How to Make a Custom Set of Playing Cards

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Design a set of custom-decorated playing cards to impress friends at your next poker party, give as a meaningful gift or simply express your creativity. Alter the cards with basic craft techniques to create a deck that you'll use, display and treasure.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Playing cards
  • Stickers
  • Rubber stamps
  • Stamping ink
  • Photos
  • Corner rounder
  • Adhesives
  • Cardstock
  • Patterned paper
  • Embellishments
  • Paint and pens
  • Memorabilia

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  1. 1

    Buy a deck of cards to alter. Try traditional playing cards or a game deck like Uno, Old Maid or Pit. Jumbo-sized cards or decks in unconventional shapes like flip flops, snowmen, pumpkins or stars can give your designs even more impact. (See Resources)

  2. 2

    Leave the face of the cards in tact so you'll still be able to play with them. You can embellish them with small stickers or stamped images as long as the designs don't interfere with the important markings, however.

  3. 3

    Add photos to the backs of the cards with double-stick tape. Apply them to the center or cover the entire surface. Use a corner rounder to help the images align with the card's original shape. Try images from your last vacation, holidays, birthdays or memorable everyday moments. (See Resources)

  4. 4

    Decorate the cards with cardstock, patterned paper, stickers and small die cuts. Change the color with paint and doodle with pens. Use solvent ink to stamp designs on the backs or add meaningful song lyrics, quotes or messages for the recipient with letter stamps. (See Resources)

  5. 5

    Create a deck full of memories by adding a ticket stub, small photo, quote, brochure snippet or other bits of memorabilia to the back of each card. Seal the artwork with decoupage glaze, if desired.

  6. 6

    Consider having decks of playing cards custom printed if you need a large quantity for a fundraiser, advertising campaign or event like a wedding, retirement or anniversary party. (See Resources)

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