Wooden Playing Card Holder for Kids




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.

Wood Contest

Participated in the
Wood Contest

3 People Made This Project!


  • Hide It Challenge

    Hide It Challenge
  • Unusual Uses Contest

    Unusual Uses Contest
  • Edible Art Challenge

    Edible Art Challenge



6 years ago

This is going to be a Christmas present for family! awesome!


5 years ago

How did you adjust the depth on your mitre saw to cut evenly and not all the way through? I don't think mine does that.


Reply 5 years ago

I don't have a way to lock the saw at a particular depth, so I just did my best. Now that I have a table saw, I can make the cuts with a totally consistent depth, but I was able to wing it with the mitre.


6 years ago on Introduction

Very nice, we got to playing a double deck rummy game last year and one of our biggest problems was holding on to the cards, quite often you might have 20 cards or more in your hand and it was very difficult to hang on to the cards. I made a rack similar to these, I used MDF for mine and they were tiered to make it easier to see the cards.


This is awesome, and so practical and easy to make. Thanks for the great idea.

Cairdy Crafts

Really great idea! I can empathise with having too full a hand to play! \it reminds me of the tile racks for Rummicub.