the ring mold advent wreath is back | christmas decorating

by | Nov 29, 2021 | All Things Home, Decorating, Holiday, Winter | 18 comments

Back in 2014, I had the idea to make an advent wreath out of an antique ironstone ring mold I found at an antique store.  It was one of my favorite unconventional Christmas decorating ideas and is still one of my favorites to this day.  You can find the original post about the ring mold advent wreath HERE.

ring mold advent wreath | Christmas decorating | miss mustard seed

I have done a few other ring mold advent wreaths since, but a couple of years ago, the first year we had the cats, Esmé picked my wreath apart.  She preferred the “deconstructed look” over something that was too put together and intentional.  So, it hasn’t made an appearance since.  It felt like a losing battle and one that I didn’t want to fight.

Well, yesterday, on the first Advent Sunday, I really wanted to set up my ring mold advent wreath again.  So, I decided to give it another try and, this time, I would endeavor to outsmart the cats.  I told Jeff what I was doing and he said, “Yeah, you do that.”  I heard a hint of skepticism in his voice…

In previous years, I have affixed the candles to the ironstone ring mold just by melting the candle wax and sticking them to the base.  While it does help them sit upright, they can fall over if knocked, so this year, I brought out the big guns.  The hot glue gun to be specific.  I hot glued the candles in place and now they are more secure.

ring mold advent wreath | Christmas decorating | miss mustard seed

I also usually tuck the greens in place (live greens in the past), but I have learned that I can’t use live greens in this house.  Even after we installed a whole-house humidifier, it’s still too dry.  So, I’m using snippets of a mix of artificial greens, some foraged pinecones, and walnuts in the shell.  And, while the hot glue gun is out, I’m going to glue everything in place.

ring mold advent wreath | Christmas decorating | miss mustard seed

And we’ll see how the ring mold advent wreath fairs.  It did survive the night, but many decorations have survived the night only to show up outside our bedroom door just a few days later.  They managed to pull a wool star garland off the dining room mirror and drag that up the stairs a couple of nights ago!  If they drag the whole ring mold up, then I will simply be impressed and acknowledge that my cats are, indeed, smarter than I.

Until then, I’ll be hopeful that their catnip mice and “crunchy balls” will keep them entertained and away from my ring mold advent wreath.

ring mold advent wreath | Christmas decorating | miss mustard seed

Speaking of keeping the cats away, I did spray the bottom of the Christmas trees with a deterrent and that seems to have worked.  It’s a citrus-based spray and it has prevented them from chewing on the lights and messing with the tree.  They’ll still bat off an ornament or two, but I feel like it’s minimized the risk of a smashed bulb in a kitty mouth or worse.

Cats keep you on your toes.  Although, we lucked out with these two.  While they are playful and mischievous, they are not generally destructive.

As a precaution, I did put the ring mold advent wreath on an antique breadboard instead of the ironstone cake stand.  While I love it on the pedestal, if the kitties do get any ideas, I wouldn’t want the prize of my ironstone collection to be the casualty.  (You can read all about ironstone HERE.)

ring mold advent wreath | Christmas decorating | miss mustard seed

I lit one candle yesterday for the first Sunday of Advent and it reminded me of when that was done in church when I was a child.  A family would read a passage and light one of the candles each Sunday.  I always loved that tradition.  Along with Advent calendars, too.  Even though my boys are teenagers now, they made sure I was going to put the advent stockings out.  (As I was looking for a post to share about the advent stockings, I realized I’ve never done a post specifically on them.  I will fix that this year!

ring mold advent wreath | Christmas decorating | miss mustard seed

I do have a wood and marble pedestal that I might try putting the ring mold advent wreath on if it survives the week.  Fingers are crossed!

ring mold advent wreath | Christmas decorating | miss mustard seed

Even though it was just me in the dining room, lighting the candle for a few minutes, it was nice to slow down and remember why we do all of the decorating, baking, gifting, and events.  It’s easy to lose sight of that in all of the distractions.

ring mold advent wreath | Christmas decorating | miss mustard seed

While setting up the table to take the picture, I tucked the gold mistletoe I bought from an artisan in Florence (you can read about that HERE) into a stack of napkins.  Even when I bought it, I wasn’t sure how I would display it.  There really isn’t a way to hang it as an ornament or anything, but it’s perfect tucked into a piece of twine and brass jingle bell.

Christmas decorating | miss mustard seed

If you’re inspired to make a ring mold advent wreath, you can really use any kind of ring mold.  I think a fluted aluminum one would be lovely or copper!  You can find some great vintage ring molds on Etsy and eBay.  I linked a few possibilities for you…

(PS – I have since cleaned up those pesky glue gun strings!)




