Tuesday, November 9, 2010

My Felt Advent/Jesse Tree

First off, if you don't know anything about the Jesse Tree, please go  here and read up on it.  I ordered the book The Advent Jesse Tree: Devotions for children and Adults to Prepare for the Coming of the Christ Child at Christmas.  I used this book plus this tree tutorial to make our family's own calendar.  Now if you go to this tutorial it teaches you how to basically do what I am doing but mine is tailored to the Jesse Tree and its symbols.  This blogger is Mormon and her's is tailored to that, just so you know.

You will need the following supplies:

Felt - several colors including orange, gray, black, white, green, blue, pink, yellow, brown, gold.
Felt by the yard - 3/4 to 1 yard of green and white
Heat n bond light OR fabric glue - you don't have to get the Heat N Bond but it makes things a lot easier
Hook and eye closures (25 of them)
Invisible thread (optional but easier)
Whole punch

To make this easier on yourself and not so overwhelming I will tell you what I did in order.  

First, I used Shannon's page to cut out all of the ornaments.  You may go here to print it and the ornament is at the bottom of the paper.  Once printed, you will need 25 white ornaments (or you can use cream).  You will need 25 colored ornaments.  You may use any colors, but don't use green (something I did at first) or white.  I used orange, red, blue, purple, yellow and pink.

Next, find your symbols.  I used several of the symbols from here.  Just print these out and hold onto them.  You won't find all of the symbols on here.  I will list the symbols that you need.

1.  A globe or picture of the earth
2.  An apple and a snake wrapped around it
3.  An ark with a rainbow
4.  A camel and a tent
5.  A lamb
6.  A ladder
7.  A colorful coat
8.  A tablet with ten numbers
9.  A cluster of grapes
10.  A sheaf of wheat
11.  A slingshot
12.  A scroll or Bible
13.  A stump with fresh shoot or green leaf
14.  A lion and a lamb
15.  A dove and a crown
16.  A lamb and a shepherd's staff
17.  A cross
18.  A heart with writing on it
19.  A Bethlehem town silhouette with a star
20.  A fiery furnace
21.  A brick wall
22.  A star
23.  A candle or light
24.  An angel
25.  A baby in a manger

I used the book that I ordered and traced a few in there.  If those were too complicated, I just used ClipArt from Microsoft Word.  I just kind of played around with it until I had all of their symbols and MAKE SURE they will fit onto your ornament.  You will need to do the numbers next.  You may use Shannon's or make your own from the internet.  When you trace the numbers onto the Heat N Lite they have to be traced backwards.  They have to!  The symbols don't matter because it doesn't matter if they are backwards or not.  You will want the numbers to be gray and you will iron them on the colored side of the ornament (I did this wrong as you see in my pictures but it doesn't really matter).

When you have all of your symbols on paper, get your Heat N Bond Lite and trace all of your symbols onto it.  Then you will want to iron them onto the correct color of felt.  When using your iron, put it onto the steam setting even though the Heat N Lite instructions say not to.  Use a tea towel or something over the felt as your ironing it because felt will burn.  Yes, I said felt will burn.  Now some symbols have a few colors like the earth.  You can see an example here as I did the earth.   I made the circle blue and then I did the continents in green and ironed the green on the blue and then ironed the whole thing onto the ornament.

This is what takes the most time is putting the ornaments together.  As I said, I did it after the kids went to bed and during nap times.  When you have the symbols all done and the numbers done and ironed on the correct side of the ornaments (Don't forget to iron the symbols onto the white ornament - I did this wrong in mine.), then sew your two sides together.  I just put them together and sewed around the ornaments leaving a large opening in the top.  Theoretically, you could type up each day's devotion and fold it and put it in there, but since I am using a book I am not going to do that.

Once the ornaments are sewn together get out your whole punch and punch wholes in all of the ornaments one side at a time.  I used a scrapbooking whole punch and it seemed to work well.  I did have to trim the wholes a little.

Now is the time to make your tree and such - go cut out the tree, the angel and the stem if you haven't already from Shannon's blog.  Use the colors that she states.  Lay out your ornaments onto your green felt and cut out your tree per Shannon's instructions.  Then connect the two sides at every indent with a seam.

Once you do that you have a guide for where to put your ornaments.  I laid out my ornaments onto my tree and then pinned them on so I could tell where to sew the closures at.
This takes time so be prepared but you can do it while you are sitting on the couch watching TV - hand sew your hook closures on.

After I did that I laid out my tree on my white material.  I pinned the tree and the trunk and sewed around the tree.  After that, I pinned the angel and sewed that on.  Then I sewed the trunk and sewed around it and the X on it.

I then hemmed it on both ends.  I hemmed it about one inch because I'm not sure how I'm going to hang it up yet whether I will use a dowel rod like Shannon or not.

Then try it out and your done!

I realize this was not a thorough tutorial but Shannon's is very good and if  you still have questions, just leave me a comment and I will do my best to answer it.

This post is listed at Works for Me Wednesday at We are THAT Family and


  1. I LOVE it! ANd I absolutely LOVE that you tailored it to the Jesse Tree! Do you mind if I post a link off of my original post for people that are interested in your version, as I know most of the world does not believe what I believe! Thanks a bunch! YOu did a fabulous job!!!

  2. Shannon,

    Of course you may link to my post. Thank you for your sweet comments!


  3. Every year I want to do something like this - but of course, I wait too late. Great job!

  4. This is a beautiful idea.

  5. I love your felt globes! I'm hosting a Jesse Tree link-up to bring together Jesse Tree ideas from around the blogosphere. Would you like to join?

  6. Thanks for the inspiration. This is exactly what I was looking for.

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