Glitter Tarot Deck Craft Project

Ever since I trimmed my Radiant Rider Waite deck, it hasn’t been entirely happy with me.

Yes, I anthropomorphize my decks. Deal with it.

Not because I think it’s blasphemy. I think it’s just because I was so…haphazard in my technique. I lopped off the borders with wild abandon. I have a streak of perfectionism a mile wide (Hello, Virgo!) and sometimes to compensate, I push myself to jump in with both feet instead. Chopping up a Tarot deck is kind of scary, so I went with the “both feet” method.

It wasn’t done with proper care and respect, this is what I decided. I apologized to the deck a number of times and promised my continuing love and respect, but I still got a slightly cold shoulder. So I decided to make it up to my friend by showering this deck with some love. I opted for glitter. I have a Lenormand deck I’ve glittered up with highlights and we get on fabulously.

I’ll admit, I did spend some time lusting after artist Carol Herzer’s Illuminated Tarot. While it’s certainly a reasonable price for meticulously hand-painted cards, it’s beyond what I wanted to invest in a Tarot deck. I’ve also seen Donnaleigh do it and thought it was a fabulous idea.

At any rate, this is my cut-rate, glittered up version of wonderful and I cannot wait to start working with it again…I love it, flaws and all.

What I’d do differently next time:

  • More carefully plan my inventory of glitter polish. I had to get more mid-project. Two or three bottles of each main color should do it, at least one bottle of the lesser used colors, and four or five of the irresdecent glitter I slathered over each card should do it.
  • Do one color at a time on cards and let it dry before adding new colors. Or maybe not; I’m impatient. But it would have fewer color smears.
  • Allow all the colors to dry before vamping it up with the iridescent glitter. Again, my impatience got in the way.
  • Keep a tissue handy while painting, for wiping off mistakes in the glitter painting. My fingers are far too pudgy to be fully effective.
  • Keep a pair of reading glasses next to the project at all times. Because sometimes, I’m just lazy.
  • Buy cheapo, fine-tip brushes and use with a paper plate as a palate. But that would be going all artsy-fartsy.
  • Use a screwdriver instead of scissors to pry the lid off the sealer. (Shhh! Don’t tell Captain Virgo!)
  • Use two trash bags to spread out cards when coating with sealer. Reusing the same bag was sticky. Also, do this on a warmer day.

What I would not change:

  • Use this activity as a way to wind down and relax. It was great, very soothing!
  • Pulled the cards to paint from a shuffled deck, asking questions along the way. It was both informative as a mini-reading and also made a nice connection with each card as I was working on it.
  • Glittered up ALL the cards, even the “bad” ones. Because the Three of Swords needs love, too.
  • Not taking myself or the project too seriously. I wanted to infuse some fun and love into this deck again to make it a strong working deck, and I believe I succeeded. It may not be perfect, but as long as I’m happy with it, it works.

Be aware if you give this a try, it makes your deck a lot thicker. I am not concerned about shuffling off the glitter because I used the sealer and since I didn’t spend a fortune, it won’t be a tragedy when the deck is worn out. I’ll just give it a respectful goodbye and make another if I’m so moved.

Would you every glitter up a Tarot deck, or does the thought make you shudder?

Trimming a Tarot Deck

Captain Virgo comes in to give me hospital warnings about using the paper cutter as I’m jamming on the Hermit card.

He doesn’t quite understand why I’m laughing.

“It’s the Virgo card. It’s appropriate!”

“Well, if that means something to you, leave that card out and watching you while you’re doing this. No losing fingers! No hospital runs!”

I have been seeing other Tarot folks cut the borders off their cards. Such blasphemy! Such cheekiness! Such fun!

But more, such freedom! I’ve been itching to try it. Now I can buy a deck with ugly borders, or one that’s too big, or give new life to an old deck. So I gave it a go on my Radiant Rider Waite. After all, I don’t need the card names and numbers on such a traditional deck. I thought it would be cool to have smaller cards that were all images.

20130308_114241 (600x450)Hints: I got an inexpensive corner rounder and already had a cheap paper cutter. These did NOT feel finished without the rounded corners and I would have regretted doing it otherwise. Crafting perfectionists may need fancier equipment (or better yet, just take ’em to Kinko’s and pay a few bucks to do the modifications by machine).

As you can see by my photos, I wasn’t overly anal-retentive about my methods. Does that surprise anybody?

I do think the deck was mildly traumatized. The first card I pulled for the operation was the Tower. The first cut was indeed scary, but once that initial slice was out of the way and I relaxed, the rest was easy. The whole process of cutting and trimming probably took less than an hour. I didn’t time it.

I was very pleased with the results, coming in about the size of a mini deck that’s full-color goodness! It’s much easier to get lost in the images without the distraction of the words and numbers. The sizes are not exactly uniform, but close enough to work and shuffle just fine.

I reassured the cards I’d love them even more now, and the last card that came up for the operation was the Hierophant. So I’m declaring it a success.

Next time, I’ll be chopping the frayed edges of my Legacy of the Divine deck to see if I can’t give it some more mileage. Woot!

Would you consider altering a Tarot deck?