Who knew that playing cards could provide a source of crafting entertainment. Thanks to Anne, a wonderful lady, I discovered a new craft to keep me busy.
It is upcycling playing cards into kindness/friendship cards.
Through a series of videos she held an online retreat and shared all her amazing ideas for making these cards.
- lightly sand the fronts of the cards
- add a base coat, could be gesso or a plain white paint
- add acrylic paint to cover the front
- add marks of all sorts
- add words
- add a background to the back of the card
- add an edging to finish off
I found an old deck of cards that had many nights of playing enjoyable games, but they had lost their smoothness and just didn’t deal out right anymore. Of course you could buy a new deck if you don’t have any.
With fine sand paper I lightly sanded the fronts of the cards, this removes any shine and makes it easier for the paint to adhere. Then I gave them a base coat. Gesso was called for but I didn’t have any so just used a thin coat of white paint.
From old magazines, glossy flyers, and books you then start to cut out words. You want positive words of encouragement. Cut them out with a fair bit of paper around them. Anne used the term fussy cutting for when you finally pick the words you want and need to trim it to fit.
They you get creative and colour in the cards. Remember they don’t have to be perfect as you are going to layer on top of them.
Some marks were made with an old piece of rubber stopper, lines with the side of a plastic credit card, wheels from a little old racing car, and dendrite patterns (made from using 2 pieces of glass with a drop of paint dropped inside) Here are the dendrite paintings I did.
Don’t use a lot of paint then it doesn’t take long for each layer to dry.
Some words were mounted onto other coloured paper before attaching to the cards.
Texture embellishments were added also. I didn’t have an texture medium on hand, and it was a snowy day so I wasn’t going out. Time to search the internet for a recipe to make my own.
Once discovered, I mixed some up and used stencils to add a layer of dimension to the cards. I used a piece of flat plastic to spread the texture paste over the stencils.The homemade texture paste worked well, dried fairly quickly and could be painted on, left white, or have embellishments glued onto it.
Then embellishments were added with glitter, pens, little pictures, dots, bits of doilies and serviettes. You jazz it up as much or as little as you want.
The backs are covered in scrap booking paper and pictures from magazines. An edging was added around the front and backs by dabbing a paint brush in some acrylic paint and gently dabbing the edges on both side. (see top image in above collage)
What can you do with them? Give them to people that have helped you or that are having a down day. I know during this pandemic time I’m not going out nearly as much so don’t see any many people. I have started leaving some inside books at the Little Free Libraries that I visit and popping them inside books donated to thrift stores.
The question arises of how to store all these cards once made? I use a plastic fruit container which works really well.
I also found a lot of plastic pockets that were used for storing hockey cards a long time ago. You can put your cards into these, 9 per sheet, and store them in a 3 ring binder.
I use the clear plastic containers from fruit and salad greens to store a lot of crafty things in. I’ve now got all the kindness/friendship supplies in some of these boxes, which makes it so much easier to find. One holds all the cut out words, another holds stencils, stamps and embellishments and another holds paper, as nothing gets thrown out until it is too small to use.
I’ve got lots more old playing cards to make into kindness/friendship cards, possibly more than I will ever give away.
I’ve created some gift tags from them which I’ll share soon. So many possibilities. I’m thinking bookmarks, luggage tags and so much more. You are only limited by your own imagination.
Have fun with this upcycling idea and be sure to pop over to Anne’s site and also her Facebook page for more inspiration.