The Advent Spiral: A New Way to Mark Time

This year for Tri-Saints Lutheran Parish, I decided to do a take-home for families that would be a combination Advent Wreath and Advent Calendar.  I have never found an Advent Wreath that looked good when I tried to make it myself (plus, I always have trouble finding blue candles that don’t have a scent), and every Advent Calendar I have ever tried took years to complete because of the sheer number of days in Advent.  I was intrigued by this picture that I found online:

However, I am not a woodworker.  So, I came up with an Advent Spiral like this:

Advent Spiral

The blue dots are the days of Advent, the stars are the Sundays in Advent, and the candle in the middle is Christmas Day.  You use the blue marble to mark the days through Advent to Christmas.  You will see in the picture that there are two dots before the first star.  That’s because the number of days of Advent varies based on what day of the week Christmas Day falls on.  This year (2015), Advent is two days shorter than the longest length that the season could possibly be.  The stars are fastened down with Glue-Dots so that they can be moved each year depending on the length of the season.  Sneaky, huh?

If you are a member of Tri-Saints, wait until the first Sunday in Advent; I have made 16 of these already, and you might be able to get one of them.  I will give them to families with children first, and then other families as I have supplies remaining.

If you are not a member of Tri-Saints, here’s how to make one for your family!

Supplies Needed:
1- 6.5” wooden circle (I got them from Wal-Mart and Michael’s)
A small container of wood stain in English Chestnut
A marking template (download yours here:  Advent Spiral Template)
A pencil
1- .5” foam spouncer (I got it at Wal-Mart)
Blue craft paint (I used Apple Barrel Gloss “Real Blue”)
4- .75” wooden stars (I got them at Michael’s)
A small paint brush
Gold craft paint (I used Folk Art Extreme Glitter in gold)
Glue Dots
1 tea light or 1 LED tea light
1 set of Velcro dots (if using an LED tealight)
1 blue or clear flat-sided marble.

1.  Stain the wooden circle.

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2.  Print the marking template. Punch out the dots on the template.  Lay it on the circle and lightly mark the dots with your pencil.


3.  Using the spouncer dipped in a small amount of blue paint, make a dot over each pencil mark. I lightly touched the spouncer to the surface and gave it a quarter turn “swirl” to make an evenly round dot.

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4.  Paint the stars gold.


5.  When everything is dry, attach the stars to the correct dot with a Glue Dot. If you are using a real candle, attach it in the same way.


6.  If you are using an LED candle, attach one side of the Velcro Dot to the center of the circle. Attach the other side to the bottom of your candle.  Now, you can remove it to turn it on and off!


7.  Attach the instructions for set up and use, found below, to the back of the spiral so that you can remember how to use it from year to year.


Wait for Advent to begin! I will be providing weekly prayers for you to say as you move the marker each day on Tri-Saints Lutheran Parish’s Taking Worship Home website:  A blessed Advent to you and yours!

Advent Spiral 2015
Tri-Saints Lutheran Parish
Byron and Hardy, NE
Pastor Breen Marie Sipes

To Set Up This Advent Spiral:
Find out what date the first Sunday in Advent will be this year.  Count backwards from the center, starting with December 24 to find the first dot you will use this year.  Use a Glue-Dot to attach the first star on that dot (First Sunday in Advent).  Count forward 7 and place another star (Second Sunday in Advent). Count forward 7 and place the 3rd star (Third Sunday in Advent). Count forward 7 and place the last star (Fourth Sunday in Advent).

To Use This Advent Spiral:
Use the flat-sided marble to journey along the spiral inward to Christmas.  Begin on the first Sunday of Advent, and reach the center candle on Christmas Day.

Find two more ways to use this spiral on my Good God Ideas blog:

Advent Spiral Praying in Color:

Advent Wall Spiral:


11 thoughts on “The Advent Spiral: A New Way to Mark Time

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