Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Recycled Playing Cards - Mixed Media

click all pictures to see them better
Our family has been playing a game called SPLIT for at least eight years and we recently ran out of score sheets and the cards were Cheeto-stained, bent and in pretty bad shape (like me some days). So we grudgingly opened a new box (I had bought a couple when the company folded) but no one could bear the thought of throwing away the old cards. This project is born from happy memories meets uncharachteristic sentiment (we're usually pretty cold-hearted about stuff).

I prepared the cards with a thick layer of gesso applied with a palette knife. You waste a lot less this way than if you use a brush and spreading is quick and as easy as buttering bread.


This is a great time for mark-making so etch into some of the gesso. I mostly made hearts as they're easy. You can make marks with the back of a paintbrush, a skewer, pencil, stick - whatever. 


Drying time. *sigh* The bane of my existence and I've gotten weird about preferring natural air drying over using my heat gun. Why? It seems more stable to me. And I'm a nut.

Anyhow...

 Since I wanted to maximize what was accomplished during my (eternal) dry time I spritzed them with spray ink. This is a very unintentional step. Don't stress it. Some will look good, some will pool and muddle and look bad. It's all fine. Once it dries gesso and ink combine and the results are rarely recognizable from what you see at this stage. 



Then, just for shits and giggles I splash around some alcohol ink. Love this stuff. Never used it as intended. I just splash, splash, splash the stuff all over my projects and then grin at it like the Cheshire Cat. It's good stuff. Covers everything. Spreads like a zombie virus. Win all around.


Here's one batch of cards. I did one craft mat (official distance measure in my house) worth of cards at a time. Waited an hour or three until they were safe to move off onto the table (Still very sticky, but moveable) and then made another set. It took all day but all 104 are now prepared.


I sorted them according to the ones that were awesome and the ones that sucked. I'd dress it up but that would be dishonest. Me: 

Suck. Suck. 
Really, Nicole? Suck!!! 
Awesome. Everyone come see this, it's so cool! 
Suck. Suck. Good. 
Like it. Like it. Like it. Um, no. 

Then in my traditional backwards way of doing things, I started with the ones I hated so if I wrecked them, they were already destined for the trash and it would fall under the 'no harm no foul' rule. 

They were ugly. As you can see in the pic above (left side), my gold alcohol ink (just found it in a box) made brown splotches. Not even brown really, more like puce. Ick. 

So I added some ink, spread some large mica flakes and did my best to salvage them.

Now I luuurve them. So pretty and fun. No Cheeto stains.

Here's the first dozen or so:



















Thanks so much for visiting!



If you'd like a print out of the quotes I used on these cards please click this download link.
Special thanks to Carla Devine for creating this document.

33 comments:

CathyR said...

Those are so cool. Must go buy some gesso and try some. Thanks for the inspiration!

Miek said...

This is so nice ! Love the great pictures you made and this nice tutorial! I think the are all very nice cards, good words.

chksngr said...

Amazing...You make me want to recycle all sorts of things as art...JUST FABULOUS!

Kathi said...

Wow. These are fabulous.

Thanks for the tutorial and step-out photos.

I must say that I chuckled more than once while reading. So thanks for that too!

VivJM said...

I saw these earlier on Flickr and fell in love! I managed to persuade my boys then and there to donate some of their old Pokemon swaps so I could have a go. I was even more excited to find that you had made a tutorial too :-) and one that includes the words "spreads like a zombie virus" as an added bonus!

VivJM said...

I saw these earlier on Flickr and fell in love! I managed to persuade my boys then and there to donate some of their old Pokemon swaps so I could have a go. I was even more excited to find that you had made a tutorial too :-) and one that includes the words "spreads like a zombie virus" as an added bonus!

Corrie Herriman said...

These are absolutely FAB !!! Nicole. Don't put yourself down. They are not icky, they are wonderful. I love them !! Can't wait to see the rest !

Corrie x

Susan King said...

I lurv them too! Who would have thought based on the before and during photos? Absolutely fabulous.

Dagmar said...

