Back in 2013, I was at the park with my good friend Melinda, and we were talking about ways to celebrate Advent and bring more faith – and less commercialism -to Christmas. We decided to get together, and make some Jesse Tree ornaments – it was a wonderful chance to share a cup of tea, sew, and share faith.
Today, I’m honored to share the evolution of our project: “Our Family’s Jesse Tree”. This printable eBook contains over 80 pages of detailed ornament templates, daily scripture readings (with links to full text), devotions, and family-friendly activities inspired by the scripture. At the end of the book you’ll find instructions with photos on how to create the tree as well – because what good are ornaments without an adorable tree to hang them on? (A huge thank you to Melinda, who wrote and donated the daily “Opening Activity”, “Jesus Connection”, and “Prayer” – I couldn’t have done this without you!)
The book is broken up into four key areas: (1) “Before You Start”: provides you with context and background, (2) “Gather Your Materials”: suggests six different ways that each ornament can be made, depending on your level of craftiness and age, (3) Days 1-25: consists of three pages per day for each day of Advent, and (4) “Making the Tree”: instructions with photos for making the felt tree.
The 25 “days” are broken into three pages per day. The first page contains activities, suggested Bible readings, a summary (takeaway) of the readings, a tie-in of the story to Jesus, and a short prayer. You can pick and choose which of these activities are best for your family, as well as supplement or change the readings. The second page has the materials you will need to make the ornament; each is a hyperlink to Amazon where you can purchase any materials you may be missing.* Below the instructions is a photo showing the final hand-stitched ornament. The third page has – at the top – a coloring sheet which is perfect for crayons, colored pencils, paints, markers, or any other medium you choose. Below that are the templates for printing and cutting should you be making the ornaments from construction paper, card stock, craft foam, or felt.
What makes this book different than other Jesse Tree ornament patterns is not only the wealth of activities and devotions for each day, but the option for families to make a Jesse Tree ornament that fits their needs. Are you super crafty? Ornaments can be cut from fabric and hand sewn with the included patterns. Want to work on scissor skills with your children? Use the templates to cut pieces from craft foam or construction paper, and glue together. Have younger children who love crayons? Use the daily ornament coloring sheet – and then laminate it to preserve it for years to come. Not a crafter at all? No problem – cut out the ornament photo, laminate, and call it a day!
You can download “Our Family’s Jesse Tree” book through Craftsy or Etsy. Pick the platform that’s easiest for you! I would love to see the Jesse Tree ornaments you make – send me a photo or post to the comments below. If you’re on Instagram or Facebook, share your photos with the hashtag #ourfamilysjessetree so we can all connect and share our beautiful work. Wishing you all a faith-filled Advent and wonderful Christmas season!
We’ve created a partner product to go along with this beautiful family Jesse Tree: our Patchwork of Salvation book! Designed for women, this book aligns, day by day, with Our Family’s Jesse Tree and the Jesse Tree quilt. Learn more about this beautiful devotional here, or watch the short video below.
“Jen did a fabulous job of creating a family friendly Jesse Tree tradition with the freedom to go as simple or as advanced as you want!” – Rachel @ Efficient Momma
“This book is so much more than a DIY craft e-book; it is a beautiful resource that your family can come back to each Advent for activities, Bible readings, and prayers to go with your Jesse Tree.” –Gina @ Someday Saints
“Are you wanting to begin a new family tradition or do something different in your children’s ministry this Christmas season? Try a Jesse Tree using Our Family’s Jesse Tree from Faith and Fabric!” –Anne Marie @ Future Flying Saucers
“This fabulous book gives you plenty of options for creating your own adorable Jesse Tree, no matter how much time or craftiness you possess!” Lisa Healey @ Syncopated Mama
“In this easy-to-use book, Jen lays out engaging activities to draw in both children and parents, insightful reflections on how the Scriptures foretell Jesus’ saving work, and beautiful crafts to create your own Jesse Tree as your family prepares for Christmas.” Jess and Katie @ Sweet Little Ones
“My favorite element here might be the “Jesus connection” that highlights how this person or event is a part of Jesus’ fulfillment of scripture. What a great way to help kids understand salvation history and to link all those pieces together!” Rabia Lieber @ The Leibers
“All the Scriptural references and symbols are referenced and quoted and explained and the patterns are straightforward, simple…and super cute.” Monica McConkey @ Arma Dei: Equipping Catholic Families
“The Jesse Tree ornaments can be easily adapted…and there are remarkable templates for the days leading up to Christmas.” Robbie Schneider @ Use Resources Wisely
“Jen has provided those of us without a crafty bone in our bodies with a really great resource for starting a Jesse Tree tradition in our families with lots of helpful instructions, plenty of flexibility, activities, Scripture, and more for each day, and even a how-to on making our own Jesse Tree, not just the ornaments. Can’t wait to use it!” Kerri Baunach @ Journal of a Nobody & Catholic Sistas.
