Full Scale Cardinal Wood/Craft Pattern

by Dexter Hansen

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This project is ideal for hanging as a nick nack from a shaker peg rack, curtin rod or even a Christmas tree.   This photo below is what this project looks like when finished.

cardinal pattern

by Dexter A. Hansen
(C) Copyright 1998

This pattern is designed to be a full scale pattern for the experienced crafts hobbyist. The author makes no warranties or representations as to the ease of assembly or suitability of the finished project for any intended purpose.



Obtain the materials listed on the Material/Parts List.


Cut out the bird's body pattern on the bold (darkest) line. As this is the outline for your project, use extreme care when cutting the pattern.


Place the pattern on the board you have selected for one of your 3/4" thick end boards and trace the outline of the pattern onto the board. Taping it down helps.


Cut the board out following the pattern.


Radius the body of the bird. There are at least two approaches.

Approach 1: Use sandpaper and radius the edges and sand any saw marks out of the body. This works well when using soft woods.

The second method can be dangerous to your finger tips if you are not careful! The author has one shorter pointer finger than the other due to not using a guard with a router on a router table.
Approach 2: Use a router mounted in a router table. A 3/8 inch quarter round router bit set to a 3/16 inch depth works well.

There are a few words of caution. This method can be dangerous as wood can be unpredictable should the router bit grab the wood. I have found that from a safety stand point, making a 1/8 inch thick polycarbonate shield and screwing the shield to the bird body works well.

In order to prevent the bird body from rotating while routing, two holes need to be placed through the polycarbonate along with matching pilot holes in the bird body. Small wood screws work well.  Put the screw holes in the body, under the place where the wing gets glued to the body. The shield will allow routing and the crafts person can still see the work being done with relative safety.

A second tip is that in order to maximize yield (get the most number of bird bodies to turn out), is to ensure the direction of the grain is oriented as indicated on the pattern. When starting the part in the router/router table, start by routing the beak first and work around the body.

After routing, finish sanding the bird body as needed to remove saw marks and other blemishes.


To cut out the wings, there are two approaches.

Approach 1: For the less experienced craftsperson, I recommend cutting the board in half across the middle of the board at about 1/4 inch to 3/8 inch thick. Then tape the wing patterns to the thinner board, cutting out the wings separately.


The second method, which is used by the author can be dangerous to your finger tips if you are not careful!
Approach 2:  If making wings in quantity, an alternate cut out method would be to cut the wing out of the 3/4 inch thick board and rip the wing up the middle to a 1/4 inch to 3/8 inch thickness with a bandsaw. As it is difficult to rip the wing exactly up the middle, it is recommended to make them a little under the half-way mark to allow for the thickness of the blade. Use of a rip fence works well.


Sand wings to suit.


Glue the wings to the body using wood glue. Placement should be approximately per the Paint Scheme drawing. Until there is some familiarity with the gluing process, clamping or placing a weighted object on the wing until the glue dries is recommended.

Note - Use of an appropriate wood glue will increase holding strength of the joints, however, care must be taken not to get glue on the wood where you want a stained wood finish. Paint covers most common wood glues, stain does not.


Finish to suit. Suggested finish is to paint the bird per the recommended colors as shown in the Paint Scheme. Paint the body and wings red, the eye - white, the mask - black and the beak - yellow.


Drill a pilot hole in the center of the back at the point where the leading edge of the wing meets the body in the center of the back.  Screw in an Eye - Screw per the example shown below.


Materials/Parts List



1 Each 3/4" thick Board [Material to suit.]
1 Each Small Tea-Cup Screw or  Eye Screw
As Required Wood glue
As Required Finish & Paints to suit.


See the comment below at the bottom of the page before printing this pattern.

cardinal pattern

This page is linked to Amazon.com. Click on books of interest for additional information or to order.


List of Recommended Woodcraft Books.

 Band Saw Basics, Mark Duginske, Gene Duginske / Paperback / Published 1990

Band Saw Handbook, Mark Duginske / Paperback / Published 1989

Basic Woodworking (Sunset New Basic), Paperback / Published 1995

Basic Woodworking : Essential Woodworking Skills and Easy-To-Make Projects for the Home and Garden, James Summers, Mark Ramuz / Paperback / Published 1997

Scroll Saw Pattern Book by Patrick Spielman, Patricia Spielman (Contributor). Paperback (October 1986)

Scroll Saw Christmas Ornaments by Tom Zieg Paperback - 64 pages (September 2000) Fox Chapel Pub; ISBN: 1565231236 ; Dimensions (in inches): 0.21 x 10.94 x 8.52

100 Keys to Preventing and Fixing Woodworking Mistakes, Alan Bridgewater, Gill Bridgewater / Hardcover / Published 1996

100 Keys to Woodshop Safety, Alan Bridgewater, Gill Bridgewater / Hardcover / Published 1996

101 Weekend Gift Projects from Wood, James A. Jacobson / Paperback / Published 1993

176 Woodworking Projects, Workbench Magazine / Paperback / Published 1987

200 Original Shop Aids and Jigs for Woodworkers, Rosario Capotosto, Michael Capotosto / Paperback / Published 1987

300 Christian and Inspirational Patterns for Scroll Saw Woodworking, Thomas L. Zieg, Tom Zieg / Paperback / Published 1995

50 Wooden Crafts to Make With Kids, Ellen J. Hobart, et al / Paperback / Published 1994

52 Weekend Woodworking Projects, John A. Nelson / Paperback / Published 1991

64 Yard & Garden Projects You Can Build Yourself, Monte Burch / Paperback / Published 1994

64 Yard and Garden Projects You Can Build Yourself,  Monte Burch / Hardcover / Published 1994 Advanced Routing (Art of Woodworking), Hardcover / Published 1995

Advanced Routing : Techniques for Better Woodworking (The Workshop Companion), Nick Engler / Hardcover / Published 1993

Advanced Woodworking; Edited (Home Repair and Improvement), Hardcover / Published 1989

Adventures in Woodturning : Techniques and Projects, David Springett / Paperback / Published 1995

The American Country Woodworker : 50 Country Accents You Can Build in a Weekend, Michael Dunbar / Hardcover / Published 1993

Applying Finishes : Techniques, Tips, and Problem-Solving Tricks (Woodworking Series , No 3) Vol 1, Bob Flexner / Hardcover / Published 1996

Beds and Bedroom Furniture : The Best of Fine Woodworking (The Best of Fine Woodworking), Paperback / Published 1997

Best of Fine Woodworking : Bench Tools,  Paperback / Published 1990

The Best of Fine Woodworking : Modern Furniture Projects (Best of Fine Woodworking), Dick Burrows (Editor) / Paperback / Published 1991

Didn't find your book?  Type in the name of the title, author or subject to search the Amazon.com selections.


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Comment:  The pattern should print to full scale, however, differences in browsers sometimes effects the scale.  One option is to click on the pattern and tell the browser to View the cardpat.gif file.  Once it is the only thing showing on your browser, you can print the drawing.  In trying this with Netscape Navigator, the scale prints correctly for the author.  Should one desire to change the scale, try pulling the GIF file into a GIF editor, either as a save as drawing or finding it in your browser cache directory and printing.  The original printout fills out an 8 - 1/2 inch X 11 inch piece of paper.  Once in an editor, it can be scaled to suit your needs.  If you need software to try this with, click on the Smartdraw Icon below and download a trial version of their software.  All you need to do is create a new drawing, import the GIF file and scale to suit.

Additionally, when working in an editor, scale (drag) from a corner so you don't change the aspect ratio.

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Dexter Hansen

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