Friday, December 13, 2013

St. Lucy's Feast day tutorial for the candle wreath, Star Boys, and preparing for our celebration.

  It is customary in Sweden for St. Lucia's Feast day that the eldest daughter don a white dress with a red sash and place a holly crown with candles on her head. Her two brothers- the Star Boys, escort her with star hats and a star around the house, serving hot drinks and delicious cat buns (or a donut in our case) to family members before the sun is up. For those who don't know Lucia saved Sweden's people from a famine- she came to them after her martyrdom in Italy- the podcast of the book tells the story- I posted yesterday.
  For St. Lucia's Day you don't need to go far to get a costume ready. Genna and I made one stop at the Walmart craft department and found everything I needed to get the kids costumes. Here's what we came up with. (Oh her white gown is the white t-shirt I sewed for Knox's St. Patrick's day costume. I just bought red ribbon to be a sash around her waist.)

 I purchased everything at Walmart at some point or had it previously from Walmart.
10 inch foam disk (craft section of Walmart)\
large piece of green felt
12 inch craft dowel rods of various sizes
holly vine/leaves
holly berrys
wide red ribbon
craft paint- white
yellow and orange felt- individual sheets sold in craft section
yellow foam
white foam board by Elmer's Glue
white poster board
yellow glitter
spray glue
hot glue gun

I measured Genna's head first with some paper strips. 

I used that for a guide to cut the center of the foam out.

Go small at can't make errors on this one.

I took the ten inch foam disk and cut the middle out and shaved it to fit her head. I used a serrated steak knife.. lol use what's easiest for you.

I then cut a 18 x 18 piece of green felt out. This will wrap around your foam.

Draw a circle in the middle on the green felt- it's a guide so err on the side of caution and make it smaller than your center ring. Mine was just over 3 inches.

Cut out the green felt circle- below.

Snip towards the foam keeping the foam ring in place. This will make it easier to lift and glue the felt.

Snip all the way around and start gluing to the foam. Do this all the way around. Then you start gluing up the outside of the ring. Snip and fold the felt around the outside.

Snip and fold outside felt as you go, gluing it down to keep it in place. It doesn't need to be pretty you will be covering it with leaves soon.

More snipping and gluing felt around outside. When you are done it will look like the picture below.

Turn the wreath over.

(See above) I marked "X" where I wanted to place a dowel rod candle stick. So mark out those places. I had six.

Don't worry we will cover the candles below...keep scrolling down.

Cut slits at the places you marked with an X - keep them small. Felt stretches and you don't want white foam showing.

Pull apart your leaves including the little plastic part in the center as seen below.

Start gluing your leaves to your wreath. Remember not to cover your candle holes.

Finish your leaves all the way around the wreath with hot glue.

Next (below) we will start the candles for the sake of organization of my photos. I bought the pack of dowel rods of various sizes in the craft department. They were 12 inches long, so I cut 4 inch candle sticks from them. I chose the fat sticks out of the package.

Paint them white

Next cut out little flames from yellow and orange felt. You need two of each per candle stick- so 12 total for 6 candles.

Glue the little flames together and onto the stick.

Glue a flame to each side and make them wrap around the sides of the candle as much as possible.

When they are finished they should look like this below.

I purchased some holly berries at Walmart too- see the next photo below, so if you want to stop here, there are the rest of the directions below.

Put the candles into the candle holes of your wreath. Insert them through the foam- don't push too deep, stop after they initially feel like they broke the surface. Then take them out again, squirt hot glue carefully into the holes and reinsert the candles. I faced my flames outward.

Take the holly berry's self adhesive strip apart and squirt hot glue onto it. and place them randomly into the leaves. I put my candles in afterwards.

For the Star Boys, I used the Elmer's Glue Foam board- its with the poster board.

I cut and traced stars and glued glitter on them.

Kids love glitter.

I just taped two of the dowel rods from the pack I bought onto the back of the foam board stars.

Then I made the Star Boy hats out of regular poster board. I traced and cut out stars from yellow foam and glued them onto the hats. I didn't go all out because I am pretty sure they will be destroyed quickly since they are flimsy.

Purchase some donuts, or make something nice to eat and have your kids serve it with hot chocolate (what you made on St. Nick's feast day) or coffee or tea. If your not tired of cooking for Feast Days by now ;) there are some good recipes out there- check Catholic Cuisine. There is a recipe for cat buns in the book we read as well as a song for St. Lucia's Feast Day in the back. We will be trying it tomorrow on the piano. You can Google search too- I saw plenty of recipes you can make ahead and thaw out. It is a Swedish custom so you might find a page that needs translation too.

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