Altered Playing Card Tutorial by D. Loren Prince

Today we have a wonderful tutorial from Card Deck Swap participant D. Loren Prince. If you’re interested in the next swap, join us at that registration link. Join the very active Facebook group right now, whether you sign up or not; it’s amazing how many kindred spirits you can find in one place!

Supply list: Bicycle playing cards, painter’s masking tape, gesso, acrylic paints and inks, stamps

and stencils, black ink pad, black Pitt pen, Golden gel medium ­ gloss, napkins, tissue,

decorative paper and imagery, Uhu glue stick and scissors.


I wasn’t able to decide what card stock paper I wanted for the backs of the cards, and I rather liked the idea

of the card backs being visible, so using painter’s masking tape, I attached my cards to each

other in rows from the backside. This held them together so I could paint my backgrounds on

the fronts as one large painting.


After turning the rows of cards over so the faces are up, I did a quick wash of gesso over

all of them. (I didn’t mind if some of the card details showed through… It just makes

another layer of interest in the end).


Next came colour…using acrylic paint, inks, stencils

and other mark making objects I splashed some colours at random.

After the paint had dried, I peeled the tape off. I learned the hard way that when peeling from

the joins at the edges of the cards, they would tear unless I peeled the tape at a sharp angle,

holding it close to the card.


I like to collage multiple layers of images that make me happy. I love using napkins and tissue

paper for design elements. They can be almost transparent and allow underneath layers to

show. (If you use napkins, make sure to separate the layers or you’ll have trouble getting them

to stick nicely. They are usually 3­ply).

Sometimes I like to stamp onto the tissue before I lay it down.

I also use pages from books, magazines, my own images printed from my computer or

gelli plate.

I love vintage, and find lots of wonderful imagery at thegraphicsfairy.com and



I use Golden Gel Medium to glue all of the elements down.


For the inspirational messages on the cards I typed out the words in a document and printed

onto resume paper, cut them out and glued them on.


A few finishing details: lines around the words, red marker on some of the flowers and a stamp.

I ran and ink pad around the edges of the card to ‘frame’ it. Don’t forget to sign your card…it is,

after all, a wee piece of art!

In the end, although I really liked the image on the backside of the cards, they were a little

worse for wear…paint blotches and tears (from the tape). I fixed this simply by gluing each to a

piece of brown paper (a lunch bag). Trimmed the edges, put my name and address on the back

and called them done!