Add Embroidery to Your Christmas Cards for Extra Holiday Cheer

embroidered christmas painting

Embroidery is an easy and fun way to add 3D elements to any 2D image — whether it be photographs, store-bought cards or even your own paintings. For this tutorial, we’ll be painting Christmas trees, then bringing them to life with simple embroidery stitches. Grab your brush and thread your needle!

Embroidered Holiday Cards

Level: Easy

What You Need

  • Paper
  • Blank card
  • Tape or glue dots
  • Tracing paper
  • Pencil
  • Paint brush
  • Watercolor paints or ink
  • Embroidery floss
  • Embroidery needle
  • Instructions

    1. Craft Your Scene

    finished sketch of trees

    Pick a winter scene to paint — we chose evergreens in the snow, but you can paint anything you want. Use a pencil to draw the card on your paper. Make sure to press very lightly so your pencil marks won’t show through your ink later.

    Good to Know We’re making our image on a piece of paper that will be taped to the front of a blank card later. Keep the size of your drawing in mind — how big do you want it to be in relation to your card?

    2. Add the Ink

    wet on wet painting technique step 1

    We used the loose wet-on-wet technique to add color to our sketch, but you can color yours in any way you like.

    To paint wet-on-wet, brush water over an area of your paper, then drop in the pigment. The color instantly spreads on its own and creates lovely, diffused edges.

    completed wet on wet painting technique

    3. Sketch Your Stitches

    embroidery sketch on tracing paper

    Once your image has dried, place a piece of tracing paper over it and sketch where you want to embroider. Embroidery on paper is unforgiving, so mark exactly where you want to poke your holes and have your floss rest. You don’t want any mistakes later!

    embroidery in progress, poking holes

    When you have a design you love, use it as a guide and being poking holes in your paper with an unthreaded needle. Make sure your holes aren’t too close together, or you’ll create a large hole and your thread won’t stay in place.

    4. Break Out Your Floss

    embroidery in progress - stitching

    Thread your needle with the floss color of your choice and tie a knot at the end. Working from the back to the front, begin stitching through your holes. embroidery in progress - start of snowflake

    Keep stitching until you finish your design.

    completed embroidery

    5. Attach the Image to a Card

    securing painting on card

    When you’re done embroidering, secure the image to a blank card using a strong paper adhesive. Our painting measured 4” x 6” and we used a 5” x 7” card, so there’s a nice, crisp ½” border all around it.

    embroidered christmas painting

    Once secured, your card is ready for gifting!

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