Sunday, November 4, 2012

Artist Trading Cards Tutorial

Artist Trading Cards or better known as ATCs have been around for a while. I have only recently discovered them. They are great fun!

 I have made a tutorial for anyone out there wondering what ATCs are and how to make them. Artist Trading Cards are small 3 1/2 by 2 1/2 size cards. On one side you create a masterpiece and on the other you write your information like blog, email, web site, name and date. Grab your supplies and start creating!


Card stock 
Paper cutter
Glue stick

Optional materials depending on what media you use

Decorative papers
Glue gun
Embroidery floss
Magazine cutouts
Anything you want to use!

You can make the base card out of anything, card stock is what I use. But you can also use canvas, watercolor paper, an old playing card (covered in paper or gesso). There are even ones that are pre-made for all types of media. I have bought some of the pre- made ones. They are nice if you want to use a specific medium like watercolor, but card stock works fine.

So, let's get to the making. Start with the card stock. Measure out 2 1/2 along one side with a pencil mark, and 3 1/2 along the other side.

Card stock and ruler measuring 2 1/2 inches across.
 The next step is cutting the cards out. Here I use a paper cutter for straight lines. Of course you can use scissors as well but I tend to make crooked cuts so I use the cutter. 

There you have a nice card just the right size.

I like to round the edges with an edge cutter. I have tried cutting the edge myself, needless to say I can't make good edges with scissors. You can leave them square as well. 

Now the fun begins! Get your supplies. Here I have the scraps from another project I was working on they have paint stains. The large paper is for the back side. This is where you can get creative, make backgrounds with paint or paper, collage, whatever you like.

 I use a glue stick because it goes on smooth, doesn't wrinkle the paper and is quick drying. I made a frame with the scraps of paper.

Here I have glued a decorative paper on the back.

Cut the back paper off.

I stamped the back paper with a Made with love stamp. You can use any stamp that has lines or just write your info on the back.

I colored in the stamp with gel pens and added my info.

Now for the front. Here are my examples. In this one I colored inside the frame I made of papers.

Here I had drawn a picture on another paper and cut it up, glued and done!

A different stamp with lines to write in your info.

Here is the stack of the ones I made that day. 

Now it's time to trade them! Find a local group in your area, a mail group or make a group yourself. 

Every Friday at The Cozy Craft Corner from 3:30 to 5:30 we have an Artist Trading Card class and swap. It is so fun! I love making small pieces of art. It's tiny and manageable. We usually end up making about four each class and trade them. 
I have also started a group of women from my Flying Lessons class with Kelly Rae Roberts to do ATC's in the mail. This has been very successful so far and great fun! 

I hope you now have a better understanding about how to make Artist Trading Cards. Enjoy :)

Here are some sites that give you ideas and themes;
Here is an interesting idea Tea Bag ATCs
Here is one that has supplies.
Here are some books on ATC's
I have this on in my shop Artist Trading Card Workshop

Have a wonderful day,

1 comment:

  1. Love this! Thanks. Think ill join the flyers trading group!