The Jesse Tree: Free Printable Ornaments and Devotional (Updated for 2014)

A few years ago…

We were given an advent devotional. It’s called a Jesse Tree. The idea behind the Jesse Tree comes from a verse in Isaiah referring to Jesus as the Branch who would come from the stump of Jesse. The Jesse Tree is a collection of ornaments, explanations, and scripture verses that illustrate God’s plan to bring Jesus into the world from the very beginning of the Bible. Here’s what ours looks like.


We love using our Jesse Tree. During the 24 days before Christmas, we sit in the living room before bedtime, read the devotional, and place an ornament the small tree. Our set consists of 3 dimensional ornaments that were handmade for us, and a little photo album containing the devotional passages.

And ever since getting ours, I’ve wondered how I could efficiently and inexpensively get this tool into the hands of other people. People who also want to walk their family through scripture over the 24 days leading to Christmas. Most of the ways I came up with required more overhead than I wanted to deal with.

*** Please note. If you are reading this after December 1st don’t let that keep you from trying it out. You can always do a couple of ornaments in a day to catch up. πŸ™‚

But finally, I figured it out…

I decided to do it digitally. I have designed printable ornaments. There are two on each 4 x 6 inch photo file. Simply download them* and send them to a local photo lab (Walgreens, Costco, etc). It will cost you anywhere from $1.50-$3.00. I chose to do it this way because it’s a cheap easy way to get color printing on a nice weight paper.


Once you have them you can cut them and use them as is. Or, with just a little more work, you can cut and laminate them to create a little longer lasting product. (I even mounted my set on scrapbooking cardstock before laminating.)Β Since they’re printed as photos, you could even choose to decoupage them onto something without the ink running. You could also back them with felt.


I have also written a devotional book to accompany the ornament set. It is available as a PDF for you to download* and print. I created two files. One is a basic text/document format (2 days/page), and one formatted to print front and back as a folded booklet.

Please note…

I did not come up with the concept of a Jesse Tree, it’s been around quite a while, and ornaments sets will vary slightly. But, this is the version I prefer. The booklet is my original text and the ornaments are my original drawings. (Just wanted you to know I didn’t steal it.) I have created this to be shared.

*Downloads are located at the bottom of this post. Click on the images to enlarge, then right click to save.

I cannot efficiently provide you with a tree…

But I can give you a few different ideas. You can buy a small table tree like we have. Trees like ours and other styles are available at a variety of stores. You could also place the ornaments right on your big tree. I also brainstormed and researched some other ideas for you and created a board on Pinterest. Check it out here. Some of them are really cute! If you find a great idea for one let me know and I’ll add it to the board.

Want a completed set? (Contest Closed, Sorry.)

Of course, I had to make a sample set of the ornamentsβ€”just to make sure they would work out. I printed mine, cut them, and mounted them on cardstock. Then I laminated, hole punched and put cording through them. Since we already have a Jesse Tree setβ€”I am going to give this set away.

If you are interested in winning this set leave a comment letting me know here, or on Facebook, or email me at brightshinythings@fenlason.net. Β Oh, I suppose you could also tweet me? I’m trying to get into the whole twitter thing– @JenGogh.

I will close the giveaway at midnight on November 21stΒ and randomly select a winner on the 22nd. I know that’s a small window for the giveaway but I want to have enough of time to get them to the winner before December 1st (the day you start the book.)

***Please note: The giveaway is closed and a winner has been notified. Thanks!***

I think this is one of my favorite posts on the site. I have put so much time and effort into this because I think it is such a valuable tool for families of all ages. Please share this with anyone you think may be interested.

If you make one using my set I’d love, love, LOVE to see a picture. So please email or tweet or facebook me photos of your trees. Please contact me if you have any questions on how to use this or download it.
This tool is a blessing to our family and I pray it will be a blessing to yours as well.

Jenny

The Ornaments


The Jesse Tree Booklet

Β The Jesse Tree Text

(UPDATE: These are the new edited versions for 2014)

 

 

 

 

73 comments

  1. Laurie Muller says:

    Love.Love.Love. What a great teaching tool! Thanks for sharing.

  2. Lindsay Tuttle Levang says:

    Thanks for posting such a great idea!

  3. Bri says:

    Such a nice idea! I’m always trying to figure out a routine to carry over each year that will help my kids learn about Christmas.

  4. Elena Melling says:

    I would love to win this! I once did a calendar with the Jesse tree scriptures on a dowel rod and hand folded envelopes. It was beautiful but was destroyed in storage. Otherwise I will attempt to download and print and cut..or maybe just print out the text again πŸ™‚ Thanks for your hardwork!

  5. Sharon Kerr says:

    Jenny, you are an inspiration! This is a marvelous way to tell the Story of Christmas; I will be sharing your “The Jesse Tree” with my church family (especially the women… this is a super project for us to make as a group to be shared with others). God bless you!

    • Jenny says:

      Thanks so much for stopping by Sharon. I would be thrilled if the people of your church could find this tool to be useful as well. I’ve put your name in the drawing and thanks for the comment!

