Jesse Tree

[Links to ornament patterns and tutorials are posted before each photo. Check out the tips and tidbits for making your own ornaments here and all Jesse Tree related posts here.]

Shopping list to make one yourself:
- Felt
- DMC embroidery floss
These are the colors I bought almost two years ago from ACMoore. Don't sweat if yours aren't exactly the same. I'm just trying to be specific for all the anal people (like me). You need one sheet (8 x 11 or whatever it is) of each color. Some you will use up. Others you will have a lot leftover.
the felt UPC and its color name as per the tag / DMC floss #
(first numbers of each felt: 0083110, last four numbers unique as follows)
2433 red / 321
2444 tangerine (orange) / 720
2411 yellow / 444
2437 militia (blue) / 825
2439 sky blue / (a blue to match. i can't find the number!)
2425 pirate (green) / 699
2416 lavender / 208
1843 cocoa (light brown) / 938
2440 brown (dark brown) / [no thread]
2445 black / 310
2415 grey / 535
2436 white / BLANC
2438 ivory / ECRU
- 3/4" round bead wooden balls. (3/person)
- spanish moss (or something like it for the manger)
- wooden toothpicks/sticks (I got ones that are bigger than toothpicks)
- twine
- cotton balls
- tan yarn (or whatever color you want for the lion's mane)
- silver Christmas balls from a dollar bin somewhere (for the globe. but you can easily just make a globe out of felt just like the apple and skip this, thus also skipping the blue, green, and white paint)
- acrylic paint: blue, green, red, white
- googly eyes
- wheat (in the fake floral section - it's not called wheat but it looks like dried grain shoot things. I'm totally failing to remember what it's called)
- embroidery needles, size 3-9
- paintbrushes (I got an assorted bag of 25 for $5 or something in the kids craft section of ACMoore)
- hot glue gun/hot glue sticks
- a bag of batting (a small bag is fine, not a sized one for a quilt, just a bag of loose "stuffing")

Other things you will need but probably don't have to buy because you should have them in your kitchen or somewhere:
- scissors
- coins to trace (quarter, dime, nickel, penny)

Also, if you don't already know stitches, practice this one before continuing.
Blanket stitch - tutorial here. You will use it on fourteen of the twenty-five ornaments (fifteen if you stitch the globe). One more thing, practice threading a needle with the embroidery thread. I was the official needle threader of our group. I never realized this was a gift until January of 2011.

My first tree attempt literally fell apart, I purchased this guy in 2011 from Crate & Barrel ($34.95). It's twelve inches in diameter and twenty inches high. Mine is a little crooked, but it just gives it character (and resembles my real Christmas trees that are almost always crooked).

I also like this one from West Elm ($39).

This one at Crate and Barrel (2014) looks fun, too (though pricier at $59.95).

I'll post my Jesse Tree: Celebration of Advent for you here along with the photo of its ornament (and link to the pattern to make it as I post them). I have a PDF without the photos, too:
Format is as follows:
date / topic / ornament (linked to tutorial) / scripture / The Jesus Storybook Bible chapter (page) if applicable

Here we go!

December 1 / Creation / globe / Genesis 1:1-2:3 / The beginning: a perfect home (18)

December 2 / Fall / fruit / Genesis 2:4-9; 2:15-3:24 / The Terrible Lie (28)

December 3 / Noah / rainbow / Genesis 6:5-8:22; 9:8-17 / A new beginning (38)

December 4 / Abraham / stars / Genesis 12:1-7; 15:1-6 / Son of laughter (56)

December 5 / Isaac / lamb / Genesis 22:1-19 / The present (62)

December 6 / Jacob / ladder / Genesis 28:10-22 / - - -

December 7 / Joseph / coat / Genesis 37:1-36; 50:15-21* / The forgiving prince (76)

December 8 / Passover / door / Exodus 11:1-10; 12:1-7, 12-13, 21-32 / God to the rescue! (84)

December 9 / Ten Commandments / tablets / Exodus 20:1-17 / Ten ways to be perfect (100)

December 10 / The Promised Land / grapes / Joshua 1:1-11; 6:1-21 / The warrior leader (108)

December 11 / Ruth & Boaz / wheat / Ruth 2; 4:13-17 / - - -

December 12 / David / horn of oil / I Samuel 16:1-13 / The teeny, weenie . . . true king (116)

