Introduction: Wooden Playing Card Holder for Kids

About: Some people can work on one project at a time. Not me.

Over the years, some of my favorite times have been spent gathered around a table with family and friends to play cards. Spades and Phase 10 are a couple of my favorites, and I've looked forward to the day when my children would be able to play along (you can only play Chutes & Ladders so many times before you feel like you're going to lose your mind). But even when we have tried to teach simple card games for kids like Old Maid and Go Fish, the children have had such a hard time holding the cards in their hands.

So I searched at local toy stores for good options and came up empty. Then I searched online, but pretty much every DIY card holder solution took the chip clip or clothes hanger clip approach - okay for loading up a first hand but not very easy for children to organize or slip new cards in and out of their hand.

It was this conundrum that finally drove me to come up with my own solution to this problem. And just for the record, it's worked flawlessly. Three nights in a row of Phase 10, and they've worked great!

In addition to being a great option for children, I would assume that this would also be helpful for senior adults and others who are not able to easily hold playing cards.

Here's what you'll need:

  • a 2" x 4" board (only need 9.5" of the board per holder - I used pine, but other woods could be used instead)
  • a table saw, miter saw, or if you're pretty handy, a circular saw
  • sanding block or power sander
  • wood stain (optional)
  • polyurethane wood finish (optional)
  • felt padding (highly recommended)

Not interested in making your own? You can buy one or a set by going here.

Ok, let's get started!

Step 1: Making the First Cut

To begin, cut a 9.5" piece off your board. You really can use any length you want, but we found 9.5" to work perfectly for our needs.

Step 2: Adding Notches for the Cards

Next, we need to create slots were the cards will set. To do this, I set my miter saw to 16 degrees, and made two cuts along the length of the board - one about a half inch deep and the second about 3/4" deep.

Step 3: Adding an Angle to the Front Edge

From there, I set the saw angle to 27 degrees, and cut off the front edge of the board, giving it a nice angle.

Step 4: Sanding

Next, you'll want to sand the board to remove the rough edges and corners. I started with 60 grit paper and work my way up to 220 grit.

Step 5: Finishing the Playing Card Holder

This last step is optional, but you can choose to finish your card holder with a wood stain and polyurethane, leave it unfinished, or use a natural finish, such as beeswax.

Once dry, I added four small felt pads as feet so that the edges don't scratch the finish of my table.

As you can see, the two slots allow for a second row of cards, and is especially helpful when playing games like Hand & Foot Canasta and other games that require you to hold quite a few cards in your hand.

I hope you've found this Instructable helpful. If so, your vote is appreciated, and if you'd like, you can buy one or a set by going here.

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