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Author Topic: Making my own Tarot Deck - Advice/Suggestions?  (Read 340 times)

Feral Wife

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Making my own Tarot Deck - Advice/Suggestions?
« on: January 11, 2018, 02:33:36 pm »
I have been wanting to explore Tarot for quite a long time now. I've used other people's decks and I was given a deck a few years back. I felt absolutely 0 connection to the decks themselves but gained a lot personally from working with Tarot.

I would like to craft my own Tarot deck because I believe what is missing is having my own personal touch. I think there would be nothing better to use for self readings than a deck made my oneself (it'll also be a good way to get to know the cards and meanings for me since I am a very kinetic learner and if I have a hand in creating them I think the knowledge will flow easier.)

Does anyone have any advice/suggestions/helpful hints in doing this?
Has anyone made their own deck before?
What materials are best for it?
What card set did you base it off of?
etc.

I know there are precut and measured blank tarot decks out there that you can add your own illustrations to but I am really not interested in that. I want to be part of the creation from start to end.

Sefiru

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Re: Making my own Tarot Deck - Advice/Suggestions?
« Reply #1 on: January 11, 2018, 07:11:42 pm »

Does anyone have any advice/suggestions/helpful hints in doing this?
Has anyone made their own deck before?
What materials are best for it?
What card set did you base it off of?
etc.


Yay, papercraft! I've made cards for card games before, so here's my advice:
- a round-corner punch like this one is a great thing to have.
- You can trace things onto card stock using a light box (a tablet or phone with a white screen should work); this will avoid getting guide lines and eraser marks on your final copy.
- Artist pens are worth the price, at least for outlining and lettering.
- Get a large piece of cardboard, plywood or MDF and tape the cards to it with masking tape. This will help keep them steady while you're working on them instead of trying to hold them still with your fingers.
- Using a utility knife and ruler will give you nicer cuts than using scissors.

Feral Wife

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Re: Making my own Tarot Deck - Advice/Suggestions?
« Reply #2 on: January 11, 2018, 07:29:09 pm »


Yay, papercraft!
Haha yes I quite like crafts.

That was all very helpful advice. Currently I'm wondering how to get the cards all a uniform shape and what material would be best to use.


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CoyoteFeathers

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Re: Making my own Tarot Deck - Advice/Suggestions?
« Reply #3 on: January 11, 2018, 09:24:11 pm »
I have been wanting to explore Tarot for quite a long time now. I've used other people's decks and I was given a deck a few years back. I felt absolutely 0 connection to the decks themselves but gained a lot personally from working with Tarot.

I would like to craft my own Tarot deck because I believe what is missing is having my own personal touch. I think there would be nothing better to use for self readings than a deck made my oneself (it'll also be a good way to get to know the cards and meanings for me since I am a very kinetic learner and if I have a hand in creating them I think the knowledge will flow easier.)

Does anyone have any advice/suggestions/helpful hints in doing this?
Has anyone made their own deck before?
What materials are best for it?
What card set did you base it off of?
etc.

I know there are precut and measured blank tarot decks out there that you can add your own illustrations to but I am really not interested in that. I want to be part of the creation from start to end.

Long long ago on another forum, I attempted to organize a tarot deck collab with the other members. I got a few bites and we managed to finish maybe half of the Major Arcana, but since everyone felt and thought different things about every card and its meaning- and people tended to blow off the project- it ended up being a bit of a mess.

What I'd say is planning out your symbolism. Make it consistent. Since this is something only for you, make it as personal as you want. If you want to include recurring imagery of faeries, do it. If you want to replace pentacles with diamonds because that's what you think of when it comes to wealth, do that. If your image of the Hermit isn't some old man with a three-foot beard, then don't do that. As I said, just make it consistent, and make sure every card shows something that you personally link with the message of that card.

Other than that... Plan plan plan! Thumbnails! Sketches! Scrap paper! Make sure you know what you want before going to finish! I mean, unless spontaneity is what you're looking for. I personally just don't operate like that.

