me eyeballing my neighbors bush!

    • marian

      Oh, if I had a neighbor with a juniper bush, I would shamelessly ask if I could prune it for them!

  9. Rebecca

    Beautiful! Thank you so much for the information on the horse at R.H.!

  10. Carla

    On your mobile site (via my android phone) at the bottom of the post where it says Shop this look then has pictures it says :

    Shop this look . . . [show_shopthepost_widget id=”125228″]

    I had a similar experience the other day also.

    On your full site of course it looks fine.

    You are killing me Marian. Everyday when I click on your email I am hoping to see the update on Kim’s bedroom!!!!!!

    • marian

      Yeah, I saw that, too. That widget doesn’t work on the mobile site. Sorry about that!

      My parents have been out of town, so there hasn’t been any major progress in the room. We got all of the wood cut for the built-in, I made the bedskirt and am almost done with the wing chair. My parents get back on Sunday, so we’ll back at it next week!

    • Kim Wagner

      So am I. But I am in Orlando for the week and we are doing it together. Thought maybe she would finish it while I’m gone. :). Marian’s Mom

      • marian

        Ha! Yes, with all of my free time. 🙂

  11. jane

    Geez, how clever, easy and far more beautiful than the ‘normal’ advent wreath. Another winner from MMS.

  12. Juli Schmidt

    Oh Miss Mustard Seed! I love your honesty! I thought I was the only one who got a creative bee in her bonnet. When the deep need to create goes haywire I feel so disappointed with myself for forcing a project that is screaming to me to stop pushing so hard. One day we need to post all of the flops… good ideas that weren’t so great. I sure would feel a lot better. You nailed it with the advent wreath- beautiful! But admitting that you can get crazy in the creative moment made my day!

  13. Karen U

    Just three little things….
    First, I adore your natural take on holiday decor! It’s absolutely stunning!
    Second, you opened the door, now you have to go through it and tell us about your ribbon and shears! Inquiring minds want to know! 😉 (just kidding…. no I’m not….)
    Three, I’m spying whatever gorgeousness you’ve created on your chandelier! I’ve tried to do something like that so many times and I just can’t pull it off! Might you do a little tutorial or instructional on obtaining that look? I’m desperate to know how!

  14. Tracy

    Where do you get your moss and greenery? I want to copy this look using cups and a pedestal that I have. Thanks!

  15. April

    Seems like all the European Advent wreaths use white candles too, so you are just honoring your heritage. 🙂

  16. Anne

    Beautiful ,inspirational and so inviting ….I love all your creative ideas and they are so easy to adapt! Thank you for all you do for us…you are the best ! Marian …Would you ever consider coming to the Brimfield Fair in Massachusetts ??? Merry Christmas ! Anne

  17. Anonymous

    It’s very pretty BUT…..????There is a REASON they are purple and pink!! Tossing the sacred meaning aside is like saying “I know the Bible is traditional but it’s just not my thing. I prefer the simplicity of Dr. Seuss instead”. To each his own when it comes to taste in decor but please realize Advent is not all about decor….not even remotely!! Purple signifies penance and the rose color symbolizes the joy the Church feels at the thought of the approaching feast.

    • Miss Mustard Seed

      I see what you’re saying, but I have to very respectfully disagree. I wouldn’t put the color of advent candles on the same level as scripture. I wouldn’t ever throw out one word of the Bible and deciding to use white candles might be against tradition, but it isn’t against God’s word. Advent wreaths weren’t used until the 16th century.

      I love the idea of them…a celebration of the weeks leading up to Christ’s birth. I think that is what’s important. Not the color of the candles.

      Thanks for sharing, though! 🙂

      • Tracy


      • Anonymous

        I see your point. Perhaps my analogy was slightly extreme. My point, however, was just to say that the colors actually have meaning and are meant to cause us to reflect on certain aspects of this holy season. Unfortunately some people do not realize that.

        • marian

          Oh yes, I agree with you. We are so hyped on materialism that I think it’s easy to get distracted from why Christmas matters. I agree that it’s important to take the time to reflect and to, especially, teach our children what Christmas-time is all about.

  18. PJ

    So pretty! Thank you for the inspiration. I have a cobalt blue glass cake pedestal that is about to be transformed! Have a wonderful weekend!

  19. Sheran Steading

    Perfect. Absolutely perfect.

