Handmade Jesse Tree Set Tutorial (in expert, intermediate, and novice versions)

There's still time before Thursday at 9pm Pacific to enter to win the giveaway. (To enter by leaving a comment on the original post go here.) The giveaway is over, thanks to everyone who entered! In case you didn't win, some of you wanted to be able to make your own, and asked for a tutorial. So, here goes . . .

Method A (what I did, aka the hard way)

If you have an iron and a pair of tiny scissors you can do this. Seriously. It is not hard, it just takes time and patience and lots of very small cutting.

At Catholic Culture, I found all 24 readings, and the suggested symbols for each one. Then I went into publisher and google image search and found clip art I wanted to use for each symbol. You should be able to access the clipart I used here.

Then I recreated the pictures from the clipart in layers of fabric and ironed them on to the felt circles.

To do that, I ironed the Heat 'n Bond adhesive onto the fabric scraps, then pinned the clipart picture to the fabric and cut out each piece as I needed it. If I had multiple layers I found it helped to have printed multiple copies of that picture. Once all the tiny pieces were cut out, I layered them on a felt circle and ironed them down (it just takes a few seconds to fuse, so it shouldn't melt the felt).

Then I put a blank felt circle on the back and whip stitched the two circles closed, stuffing a little stuffing in when I had an inch or two of stitching left, and attaching the ribbon at the top.

Here's what each symbol looks like in fabric:

You should be able to access each of these photos individually in this google+ album.

Then I went to Shutterfly and made a small paperback photo book with a photo of each ornament and the reading for that day.

It looks like this:

Once you make all your ornaments, you can take photos of them, upload them to Shutterfly, cut and paste the readings, and order a book to match them.

Method B (the easier way)

  • Download the photos of the ornaments from the google+ album
  • Print them out onto Printable Fabric for Inkjet Printers (to make 24 ornaments, you'll need 4 sheets of printable fabric)
  • Cut the printed fabric into 24 3.5 inch circles with pinking shears
  • Cut an additional 24 3.5 inch circles out of another fabric for the back of the ornaments with pinking shears
  • Sew together and stuff as directed above
  • Click on the link above to order a copy of the book I made, it'll match and everything!
update: to order the photo book . . . (2016 Note: I don't think this works on mobile devices, but it is still working from my desktop computer)
  1. go to catholicallyear.shutterfly.com
  2. sign in to your shuttefly account, or create one if you don't have one yet
  3. click on "Jesse Tree Book" under recent activity
  4. click "save to my account"
  5. order the book from your account

updated update: It has come to my attention that Shutterfly doesn't ship internationally, so for those of you out of the US, I've created another google+ album, Catholic All Year Jesse Tree Readings, this time with all the readings. You can download the photos to your own computer and have them printed as a book someplace more convienent.

Method C (the Advent starts tomorrow?!? way)

Please let me know if any of you guys make these, I'd love to see any of the methods!


And hey, maybe vote for me . . .

If you have a moment to spare, please consider voting for Catholic All Year at The Homeschool Post's annual homeschool blog awards! Voting is open through November 18th.

If you are so inclined you can click on the links to vote once per day, per device for Catholic All Year as the Best NEW Homeschool Blog 2013, and/or the Best Current Events, Opinion, and/or Politics Blog 2013.

Thanks so much to all of you who have voted already.

Have an awesome Advent everyone!