Introduction: DIY Clear Playing Cards

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 help with the photos!

Step 1: 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

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.

Step 3: Designing and Cutting Stickers

I talk all about how to make stickers in my DIY Stickers Instructable, but I will give you a little bit here to get you going.

I made these entirely within Silhouette Studio.  It is basically basic shapes: circles, diamonds, hearts, clover, spade (which is an upside down heart).

You can make these as unique as you want.  I went fairly basic.  My circles are 1/2 an inch in diameter.  If you want to design your own, you can do whatever you want, but keep these things in mind.
  • You need two of each sticker per card (one for each diagonal corner).  Seems obvious, but I forgot this the first time.
  • Distinguish between 6 and 9.  You can tell based on how you put them on the card, but it is nice to have some way to tell them apart.  I used a ~ and put that under the numbers so you knew which way they faced.  Again, I didn't think of this until it was too late and I had to reprint them.
  • Playing cards do not go 1 - K, they go A - K.  Yep, I made that mistake too.

Step 4: Putting It All Together

Time to put on the stickers.  I decided to print out a fake card and lined up where I wanted the stickers to be.  Then, all I had to do is lay the transparency card on that template and then lined up the stickers.  (I've attached the template if you want it.)

Once you have the number stickers on, flip over the card and put on the back image that will go on all the cards.

Remember, you want the stickers to always have the top of the sticker being the closest edge.  Meaning when you look at the card one sticker should be right-side up and the other upside down.

Step 5: Instructables Version!

Why not make an Instructables deck!  I decided to have the robot on the backs of the cards and use orange and yellow backgrounds since those are the main colors of the site.

The text on the cards is in Complete in Him which is the Instructables "share what you make" text.  Uber authentic!

Step 6: Play Some Cards!

Have fun playing with your cool cards!

I plan on making my own box to put these guys in, so watch for that Instructable in the (hopefully) near future!

Comments

author
pdrg made it! (author)2013-11-05

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!

author
billhat made it! (author)billhat2016-06-16

Found these self-seal cards - no need for a laminating machine!

http://www.target.com/p/scotch-self-sealing-laminating-pouches-9-5-mil-2-7-16-x-3-7-8-business-card-size-25/-/A-16968407?lnk=rec|pdpipadh1|viewed_bought|pdpipadh1|16968407|6

author
Penolopy Bulnick made it! (author)Penolopy Bulnick2016-06-16

Nice find :)

author
Cymru made it! (author)Cymru2013-11-14

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.

author
Penolopy Bulnick made it! (author)Penolopy Bulnick2013-11-05

Agreed! I think that sounds like a great idea :)

author
CrystalB01 made it! (author)2014-03-18

Wouldn't they see through your hand of cards

author
Penolopy Bulnick made it! (author)Penolopy Bulnick2014-03-18

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 :)

author
Deltic made it! (author)2013-11-06

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.

author
Penolopy Bulnick made it! (author)Penolopy Bulnick2013-11-06

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 :)

author
chuckyd made it! (author)2013-11-05

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?

author
Penolopy Bulnick made it! (author)Penolopy Bulnick2013-11-06

Yes, that has been suggested and is a nice idea to try :)

author
q8mcm made it! (author)2013-11-05

Very cool

author
Penolopy Bulnick made it! (author)Penolopy Bulnick2013-11-06

Thanks!

author
Krasen made it! (author)2013-11-05

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 :)

author
Penolopy Bulnick made it! (author)Penolopy Bulnick2013-11-05

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 :)

author
maddy2210 made it! (author)2013-11-05

Didn't you encounter any issues while shuffling cards?

author
Penolopy Bulnick made it! (author)Penolopy Bulnick2013-11-05

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.

author
4mla1fn made it! (author)2013-11-05

love the idea! (santa, i just added a Silhouette to my amazon wish list.) how do they shuffle?

author
Penolopy Bulnick made it! (author)Penolopy Bulnick2013-11-05

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.)

author
lindarose92 made it! (author)2013-11-05

Oh this is so cool!! Here is another reason why I wish I had a cutter too! :D

author
Penolopy Bulnick made it! (author)Penolopy Bulnick2013-11-05

They are pretty sweet!

author
SonicLoverSeth made it! (author)2013-11-04

Cool! Reminds me of a Club Nintendo reward I got some time ago. Can you alter the design for homemade trading cards somehow?

author
Penolopy Bulnick made it! (author)Penolopy Bulnick2013-11-04

I don't see why not :)

author
Jujitsu-Man made it! (author)2013-11-04

Very nice! Looks like one of the best ideas for cutter use I've ever seen

author
Penolopy Bulnick made it! (author)Penolopy Bulnick2013-11-04

Thanks! I like to try to think of different uses for it than usual.

author
NanoRobotGeek made it! (author)2013-11-03

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.

author
Penolopy Bulnick made it! (author)Penolopy Bulnick2013-11-04

Awesome! I hope you do!

author
doodlecraft made it! (author)2013-11-03

This would be a fabulous homemade gift! thanks for the fun idea! :)

author
Penolopy Bulnick made it! (author)Penolopy Bulnick2013-11-03

Thanks! I like that you can just go crazy with design once you have the basic idea.

author
jreauclaire made it! (author)2013-11-03

What is the application for transparent cards? Isn't the idea to not show what you have?

author
Penolopy Bulnick made it! (author)Penolopy Bulnick2013-11-03

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.

author
kyluddy made it! (author)2013-11-03

That's awesome, I would've never thought of that p!

author
Penolopy Bulnick made it! (author)Penolopy Bulnick2013-11-03

Thanks!

author
kyluddy made it! (author)2013-11-03

That*

author
neo71665 made it! (author)2013-11-03

dangit now another thing on my list of stuff I have to make

author
Penolopy Bulnick made it! (author)Penolopy Bulnick2013-11-03

I hear ya. I think my list is going to get in the triple digits soon!

author
Attmos made it! (author)2013-11-03

Awesome, I've never seen these before. Great, now I have to get a cutter!!! ;)

author
Penolopy Bulnick made it! (author)Penolopy Bulnick2013-11-03

I know! The cutter is so fun, I always think of reasons to use it!

author
bob3030 made it! (author)2013-11-03

Very nice. Thanks for posting.

author
Penolopy Bulnick made it! (author)Penolopy Bulnick2013-11-03

Thanks for looking :)

author
HrdWodFlor made it! (author)2013-11-03

Very cool. I like it a lot!

author
Penolopy Bulnick made it! (author)Penolopy Bulnick2013-11-03

Thank you!

About This Instructable

40,540views

468favorites

License:

Bio: I am a Community Manager here at Instructables. And I am powered by sugar and rainbows! For realz!
More by Penolopy Bulnick:Starbucks Copycat Unicorn FrappuccinoShamrock Frappuccino RecipeUltimate Peanut Butter Cookies
Add instructable to: