Things to Make With Cards
by Sarah Tidwell
Cards suffer a lot of wear and tear as they are dealt and played with in games such as Poker, Texas Hold'em and Euchre. Instead of throwing an old deck of cards away, use them to make other items you need. Because of their flexible-but-durable quality, connecting a series of them is suitable for building bags, decorations and kid's crafts.
Because playing cards are passed through many hands, they collect dirt, grime and germs, so they need a good cleaning prior to the project construction. Use mild soap on a damp cloth to wipe them down. Take precaution not to use too much water, or the card will show water spots and have an irregularity after it dries. After you wipe them down, use a dry cloth or paper towel to immediately wipe them clean. The cards you use for this project do not necessarily have to be a traditional deck of playing cards. You can use Uno or Old Maid cards, for example.
Bags have so many uses. They can hold personal items like a purse, groceries or towels and swimsuits for a trip to the beach. The benefit of making a bag with old playing cards is that you can easily customize the size. If you prefer a small bag for your cell phone and wallet, you only need about a half a deck. You can choose to point the cards inward (faces and numbers on the inside) or outward (back of the card on the inside) depending on your personal style. Most decks use a single color to decorate the back of cards so if you want a plainer looking bag, select this option. If you like colors and shapes, use most of the face cards on the outside.
Old cards are ideal for making small, decorative pieces. Use the pieces for scrapbook adornments, embellishments on greeting cards or holiday decorations. Because cards are fairly thick, you need a box cutter to create designs. You don't want to fold them and try and use scissors because folding the card may result in tearing. An easy way to use the box cutter method is to draw the shapes you want to cut out and follow your line with the box cutter. Since you will cut away shapes, consider using the back side of the card because it has the most uniform design.
Children love books, especially ones they can color in. A couple of old playing cards make excellent, small notebook covers. This project combines two playing cards and fills the center with blank pieces of paper. You can also use some small embellishments from the previous project to decorate the front and back cover of this unique booklet.