I sat in our maker space (read, messy craft room/office) last year scrubbing away with a toothbrush. Not at some kind of grime in the grout. There’s plenty of that. But, I was feverishly trying to finish some wooden ornaments with an image of St. Joseph for my extended family in honor of my Grandpa, who had passed away that year. The directions I looked up had me ModPodge the paper onto the wood, and then use a wet sponge or toothbrush to remove all but the printed image. 


Hours and hours later, I did finish the 6 ornaments I was making. But, my hopes for Jesse Tree ornaments done up the same way were also finished . . .

Right up until this year, when Michelle and I started creating the “Full of Grace” Google Advent Calendar (which you should totally buy on Etsy because it’s perfect for making last-minute Advent plans!), and I couldn’t get the notion of wooden Jesse Tree ornaments out of my head. By the week after I had gifted my toothbrush-scrubbed ornaments last year, I had found out the real way, the easy way, the stinkin’ coolest thing I wish I had known for years. 

It takes: 4 things and 15 minutes, at least 12 minutes of which are just waiting (which is a great lesson for Advent, I’d say. Let me go add this to the calendar!)


You’ll need: ModPodge, Jesse Tree printables of your choice (our favorites from myfavoritekindofcrazy.com are on the calendar), freezer paper, a laser printer, and wood. Tape and a ruler are helpful, and something to color it in is optional. If you’re making a hanging ornament out of them, you’ll want something to make a loop and either a hot glue gun or a drill. 

What is freezer paper? It’s the stuff that butchers use, with the waterproof shiny side, and the paper side. It comes in rolls, and can be found at larger grocery stores near the foil and wax paper. It’s my favorite roll of paper, actually, because you can lay it shiny-side-down for the kids to paint, and nothing will go through it. It also costs a fraction of the price of an art roll of paper from craft stores. 


Once you find it, cut the freezer paper into pieces about the size of a sheet of paper. Then, roll it in the opposite direction it wants to roll up so that it flattens out. If it doesn’t flatten out enough, tape it to a blank sheet of paper to avoid a paper jam.

Mirror your Jesse Tree PDF image. I used Illustrator, but you can google ways to do it in Adobe Acrobat and a few other programs. If worse comes to worse, print the thing on regular paper, take a picture with your phone, and flip it there. 

Then, print your Jesse Tree ornament printables onto the shiny side of the freezer paper. I used a laser printer. From what I’ve read, inkjet printers bead up on the paper, but still sort of work. 

Slather your piece of wood with ModPodge and stick your printed freezer paper onto it, aligning it how you want it to look. Press it down firmly, smoothing over it with a plastic ruler or something similar.

Let it dry.

Peel the freezer paper off.

Sigh at the loveliness.

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