Last year we started the Jesse tree tradition, reading a Bible passage each day as we hung up a printable ornament.
This year the kids have enjoyed making homemade Jesse tree ornaments. The ornaments have been a fun way to teach kids about the Bible, and they look super cute, too.
These are DIY ornaments for the second half of Advent.
Homemade Jesse Tree Ornaments
Day 15: Today’s ornament is for David.
A lot of Jesse trees use a crown to represent King David, but one of my son’s favorite Bible stories is from before he was king.
We made a sling out of felt and yarn to represent David’s fight with Goliath (1 Samuel 17). Then we hot glued a crown on it made from a thin cardboard tube.
Day 16: Solomon was known for his wisdom. As a mother I am particularly fond of the story with the baby (1 King 3:16-28).
To create our ornament we used half a large craft stick. We drew a face on it and glued a felt blanket around the baby. Then we drew a line down it, as if cutting it into half.
Day 17: This day’s reading has to do with Elijah (1 Kings 18:30-46).
To make your ornament, cut a craft stick in half and hot glue the two pieces together.
Then take a red and a yellow pipe cleaner and cut them into 3 pieces. Bend the pieces into V shapes and hot glue them in the center of the sticks to form a fire.
Day 18: This reading tells about one of the great turning points in the history of Israel. (1 Kings 12; 2 Chronicles 10)
To represent the story of Jeroboam and Rehoboam we cut a castle shape from a piece of craft foam and then divided it with a jagged line to show how the kingdom was divided.
Day 19: The ornament for today is for Isaiah. One of the major themes in the book of Isaiah is that of a spiritual light. “The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of deep darkness a light has dawned” (Isaiah 9:2).
This ornament is super simple. Just cut a piece of pipe cleaner to form a candle and add a small snippet of yellow pipe cleaner for a flame.
Day 20: Today’s reading focuses on the prophet Jeremiah. Jeremiah is sometimes called the “crying prophet.” (Jeremiah 13:17 and Jeremiah 13:21).
To remind you of Jeremiah, make an eye out of felt and glue several tears to it.
Day 21: Instead of focusing on Ezekiel, like the Jesse tree schedule we are following says, we opted to read about Daniel and the Lion’s den (Daniel 6).
To make your own lion ornament, cut a mane from orange craft foam and glue a yellow lion face onto it. Make a body with 2 small, yellow pom-poms that have been glued together and add pipe cleaner legs and a tail.
Day 22: Today’s reading deals with John the Baptist(Matthew 3).
We chose water to symbolize John the Baptist. My daughter used a blue piece of felt and hot glued it into a shell, to represent the waters of baptism.
Day 23 and Day 24: (or do both for Day 23) Joseph and Mary were Jesus’ parents here on earth. To represent Joseph, who was a carpenter, make a small hand saw with a piece of cardboard and use aluminum foil to make the blade.
To represent Mary (Luke 1:26-38) cut a pipe cleaner in half and put 10 pony beads of one color onto it. Then add one different colored pony bead to it, twist the pipe cleaner into a circle and form a cross to make a mini rosary.
Day 25: (or day 24 if you don’t plan to do it on Christmas Day) The last ornament for the Jesse tree is Jesus.
You could make a cross to represent Him, but we decided to focus on his birth.
You can use half a craft stick to make a baby, just like the ornament for Solomon. We had a small baby Jesus given to us and we decided to use that, gluing a small felt blanket around it.
Decorating the Jesse tree with a new ornament each day of December is a simple way to keep the focus of Christmas where it belongs. These homemade Jesse tree ornaments help make the experience even more meaningful for kids.