How to make an Advent wreath

Things you will need

Ring-shaped oasis.  These are available at a floral supply.  Before starting to make your wreath you will have to saturate this with water.

Plate.  The whole thing rests on a plate.  You will want to keep the oasis moist so that the evergreen branches won't dry out.  The plate keeps moisture (and melted wax) off your table.  Choose a color that goes with your design.

Candleholders.  (optional)  These are made especially for holding tall candles and being stuck in the oasis material.  Or, you can just stick the candles directly into the oasis.  If you are going to add the white Christ candle on Christmas Eve, you will need a separate free-standing candleholder to hold it.  It is placed in the center of the wreath.

Candles.  You need at least four candles, and traditionally these are either blue or purple, the colors for Advent.  You may substitute a pink (or "rose-colored") candle for one of the four.  If you use a pink candle you light it on the third Sunday of Advent, because the lessons appointed for this day are celebratory, and the pink color is for joy.  Often you can find candle sets that include one pink one and four purple ones.  It is also optional to add a fifth candle, white, to the center of the wreath on Christmas Eve.  If you want to continue using the wreath through the Christmas season, you can take out the four colored candles and replace them with white ones.

Evergreen branches.  You can use various kinds of pine, fir, cedar, or holly.  If you don't have your own tree you can usually get trimmings from a Christmas tree farm or buy them at a florist.

Floral pins.  These are available at a floral supply store and are used to hold the branches in place to form a nice round-shaped wreath.  If you can't find them you can use bobby pins instead.

Step-by-step instructions

1.  Moisten ring-shaped oasis and place on towel or plate.

2.  Insert four blue or purple candles (or substitute a pink candle for one of these four) into oasis-insertable candleholders.  Poke the candles into the oasis.  Or, if you don't want to use the special candleholders just carefully insert the candle bottoms directly into the oasis.  Try to get them standing straight as possible, not leaning.

3.  Arrange evergreens around wreath by sticking stems into oasis and using hairpins to shape into circle as necessary.  Add more decorative items if desired, like berries, ribbon, etc.

4.  Maintain moisture in the oasis by slowly pouring a little water onto it, or laying some ice cubes on the branches.  This will help keep the evergreens from drying out.

5.  Set aside the white candle(s) and extra candleholders to add on Christmas Eve.