At the request of kimchery, I'm going ahead and putting up a tutorial on how I make a basic ATC card. While I know there are tons of ways to do this, I thought maybe this could be helpful for newbies like me! lol
This is a very simple technique, good for hand-illustrated cards, and I've found it very satisfying. Though it seems like a lot of steps, it's not difficult at all.
*pre-cut ATC-sized 2 1/2" x 3 1/2" unfinished non-corrugated cardboard (easy enough to make yourself from, say, a cereal box)(If you want something acid-free, for a longer-lasting card, you might have to buy something at an art store that is labeled as acid-free.)
*mechanical pencil (with eraser)
*paperStep 1: ATC template
Take the cereal box and cut out the front panel. On the unprinted side, draw a rectangle the size of a standard ATC (2 1/2" x 3 1/2"). Cut the rectangle out, being very careful to keep the cuts straight, as this will be a template for lots of ATC fun, and must be accurate.
If you want, you can cover this template with paper to make it look kind of neat. Step 2: Begin your illustration
Using your new ATC template, draw a rectangle on a piece of paper.Step 3: Complete your illustration
Let your illustration flow outside the bounds of your rectangle so that there are no white edges on the completed ATC.Step 4: Preparing to mount the ATC card
Hold the illustration up to the light, with the illustrated side toward the light. Hold your ATC template on the back of the illustration and align it so that the template opening exactly matches the location of the rectangle that your illustration is drawn in.Step 5: Draw a rectangle on the back of the illustration
Carefully place the illustration and ATC template on a hard surface, maintaining the exact positioning from the previous step, and draw a rectangle on the back of the illustration using a pencil.
Hold the illustration up to the light again, without the template this time, making sure that the rectangles on both the front and back of the illustration line up. If necessary, readjust the rectangle on the back of the illustration.Step 6: Erase the rectangle lines on the front of your illustration, if necessary
Since you don't want there to be lines showing on the front of your ATC left over from your drawing frame rectangle, you may choose to erase the lines from your original rectangle. Carefully. (See the arrows in my photo showing where I erased my lines.)Step 7: Mounting the ATC cardboard
Uniformly coat the back
of your illustration with the glue stick, going outside the bounds of the rectangle to make sure there is sufficient coverage.
Place your precut ATC board on the back of the illustration. Press evenly to ensure full contact. Turn the card illustration face up, place a piece of paper over the illustration to protect it, and evenly rub the entire card to ensure there are no bubbles or warping.Step 8: Preparing to glue the back
Cut the illustration paper, now mounted to the ATC board, in a manner shown here. Don't cut all the way to the corners. Leave a bit overhanging.Step 9: Glue the back
Glue opposing sides first, as shown in the illustration. Then glue the remaining two.Step 10: Trim the corners
Trim the little folded corners even with the ATC edge. Carefully! lolStep 11: Let it dry
Close the ATC between the pages of a thick hard cover book to ensure it will dry without warping.Step 12: Print out a back label
A printed, personal label makes the back of the ATC look completed and professional (or, at least as professional as I can manage! lol)
Make it slightly smaller than the actual card itself.Step 13: Glue the label on the back of the ATC
Evenly coat the back of the label with glue, make sure it's evenly lined up, and once again, use a second piece of paper to protect the surface of the label as you evenly press the label into place. You may need to press the ATC between the pages of the book at this stage also to ensure the ATC doesn't warp.Ta-DA! You're done! YEAH!
If anything is confusing about this tutorial, please let me know, and I'll make adjustments! lol Hope this helps all-you-all!