The Jesse Tree is a plan to walk through the Bible to see how everything is pointing to the promise of a Savior. (Read more about remembering Christ in Advent here).
There are 25 days (starting December 1st) and 25 corresponding Bible texts and ornaments to represent each text. It’s a really intentional way of remembering Christ everyday and developing a better appreciation for the great anticipation of His coming. Adults and kids alike learn to find Jesus more fully in the Old Testament as well as see afresh the world’s desperate need for the hope and help found in Christ.
Here are some resources to help you celebrate Advent through the Jesse Tree, and below you can find step-by-step directions to make a pocket Jesse Tree hanger for your wall that can be used year after year.
- My friend Anna‘s Jesse Tree Pinterest board is full of ideas for making each ornament
- How to use the Jesus Storybook Bible for each day’s devotional (with a printable reading plan)
- My Pinterest board with other ideas for displaying ornaments
- The Advent Jesse Tree: Devotions for Children and Adults to Prepare for the Coming of the Christ Child at Christmas
- Children’s printable coloring page Jesse Tree ornaments from A Holy Experience
- Lego Jesse Tree Challenge: We have never done this and I am quite certain we will not consistently do every one, but it could be a lot of fun to do sporadically!
- More Jesse Tree study resources and printable coloring page ornaments from Confessions of a Homeschooler
Jesse Tree Pocket Wall Hanger
- Large piece of fabric for back
- Coordinating fabric for front
- Iron-on fabric adhesive
- Bias tape (2 yards)
- Grommets or D-rings for hanging
1. Prepare pieced border.
From each of your five coordinating fabrics, cut 2 strips 4″ x 24″ long.
(Alternately, if you are using smaller scraps for this project, you can just cut your squares individually. You will need 58 4″ squares).
Line up the strips in the order you want them. Place the first two pieces right sides together and sew down one long side. Unfold and place the next piece on top, right sides together. Sew down the long side again. Repeat until all five coordinating strips are sewn together.
Open the seams and press with an iron.
Repeat for the second group of five coordinating strips.
Cut each panel into strips 4″ high. Set the strips aside.
2. Make the pocket panel.
Cut out a piece of fabric 23″ x 24″. This will be the piece to which you will attach the pockets.
Cut out 4 pocket pieces 9″ x 24″. These can be cut from the same fabric you used for the border or from another coordinating fabric.
Take one of the pocket strips and fold it in half width-wise. Press. Fold in each long edge 1/4 inch and press. Now the pocket piece has a folded edge on top and the bottom edge should have no raw edges showing. Repeat for the other three pocket pieces.
With the piece folded in half again, sew down the folded edge of each pocket piece, a quarter-inch from the edge.
Pin each pocket piece in place on the backing fabric. Start with the top pocket piece 2 inches from the top edge of the backing fabric. Then place the remaining pocket pieces on the backing with 1 inch in between. The pocket pieces’ folded edges should be the top edge.
Sew down the bottom edge of each pocket piece, 1/4 inch from the edge. The top edge should still be unattached.
Measure and pin where each pocket piece will be divided. Lay a ruler along each pocket piece and place a pin in the pocket in 4 inch intervals.
Sew down perpendicular to the pocket pieces along each line of pins, forming the pockets. Lift your needle up in between the pocket pieces and backstitch as you start again on each row.
Trim all the extra thread when you finish. The pocket panel is now completed.
3. Sew the front pieces together.
Cut out a piece 20″ x 24″ for the top panel where you will hang the ornaments.
Take the strips you sewed in step 1 for the border. You will need a row of eight squares for the top, the middle, and the bottom. If you sewed five strips together like I did (rather than sewing individual squares together), you will need to now make a strip of eight. Take one strip and remove two of the squares. Sew the remaining three squares onto a strip of five. Repeat this two more times so that you have three strips of eight squares.
Placing the right sides together, lay a strip of eight squares on top of the top edge of the ornament panel, (the 20″ x 24″ piece). Sew the pieces together with a half-inch seam.
Take the second strip of eight squares and lay it on the bottom edge of the ornament panel, right sides together. Sew the pieces together with a half-inch seam.
Attach the pocket panel to the middle strip in the same way, and then attach the third strip of eight squares to the bottom of the pocket panel.
You should now have a front piece like so: pieced strip, ornament panel, pieced strip, pocket panel, pieced strip.
Press all the seams flat. If the long edges are not even, trim the extra fabric off.
Lay out the remaining strips of squares (and the extra two squares you cut off earlier) along the long sides of the front piece. Sew the strips together to make two long strips that are the length of the front piece.
Place the long strips on top of the long sides of the front piece, right sides together. Sew the pieces together with a half-inch seam.
Unfold and press the seams open. Trim the edges if they are not even. Your front piece is almost complete!
4. Attach the front and back pieces.
Stretch out the fabric for the back piece, wrong side up. Lay the front piece that you just completed on top, right side up. Cut the fabric for the back piece so that it is the same size as the front piece.
Pin the two pieces together around the edges and in the middle. Sew along the top and bottom seam of the pieced strip in the middle of the front piece, thus sewing the front and back pieces together in the middle.
5. Sew the bias tape around the entire perimeter.
Open one package of bias tape. Unfold one end and line it up with the edge on the back piece. Sew along the crease closest to the edge, through both the back and front piece.
At the corners, fold the bias tape up and sew just until you reach the crease. Lift the needle up and rotate the fabric, starting to sew again just after the crease.
When you near the end of your first package of bias tape, sew the end to one end of a new package of bias tape, unfolding the ends and placing them right sides together.
When you have almost sewn around the entire perimeter, take the tail you left when you started and pin it to the bias tape you are currently sewing. Pin the two pieces together where they lay flush with the back piece of fabric. Sew the pieces together, trim the extra, and finish sewing the bias tape to the back piece.
Flip the wall hanger over and fold the bias tape over to the front. Sew along the inside edge of the bias tape all the way around the perimeter. When you get to a corner, pull the bias tape straight down and then fold it up so that it makes a nicely mitered corner. (See pictures below).
6. Number the pockets.
Cut out a piece of fabric for the numbers on the pockets 8″ x 18″. Cut out a piece of iron-on adhesive the same size. Iron the adhesive onto the back of the number fabric.
Cut the number fabric into 4 strips 2″ x 18″.
Cut the first strip into 9 squares 2″ x 2″. From each of these squares, cut out the numbers 1-9 for the first nine pockets.
Cut the next three strips into pieces 2″ x 3″. From these pieces, cut out the remaining numbers, 10-24.
Peel off the paper backing from the numbers and iron them onto the pockets.
7. Make the stable outline.
Cut out a long strip of fabric to make the stable outline for the ornaments panel. Attach iron-on adhesive to the back of the fabric. Cut out the stable and iron it on to the ornaments panel.
8. Sew on the buttons.
Place a pin in each spot you will sew a button and then sew 25 buttons to the ornaments panel for hanging each advent ornament.
9. Insert the grommets or sew on tabs with D rings for hanging the wall hanger.
Hang up and happy celebrating Advent!