You are here

artist trading cards anyone?

this is a fun thing i discovered at the craft store and then i shared it with LF. she likes to doodle and make things, so we have started looking into getting in on the action. a good site to get the idea at is

you can google for more information, but essentially artist trading cards (ATCs) are small handcrafted works of art that you make and then swap with others. they are 2.5x3.5 inches (nice and small!), use all sorts of mediums (drawing, painting, cut and paste, etc). you then swap your cards with other people and collect the cards that people make for you.

does anyone else do this or think it would be fun? maybe if there is some interest we can put some kind of swap together

I have no idea where to get the artist trading cards around here. I used to see them all the time at art stores. I guess I need to find an art store here so I can get some good heavy paper to cut down at the very least! I don't have a paper cutter though, so you'll have to excuse me if they aren't cut perfectly.


i have a small craft paper cutter that works well. i think you could also use an exacto knife and ruler. from what i have read, having them PERFECT size wise isn't a big issue as long as they are 2.5x3.5". mine tend to be a touch bigger or smaller.

if you have a micheals around, they have good coupons online right know (one half off, one 30% off reg. price purchase). if anyone wants, PM me your email and i'll email you the email.


I'm gonna post the rules from atcforall since it is easier that posting them out.

how to make:
how to mail:

Most swaps are 3-3 (you make/send 3 and you get three back) but we can do more or less if people want to. OPEN THEME, mixed media. However, please don't make cards with "chunky embellishments" (to keep postage/packing easy).

if you make an account over there, find me! my name is "beeps."

L2A - when i was looking at this a  lot of parents over there have their kids on their accounts (kids can't have accounts but parents can post their kids stuff and organize kid swaps for them). i thought your elder son may be interested.


I found art card paper today and went for it.  My pictures are outlined and I made an extra one for beeps.

I bought expensive art pencils, too.  I colored in one card and it didn't turn out the way I pictured it, but I've never used pencil before.  I think I'm going to stop by Target tomorrow and get crayons.  I like the way they blend better.  Or I know how to blend them, at least.  Next week I might get the expensive watercolor art pencils.  The colors would probably smooth out better and I have a 40% off coupon.

One down.  Be kind.  I've always liked doing art, but I'm better at (i.e., capable at all at) three dimensional stuff.


i might be up for this... but regarding materials, where can i get sleeves? i've never seen sleeves that size, and even larger ones seem hard to come by. for the card itself, can I just cut them out from a cardstock poster board? I've not seen cards that size at Michael's either : /


Aaron Brothers carries atc paper and sleeves.  If I couldn't find any, I was going to trim down index cards and put them in sports card sleeves.  I bought five atc sleeves for $4.  You can buy a hundred 3" x 4" sleeves from a sports card place for that price.


i have been hunting IN VAIN for sleeves. if you have a target/walmart that sells sports/trading cards, you can look there. i can't find anything except ones that are made for fancy cards that have holograms on them!

re: the ATC cards and micheals/joanns. some stores have them around me and some don't. the albany micheals doesn't have the little packs but the latham one does. i havent looked at AC Moore but i should. usually they are on an ENDCAP near the fine art paper. at least this is where my joanns/micheals place them.

we got some 3x4 bags at micheals - they are over where you can find the gift bag makin' supplies (they have poly bags in different sizes, the brown craft bags with handles - this place). they are a touch big but work great. They have a 30% off coupon for Friday or Saturday - let me know if you want me to send you the email (baypuppy at gmail). i think it was 50 or 100 for $3

my understanding for SHIPPING with bags is to keep the cards from damaging each other and from getting damaged from the mail (i.e. wet day). i would be okay with people using modified baggies (like sandwich bags) for mailing if you can't find the cheap sleeves. i totally understand if people don't want to buy 100000 of the things or spend a few bucks on a few for a craft you may not yet be committed to. read the mailing link i posted - it shows how to tape your sleeved cards down to keep them from getting messed up in the mail.

For paper, depending on your medium i would suggest cardstock (this is easy to find) or watercolor paper (if you paint or do wet stuff). i read that some who make collages use playing cards as a base. i wouldn't use poster board for drawing (unless you like that it is glossy). index cards would also be a nice weight. the unlined ones are easy to find and the size isn't bad for cutting down. if you are doing anything wet you really have to look into painting papers so the paper doesn't get all messy and buckled.


I went to a card shop yesterday that was closed on Sunday.  There's another card shop on my commute route.  I'm going to go there and look for sleeves.  If I find them, I can mail a bunch to people who can't find them or don't want a bajillion.  Assuming, of course, that the card place carries them.


i'm sure they will! if they don't..... what?!

maybe they will only have the hologram ones. what a ridiculous thing.

does anyone have an account at atcsforall? i uploaded some of my stuff! i'm doing a pink cat swap.


I like the faces.  

I like the organized exchange themes.  I think I'm more creative when I'm confined.  For the organized exchanges, do you scan your own before you mail them and then once they're traded you post them?

I'm going to post mine on their website as traded, so I have a place to keep track of what I've done.  Don't peek if you don't want to see them early.


I'm gonna start a thread for people who want to play. this can be a questions/answers/chat/whatever thread. the other thread will be less cluttered and i can see who is playing along. i'll pick a couple of themes people can play with. i'll leave them broad - maybe "people" "animals" and "surprise"

ohhhh HH send me a message so i can see your stuff! i don't know what your user name is. actually, have to PM you anyways.

for the exchanges at atcsforall, some people will scan the "best" from each lot and post them. MANY people will scan their cards and post them in their "swap" gallery. that is what i plan to do.

i mailed for the surprise swap already. i have 1 more to make for pink cats and i signed up for intuitive faces and (maybe) bunnies. i think i'm gonna be wait listed for bunnies but that's cool.



Log in or register to post comments