Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Advent 2011: Introduction & Instructions

We start our Names of Jesus Advent tomorrow going through the 25 days leading up to celebrating the birth of Christ. I thought I'd journal our countdown here and on Facebook as well. 

Here's our introduction:

In every age and every culture names are important. Parents often struggle to select just the right name to give their child. It is more than just a label of identification.

In Biblical times, a name had a significant meaning--often denoting a characteristic or something related to the history of the person or his time. Sometimes a new name was given to indicate a change of character or a major event in one's history.

To begin this unit, look up some of the Biblical people who had their names changed. Why did they change? Did they change names on their own or were they given a new name by someone else? Was their new name a good one? Did they live up to their name?

Throughout the Old and New Testaments, it is possible to find more than 100 names and titles for Jesus Christ. No other person is history has had as many names or titles. Why so many names for Jesus? Perhaps it is because a name is descriptive but it is also restrictive. A name or title has a self-imposed limitation and no one could begin to describe or define Jesus. His glory and His greatness defy description and definition!

I had someone ask, so here's how I made the ornaments. Click on any picture to enlarge. Front pictures and inspiration courtesy of Bible Story Printables

6 sheets of fabric paper
25 small ribbons strips to hang on the tree- 6.5" long by .25" wide - matched to the felt backing
25 large ribbon strips for stuffing - 2" by 18". I accordion folded it in 1" folded squares.
25 squares of Christmas fabric- cut with pinking sheers to a 1/4' border around the scripture backs
6 sheets of craft felt from Michael's- 2 in each color, red, green and yellow

Pinking sheers
Sewing machine - or needle and thread
Straight pins
Sewing scissors


1. Using the colored versions of the ornaments, print them on fabric paper and cut them out. I get mine from Joann Fabrics.

2. Take a cut out ornament, and trace the shape on to card stock. Using double stick tape on the felt as the template, cut out the felt backs. Using pinking sheers, cut to the outside of the line. (When the tape started losing it's stickiness, just slap on another layer)

3. I made a spreadsheet of the Days in order with the Bible reference and complete scripture. Then I mail merged that in to a set of labels with 3" by 2.25" margins.

UPDATE 12/30/11. You can now download the resulting labels from the mail merged spreadsheet directly by clicking on the highlighted word spreadsheet above.

Screenshot of spreadsheet

4. Print the 24 scripture backs on the fabric paper. Last name of Jesus, which is Jesus on the December 25th, we'll be reading from Luke 2:4-14. They have Matthew 1:21 as their reference.

Screen shot of Ornament labels

5. Using the scripture references, take the Christmas fabric and pinking sheer to the outside for a frame. This wasn't initially part of my process, but I thought it lacked something so I added a bit of color.

I also decided to match up the back and front colors better once I saw this pic

6. Take to the sewing machine, the cut out back and sew a square framing around the scripture. Then, lining the ornament pieces up back to back, slide the smaller ribbon in between where it appears to be coming from the hanger.


7. Start sewing around the frame of the front ornament until you get 3/4 of the way, the 9 o'clock position, around the ornament.

Finished backs:

I'm still deciding where and how to arrange them since I want to hang one a day. More Pinterest hopping is necessary to decide, I'm sure ;-)

There are SO many great Advent ideas out there: Nativity people, Jesse Tree, Truth in the Tinsel, Christmas around the World, Symbols of Christmas and of course the 12 Days of Christmas. So much fun for years to come :-)) I've also found several books to read along the way, coloring pages, games and Preschool Nativity Packs to do as well!


  1. I would love your documents on the scriptures. These are awesome you did such a fantatic job,
    childofgod8 at sbcglobal dot net

  2. Hi. I am visiting from Preschool Corner. These are awesome! Wow! What fun your little guys will have learning these. I agree, there are so many awesome advent ideas out there right now. Great site!