  6. Sharon Kerr says:

    PS I would LOVE to win the set that you made!

  7. Sheree Knighton says:

    This is awesome Jenny! What a great idea. You never cease to amaze me πŸ™‚

  8. Jen says:

    So cool!!! I would love to use this with my nieces and nephews. Or my coworkers. Hmmmm… πŸ™‚

  9. Tim Fischer says:

    This is really, really cool! I need to make sure we get this made in time for the start of this season.

    Thanks so much for putting so much time in creating such a high-quality too, and then giving it away.

  10. Patty Darsnek says:

    I don’t know what my web site is or what one is? I am just learning to use this book. But what a beautiful way to involve the entire family in a tradition that will last for generations to come. I too would love to win the amazing set you made for a new tradition to start. Thank you for following God’s urging and putting your talents in to this project that will bring new meaning to the days before Christmas for many children. Thanks.

  11. Tricia says:

    Jenny, Thanks for the great idea. I saw someone had posted this on their facebook page. I’ve already printed the book and sending the ornaments to walgreens to be printed. Thanks for all the work you did to put this together. I’m excited to do this with the boys next month πŸ™‚ Good to chat with you a few minutes tonight at Cubbies.

  12. Amanda Donovan says:

    I was researching how to start this with my family and came across your site. These are great and i would love to win a set! Thanks!

  13. Claire B says:

    I would love to win this!! Great job, jenny!

  14. Melanie Lund says:

    I want this. I have scribbled “Advent Calendar” at the top of the to do list and this looks awesome.

  15. tiffany legg says:

    This is great….I think it wld be fun for our elf to bring an ornamnet every day to the kids!! Wld love to win…but if not will def download…thx!!

  16. Kate Demps says:

    These are the best picture printables I have found yet. Thanks for making them available for us! I’m wanting to modge podge onto block ornaments that I’m making… how big did your final ornaments come out when you printed this way? I’m trying to work with 2in blocks that I’ve had sitting around… so I’ll lose your cute ornament shape – but your drawings are by far the best I’ve found. Thanks for helping us creative people out here who don’t have a drawing or sewing bone in their body! πŸ˜‰

    • Jenny says:

      Wow, thanks so much! I just measured my cut copies. They are about 2 1/2 inches when printed. I measured the actual drawing on each of them most of them are 2 inches or less. So you could maybe get away with it. Otherwise you could just re-size them a little. Hope that helps and thanks again for stopping by and commenting. Let me know if I can help you any other way!

  17. Emily Harmon says:

    Thank you so much for sharing! This is awesome!!! Please put me in the drawing. Thanks!

  18. April says:

    I have been wanting to use the Jesse Tree for our family for several years. Have been looking around the internet for a cheap, but not look cheap, way to make it ourselves. Splendid idea! Thank you so much for sharing with us. How unselfish of you!

  19. Janice says:

    We grew up with a Jesse Tree in our Catholic home every Advent and it was a wonderful way along with the Advent wreath of WAITING for Our Lord and Saviour.

  20. Janice says:

    What Bible version are the scripture verses from?

  21. Anna says:

    Hi. Should we expect any updates for 2014? I can’t wait to print it off and get ready for Dec. 1!

    • Jenny says:

      Hi! Yes, I am hoping to have a revised copy of the booklet–mostly correcting simple errors, not changing much content. I’m hoping to get it up by Mid-November. Thanks for checking!
      Jenny

      • Anna says:

        THANKS!!!!! I’m using this for my women’s Sunday School class this week. I appreciate the cute and budget friendly printables and guide.

  22. […] The Jesse Tree Free Printable Ornaments and Devotional […]

  23. Natascha says:

    Hi! I can not tell you how happy I am for finding this. This saves me so much time not to draw this myself. THANKS!!! I just wanted you to know that I will be using this for my kids in Germany, Mannheim.
    I want to make this known to more Moms here in Germany. Would you please pray about allowing me to translate your work about the Jesse Tree and to make it available to moms here? Thanks again! God bless, Natascha

    • Jenny says:

      Thank you so much for your comment! I’m so glad this can be of help to you. I created this to be used and shared. If you are able to translate it and give it to others that would be wonderful! Again, thanks so much for stopping by!
      Jenny

      • Natascha says:

        Hi Jenny
        I am almost done with the translation of your book. I also did an “be active” paper for the kids to go along each day. I put a numer on it for each day of advent to colour, the ornanment to cut out and stick on their tree and one idee out of the story (for example: “Go outside with a warm blanket at night and look to the stars as Abraham did” or “put a red robe out of your window. Put two play figures on it and let them go down”) I think this helps the kids to remember the story better. Again, thanks a lot to let me use your material!
        It will be treasured in many german families the coming weeks!
        Greetings from Germany. Natascha

  24. Liz says:

    I am so grateful to have found this! It is exactly what I have been looking for and by far the prettiest version I have found on the web. I am even making a set for a friend (but running a few days late πŸ™‚ ).
    Just wondering if you can tell me how to print the booklet? Do I print the page with day 1/24 on it, then turn that paper over and print the page with day 2/23 on the back of that piece and then the same again for the rest?
    Thanks so much!

