DIY Holiday Card Display

Incorporate the thoughtfulness of family and friends into your seasonal decor with a cut-and-sew Holiday Card Display! This festive fat-quarter project only requires simple straight line stitching to create an attractive wall organizer. Featuring Spoonflower’s lightweight cotton twill fabric and small wooden clips to secure your cards and photos, this DIY comes together quickly and can be used year after year.

As a kid, I remember all of my aunties having some variation of a holiday card holder on display at Christmastime. The challenge I gave myself was to take the nostalgic 1980s version I remember from my childhood and update it – creating a handcrafted version that fits my grown-up aesthetic!

I’ve created six variations of this design in three colorways and made them available through my Spoonflower shop. The three colorways were selected to coordinate with three hues in Spoonflower’s new line of Petal Signature Cotton Solids: Poppy Red, Sky Blue and Sage Green – making it easy for you to create coordinating holiday decor projects!

If you’d like to see a video tutorial for this project – scroll down to the bottom of this post to find the demo I filmed for Spoonflower’s 2021 Craft Friday!

(1) fat quarter of my Holiday Card Display design in Lightweight Cotton Twill
(1) yard of 1/2” or 1” cotton twill tape or grosgrain ribbon
scissors or quilting ruler and rotary cutter
sewing machine and sewing thread
pins or sewing clips
six-strand embroidery floss or perle cotton
embroidery hoop
embroidery needle
fabric glue
(12) 1-3/4” clothes pins
E6000 glue or similar strong permanent adhesive
(2) 1/2” x 12” wood dowels
hanging string, twine or yarn
(4) small eye screws or (4) white dowel end caps

1. Using scissors or a quilting ruler and rotary cutter, cut out the front and back panels following the dashed black cut lines. Steam iron the fabric.

2. The embroidery components of this tutorial are completely optional, but add a lovely hand embellished finish to your project. If you’re new to embroidery, I recommend watching this video on hand embroidery basics.

To begin, load the front panel into an embroidery hoop, framing the printed word “Joy.” Create a whipped back stitch along the text lines using an embroidery needle and six-strand embroidery floss or perle cotton. To create a whipped back stitch, begin with a basic back stitch – you can find an excellent video tutorial here:

Once you have completed the back stitch, whip the stitch as shown in this video tutorial:

The end result is a wonderful twisted, rope-like stitch.

3. You’ll note that there are three vertical lines flanking both sides of the front panel that are perfect guide lines to embroider using your favorite stitches. I opted to do an embroidered couching stitch down the middle line on both sides. Couching is great technique for incorporating fibers that are too thick to stitch – by securing them to your fabric with small tacking stitches.

To begin, measure and cut two 32″ lengths of yarn. (I used an acrylic/wool blend jumbo scale yarn.) Lay one of the pieces over one of the center lines. The 32″ length of yarn will extend beyond the front fabric panel by about 2″ on either end – these ends will be machine sewn into the seams of the holiday card display. Using an embroidery needle and six-strand embroidery floss or perle cotton (OR a hand sewing needle and a double length of sewing thread knotted at the end) secure the yarn in place crew creating a tacking stitch every inch. See a demonstration of couching in this video tutorial. To keep your stitches evenly placed, you may find it helpful to measure and place 1″ marks along the printed line using a disappearing ink fabric marker, heat erasable marker or pencil. Once you’ve finished the first line of couching on one side of the panel, repeat on the opposite side.

4. This Holiday Card Display features a wood dowel at the top of the fabric panel which will be used to hang it on a wall – and a second wood dowel at the bottom of the fabric panel to insure that it hangs neatly. These wood dowels are held in place with loops created from 1/2” or 1” wide cotton twill tape or grosgrain ribbon. To create these loops measure and cut six 3″ long pieces of your selected twill tape or grosgrain ribbon. The loops with be sewn into the seams of the display, but start be securing them in place with fabric glue. Place the back panel on your work surface right side (printed side) up. Along the top (short side) of the panel lay three of the cut pieces of twill tape or ribbon on the panel and aligned the top edges. You’ll want one positioned in the center and the other two 1/2″ from either corner. Secure each one to the fabric with a dot of fabric glue. Then fold up each piece (creating a loop) and adhere with a second dot of fabric glue – hold the glued end of the loops in place with sewing clips until dry. Duplicate this whole step, placing three additional loops on the opposite short end of the back panel.

5. Once the glued loops are dry, remove the sewing clips. Place the front and back panels right sides together and either pin edges or secure with sewing clips. Machine sew the edges with a 1/4″ allowance leaving a 6″ opening along the bottom edge. Once sewn, feel free to clip excess tails of couched yarn. Clip all four corners and gently turn right-side-out. Use a spoon handle, chopstick or similar to run along the interior seams and corners. Roll the seams with your fingers to make them nice and straight and then iron them flat. If you used grosgrain ribbon to create the loops, avoid ironing them as the synthetic material will melt. Turn the edges of the opening inward and pin or clip in place. Sew a straight stitch along the lower edge, closing the opening.

6. Cards are attached to the display using small 1-3/4” wood clothes pins. The display can comfortably accommodate five to six pins along the left and right edge (for a total of ten to twelve clips). Arrange the clothes pins so that the they face downward (meaning the clamped end that will hold the cards in place is oriented towards the bottom end of the display), leaving about 3″ between each and adhere to the fabric with fabric glue. Allow glue to dry completely.

7. The 1/2” diameter wood dowels that will be inserted in the top and bottom sets of loops can be left at their full 12″ length or cut shorter with a handsaw. Screw small eye screws into both ends of one dowel (or use the white dowel end caps cited in materials above.) Slide this dowel through the loops along the top edge of the display and then tie a length or twine or yarn through the eye screws or end caps allowing you to hang the display from an nail or hook. Slide the remaining dowel through the loops along the bottom edge of the display and your Holiday Card Display is ready to hang in your home! #SpoonflowerAmbassador