Introduction: Playing Card Gimmick/Art

I've always enjoyed magic with playing cards. With this new gimmick, you can take your magic to the next level! Even if you are not into magic, you may just want to make a cool looking piece of art that you can show off to your friends. If that's the case, grab some materials and let's get started!

I hope you enjoy!

Step 1: Tools and Materials


Pen/Fine-tip sharpie

Nail polish remover

Zip-lock bag

Rubber Bands

Ruler (optional)

X-ACTO Knife

Cutting board

Plastic bag


Toilet paper



Deck of Cards (two different colors)

Step 2: Sketch Out Your Design

Take out a pencil and some paper and start sketching out your design. Above and to the left, you will see some creative versions of this project by Andy Elliot. I made mine into a magic gimmick, he made his into artwork. Take into consideration that your design must have some connection with the border of the card. Remember, this doesn't have to be perfect.

Tip: Be creative with your design, make it yours.

Step 3: Transfer Design to Playing Card

Once you have your design finished and ready to go, I recommend you transferring it onto a playing card so that you have an idea of the scale. I just eyeballed for this step, so it's a bit different then the original.

Step 4: Start Cutting

There are two main types of cards, spacers and figure cards.

To make spacers, get out your cutting board and cut out the middle part of the card with your X-ACTO knife, leaving the borders. Make sure your knife is sharp or else you'll have trouble cutting. If needed, use a ruler or straight edge to make this easier. Try to be as neat as possible.

The figure cards are the ones that are part of your design. Trace the design from from the card you made in step #3 onto the figure cards using your X-ACTO Knife.

Tip: After a while, your hands start cramping up. When this happens, wrap a couple of rubber bands around what you have, stick it in a zip-lock bag, and take a break.

Step 5: Making a Blank Card

To make a blank card, start by picking a red card without a lot of ink on its face (preferably an ace). Take some toilet paper and pour some nail polish remover onto it. Start scrubbing the damp toilet paper on the ink of the card. The ink should start to rub off. Repeat this process until it rubs off completely.

Tip: The shine starts to wear off the card when it is rubbed with remover. To get a nice, even look, rub everywhere on the card to get all the shine off.

Step 6: The Tiny Details

Go ahead and fill in the minor details. I used an pen to draw the small 2 of clubs behind the wand. I went over the figure cards again with the X-ACTO knife to get rid of little card hangings that I had missed.

Step 7: Finishing Up

Line up the cards how you want them to be. Glue them up from the blank card. If you want to, out-jog several cards to make it seem more realistic. After every card, press down on it for a few seconds with a heavy weight such as a dictionary.

Congrats! You're done!

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