Friday, December 14, 2012

DIY Christmas Sign and Card Holder {Tutorial}

It’s that time of the year… Christmas tunes playing in the background, sweet smells coming from the kitchen, and those oh-so-cute Christmas cards in the mailbox. The kids and I have been playing a sort of game lately, going to the mailbox to see if we have any new cards each day. I love seeing everyone's card designs and gorgeous Christmas photos! I have been meaning to make a cardholder to display these greetings and every year I put it off because there’s so much else going on. So this year, I was on a mission to finally make one.

I looked all over Pinterest for inspiration, but, no luck! I came up with a design that looks good with or without many cards. In my house, we have all of our Christmas decorations up before Thanksgiving weekend is over, so this doesn’t make for a very full card display at first.  So are you ready for this Huckleberry Love original?

Here it is! My favorite thing about this cardholder is the natural feel of the burlap and aged frame. What’s also great about it, is that it can be customized based on the number of cards that you are planning to display. Pick a larger frame if you receive tons of holiday cheer and a smaller one if you only want to display those special greetings.

So what do you need to make it?

- A frame that fits your fancy. I found mine at Hobby Lobby with a 40% off coupon, but you could also use a frame from your local thrift store.
-Burlap fabric, enough to cover the back of your frame and wood for your sign
-Christmas ribbon & ric-rac
-Paint (I used cherry red acrylic paint)
-Foam brush
-Contact paper or freezer paper
-Scrap piece of plywood, cut to desired length.
-Staple gun & Staples
-Clips to hold Christmas Cards

You can start with the sign or the frame. I began by painting my frame with the same color that I planned on using for my sign. The red border broke up the dull colors of the aged wood and burlap. I also love the idea of spray-painting your whole frame a bold color. Play around with your design and do what seems right for you!

Next, cut the burlap to fit the inside of the frame plus a couple of inches to spare. I found some ribbon that I had on hand, cut strips to fit the frame, and spaced them evenly. To achieve the layered ribbon look, hot glue your smaller ribbon along the center of the larger one.

To keep my spacing, I used painter’s tape to hold the ribbon in place.

Next, staple the burlap to the inside rim, starting in the center. As you staple, alternate top and bottom, and make sure to keep the fabric taut. Staple every couple of inches.  I ended up having to go back and add more staples to make the burlap lay right.

Trim the excess burlap and voila!

Onto the Christmas sign…

Cut and sand your piece of wood. Don’t worry, it doesn’t have to look pretty! My husband used a scrap piece of ½ inch plywood. Then, cut and staple the burlap to the plywood, again starting in the center and working your way to the edges.

Trim the excess and the sign is ready to decorate!

I made a design in Silhouette Studio and used some freezer paper to stencil it on the burlap. This is very similar to the contact paper method that Lydia shared in her Color Run T-Shirt Tutorial. Instead of the freezer paper sticking to the fabric, you iron it on, waxy side down. You could use either method, whichever supplies you have on hand.

After securing the design in place, dab your paint on using the foam brush. I used two coats. Allow it to dry (as hard as it is to wait, it’s worth it!) and remove the paper.

Choose some ribbon and hot glue it onto the sign. I used the same ribbon from the cardholder and added some coordinating ric-rac. For some reason, I have a thing for ric-rac. I love the charm it added to this sign.

So there you have it, a pretty easy Christmas sign and cardholder that you can enjoy all season long! Total cost for this project: about $20. I love ours so much, and plan on making some sort of monogram burlap frame to take its place after the New Year. How do you display your Christmas cards?

Linking up with Thirty Hand Made Days


  1. What a great idea Jill! You ladies have a great blog here, especially for someone like me, who loves all kinds of crafts! Thanks so much Lydia for leading me here. I'm sure I'll be seeing lots of you. So happy to be following you now :) Have a great weekend!


    1. Thanks so much Ilda! I can't wait to get a chance to check out your blog :) Lots of projects in the works for this weekend! Have a great one too.

  2. Cute idea! I need to make something new for our card holder. I've been using the same one for too many years now. Thanks for the inspiration.

    1. Thanks! I'm glad you like it! I am so happy with how it turned out.