If you are looking for ideas for handmade Christmas cards with cardinals as a feature, you for SURE want to see this card!

If you are like me at all, at this time of year you are stashing ideas for handmade Christmas cards with cardinals like squirrels stash nuts for the winter! Do you have a lot? I know my Pinterest board is loaded! There is something about that bold, bright bird against winter colors that makes it a attention grabber.

So when I saw this new Winter Cardinals set from Rubbernecker, I immediately thought of making it into a Christmas card. I love that these beautiful birds – often thought of as messengers from loved ones – can be made with the same detail and dimension as those made from Rubbernecker’s Spring Birds die set. I combined this gorgeous creature with the Shed, Shed Winter Add On and Holly #1 to make this card and it really speaks to me.

These beautiful handmade Christmas cards with cardinals are easy to make using dies for the bird, the holly and his snow covered birdhouse.

Card Base

  • Use white cardstock to cut an A2 sized card base and green cardstock to cut a 5.50″ x 4.25″ layer.
  • Apply ATG adhesive to the back of the green layer and attach it to the card base.
  • Cut a pretty 5.25″ x 4.00″ designer paper background and attach it to the green card base layer.


  • Cut the birdhouse and bottom base using woodgrain cardstock.
  • Use the circle die from the add on set to cut an opening in the front of the birdhouse.  Note:  You can barely see the whole once I covered it with the holly.  
  • Use white cardstock to cut the snowy roof section.
  • Apply a strip of mounting tape to the back of the house base and attach it to the house.

rolled double stick tape 2

  • Use a strip of rolled up double stick tape to attach the snowy layer to the top of the house.
  • Apply pieces of mounting tape to the back of the house and attach it to the card base.

Cardinal and Holly

  • Use white cardstock to cut the cardinal sections.
  • Cut the holly sections using green and red cardstock.  
  • Attach the red berries to the holly branches using glossy accents.
  • Apply a light layer of Cosmic glitter glue to  the holly leaves and sprinkle with clear glitter.
  • Apply red stickles to the berries and set aside for the glitter and stickles to dry.

A detailed view of the beautiful die cut bold red bird that decorates today's handmade Christmas cards with cardinals.

  • Apply a layer of Scarlet ink to the cardinal body and wing using a mini applicator.
  • Apply darker shading to the body and wings using Crimson ink and a mini applicator.  Pro Tip:  I don’t try to add all the color at once.  For this I applied the lighter shade of red to the images, then the darker shade around the borders of the images and then blended them together by going over them with the lighter red again.  I kept these steps up until I was happy with the overall appearance.  
  • Color the face and beak sections using markers and attach them to the bird using glossy accents.  Note: I added a touch of glossy accents to the orange beak to make it pop against the black face but you can’t see this well in the pictures.  

Finish the Scene

  • Attach the holly branches to the birdhouse using glossy accents. 
  • Use pieces of mounting tape to attach the bird to the card base.
  • Pro Tip:  I dry arrange the holly with the cardinal first to see how to attach the branches to best show it off.

This idea of handmade Christmas cards with cardinals features a bold red die cut bird, a sparkling sprig of holly and a birdhouse with snow covered eaves.

I love how versatile the Shed set is with the Add On Accessory sets.  The shed can be a house, a potting shed and a birdhouse.  The possibilities are endless.  I especially love it with the cardinal but there are a few other examples to show it off:  Adorable Christmas Cottage, Spring Birdhouse, Potting Shed and an adorable Garden Shed You May Want to Live In!.  

5514-09D Winter Cardinals Die
[ RBB ]
5422-01D Shed Die
[ RBB ]
5422-02D Shed Winter add on Die
[ RBB ]
Holly #1 Die Cut 5162-08D
[ RBB ]

The Color Catalog by Sarah Renae Clark
[ SRH ]
Ranger Ink – Stickles Glitter Glue -…
[ SBC ]
Ranger Stickles, Christmas Red
[ ELH | SBC ]
Susan’s Garden Ultimate Tool Kit
[ SPL ]
Sizzix – Paper Sculpting Kit
[ SBC | BLIC ]
Scrapbook.com – Magic Mat – Standard…
[ SBC ]
Scrapbook.com – Magic Mat – Short -…
[ SBC ]
Scrapbook.com – Magic Mat – Standard…
[ SBC ]
Crossover II Fabric & Paper Cutting…
[ RBB ]
Amazon.com : Dahle 550 Professional…
Scotch Advanced Tape Glider & Tape
[ RBB ]
Connect Glue, Gina K Designs
[ ELH ]
Mini Glossy Accents, Ranger Accents
[ ELH ]
Amazon.com: 1000 Pieces Foam Sticky…
Amazon.com: Mini Foam Dots…
Scor-Tape 1/4′ (5mm), Scor-Pal Tape
[ ELH ]
Amazon.com: Scotch 1/2-Inch by…
Teflon Bone Folder, Essentials by Ellen
[ ELH ]
Scor-Pal Measuring & Scoring Board 12×12
[ ELH ]
Glue Dots, Mini (3/16″)
[ ELH ]
Amazon.com : Accent Opaque White 8.5”…

The cardinal theme for the holidays is a classic. And while these handmade Christmas cards with cardinals are true showstoppers, the dies do all the hard work and all YOU have to add is assembly with the fun details. Give this a try and see if you don’t fall in love with this feathered friend like I did!