With the hustle and bustle of holidays all around us, it's important to find time to ground yourself and your children. In Waldorf tradition, the Season of Advent is one of reconnecting with the natural world. This advent calendar will help you mark the weeks leading up to Christmas by considering the beauty of stones, plants, animals and other human beings. You will create a peg doll gnome to represent each light of advent and a beautiful calendar to display them on.
What you need for the Advent Gnomes:
- Four small peg dolls
- Sheets of colorful wool felt
- Embroidery yarn
- Watercolors and a fine brush
- A black pen
- A hot glue gun and glue sticks
- Trinkets representing the four lights of advent
- Crystals, rocks or small fossils to represent the light of stones
- Small seed pods (e.g. cardamom) to represent the light of plants
- A small animal artifact (e.g. insect molt, shark tooth, feather) to represent the light of beasts
- A tiny beeswax candle
- 100% genuine beeswax coating and a cloth/paper towel
Craft Your Calendar
Obtain a set of small peg dolls. Use watercolors and a fine brush to paint your peg dolls in different colors (I chose purple, green, brown, and orange). You can also create a rainbow of skin tones by mixing different shades of browns. Set your painted peg dolls aside and let them dry for at least 30 minutes.
Use colorful wool felt to cut out four cone-shaped pieces of felt (you will need one cone-shaped piece per gnome). Each cone should be approximately 1-inch tall and fit snuggly around the head of a peg doll (width depends on peg doll’s size).
Perform a blanket stitch across the bottom curve of each cone-shaped piece of felt.
Now, fold a cone in half to reveal the shape of a pointy gnome hat. Perform a blanket stitch across the longest side of the cone thereby connecting the two open ends.
Use hot glue to attach the felt hats to your gnomes.
Add genuine beeswax to a piece of cloth and add a thin layer of beeswax to each of your peg dolls to preserve the color.
Use a fine, black pen to paint on the gnomes’ eyes.
Finally, use hot glue to attach little trinkets to each of the advent gnomes. One trinket for each week of advent.
If you do want to make a teeny tiny beeswax candle for your fourth gnome, use scissors to cut a toothpick in half. Dip the halved toothpick into melted beeswax until it is covered in a thin layer of wax. Let dry. Use hot glue to attach a tiny flame made from yellow wool felt (you can even paint the center of the flame orange using watercolors).
Waldorf Advent Calendar
- Printable advent calendar template
- Colored pencils
- Beeswax candle and four advent gnomes
- Optional: thermal laminator and laminator pouches
Print the advent calendar on regular printer paper or cardstock.
Color in the advent calendar using colored pencils.
Cut out your advent calendar.
Optional: Use a thermal laminator to laminate the calendar.
Set a beeswax candle in the center of the calendar. This candle will be lit each week.
Use a set of four beeswax tea lights OR a set of four advent gnomes to represent the four weeks of advent. Add another tea light or gnome with each consecutive week for a total of four lights.
Thank you to our guest contributor and friend, Franzi Shelton. Franzi holds a Masters of Education from UC Santa Barbara and is a secondary science teacher. She is also a mother of two wonderful children who creates the more inspiring Waldorf crafts, recipes and more on Instagram.