  20. Kay

    Blue candles are traditional for Advent and would work beautifully with your decor. A white candle, the Christ candle, is placed in the center from Christmas Eve to Epiphany. The pink is the Mary candle–Protestants call it the rose candle–and, if you are a Protestant, is unnecessary. Blue has displaced purple in many churches because, although Advent is a penitential season, it’s not quite the same as Lent, and deep blue is the color of heaven, from which Jesus came.

    • Anonymous

      I am Catholic and can tell you this tradition (Advent and the advent wreath) started in the Catholic Church and while we honor Mary and respect her greatly, the pink candle has nothing to do with Mary. It represents Gaudete (joy) Sunday, the fact that we are feeling such JOY that the long awaited Messiah’s birth is very near. I am sorry Protestants feel that Mary is “unnecessary”……I mean, WOW, if it weren’t for Mary, where would we be???!!?

      • Tracy

        I love to hear about all the traditions. I don’t celebrate Christmas as a religious holiday. I am thankful daily for the birth of Christ. And I celebrate his triumphant victory over death each Sunday when I take communion. We’re all so blessed to have the freedom to share, even on a decorating blog!

      • Kay

        Mary isn’t unnecessary!! I can see how you got that impression from what I wrote, but I didn’t intend it. I’ve heard Catholics call it the Mary candle–sorry I got that wrong. The reason the rose candle is unnecessary is that it is not used in all Protestant liturgical churches. Some use it, some don’t. Our church goes either way, depending on the candles we have in stock.

  21. Patricia

    beyond charming!

  22. Kathleen

    BEAUTIFUL! & I think ” JUNIPER” could be a great color and name for a MMS Milk Paint…??

  23. cris

    Yes, this is a design blog. Lovely and inspirational Marian.

  24. Lauren

    Oh this is just so lovely! What a beautiful idea! Thank you so much. The natural juniper, nuts, and berries just looks so seasonal and fresh.

  25. Lisa

    Beautiful. But, you cannot tease us like that! When can we please see what you’ve done to your chandelier??? From the little bit I can see, it looks gorgeous.

    Do you buy your greens, or do you cut them from your yard/garden? I bought myself a holly bush this year, and plan to replace the shrubbery I don’t like with evergreens I can borrow from around the holidays. I’ll let you know how that works out.

  26. anneb

    love, love! And you and Kim from Hunt & Host have inspired me to shop my yard like never before! Thank you friend!!
    Sooooo … I found juniper and pine along the back fence of our property and it has graced thanksgiving gift bouquets, a wedding, a bridal breakfast and now, my Christmas-clad home! Snip, snip ❤️❤️
    Keep inspiring!

  27. B Folk

    Marian, your blog seems to have a following of loving, respectful readers who do not degenerate into posting insulting comments, as on some other blogs. It is due to the tone set by you, Marian! Thank you for being a light in this dark world, following the example of our Savior, Whom we celebrate every day of the year, and Whom we especially celebrate (with our own man-made traditions, each to his own) at this special time of year.
    “anneb”, love your comment about shopping your yard! Last year, I used downed branches from the ornamental plum outside our balcony to make a Christmas card tree. The plum-red color went perfectly with my other, “forest-y” Christmas colors.

  28. Vicki K

    Dislike posting this on such a lovely and beautiful MMS blogpost, but we live with asthma and allergies, and juniper and cedar are HUGE allergens. Our throats close up or we start to have a dry cough. So if you or your child has asthma or allergies, I would concentrate on HOLLY bushes with red berries (pick them off if red won’t do), and leave the juniper and cedar alone. Holly is an evergreen and its leaves are deep green and glossy, very pretty in winter with white. Ok, a caring hint from a very sincere MMS fan. 2. I am Catholic too, and although the candle colors do mean something, I don’t see why you can’t use white candles if you want — it’s the meaning of lighting another one each Sunday in Advent that brings us closer to the Christ candle — I would make it another neutral color to distinguish it from the others – however, that’s just me.

    • marian

      Oh, I didn’t know that! It doesn’t seem to be a problem for my family, but a good thing to make note of.

  29. Lauren Baxter

    So pretty and timeless 🙂 I love it! On a side note I am CRUSHING on your topiaries there’s something about them that I just cant get enough off

    Lauren Baxter | Lovely Decor


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Marian Parsons - Miss Mustard Seed

I’m Marian, aka Miss Mustard Seed, a wife, mother, paint enthusiast, lover of all things home and an entrepreneur, author, artist, designer, freelance writer & photographer.  READ MORE to learn more about me, my blog and my business…


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