Since getting married three years ago, my husband and I have been in an awkward place with Christmas cards. We don’t send any out, and therefore we don’t receive many. I have a ribbon I hang on the wall with clothespins to hold the Christmas cards we do get, but when there’s only two or three, the whole thing just looks a little sad. I decided that the best solution was to come up with a place to hang Christmas cards that would look nice on its own—with or without Christmas cards.

In looking at Christmas-themed DIY projects, I came across a number of snowflake shelf tutorials. Since I usually try not to copy a tutorial that a lot of other people have already done, I decided to turn the snowflake shelf into a wall decoration that would double as a Christmas card holder. I always love when function and beauty come together in design and play off each other. In designing this snowflake, I decided there needed to be a piece in the center on the backside to hold everything together securely, which just naturally turned into a design element—the snowflake is elevated off of the wall, creating dimension and interest.

Aside from requiring some patience in cutting out all of the pieces, this project is actually really simple, with everything being secured with glue and a few nails. Let’s get into it!

Step 1: Cut wood

To create all of the different details of the snowflake, you’ll need to make a lot of cuts. Some of these will be straight cuts that you can use a traditional miter box to make, but there will also be a lot of 30° and 60° angle cuts. I think the best way to make all these cuts quickly and easily is to make your own miter box! 

I used a couple of one-by-two lengths on either side of a one-by-four, and then measured out both angles using the angle finder on a speed square. Mark the angles and carefully cut them out. Now you have a guide for cutting all the pieces of your snowflake. 

First, for the center-back, cut a one-by-four into a hexagon, just like we did to make hexagon coasters. Next, it’s time to cut up all the one-by-twos. Before you cut, note that all of the pieces with angled cuts are measured from the point of the angle down the longest side of the piece.

  • Cut six 15 ¼” pieces with a straight cut on one end and a 60º angle on the other. 
  • Cut three 10” pieces with two 60° angles on one end forming a point.
  • Cut 12 pieces with a 30° angle on one end and a 60° angle (in the same direction) on the other end. The length of the longer side should be 5”. 
  • Cut 12 pieces with one straight edge and one 30° angle to 3 ¼” (on the long side).

measure wood
measuring wood
diy snowflake measure
cut diy cardholder
cut diy card holder
wooden pieces

Step 2: Sand

Sand all of the pieces smooth with a fine/medium sanding sponge or 150-grit sandpaper. Because the lumber we used is utility-grade, the one-by-two is likely to have some stamps on it—sanding is a great time to remove these markings and make sure that everything looks just how you want it.

I always like to pick a favorite side of the pieces and only sand that side—because who cares about the side that’s going to face the wall?

sand wood edges
sand wooden edges

Step 3: Glue pieces together in pairs

Now it’s time to begin assembly. Glue the pieces together in pairs and add painter’s tape to hold the pieces together while the glue dries. Refer to the fourth photo below to see how the pieces should fit together.

At the end of the assembly process, I found that the three pieces that get glued together in the shape of an arrow are very finicky. To ensure that everything will fit together smoothly at the end, I recommend gluing and taping the rest of the pieces together first, and then laying out the general snowflake shape. Fit the arrows into place and adjust the pieces as needed before gluing.

Let the glue fully dry before removing the tape.

glue wood
glue card holder pieces
tape cardholder pieces
diy cardholder wood piece

Step 4: Attach flourishes

Take the large “V” pieces (three total) and flip them upside down on your work surface. Measure 3” down from each end and mark with a pencil. Add some glue and line up one of the shallow “V” flourishes (six total) to where you’ve marked, upside down like the photo. Hammer in nails on either side of the seam so that the flourish is fully secured to the snowflake arm. Repeat until all of the large “V” shaped arms have flourishes attached. 

Next, add the small “V” shapes (three total) inverted inside of the snowflake arms to create a diamond shape. Add glue and secure in place with tape until the glue dries.

measure flourishes
glue flourishes
attach wooden flourishes
nail snowflake flourishes
wooden snowflake flourishes
glue flourish pieces
diy wooden flourishes
card holder piece

Step 5: Finish gluing

Lay out your snowflake arms with the flourishes on top and your arrow shapes upside down. Add glue to the ends of the arrows and glue them to the snowflake arms. Add tape if needed and leave to dry.

wooden snowflake arms
glue snowflake arms
diy snowflake arms
diy card holder arms
glue wooden snowflake

Step 6: Add center support

The last step of assembly is to position the one-by-four hexagon in the middle of the snowflake (on the same side as the arm flourishes). Secure to the snowflake with glue first, and then with nails into each of the nine center pieces.

hexagon on snowflake
hammer hexagon
hexagon wooden snowflake

Step 7: Hang your card holder

When your snowflake is totally assembled and all the glue has dried, it’s time to hang it up! You have a couple of options here: Mount it to the wall using temporary adhesive strips, or hang it by hammering two sawtooth picture hangers into the backs of the arm flourishes.

snowflake card holder
diy xmas card holder
christmas card holder diy
diy christmas card holder

And while you’re on a holiday crafting kick, don’t forget to check out our DIY geometric Christmas tree, Dala horse ornament (for when you put your real tree up), and tips and tricks for hanging Christmas lights.