In Magic: The Gathering, proxy cards are a great way to add personality to favorite card decks for multiple formats.
Keep in mind that proxies should be for personal use only. They cannot be legally sold and should only be created as stand ins for cards that you already own. Check with your tournament organizer or main judge if you have questions about using proxies in a tournament setting.
Step 1: Summary
In my experience, the best method for making your own foil proxy cards is to remove the ink from an existing foil and glue a printed, transparent sheet onto the blank face of the foil card.
This process is relatively easy and produces great looking proxies. While these steps aren't overly difficult, a little bit of patience is required to ensure the end result looks as good as possible.
Step 2: Step 1: Materials
The things you'll need to make your own foil proxy cards.
1. A foil magic card from any set. Most people use land cards as they are cheap to purchase. Cards from the more recent sets (Innistrad and on) tend to work best using our method .
2. Double sided tape.
3. A bottle of Acetone. Any brand will due for our purposes.
4. A soft rag.
5. Spray adhesive. Elmer's is my personal preference.
6. A color printer (alternatively, a print shop with high definition printer can be used as well)
7. Transparency printer sheets.
8. A clean work space, a table or desk works well.
9. A computer with Magic card editor software installed. http://magicseteditor.sourceforge.net/ Is what I use.
NOTE: These steps do not contain a tutorial for use with MagicSetEditor or another program through which the print of a proxy card can be designed. My recommendation is MagicSetEditor because it is pretty easy to just pick up and use.
Step 3: Step 2: Prep the Card
Materials needed: Foil card, double sided tape.
Place a strip of double sided tape along the length of the back of the card. Keep this strip of tape on the right side of the card.
Place a second strip of tape parallel to the first, this time along the left side of the card.
Anchor the card to your work space, tape side down.
Step 4: Step 3: Removing the Ink
Materials needed: Foil card, Acetone and soft rag
Apply acetone to the rag and begin to gently rub the rag against the card. Work in small circles, starting in the center and working your way outward.
You'll see the ink begin to fade pretty quickly as it rubs off onto the rag.
Apply Acetone to the rag often as it will quickly evaporate.
As the rag becomes soiled occasionally shift to a cleaner section of the rag.
Remove the ink is the most time consuming process of creating a proxy, but is the most important step. Continue to remove the ink from the card until all that remains is the shiny, foil surface.
Once the ink has been removed, go ahead and retrieve the card from the workspace and remove the double sided tape from its back.
Step 5: Step 4: Print the New Design
Materials needed: Computer, Card editing software, printer/print shop, transparency sheets.
Use your card editing software and computer/printer to print the new card design onto the transparency sheet.
You will want to set the image so is reversed when it is printed. Any card editing software will have that as a print option, or if using a print shop request the image be flipped.
This is important because when the new face is pasted onto the card, the side that was inked should be sealed on the inside so that it isn't rubbed off while the card is in use.
Take moment before proceeding to look over the design and check for any flaws or misprints that should be corrected by reprinting the design.
Step 6: Step 5: Adhering the New Face to the Empty Foil Card
Materials needed: Printed image, spray adhesive, blank foil card, soft rag (optional)
Apply spray adhesive to the printed image. The adhesive should be applied to side the ink was printed on.
Don't be hesitant to spray a decent amount of adhesive onto the image, but make sure you don't end up with areas where the adhesive is visibly thick. Gently wipe any areas where the adhesive appears too thick with an unused portion of the soft rag or with a new piece of cloth. Ideally when finished, the adhesive should be even across the face printed image.
When the adhesive has been applied, place the blank foil card over printed image. Set the top edge of the blank foil against the printed sheet and slowly lower the card onto the sheet. Check the corners of the card to make sure they are lined up with the image on the card and turn it over.
You shouldn't have any issues with air bubbles due to the size of the card and the spray adhesive, but if you do, a credit card or similar item can be used to help rub them off the face of the card. Just rub the edge of the card along the bubble towards the closest edge until the bubble is gone.
Step 7: End
That's it! Enjoy your flashy, new, custom made proxy cards! You will undoubtedly be the envy of everybody in your play group!