The mechanics of producing the cards


Okay, lots of threads about the images on the cards, but what happens after that?

Even if you worked directly on card stock (or printed onto it) it wouldn't stand up to use without smearing/blurring. So -- is there something like a varnish you can apply to waterproof the cards?

I've seen talk about lamination, but going by the laminated items in my wallet, the result is too heavy and stiff to make good cards.


there is a craft spray sealant that i used to use on a variety of art projects that runs about $4. lot of artists i know just use regular hair spray as a fixative on all art projects-watercolor, charcoal, colored pencils and a wide range of surfaces-wood, plastic, paper. it's cheap and easy to get. perhaps if there was something of similar material you could experiment on to see how well it works before investing much effort. the beauty of a spray sealer vs. a painted on one is that a spray dries much quicker and with less dust particles or finger prints, etc. i prefer a spray b/c a paint on stays sticky a while and it's difficult to avoid touching something to the surface until it dries.


On one set of Majors that I have made up I have used transparent contact on both sides. Basically, I drew them on paper, stuck this to fairly thin but strongish card and contacted each side. The result is pretty good... don't know how it would be with a full 78 deck but it is the best I could come up with at the time.


Clear contact -- what a neat idea! I even have some around, so I can experiment. My guess is that card stock + color xerox + 2 layers of clear contact would be too thick, but perhaps using some other intermediate weight stock in place of the cardstock (for the backs, I mean) would work out well.

A friend suggested that I could simply glue the xeroxed art to commercially printed cards, get the right stiffness & opacity & backing art all at one go. I haven't tried that yet -- I'm not sure how to protect the fronts in that case. Maybe trim the art slightly smaller than the card, and use the clear contact? Is just a quarter inch or so around the perimeter enough for secure adhesion? Time for more experiments.

BTW, I discovered that the Oriental Trading Company sells what they call 'Double coated JUMBO PLAYING CARDS' that are 3 5/8" by 5 1/4". Might be a nicer size to allow artwork details to be seen, if they aren't too awkward to handle at that size. Another experiment. (At least they would be extremely cheap to use: they sell a dozen decks for $10.)


great idea with the playing cards, but what would keep the paper you glued from snagging during shuffling etc? i found laminating makes the surface of the cards weirdly smooth and they dont shuffle well at all, but if you dont put anything on at all the edges of the glued on paper will come up after awhile. any ideas?


I was wondering of Modge Podge would work on the fronts. There'd be no plastic overlay to put on with contact paper or laminating, and all the cut bits of paper would be securely fastened down. Thing is, I wonder if the modge podge itself would be too 'sticky' (meaning textured) to shuffle the deck. I was looking into using a standard deck of cards also, and collaging the fronts.

Someone in an artist group said the thickness could be thinned down by adding water to the modge podge, but she'd never tried it & didn't know the proportions of water to the stuff.


I wonder if a coating like shellac or polyurethane would work? As in, stay flexible enough not to peel, not cause your collage to come apart when you coated it...


I suspect that the coating is a lacquer, as it dries hard and smooth. I have a friend in the rpinting business, I'll ask him what he thinks.


ACK! Don't use Modge Podge, it'll stick to itself so 2 cards will stick together & not come apart. I just experimented--left them to dry for 3 days, then put them together & had a mess.

I do like the acrylic spray, but it's not enough to keep a collage all smoothed down tight to a card. And I've tried the clear contact paper in the past--it mutes the colors down because the surface isn't crystal clear. Check it out, but I don't think you'll like the results, it gets hazy.

Oh, I do rubber stamping too, and hair spray, while it DOES work, will turn yellow after a year or so. Something to think about if you're using it on a 'nice' deck.

I wonder if the polyurethane would be the best way to go.