Homemade Jesse Tree

I really like having a way to celebrate Christmas daily in December.  Lots of people use or create an Advent calendar.  A Jesse Tree is similar to an Advent calendar, but it serves its own purpose.

A Jesse Tree is a way to connect the story of the Israelites in the Old Testament with the coming of the Savior, Jesus Christ.  The name comes from Isaiah 11:1.

"A shoot will come  up from the stump of Jesse; 
from his roots a Branch will bear fruit."
You can purchase Jesse Tree kit, but I think these ornaments from Nicole at Tired, Need Sleep are wonderful to make a homemade Jesse Tree!  Nicole's ornaments are large, and worthy of a  place on a real tree.  I choose to alter her ornaments. Using my printer/copier/scanner, I shrunk her ornaments.  My ornaments are smaller, at just 2.5 inches, so I could make this portable Jesse Tree.   I also want to point out that I did make a few changes to the ornaments-pictures and Bible references.  I did that to match the Jesus Storybook Bible.  (I know Jonah is not in Jesus' lineage.  However, he is included here as God's messenger.)  

The front of each ornament uses a symbol to represent the portion of the story.  The back of the ornament states the day of the month, title and quick summary of the story, as well as a Bible reference.

To create the tree, I used the largest box in my home and made a triangle, 26 inches tall.  Then I covering it in green scrapbook paper.  (Wrapping paper would be just as effective, and possibly even better.)   I chose to use colored pencil to color the ornaments though markers would provide a bolder ornament.  (My children were young when I made this, and it was not an option for them to do the coloring.)  My ornaments are laminated for durability and hole-punched.  Each of my ornaments hangs from embroidery floss and tied on the back of the tree.
To add color and detail, I added buttons to hang the ornaments from.  Sequins or stickers would also be effective!  I used gold trim and silver ric-rac for more flare.  To do this, I first lightly drew lines with pencil every three inches, beginning at the two inch mark.  I used a cotton swab to add glue.  Then, I carefully placed the trimmings on the Jesse Tree, and used paperclips on the ends to secure the trimmings until the glue had dried.

I topped off the tree with a yellow star with a bit of gold glitter for embellishment.

I'll share more about our Christmas traditions in the future, but wanted to give you plenty of time to prepare your own Jesse Tree if you are interested!  This is definitely a favorite of our children!  They enjoy turning the  ornaments over each day of the month to present the next picture.

You could just print the ornaments and hang them on a potted branch for your tree!  Keep it as simple as you like! The link above is where I found the ornaments.

How do you teach your family about Christmas?

Be sure to check out our unique paper Christmas trees (or felt) and the build-your-own nativity printable!
~ Annette {This Simple Mom}


  1. Our Jesse Tree has Jonah in it as well. Even though he isn't in the lineage of Jesus, we focus on the sign of Jonah which Jesus speaks about in the gospels, and God loving all people, calling all to repent and believe.

    I love the look of your Jesse Tree and how easily you can take it with you. We are thinking of traveling this year in December and are saddened we won't be able to do every day of the Jesse Tree completely (I know the readings and devotionals are the most important, but we do enjoy physically adding the ornament each day).

  2. What a creative idea ! I always used Advent calenders, now of course the kids want chocolate in it !

  3. I love your homemade Jesse Tree! I've loved Tired Need Sleep's ornaments for years! I give them out every year to my Sunday School class.

    Oh, I'm doing an Advent post of all things Advent, can I share this?

  4. This is great, Annette. I love how clear and streamlined it is, both to look at and make. (your tree is lovely in its simplicity) The fact that it links to the Jesus Storybook bible is awesome. we usually take a break from our regular bible reading in December and read through the whole thing (i love that story bible)-- so this is absolutely do-able for us. I wonder if I could pull this together for this year? Every year I mean to...

  5. Beautiful! I love your version. I don't scrapbook, I sew, so my version is made entirely of felt because that's what we had on hand. Here is the link to my Etsy shop in case you or your readers want to check it out and/or make your own. I sell patterns and DIY Kits: http://www.etsy.com/shop/NavyMango?section_id=11775968 Merry Christmas!!! ~Lisa

  6. Annette, are you willing to share the changes you made to the ornaments? Is it just Jonah that is different from Nicole's (since I so like the idea of matching to the Jesus Storybook Bible...)?

  7. Jesse Trees are a fantastic way to keep Christ the focus of Christmas. I make felt sets of Jesse Tree ornaments. http://www.etsy.com/listing/109692943/jesse-tree-christmas-advent-felt-jesse

  8. For those of you with the same question as Sandra about the specific changes I made...would you contact me personally? I have contacted Sandy to answer her questions, but it is a bit more complicated than answering in the comments. :)

    thissimplemom at gmail dot com

  9. Thanks for sharing this wonderful idea. Wonderful way to keep focused on the reason for the season. :)

  10. Hey. New follower! So glad to have found your blog. I love this activity! I would like to invite you to come over, follow me back, and add this to my weekly Mom's Library Link-Up.
    Along with any other of your great posts.


  11. Hi, I'm a new follower from ABC and 123. I find this activity very intriguing! Our family enjoys learning about our Hebrew roots and I just think this is a wonderful way to incorporate that. I love the bible verses referenced. Thanks for sharing this.

  12. Thanks for sharing these wonderful ideas. : )

  13. Beautiful! We decided to start doing this this year! Thanks for sharing.


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