  1. Carswell

    You are a braver woman than I Marion – I would hesitate to use hot glue to place a candle, especially in a crazed vintage dish like your lovely ring mold. Instead of using hot glue for the candles, or even melted wax, there’s a product that I’ve used for years to anchor candles in place.

    There are a variety of makers but the one I use comes in a small tin – it is very soft wax that never hardens and acts as a glue to hold candles in problematic holders or containers. You just roll the base in the soft wax to pick up enough to anchor your candle. Just google “adhesive candle wax” and a variety of brands will pop up.

    I can identify with your adventures with your cats – I adopted a pair of six month old siblings back in the spring and it has given me a new appreciation for the curiosity of young cats. LOL. I’ve had older ones for so long that I had become complacent about some aspects of my decor. Like yours – these two are not inherently destructive, just curious and energetic.

    • Marian Parsons

      Oh, I’ll have to look into that for next time! I used hot blue because there was already wax all in the ring mold from previous uses and I know the hot glue can be removed along with the wax. The product you mentioned sounds better, but this one can be undone as well. 🙂

  2. Babs

    There is a product called “Museum Putty” that all cat staff (there are no cat owners!) should have in their collection. It is removable, too, which should help your ironstone. The cats are, of course, adorable and you are so sweet and gentle with them. They are lucky, indeed, to live with you and your family.

  3. Erin

    So, I’m drooling, I just think this is beautiful. May I ask where you got the brass bells? They really caught my eye.

    • Joelle

      They are from I already ordered some! They were featured on a post she did a few days ago.

  4. Mia

    Command strip/pieces to secure the base to the table, the ironstone to the base might work. I’d select the heavy-weight option of command strips to offset overly nocturnal felines perhaps delighting in too much fun (destruction). The same technique might apply inside the ironstone without harming the glaze or piece itself.

  5. Sandy

    It looks so lovely. That one lit candle is inspiring reminding me to thank the Lord for His sacrifice for me. Here’s hoping the kitties decide to leave it all together and not “deconstruct” it, like you said. Haha

  6. Ann

    You do know that if the earth were flat cats would have pushed all loose things off!

    • Carswell

      LOLOLOL. Ain’t that the truth.

    • Sharon Rexroad

      I always say that the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is the cat of the dog world. My Sophie has pushed waaaay too many dishes off the edge of the fireplace where I tend to put them if I’m in my recliner. Maybe if I got up and put them in the dishwasher immediately…nah, defeats the purpose of the recliner!

  7. Mary B

    I have always loved your ring mold advent wreath and have tried to copy it. It is good to see it again. Wish I could find an antique ring mold…must keep looking! Happy Holidays and thanks for reminding us what the season is really about!

  8. Deborah D

    Love, love, love you ironstone advent wreath. Maybe you can try spritz it like you did the tree. I waiting to see where you got the bells too.

  9. Leone

    We still did Advent in our church yesterday. The first candle is Hope- as Jesus is the Hope of the world. It is good to see a younger family celebrating some of the old traditions and this year it is right in line with your classic Christmas theme. This is lovely. I have used museum putty successfully for years.

  10. Addie

    You need “Scraminal” !!!! It is a small battery operated alarm. You could place it at the doorway and pretty much one time and they will not repeat!!!! It has been so many years ago that I bought it that I can’t even remember. I am sure it is still around. I even used it when deer were eating my roses….they never came back!!!!
    I was shocked that you used hot glue in the antique mold!!! You can use a product called “Quake Hold”. It is designed to hold valuables on shelves during an earthquake. It is probably sold online. It really works. Holds things in place but doesn’t leave a mark. It is a putty like product.
    The wreath is beautiful!!!!….as always!

  11. Connie

    Our church has that tradition too. Our girls were so thrilled when our family was chosen to do the reading one year.

    And cats … I put a small tree on our dining table with vintage balls and antique linens tucked at base. At night the cat bats off ornaments and bats them around and pulls out runner. Have had a few casualties of ornaments. I put it up yesterday and she has not yet discovered it but it is only a matter of time.

  12. Cynthia

    The reason for the season… I love how you are able to find artificial greens that look so real. Perhaps it’s the separating and mixing of them. Your Advent wreath is lovely~ and very calming indeed.

  13. Karen B.

    The story of your cats made me laugh. When I was first married dried flowers were in style and I had a lovely arrangement for our dining room. My husband bought me a darling Himalayan kitten. The kitten proceeded to eat the dried flowers until I had to throw the arrangement in the trash. Haha.
    Good luck with your advent arrangement.

  14. Melissa

    I had to chuckle when I saw the plastic lid that your glue gun was resting on. I keep my ‘gun’ in a plastic tub and use the lid just like that.


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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