Artist trading cards are small pieces of art. They can be made with multiple different materials in a variety of art and / or craft techniques. In addition, these can be as simple or complicated as you choose. ATCs are an excellent activity for kids and a great way for you to get rid of scraps and leftovers from other projects.
Artist trading cards have only one rule — they must be 2.5″ x 3.5″. This is 64mm x 89mm. The size is the same as a standard trading card. This also allows you to place them into trading card plastic sleeves, the same as baseball cards.
2. ATCs on the Web.
Search for ATC images online to see what crafters and artists have created. Save any images that you find inspirational.
3. Cutting ATCs from a sheet of paper.
You can easily cut out nine cards from a standard sheet of paper (7.5″ wide x 10.5″ high).
- US letter — 8.5″ x 11″ (215.9mm x 279.4mm)
- A4 — 8.27″ x 11.69″ (210mm x 297mm)
To save paper, you can get 10 out, but trimming is a bit more complex. You can find templates on the Web showing you how to cut them or check out the Enrichment Project supplements. Cut a sheet of each and decide which way you prefer to use.
4. Simple techniques with ATCs.
Simple craft techniques to try with ATCs include:
- Rubber stamping
Try one or more of these simple craft techniques on a card.
5. More techniques / materials for ATCs.
ATC cards can be made with any art or craft technique. Try making a card with paper, clay, fiber, wood or other material. You can also make embellishments to attach to the card with a non-paper product.
6. Kids make ATCs, even big kids.
Kids love to create ATCs. Collect some or all of the following and place them in the center of the workspace. Each kid will go through 3-5 cards an hour. Have extra cards on-hand in case you have very creative kids. Providing examples will give them a starting point.
- Scrap paper / construction paper
- Stamps and ink or paint
- Paper punches or scissors
- Markers / pencils / pens / crayons
- Yarn, embroidery floss or other fibers
- Scraps of ribbon, lace, etc.
7. Sharing with swap-bot.
If you don’t have people that you send cards to, you can always swap cards. Swap-bot allows you to join (for free) and swap not only completed cards, but random items and more.
8. Card swaps.
Card swaps aren’t limited to swap-bot. Groups on Yahoo! and other sites trade in singles and multiples depending on swap themes hosted by volunteers. Some are very large . . . a US swap covered a card for each of the 50 states. Also, check out your local scrapbooking / paper / rubber stamp store to see if they have a monthly swap.
9. Start your own swap.
Start your own ATC swap club. Show others how to make ATCs. Pick a theme, technique for everyone to use, etc. Perhaps you can invite others to share their art or craft skills to add variety to your cards.
10. Upload images to Flickr.
EP has a special area on Flickr to share completed projects for others to see. Search for “EP” or “Enrichment Project” for our sites.
Sites to Explore