CoyoteFeathers

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Re: Making my own Tarot Deck - Advice/Suggestions?
« Reply #4 on: January 11, 2018, 09:29:24 pm »
Haha yes I quite like crafts.

That was all very helpful advice. Currently I'm wondering how to get the cards all a uniform shape and what material would be best to use.


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Also (sorry for the double post here) Nice sturdy papers (from lightest to heaviest) are cardstock, bristol, and illustration board. What you're using as a medium greatly affects which material you should use, though. If doing watercolor, I would suggest mounting the finished pieces onto a heavier, smooth paper (such as aforementioned cardstock/bristol) because many watercolor papers don't handle well over time, and tend to warp when being painted on, so putting them in a deck would be awkward. Alternatively, make reproductions of them and print them on, again, heavy paper. I say heavy paper because you'll need it to last through being shuffled and handled. You may even want to laminate them or invest in getting the deck printed via an online service.

Feral Wife

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Re: Making my own Tarot Deck - Advice/Suggestions?
« Reply #5 on: January 11, 2018, 11:13:42 pm »


I say heavy paper because you'll need it to last through being shuffled and handled. You may even want to laminate them or invest in getting the deck printed via an online service.

I am a watercolor artist so I was wanting to use watercolor but I don't know how to do that, protect the images, and have sturdy cards.

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Jack

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Re: Making my own Tarot Deck - Advice/Suggestions?
« Reply #6 on: January 11, 2018, 11:41:09 pm »

I am a watercolor artist so I was wanting to use watercolor but I don't know how to do that, protect the images, and have sturdy cards.

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Do you want to read with your actual paintings? Because you could always photograph them and have a deck printed.

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Hail Mara, Lady of Good Things!
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"[Jack], you are embracing a lie which will ultimately prove destructive to you and those around you and for which there will be consequences." - ehbowen

Feral Wife

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Re: Making my own Tarot Deck - Advice/Suggestions?
« Reply #7 on: January 12, 2018, 12:14:10 am »
Do you want to read with your actual paintings? Because you could always photograph them and have a deck printed.

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I'm not quite sure. I am not quite sure on terminology when it comes to my craft, since I've never even talked to another practitioner before TC so excuse me as I try and fumble through this explanation lol

I have very little interest in reading other people, or rather /for/ other people. So what I'm looking for really is a deck that I use myself, for myself, and by myself. Something very personal that I can turn to when needed and to give me guidance on a daily basis.

I think I would like to use my actual paintings for that purpose, and potentially get another deck printed? I'm not sure.

The way I practice is what I call relic based...? I use a lot of items and attribute different properties to many different things in my life. I would at least like the cards to be somewhat functional for me to either use while casting or as totems.

I don't know if any of that makes sense haha

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Jack

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Re: Making my own Tarot Deck - Advice/Suggestions?
« Reply #8 on: January 12, 2018, 12:45:09 am »
I'm not quite sure. I am not quite sure on terminology when it comes to my craft, since I've never even talked to another practitioner before TC so excuse me as I try and fumble through this explanation lol

I have very little interest in reading other people, or rather /for/ other people. So what I'm looking for really is a deck that I use myself, for myself, and by myself. Something very personal that I can turn to when needed and to give me guidance on a daily basis.

I think I would like to use my actual paintings for that purpose, and potentially get another deck printed? I'm not sure.

The way I practice is what I call relic based...? I use a lot of items and attribute different properties to many different things in my life. I would at least like the cards to be somewhat functional for me to either use while casting or as totems.

I don't know if any of that makes sense haha

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I ask because I have a deck that I made by uploading art to a website and then ordering the cards. XD

If you want to use originals, I'd recommend you buy some of those ACEOs and paint them and try different methods of sealing, then shuffle and whatnot and see how they hold up.

