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.
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.
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.
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.
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.)
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!
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!
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.
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.
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!)