December 13 / Josiah / scrolls / II Kings 22:1-13; 23:1-3, 21-23 / - - -

December 14 / Prophecy: Lion & Lamb / lion/lamb (two-sided) / Isaiah 1:1-10 / - - -

December 15 / Prophecy: Prince of Peace / dove / Isaiah 9:1-7 / Operation: "No More Tears!" (144)

December 16 / Prophecy: Suffering Servant / cross / Isaiah 52:13-53:12 / - - - 

December 17 / Prophecy: New Covenant / heart / Jeremiah 31:31-34 / - - -

December 18 / Prophecy: Bethlehem / city/star / Micah 5:2-4 / - - -

December 19 / Exile / fire / Jeremiah 7:1-15; II Chronicles 36:11-21; Daniel 1:1; 3:1-30 / - - -

December 20 / Habakkuk / watchtower / Habakkuk 1:1-2:1; 3:16-19 / - - -

December 21 / Return to the Land / wall / Nehemiah 1:1-2:8; 6:15-16; 8:1-12 / Get ready! (170)

December 22 / John the Baptist / honey / Mark 1:1-8; John 1:29-31 / Heaven breaks through (200)**

December 23 / Joseph / saw / Matthew 1:18-25 / - - -

December 24 / Mary / Mary / Luke 1:26-56 / He's here! (176)

December 25 / Birth of Christ / manger / Luke 2:1-20 / The Light of the whole world (184)

On Christmas Day, I should have something that looks like this.

Sometimes I include one or two isolated verses to help tie the entire covenant story together. I consulted a few Jesse Tree sources (and, of course, my Bible) to assemble these particular passages.

*The story of Joseph also includes Genesis 39-50, but I only listed some of the story for the sake of the littlest participants. I plan to incorporate more of the passages during this reading as my children get older.

**This is the story of Jesus' baptism, which is occurring in our Advent before Jesus is born. Oops. It's such a good story in the Jesus Storybook Bible, and it went with John the Baptist. Thus, I included it anyway. Sorry if your children are forever confused.

- - -

My girls are very excited about the ornaments. Lydia loves to play with them, and Heidi loves to eat them. Hopefully their enthusiasm carries over as they grow and learn to understand more of what this Jesse Tree means as we celebrate the season of Advent every year.

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Fine print:  If you are another blog wanting to do a blog post about this tutorial, please feel free to use whatever you would like with a link back to this post.  For those making items from this post, please do not copy/repost this tutorial and claim it as your own or sell it.  This tutorial is for personal use only.  If you would like to sell items made from this tutorial, please contact me, and you can purchase this tutorial with the permission to sell items made from this tutorial.  Copyright 2012.  All rights reserved.  


  1. Please forgive me for asking what may be an obvious question. But I've looked and haven't seen a pattern. Did you share or post the template/pattern for the ornaments? I also have to say that your ornaments are adorable! The cutest and best quality I've seen!

    1. click on the ornament title which will bring you to the blog post. and then below the picture of the ornament is the link to the ornament pattern. Let me know if you still have trouble finding them!

  2. Thanks so much for posting this! These ornaments are just beautiful. As I have no skill with needle and thread, my 5- and 8-year olds and I have used your templates to create ornaments out of Sculpey III. It took just about all I had to let them in on the project, because I was really getting into it! Blessings to you and your family.

    1. that's so awesome! i'd love to see a photo of them if you care to share. i'm putting together a post of my friends' ornaments and trees. it's so fun to see where people's creativity takes them! just email me the photo if you want at danielle (dot) moyer (at) gmail (dot) com

  3. Thank you for the fabulous instructions! I am working through making these as we go this advent. We are having trouble seeing the connection between the grapes and the scripture passages for December 10. Can you offer any insight? Thank you!

    1. Also, i think there is a typo on December 14, i believe the verses should be Isaiah 11:1-10. At least those verses make more sense with the ornament. :)

    2. (I thought I replied to this when you asked, but I don't know what happened! I'm so sorry!) In Numbers 13, Moses sends the spies to the Promised Land where they bring back a cluster of grapes (and pomegranates and figs) (13:23) - showing how the land was fruitful. I will edit the readings to include it! Thank you! (Or, I may alter the ornament. I'm making the ornaments again with friends, and I'm modifying some of the ornaments.)

    3. and, yes, it is Isaiah 11. I thought I already edited that one a long time ago. Whoops!


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