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Hail Mara, Lady of Good Things!
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"[Jack], you are embracing a lie which will ultimately prove destructive to you and those around you and for which there will be consequences." - ehbowen

Jack

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Re: Making my own Tarot Deck - Advice/Suggestions?
« Reply #9 on: January 12, 2018, 12:46:16 am »
I ask because I have a deck that I made by uploading art to a website and then ordering the cards. XD

If you want to use originals, I'd recommend you buy some of those ACEOs and paint them and try different methods of sealing, then shuffle and whatnot and see how they hold up.

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Actually now that I think about it, if you were okay with the ACEO size you could paint them and then slip them in the kind or card protector sleeves they make for trading card games.

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Hail Mara, Lady of Good Things!
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"[Jack], you are embracing a lie which will ultimately prove destructive to you and those around you and for which there will be consequences." - ehbowen

Feral Wife

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Re: Making my own Tarot Deck - Advice/Suggestions?
« Reply #10 on: January 12, 2018, 10:18:57 am »
Actually now that I think about it, if you were okay with the ACEO size you could paint them and then slip them in the kind or card protector sleeves they make for trading card games.
Not that I am 100% opposed to doing that if that is my only option, I'd really like them to be fully handcrafted if at all possible. Trying to brainstorm on how to best do that. I have gotten all of my ducks in a row in terms of mapping out designs and things that I want to include for each card (for all but the major arcana cards).

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Re: Making my own Tarot Deck - Advice/Suggestions?
« Reply #11 on: January 12, 2018, 01:18:27 pm »
Not that I am 100% opposed to doing that if that is my only option, I'd really like them to be fully handcrafted if at all possible. Trying to brainstorm on how to best do that. I have gotten all of my ducks in a row in terms of mapping out designs and things that I want to include for each card (for all but the major arcana cards).

I'd still put some plastic protection on it even if they're fully handcrafted because you don't want your readings to be falsed by hand memory.
I didn't make my favourite deck myself but it has some handcrafted mods that I made a long time ago. When I draw cards I can actually FEEL the difference in texture on the cards so I know which is which, and I also can tell which card is which from those that are more worn out than the others! So now I have to draw the cards by only touching the corners (no mods on the corners) and closing my eyes if I really don't want to spoil myself which card is which.
- 20 year old artist from France, childlike wonder! -

Feral Wife

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Re: Making my own Tarot Deck - Advice/Suggestions?
« Reply #12 on: January 12, 2018, 01:58:55 pm »


I'd still put some plastic protection on it even if they're fully handcrafted because you don't want your readings to be falsed by hand memory.

That's a very good point, hadn't considered that. Thinking about potentially using something as a backing for the cards instead of plastic/laminate?  I can't come up with anything that won't make them too rigid.

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Sefiru

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Re: Making my own Tarot Deck - Advice/Suggestions?
« Reply #13 on: January 12, 2018, 06:38:38 pm »
Currently I'm wondering how to get the cards all a uniform shape

Er, measure twice, cut once? Assuming you're going to make rectangular cards, that is. Just pick a set of dimensions (like 6x9 cm) and stick to them. You could also make a template out of heavy cardboard in the shape you want and trace around it for each card.

Since you want to do watercolors, I'd suggest marking out the edges of each card in the middle of a larger piece of paper, and then cutting it out after the artwork is finished.

Noctua

Re: Making my own Tarot Deck - Advice/Suggestions?
« Reply #14 on: January 12, 2018, 06:53:46 pm »

That's a very good point, hadn't considered that. Thinking about potentially using something as a backing for the cards instead of plastic/laminate?  I can't come up with anything that won't make them too rigid.

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Soooo, I dunno if this is something you'd be interested in seeing how the size is much smaller than a typical Tarot card, but they make sleeve-style card protectors for the different collectible card games like Magic: The Gathering. It would be about the size of a standard card deck, but the protectors are designed so that they remain flexible and cards can still be easily shuffled. I only thought of this because my husband is starting to get back into M:TG again so he's dragged out all our card supplies again recently.

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