What I actually wanted to do was open a store that offered independently made tarot and oracle decks like the ones I collected, first online and then offline. I would purchase these independent decks from vendors like Two Sides Tarot and Little Red Tarot, and I imagined that perhaps I might create my own small collection to offer to Manila residents (and maybe Asia).
Now I know some of you who frequent this blog do have tarot deck creation goals of your own… so I thought I’d put together a guide that can *fingers crossed* walk you through the creation process the way I did it.
Disclaimer: If you think this piece is going to be about suppliers, printers, and the like, I’m going to warn you right away that it isn’t. I get a lot of queries about those things. I encourage you to conduct independent research on execution. You can set together your decks just as easily as I did by conducting your own research. Your best friend is Google.
So let this serve as a guide, but don’t expect any spoon-feeding. Open yourselves up to the experience of learning through process, discovering through research, and creating a tarot deck all your own.
Have a goal in mind. Back in architecture school, we had to begin with a design challenge before we could even begin sketching or discussing aesthetics. You must understand your why. Initially, why are you building a deck? Is your deck an outlet for your creativity or an attempt to tackle a problem? Are you making a deck in order to generate income, support a certain cause, or get a little more tarot knowledge for yourself?
Knowing your why will set the tone for your entire creation process. Give this fundamental step time.
begin with a notion. These days, independently produced cards are based on themes. It’s too general to say, “I want to create a tarot deck.” Make your creation worthy. Do you want an animal-themed deck? Why? Do you favor having a “Stranger Things” theme? Eighties soap operas? political leaders
Select a form of artistic expression. If you’re into impressionism, Op-art, or post-modernism, go ahead and do whatever you feel at home with, unless you’re making a deck to broaden your style or portfolio. I selected collage because that’s the medium I’m comfortable with.
Setting your parameters will help you create a visually appealing deck (unless the concept you’re working with calls for a range of art styles, in which case mixing things up might make sense).
You need to accept your own artistic ability at this point. If you have a deadline, consider what you can actually accomplish in that time. Perhaps painting frescoes, photographing them, and then processing each image is not the ideal course of action if you want to complete a deck in a month. Consider whether you can actually complete 78 canvases (and possibly more since you’ll need extras for do-overs and such) if you’re comfortable working with oil on canvas.
Establish your guidelines so that you have a reference point to use when you build your deck.
Make sure you understand what you’re getting into before you even start. I am aware that many artists who have no background in tarot take on the task of creating a deck. But I think their cards have a distinct vibe than real tarot readers. They aren’t as useful as decks created by those who are proficient in spreads, have a thorough understanding of their archetypes, and can read for themselves or others. Even the most accomplished artists are unable to discern tiny elements when using the tarot, despite their skill.
If you are familiar with tarot, create a deck. If you are proficient with it, construct an oracle deck. Do your research.
Start working. The part that most eager beavers are anticipating, you’ll just have to put in the effort. Tarot cards cannot “magician their way into existence.” Get your iPad out, start using Procreate, get some scissors, paint thinner, and brushes.
Be prepared to make a lot of stops and starts at this phase of the process, and be nice to yourself. whenever you’re ready, display your work to the public. You’d probably benefit from getting feedback from both a non-tarot reader and a skilled reader, just to see whether what you’re doing resonates with both target groups.
Remember to keep the big picture in mind. Although we occasionally interpret tarot cards individually, we often use pairs of cards and broad spreads. You must have the ability to take a step back from your task and assess how the cards stack up. three, five, ten, and twelve-spot spreads. Lay them all out to check for stragglers, see if any visual or thematic trends emerge (extremely important in a deck! ), and determine whether you like the way they all look when arranged in a formation.
Beyonc staging Bey-chella comes to mind. She had to make sure that everyone on stage appeared flawlessly coordinated.
Make a trial run. The effort isn’t ended once the art is finished, whether you plan to build your deck for sale or just want a copy for yourself. You want to check to see how the tarot cards represent everything. Look for a printer who can produce a single copy at a low cost on common card stock, or if you want to wreck your inkjet printer, do it yourself at home. This is to determine whether your art, in any size you decide, works. You can use this to check for border problems, uneven cropping, etc.
Use your test deck as soon as you obtain it. Carry it around and do readings for friends, family, and future clients. Trust me, once you acquire that tester, it won’t leave your hands. Check out how it functions in the wild.
