The Jesse Tree is an Advent tradition that we haven’t really done much in the past. We’ve tried kits and gotten about a quarter of the way through (I found that one in a box recently when we moved!) and often had hopeful plans for something that never materialized. But this year, in our new home, with no toddlers or babies (our youngest is turning four and most certainly not a baby or toddler anymore –just ask her), I thought we’d give it a try.
Knowing our history for make as you go crafts I decided to come up with something simple and pre-made that we would easily be able to stick with each day. So I made ornaments with the day, the theme name and the Scripture verses citations. They are dated starting with December 1st. This year that means that we won’t start our Jesse Tree until a few days into Advent. That’s fine with me as we will be starting the first Sunday of Advent with our wreath anyway.
There are 24 ornaments including the 7 O Antiphons and I’m offering them here in one downloadable PDF file: JesseTree
Here’s how I put mine together:
I printed out two sets of each onto photo paper. Regular paper or card-stock works just fine but the photo paper adds some gloss.
I trimmed them into the circle because I knew I needed to be able to get close to the center with my circle punch.
Using my 2 in. circle punch I punched out both sets. This squeeze punch (Fiskars) is super easy to use. Even my 4 yr. old can work it.
They weren’t all perfectly center but that’s fine.
Next I glued the matching sides together. I have found a glue stick to be the best choice here as other glues tend to have too much water and can make spots on the front of the ornaments –especially if you print them on an inkjet printer.
In between each layer I placed a purple ribbon.
Using a glue stick not only avoids spots but also allows for positioning.
**Here’s a tip for working with the ribbons; glue them together first (I used tacky glue) and pin them to a piece of styrofoam to dry.
I set some weight on the ornament while the glue dried. I use 2 inch washers as sewing weights so they were perfect for this project but you can use anything.
For the O Antiphons I used gold ribbon (since they are the “Golden Nights”).
And gold tassels taken from a piece of drapery trim.
I glued them together.
I weighted and waited. 🙂
You’ll notice that my circle is somewhat crooked. I’m OK with that because I truly believe that having them completed is better than having them perfect!
A blessed Advent to you and yours!
*The Jesse Tree is an Advent teaching tool and liturgical year activity that is a private devotion. It is not required for a successful or holy Advent.
Update 11/28/12: There was an error on the December 8th ornament (the readings were the same as Dec. 7th –whoops!). It is fixed now and reflected in the current download. If you already downloaded and printed the ornaments you can download just the fix here.