“I love that it goes through both the Old and New Testament weaving the story of God’s plan for salvation into an Advent study. I love that the kids can be a part of making and creating the Jesse Tree ornaments. They can color, they can cut out their ornaments, they can make them out of paper or felt, they can do the other little activity … all while learning the story of God’s love for us.” Sasha Mills @ Such A Time Blog
“I’m looking forward to incorporating this book into our season, and now that I have a beautiful set of patterns, we’ll be able to use them to the girls’ abilities over the years to come.” Annie Tillberg @ Annery at Home
“This book provides me with a beautiful and liturgically rich way to roll with the busy season and still keep our days rooted in Christ. I love the flexibility. I love the possibility.” Melody Lyons @ Blossoming Joy
Have you seen our beautiful in print devotional that accompanies the ornaments in this Jesse Tree? Such an enriching addition to your Advent journey.
Just for fun…this Jesse Tree Ornaments post links up at these great Catholic and quilting sites!
Oh Jen, your felt ornaments are super cute. How long did it take you to make each one? It looks difficult for those less crafty 🙂
It varies by how many times I restart 🙂 Usually each is about an hour or so..some, like the Coat of Many Colors or the Ark, were definitely twice as long!
Agreed! They are so cute! I would definitely buy them but don’t have the confidence in my crafty skills to attempt to make them! ha!
Shannon, the best part of this book is there are sheets you can have your children color – so no crafty skills required 🙂
Are you still planning on adding the missing pieces. I am going to start this project now for this year. I am so excited!!
Yes! I'm glad you're enjoying them! I'm working on the slingshot next, and am looking forward to sharing it soon!
Jessica Haney says
thanks so much for your blog, I am working on fixing the Jesse tree from when I was a kid and updating so that we have a 2 yr cycle. I am excited and your detail is the best I have found.
Jessica, thank you! I'm loving the way our tree is turning out!
Deanna Wall says
I am so impressed with your eBook! Congratulations! I can see that you have put a ton of work into it and have made it thoroughly useful to implement for every family! Wow! Great job!
Thanks, Deanna! A lot went into it, and it was truly a beautiful – and humbling – experience 🙂
Such a fun way to do advent! And the tree is beautiful!
Thanks, Jenny! Having the tree 3D makes it way more fun.
Emily, The Innovative Mama says
I love the felt ornaments! I am NOT a crafty person but stuff like this makes me wish that I was!
Emily, that’s what’s so nice about this – you can be ultra uncrafty and just print out the photos and laminate. Done 🙂
Beautiful and cute post.
Thanks, Gunjan. Appreciate your comments!
Kim @ This Ole Mom says
I am going to check your tree out I think my little boy would love it. I think it’s a beautiful Tree and great Advent idea. You should be so proud!
Emily, Our house now a home says
This is such a cute tree with s wonderful message!
Allison (funfamily.vacations) says
What a great E-Book! This would be a wonderful family project.
Amy @Planning Playtime says
What a neat idea! My family would love this.
Amy, I’d love to see how yours turn out!
Kyleigh Wegener says
This is so cute and such a great idea! I’m not a sewer, but ironically my husband is so I’m forwarding your blog post to him and telling him to get to work!
Kyleigh, I’d love to see how it turns out if he makes it! What a great husband – I don’t think mine wants anything to do with my sewing machine (though I love him anyway).
This is SO neat! I love this! I love Christmas but also dislike how commercialized it has become. This is a brilliant way to help kids get to know the Christ in Christmas!
Kalya, me too! In a strange way, I almost don’t like Christmas anymore…I don’t like what it’s become. We’ve been really working, as a family, to celebrate Advent as a preparatory (and not commercialized) time, and celebrate Christmas as Jesus’s birth. Small steps – but today, my son (age 4) saw some Christmas trees up and his VERY first comment was: “Mom! Look! They’re getting ready for Jesus’s birthday party!” So insanely cute 🙂
Jessica Kong says
I absolutely LOVE this!
Thanks, Jessica! I’m so glad!!
Marci Ferrell says
I finished the Jesse Tree Ornaments. Email me and I will share the ornaments on small video.
Marci, I’d love to see the video but I don’t know your email to reach out – please reach out to me at: faithandfabric
yahoo com. Thanks!
Believe it or not, I am looking at this for next advent and I’m wondering how much time I should anticipate needing to complete this before Christmas. I will have an 11 and 8 yo by that time and they could help cut and sew felt. I’m just wondering if we’d need to care out some time in November to ensure it got done before Christmas Day. I’d like to purchase all the materials and plans now and put it all away with this years decorations so that next year we can just open and go!
You can do it! It would be a wonderful way to teach your boys some basic sewing, too. Each ornament takes about 15-30min to make.
Thank you *so* very much for the share of Our Family’s Jesse Tree!