Revision is essential. My least favorite project stage, but one that is absolutely necessary if you want to do things correctly. You will be able to determine what needs shifting and what needs altering after holding your sample in your hands and using it for 10, 20, and 50 readings.
With my initial run of the PM Starter Deck, I saw a few things that I wanted to change. The fact that I only had 11 copies printed allowed me to fix any errors I found without incurring significant costs.
Examine the market. If you’re quite certain about your deck, you can have a professional finish it right away. You can either order a task for a small print run for yourself or a large print run if you want to take the plunge. You may relax knowing that you tested your deck, made any necessary adjustments, and took into account everyone’s input.
See whether people are interested in your cutting-edge independent deck. Consider going commercial if individuals appear to be really engaged. Examine your numbers to see if you can feel as like you are taking a calculated risk.
If you decide to place a large print order, say a Hail Mary and good luck to yourself. Who knows, your invention could be the next item to appear on the independent shelves of Two Sides Tarot and Little Red Tarot.
Can I create a custom tarot deck?
- cards in the shape of tarots
- 10 to 160 cards per deck are in each deck.
- Customization: As needed, the front and back of each card may be changed individually.
- Size: 70 x 121 mm, or 2.75″ x 4.75″
- Materials available:
- professional standard card stock S30 (FSC-certified) with blue core (smooth finish)
- Black core, S33 exceptional smooth card stock (smooth finish)
- Blue cored M28 professional standard linen card stock (linen finish)
- Blue core M29 professional BGM linen card stock (linen finish)
- The minimum order quantity for this option is 1000 cards, which are made on M30 magic quality card stock with a black core and a linen air light finish.
- Black core M31 casino quality card stock (linen finish)
- The minimum order quantity for this option is 1000 cards in the M32 master quality card stock with a black core (linen air finish).
- A35 typical card thickness
- 100% premium white plastic card stock, P10.
- E27 ecological card stock for bags
- Printing choices
- Holographic (front)
- Holographic (front & back) (front & back)
- back with high gloss and full color print
- full color print with a gold gilded edge
- Full-color print with a silver gilt border
- (Front) holographic + edge in gold gilt
- Silver gilt edge and holographic (front)
- Cold foil spot gold on the back with a full-color print (front)
- Full-color print and spot silver cold foil on the back (front)
- Full color print with spot holographic cold foil (back) (front)
- No color print, spot gold cold foil on the front and back.
- No color print, spot silver cold foil on the front and back.
- No color print, spot holographic cold foil on the front and back.
- Options for packaging (per deck):
- Shrink-wrapped (default)
- plain or unique rigid box (uses 100 percent recycled chipboard)
- a simple white tuck box
- Printing on box:
- UV-coated T30 (gloss)
- aqueous T30 (matte)
- Aqueous, T25 100 percent recycled (matte)
- Aqueous T27 Eco Herbage (matte)
- Choices and results:
- Using gold foil stamps
- foil stamping in silver
- Stamping in gold foil and embossing
- Stamping in silver foil and embossing
- Stamping in gold foil and debossing
- Stamping in silver and debossing
- foil in gold (full cover)
- aluminum foil (full cover)
- Iridescent foil (full cover)
- a box’s seal
- typical seal for MPC
- individual stamp seal
- individual gold stamp seal
- If no box is selected for delivery, each card deck will be individually shrink-wrapped. If a plastic or tin box is selected, a card band is utilized for the cards. Tuck boxes will be shrink-wrapped if chosen. Roll up the uncut sheets and place them inside a firm tube.
- No order minimum is necessary. purchase one deck of cards for
Can I make my own tarot card readings?
I gradually came to the conclusion that, although while tarot is a fantastic tool, I don’t advise reading your own tarot cards. It’s perfectly OK (and delightful!) to draw one card each morning, as many people do, because the goal of this practice is to provide you with a subject to reflect on throughout the day. I can’t, however, endorse reading your own cards when it comes to employing tarot cards to provide a thorough analysis of a complex scenario.
I understand that this can be shocking (and possibly contradictory to what you’ve previously heard! ), so let me explain: It’s typical to feel a little intimidated by the tarot deck when you’re just starting out. There are 78 incredibly intricate cards in all, and each one is filled with symbolism, archetypes, and profound spiritual significance. Fortunately, most tarot decks include a guidebook that describes the meaning and inspiration behind each card. Beginners can learn about the structure of that specific deck, the meanings of the individual cards, and even how to arrange the cards to make various tarot spreads by using these guides.
