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How to Make a Jesse Tree

Note: After publishing this post, I wrote and shared a free Jesse Tree ebook.

As part of our simplified Christmas, Joe, Grace, and I have been decorating a Jesse tree.

Our Jesse Tree

Jesse Tree

How We Use the Jesse Tree Each Night

As I explained in my earlier post, the Jesse tree has become part of our nightly ritual. Each evening, before dinner, Grace helps me to light the candles in our Advent Wreath. We eat, and then Grace opens her Advent box.

jesse tree box

Grace picked this box at the craft store a few weeks ago. There were several different styles, but she wanted the one that had a family on the top. It has a Momma, a Daddy, and a baby gingerbread man.

The baby gingerbread man doesn't have a coat, and this distresses Gracie Anna.

Each night, Santa puts the next day's ornament and devotional into the box, along with three Dove Peppermint Bark candies.

Advent box for Jesse tree

When Grace opens her box, she distributes the candy to me and to Joe. She's never tried to keep it all for herself, a fact I find astounding. I struggle with sharing candy even today, and my 2-year-old passes it out like no big deal.

Anyway, after Grace passes out the candy, she gives Joe the ornament (and tells him where to hang it on the tree) and gives me the notebook. I read our Bible story from either our children's Study Bible or from my Bible (depending on whether the story is in the children's Bible or not, and whether the story in the children's Bible conveys the message that we want).

We say a prayer, eat our candy, and Grace blows out the candles.

Our Jesse Tree Ornaments

I made all of our Jesse tree ornaments. It's been a job, and I'm still not finished.

Nonetheless, I am happy with my obviously homemade and slightly kitschy felt-and-glitter ornaments. Here are the ones I've finished so far (in no particular order):

Jesse Tree Earth
Creation – Earth ornament
Noah and the Flood - Ark & Rainbow ornament
Noah and the Flood – Ark & Rainbow ornament
Joseph - The Coat of Many Colors ornament
Joseph – The Coat of Many Colors ornament
Isaac - Ram ornament
Isaac – Ram ornament
Isaiah - Rose ornament
Isaiah – Rose ornament
King David - Crown ornament
King David – Crown ornament
Daniel - Lion ornament
Daniel – Lion ornament
Hope - Watchtower
Hope – Watchtower
Rahab - Rope ornament
Rahab – Rope ornament
Ruth - Wheat ornament
Ruth – Wheat ornament
Moses - 10 commandments
Moses – 10 commandments
Abraham - Ten & Camel ornament
Abraham – Ten & Camel ornament
Sarah - Cradle ornament
Sarah – Cradle ornament
Adam & Eve and the Forbidden Fruit - Serpent ornament
Adam & Eve and the Forbidden Fruit – Serpent ornament
Jacob - Ladder ornament
Jacob – Ladder ornament
Samuel - Horn of oil ornament
Samuel – Horn of oil ornament
Jess - Tree stump ornament
Jess – Tree stump ornament

Obviously, these are in various states of completion. I'll add the rest as I get them done.

Jess Tree Resources Around the Internet

  • Simple Mom's post that started it all (no longer available)
  • Rocks in My Dryer used real items to make her ornaments (not felt like I did). Photos of her ornaments.
  • Tired, Need Sleep has a great Jesse tree PDF that I used to create most of my ornaments.
  • Almost all of the sketched Jess tree ornaments I've seen are based on sketches from the Reformed Church of America. Their daily Jesse tree devotionals are the best I've seen.

© 2009 – 2018, Tara Ziegmont. All rights reserved.

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31 thoughts on “How to Make a Jesse Tree”

  1. This is a really neat idea! As a homeschooling mom, I am always looking for neat way to teach.. I can see us adapting this to fit our needs – maybe have the boys make their own ornaments, etc.

    Thanks so much for linking this at 5 Minutes for Mom so that I could come across it!

  2. What a fun story! I love what you guys are doing, it's very special and great family time! Good job!

    Love the ornaments! You're very talented!

    Praying you and your family have a very Merry Christmas! 😉

  3. Start now. Or in January. The ornaments really have been time consuming. I've easily spent an hour on each one, so I'm really glad I started a few weeks ago.

    I still have a few to stitch and 6 or so to start.

  4. You are very welcome. I have seen a lot of people who simply printed the ornament patterns and let the kids color them on paper. You could punch a hole and string the colored papers up on the tree with a ribbon loop. Wouldn't the kids love that? Then, you could put their ornaments away and let them look them over year after year. I think that's awesome!

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