Wow wow wow!!! So fantastic and i love them all!!!!!

Karen Conner said...

I LUV them!! What a Terrific Idea!
Who doesn't have ratty old decks of cards stuck back in the drawer? LOL

Carmen said...

Spread like a zombie infection? -*snort*

I prefer air drying too - never did get on with heat gunning things - always burned and bubbled... maybe shouldn't have been ominously singing FIRE! or TWISTED FIRE STARTER! when doing it maybe...

Love, love these! Love the texture. LOVE the sentiments and love all the family fun and cheeto stained karma that resides within them. They must be supercharged with good vibes!

Gill said...

Thank you - these are fabulous!

PJ Taylor said...

The cards are Beautiful!!!!!!!

Andrea said...

This is so so so SWEET!

Andrea said...

This is so so so SWEET!

Adrienne Crist said...

Really bad! I'm just wondering what kind of Inks did you use to finish them off with?

Betty Franks said...

Love these cards! And, love the quotes. Thank you for the printed copy!!

Lindsay @ Diary of a Crafty Lady said...

These are fabulous!!! Just out of curiosity, what do you do with them afterward? Are you able to stack them, or are they too fragile for that?

pedalpower said...

These are great! I can't wait to use the one I got from you, and I think I'll make more too!

Francine Johnson McGee said...

I just love your cards! They really turned out fabulously. Thanks for the tutorial. How are you displaying them? Are you using them? Just love them

mytherapyroom said...

I came cross this post while I was searching for inspiration for ATC's. These are soooo beautiful and I knew right away what I was going to do. I had a sheet of background paper that I knew would lend itself to these. Thank you soooo much for the downloadable quotes. I used four of them and love how my cards turned out. Thanks so much for the inspiration.....your card are amazing. <3
http://mytherapyroom.wordpress.com/2014/04/05/more-atcs/
Yvonne

Carmen said...

Got here through 'Obsessed with Paper Art' and love your work! I love finding new blogs I enjoy! TFS your work. :)

Alicia (Your WOW Coach) said...

LOVE your work! I have a ministry called "WOW! Wholehearted Living" and would like to talk with you about ordering some of your incredible masterpieces. Please let me know how to connect with you. Thanks!

VALERIE LUGANT said...

Magnifique!

jokesk said...

It's great!

Rhonda Marineau said...

STUNNING cards Nicole....Just got myself some thick gesso and gave it a try...I couldn't be happier the way they turned out. Just the new technique I needed. I used paper covered padding board for mine and I love the way the paper shines through....
You are HILARIOUS~!!!!!! Never be censored........

Connie J Miller said...

Could you stamp in the wet gesso? Would it mess up a stamp?

JW said...

I love these, thank you for explaining with awesome pics how to make them. It's on the top of my list!

Zoso said...

are you able to still answer a question or two?

SMH said...

Very very inspiring, kudos for being so honest, loved your woprkšŸ˜

Unknown said...

HI Nicole -

These are so beautiful! You inspired me to give this a try. I was so, so impressed with my work - it made me smile. Sadly, in my haste to make these, I didn't have gesso on hand and produced them with just some primer paint and Mod Podge I had on hand. Unfortunatley, the art on the cards is very, very fragile, getting brittle and falling off, to the point that I can't really give them to anyone :( Do you have any hope or advice for saving these? Or should I just start over?

[img]https://goo.gl/photos/5x4ZdmyYMJU1hQi28[/img]

Thanks!

blue mac said...

Was having a look for ATCs and found your blog. These are fabulous and the tutorial is great too. It was such fun to read and a real help to me to get started using mixed media. I've always felt a bit intimidated. Thank you so much for all the information you shared.

ChAoTiCaLlY cRaFtEd de Mind and Corazon Sumey said...

I can relate to EVERYTHING you say about doubting yourself. i was so incredibly creative and talented in my teen years now im a mom and am starting all over again art wise after 17 years and i feel so lost sometimes but I am so incredibly passionate about seeing this through. Thank you for your inspiration and your wonderfully beautiful art!! My name is Nicole too lol šŸ˜„