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DIY Clear Playing Cards

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Picture of DIY Clear Playing Cards
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Playing cards come in so many different themes nowadays.  After seeing some clear, see-through playing cards on Facebook I decided I needed to make my own!  I went through a lot of ideas before coming up with how I wanted to put it all together and what material I wanted to use.


A version for sale on Amazon that I was trying to imitate.
 

*Thanks to audreyobscura for the awesome main image!
 
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Step 1: Supplies

Picture of Supplies
Supplies:
During the planning process, I considered using some type of plastic or acrylic and laser cutting it out.  I was disappointed when it didn't work out, but it ended up being better that it didn't.  After putting stickers on the front and back of the transparency cards, the deck got pretty thick.  If the material I used had been even a slightly thicker plastic, the cards would have made an unrealistically thick stack.

Step 2: Cutting Cards

Picture of Cutting Cards
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This step is very easy.  Just load in a transparency on the cutting mat and cut out the cards!  I tried to put all the cards next to each other in the document, but since you use most of the sheet anyway, I just left them separate because they cut better that way.  Go until you have enough cards which is 54 if you want all 52 playing cards and 2 jokers.

My document makes 8 cards so you need to cut out 7 transparencies to get all the cards, plus a couple extras just in case.
pie2010201129 days ago
Wouldn't they see through your hand of cards
Penolopy Bulnick (author)  pie2010201129 days ago

You can see through the cards, but you can't see what the card is. That is why I put a sticker on the front and back, so you couldn't see the card number :)

pdrg5 months ago
Alternative method suggestion - buy credit card sized laminating pouches and then you can even use plain paper for the pip markers in the corners. The bonus of this method is they're already rounded corners and can take a rougher shuffling as no risk of scraping stickers off!
Cymru pdrg5 months ago
http://www.uline.com/Product/Detail/S-7641/Laminating-Machines-and-Supplies/Business-Card-Laminating-Pouches-5-Mil you can buy 100 of them for $9 (plus shipping, I think.)

Thanks for the suggestion.
Penolopy Bulnick (author)  pdrg5 months ago
Agreed! I think that sounds like a great idea :)
Deltic5 months ago
Well done, they look great - you must be getting very bored in your office!
Like a lot of craft products they are only viable if you happen to have the equipment / materials laying around so, unfortunately, for $7.50 I'll probably end up purchasing mine but many thanks for the idea.
Penolopy Bulnick (author)  Deltic5 months ago
Oh, you don't need fancy smancy equipment! I just use it because it is available. All you would really need is transparencies and sticker paper. You can hand cut the cards out or even use a paper cutter, like one of those from school. Then you can hand color the stickers or print them off and then just cut them out or use a scrapbooking circle punch. Voila! See, cheaper version :)
chuckyd5 months ago
Seem like, with the stickers proud of the card face, it would be difficult to shuffle and deal the cards. What about using thinner plastic stock and sandwiching the car symbols between two layers of plastic?
Penolopy Bulnick (author)  chuckyd5 months ago
Yes, that has been suggested and is a nice idea to try :)
q8mcm5 months ago
Very cool
Penolopy Bulnick (author)  q8mcm5 months ago
Thanks!
Krasen5 months ago
Very nice at the end, but it was very funny to read that you made a lot of mistakes :D Seems like you had the itch to make the cards very fast :)
Penolopy Bulnick (author)  Krasen5 months ago
Part of that was I was anxious to print stickers and most of the runs where there were mistakes I was just testing out sticker making in general. The other part was I was trying to get this done in time for the I Could Make That Contest since I made them after finding them for sale on Amazon. But when it got close to the time for the contest to end, I decided to take my time and just get them right :)
maddy22105 months ago
Didn't you encounter any issues while shuffling cards?
Penolopy Bulnick (author)  maddy22105 months ago
I had not tried to do traditional shuffling with these until it was brought up on the comments. I found it to be harder especially because the corners were so thick, but I had no trouble with the overhand shuffle.
4mla1fn5 months ago
love the idea! (santa, i just added a Silhouette to my amazon wish list.) how do they shuffle?
Penolopy Bulnick (author)  4mla1fn5 months ago
You know, I hadn't even tried until you mentioned it. It is not the easiest I will admit to shuffle them the traditional way. I actually find the overhand shuffle to work best.  (I had no idea what that method was called and had to look it up.)
lindarose925 months ago
Oh this is so cool!! Here is another reason why I wish I had a cutter too! :D
Penolopy Bulnick (author)  lindarose925 months ago
They are pretty sweet!
Cool! Reminds me of a Club Nintendo reward I got some time ago. Can you alter the design for homemade trading cards somehow?
Penolopy Bulnick (author)  SonicLoverSeth5 months ago
I don't see why not :)
Jujitsu-Man5 months ago
Very nice! Looks like one of the best ideas for cutter use I've ever seen
Penolopy Bulnick (author)  Jujitsu-Man5 months ago
Thanks! I like to try to think of different uses for it than usual.
NanoRobotGeek5 months ago
no way...? me and my friends were just talking about clear playing cards at school O_O. Anyway, these are really cool and i might try this project this weekend. Thanks for sharing it.
Penolopy Bulnick (author)  NanoRobotGeek5 months ago
Awesome! I hope you do!
doodlecraft5 months ago
This would be a fabulous homemade gift! thanks for the fun idea! :)
Penolopy Bulnick (author)  doodlecraft5 months ago
Thanks! I like that you can just go crazy with design once you have the basic idea.
jreauclaire5 months ago
What is the application for transparent cards? Isn't the idea to not show what you have?
Penolopy Bulnick (author)  jreauclaire5 months ago
It is simply just for fun :) That is why I put stickers on both sides of the card, so the other person cannot see your cards.
kyluddy5 months ago
That's awesome, I would've never thought of that p!
Penolopy Bulnick (author)  kyluddy5 months ago
Thanks!
kyluddy5 months ago
That*
neo716655 months ago
dangit now another thing on my list of stuff I have to make
Penolopy Bulnick (author)  neo716655 months ago
I hear ya. I think my list is going to get in the triple digits soon!
Attmos5 months ago
Awesome, I've never seen these before. Great, now I have to get a cutter!!! ;)
Penolopy Bulnick (author)  Attmos5 months ago
I know! The cutter is so fun, I always think of reasons to use it!
bob30305 months ago
Very nice. Thanks for posting.
Penolopy Bulnick (author)  bob30305 months ago
Thanks for looking :)
HrdWodFlor5 months ago
Very cool. I like it a lot!
Penolopy Bulnick (author)  HrdWodFlor5 months ago
Thank you!
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