Jesse Tree Ornament Craft

 What is a Jesse Tree? 

The Jesse Tree comes from Isaiah 11:1: “A shoot will spring forth from the stump of Jesse, and a branch out of his roots.”  We use our Jesse Tree to teach the children, during Advent, about the connection between the history of the Old Testament, the fulfillment of God’s promises, and the hope and faith we have in the second coming of Christ.

The actual tree can be store-bought, real, or a simple crafted one of brown paper, whatever floats your boat.

Handling a Jesse Tree Ornament Exchange:

  1. Start early.  In late October or early November, email your friends that you are hosting an ornament exchange. Why start so early?  People need time to make all the multiples of their ornaments and sometimes it is hard to get enough families together to do the exchange.
  2.  Divvy up the symbols to be made amongst the families participating.
  3. Establish a date for them to be exchanged.  A combination play date and pot-luck is fairly popular.
  4. If some of the children are old enough, they can present their family’s ornament to the group and explain its meaning. 
  5. During Advent, hang each ornament and read the devotional associated with it.  Click the link and scroll down the page for the devotionals and a listing of commonly used Jesse Tree symbols at Catholic Culture.

I drafted an outline of a saw, cut the handle of blue felt and the blade of grey felt.  I then sandwiched the piece of gross-grain ribbon for a hanger and zig-zag stitched the lot of it together.  The children used glitter glue from the Dollar Store to add their own personal touches.  For reference, my children are 7, 5, and 2.  In speaking to other mothers in our group, apparently this was supposed to be a mommy only craft, oops, so I’m hopeful that mine were well received. 

Here are the saws that my family assembled to make for our exchange:

Hard at work!
Saws to symbolize Joseph, the carpenter.
Our complete set of ornaments from the swap.

I will update with a picture of our completed Jesse Tree once I have all of the ornaments and the tree up.  As of this posting, it is mid-November, too early to have it out.


  1. Susan says

    I’ve never heard of a Jesse Tree, but what a lovely idea. Thanks for linking up at the Home for the HOlidays Link Party.

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