Have you ever wondered why anyone would use an altered playing card for their next mixed media art card, atc or miniature art project?

What’s so special about using playing cards?

altered playing card

Here are some thoughts about using a standard playing card as a base for your artwork:

  • playing cards are a different surface to work on
  • they are nice and thick, some are even heavier than cardstock
  • cards are coated
  • the back is already decorated
  • if you’re creating an atc (artist trading card) or aceos (art cards, editions & originals), they are the perfect size at 2.5″ x 3.5″
  • you can buy a really good quality deck of cards for $5 or so and you have 52 cards to alter into your next project

This all started when I was brainstorming ideas for the next ATC swap to host and I wanted to use the theme of “52 pickup” with playing cards as the base.  I called out to my friend Carol to give me a hand with narrowing down some ideas and she came back with some really good ones.

Thanks Carol!

The first theme was “things I loved doing this year” and for the altered playing card I was working on, that was “texture”.  I’ve already explored texture in all forms and pushed them pretty far so I created a set of three art cards, this one is the first, the other two will be posted over the next two weeks.

When I was thinking how I would work with my altered playing card as the first video lesson, I started with the following textures:

  • gel skin
  • crackle paint
  • buttons

The thing to note is when you work with an altered playing card, it just needs a bit of extra prep work with gesso, since the cards are coated.    A tip:  gesso a bunch of cards at once to save time.

Working with an altered playing card did have its challenges when I didn’t quite use enough gesso and that’s instantly fixed with a layer of medium.

Running my fingers over the card, I felt the texture that was there and where I could add even more.

  • curling the heart so it lifts off the card
  • the slight wrinkle of the gel skin
  • the buttons
  • the crackle paint
  • the gesso brush strokes
  • and even the quote

The only thing left to do on the card is to apply a label on the back with the title, date and my name.

As with all the projects, if you want to adapt this to something else, such as a greeting card, postcard or large art, you only need to adjust the size of the elements and even that is totally up to you.

 

Altered Playing Card as an ATC

Here’s What You’ll Need
Ready to Make This?

What did you think?

Thinking of this project as an idea hub, what other ways could you use this altered playing card?  Please share your comments below.

 

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