Over the past couple years (mainly in wild spurts of activity many months apart) I've finished almost a full deck of altered playing cards. But considering the old saying about "not playing with a full deck", maybe it would be most appropriate if I didn't
end up completing the deck.
If you're interested in making altered playing cards and trading them, the size is still supposed to be 2.5 x 3.5 inches -- I'm told that poker cards are these dimensions, while many other playing cards are not. Some people are fine with other sizes, but unless it's discussed and agreed upon ahead of time, they're expecting to receive a card with standard ATC dimensions.
The other guideline is that the card's number and suit need to remain visible (uncovered) somewhere on the card (otherwise no one knows it's a playing card!
). This deck I have is a U.S. Civil War replica deck, which has no numbers. Instead, I've added the number in some other way, either writing, collage numbers, puff-paint, or embroidery.
Two techniques that I had good luck with were these melted crayon backgrounds (link is Youtube slideshow of how it is done)
, and layers of thin papers with melted beeswax. Beeswax is on pretty much all
of these cards. I printed various images on tissue paper and with the beeswax they just melded with the other elements on the card. Because of the coating on the cards, it's easy for glued and melted items to pop off, so it can take some patience, and getting a feel for how much beeswax it takes.
I keep tinkering with some, but here are some of my favorites (all traded unless noted otherwise)...Clubs:
(still available) Hearts:
(My late Shelbe-dog!)
(Back-story on this one: Dr. MLK, Jr., and the three civil rights workers who were abducted and murdered in the 1960s. As I was starting this card I encountered a poem from the 1920s which said that instead of grieving those who took a stand and died because of it, we ought to grieve the apathy in the masses, still alive and unmoved. The words were put together from photos of 2 separate pinback buttons that people wore during the '60s.)Spades:
Now, get yourself a deck of cards (or just a few stray cards), play around with them, and share what you come up with! Here or in a new thread, it's up to you.