    • Jenny says:

      You’re welcome! I’m glad you like it. Truth be told, printers and I don’t always get along. I think the way you are describing it is the way to get it to print properly. I’d just try the first couple of pages before printing the whole thing–at least that’s how I always have to do it to make sure I set it up right. It’s not as cute, but if you can’t get that to work, you can always print the straight text version. Good luck with your printing and thanks for stopping by!

  25. […] for printable symbols since I did not have time to made them from scratch and ended up on that blog. We used those printables and devotional booklet. We printed and laminated the symbols so that we […]

  26. Tricia Quon says:

    Just thought I’d let you know that here it is in August 2015 and I’m searching your blog to print these off for Christmas. I’m hoping to give a bunch of these sets away. I appreciate all the work you did on this! We love hanging the ornaments on the tree and want to bless a few more families.

  27. Emily Hick says:

    I would love to do this with my family and have a shot at winning this!!! Great idea! πŸ™‚

  28. Mercedes Dardet says:

    Thank you very much I just found this Nov. 12, 2015 but I will used in with my religious education class as a Christmas play where I would have a Christmas tree and each of my student with his/her siblings would put the ornaments and the student(2nd grade will read the devotional) I am sure the parents will enjoy and I will share it with them. I love this.
    Merry Christmas!

  29. Laura says:

    I love these Jesse Tree ornaments! Thank you so much for creating them! I’m having trouble printing them smaller. How do you do that?

    • Jenny says:

      Hi Laura,
      Off the top of my head, I would say download them and open them in a photo program or even a word processing program to resize. I designed them to be printed easily as 4×6 pages, with two on each, so people could send them to be printed easily.
      Hope that helps!
      Jenny

  30. Amy says:

    I am also having trouble printing the pictures…it is printing 2 very large pictures on a regular size sheet of paper. Do you happen to have a document that has 4-6 of the ornaments on a regular size sheet of paper?

  31. Rachel says:

    It is really difficult to print the ornaments. PDF would be so much easier for me (trying to print from my phone).

    • Jenny says:

      I’m sorry you are having a difficult time printing this from your phone. If I was using my phone, I would download the 12 images, then upload them to a photo lab (Walgreens, Costco, Etc) and print them at 4x6s for 3 bucks or less. When I designed this two years ago, that was the best way I could figure to make it easy for people who didn’t have access to high quality, durable printing. I also had no idea how many people would find this, since I’m just a little hobby-blogger. πŸ™‚ If I start blogging again (I’ve been on hiatus due to family changes) I can try to do an update and include that next year. Thanks so much for stopping by and for the comment/suggestion and I hope something works out for you.
      Jenny

  32. Vanessa says:

    Thank you so much for this great download. You have blessed my family by making these available. May God send many more blessings to you and your family.

  33. April says:

    Thank you so much!! This is going to be great! God Bless you for sharing this with everyone.

  34. dp ligon says:

    beautiful

  35. Melissa Blomquist says:

    Thank you so much! We are doing a Jesse Tree activity tomorrow at my church, and I am sharing your devotions with my church family. I truly appreciate the time, effort, and faithfulness that you put into this!

  36. Jackie says:

    Are the ornaments still available to print? The link for the ornaments appears to be broken, although I can access the booklets. Thanks!

    • Jenny says:

      Hi Jackie!
      I just tried clicking through some of the ornaments and it seems to work. The ornaments are grouped in twos, click each pair and it should open in a new tab. This gives you the highest resolution for printing–downloading from the new tab. If you still have problems let me know and I will be happy to assist you further! Thanks so much for stopping by!

  37. Kirsten says:

    I am so happy that I stumbled across your website. This is so perfect is every way, and I cannot wait to start making my own copy. Thank you so much for sharing this, it truly is a blessing!

  38. Lori Anderson says:

    I agree with an earlier comment: these are the best drawings I’ve found (and I’ve been searching for weeks). Did you just laminate them on cardstock or did you glue them to wooden discs or what? The pictures show a white half circle that’s been cut out; the ones I downloaded do not have that so I’m just wondering if they changed and you have any suggestions for mounting and hanging. Thank you again! These are BEAUTIFUL! I can’t get the booklet to print in order but I don’t care; just thrilled with the whole set. What a wonderful gift to share for free! God bless!

    • Jenny says:

      First of all, thank you so much! I used scrabooking cardstock, and laminating paper. I thought that cutting the half circle was a huge pain after the fact, so I just made it solid and hole punched it. πŸ™‚ I would love to one day make a set on wooden discs with leather or twine hanging loops. I would probably just mod-podge them on–that’s the beauty of printing photo size on photo paper, it won’t bleed if you coat it with something. If I ever do a wooden set, I will probably just trim it completely round, eliminating the little bump on the top all together. I hope that helps get your brain going! Thanks so much for stopping by and downloading the set!
      Jenny

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