The booklet is a fantastic resource, but it’s not meant to be memorized. The novice will gradually develop their own unique interpretation. In actuality, every person has a different connection to every card. What precisely means the King of Cups to you? What about the Ace of Pentacles? perhaps the Empress? Maybe justice?
Step 1: Check Out Other Oracle Decks.
Check out the various oracle decks that other people have made on Pinterest. Which decks do you gravitate toward? Do you like playing card size or larger cards? Which form do you favor? If you prefer circles or triangles, they don’t have to be rectangles! What color palettes appeal to you? Keep in mind the objectives of each deck. Some are intended for divination, while others are just meant to brighten your day with a little inspiration.
You’ll begin to see certain patterns as you look around at what’s available. Topical or character-based oracle decks are the two main types of oracle decks. A topical deck might, for instance, include a different affirmation on each card. Each card in a character-based oracle deck can depict a different animal.
Step 2: Brainstorm Themes for Your Cards.
Take some time to write down ideas for your own deck now that your mind is overflowing with fantastic oracle deck concepts. Allow your imagination to run free while you complete this. Without filtering or judging, jot down every thought that comes to you. You could be pleasantly surprised by the themes you generate.
Consider the aspects of your life that “feel magical and spark something within of you” if you find yourself in a rut. Nature, sacred places (in your neighborhood or throughout the globe), magical objects you use in rituals, shapes, notable figures from literature, musicians, affirmations to stay motivated, food, quotes, or poetry could all be included.
Make a list of all the unique card design ideas you have after choosing a topic. Choose whether you want words or just an image on the cards. Sort through the design concepts and choose the ones that speak to you the most, even if you have no idea why. You can arrange your oracle deck’s cards in whatever number you like. The rules are up to you as this deck is exclusively yours.
Step 3: Pick Your Materials.
There are many options available to you. You can either buy the supplies at a nearby craft store or just use what you already have. Witches are resourceful individuals, and I think it’s entertaining to search through my home for unusual creative supplies.
Here’s what I’ve used to make oracle decks:
- Notecards that measure 4 by 6 inches These are excellent since they are stronger than standard paper and are all the same size. And they already have a card shape. No cutting is necessary!
- a stack of cards
- On this paper, you can trace your playing cards and cut them out one by one. This allows you more flexibility when choosing card sizes and shapes. (Remember that these cards don’t have to be square either. Circles, triangles, and hexagons can also be used.
- cardboard from cracker and cereal boxes, etc.
- Oracle cards made on this sturdy, thin cardboard will last a long time. Additionally, it’s a fantastic way to reuse items you already have around the house! For my card designs, I typically paint white over the cardboard to create a blank canvas.
- Always useful is Elmer’s Glue-It.
- Mod Podge or Gloss Medium
- This can be used for image transfers or to adhere paper to items that aren’t made of paper.
- paint brushes
- These can be used with gloss media, glue, or paint.
- Because they are less textured as they dry, acrylic paint and watercolors perform better than oil paint.
- Aerosol Paint
- It’s ideal for stencils. Use this outside only, please. There is a fume!
- Calligraphy pens, colored pencils, or markers
- Your oracle cards will have a completely unique appearance if you handwrite the words and draw your own designs.
- GlitterI’m kind of obsessed with the stuff, but use it with caution because it gets everywhere.
- vintage mags
- Using tape or glue, attach the images that go with the subject of your oracle deck to the cards.
- If you have any personal images that fit your topic, use them!
- birthday cards or postcards
- You can boost the potency of your oracle deck by including symbols that have personal significance in your deck.
- It’s all earthy with the pressed dried grass, flowers, or leaves! When you paint the gloss medium or mod podge directly on the paper and again immediately over the plants when you’re gluing it to your cards, they stick to the paper more effectively.
- sanitary paper
- I enjoy cutting out tissue paper forms and adhering them with gloss medium or dilute Elmer’s glue. This gives the effect of stained glass.
- Paper Gift Wrap
- This is useful for creating a consistent appearance on the back of the cards.
- Sticky tape
- I transfer images with this.
- packaging tape in clear
- This works for image transfers and to give your cards a nice finish. It resembles laminating somewhat.
- Exactly what you want!
Step 4: Design the Back of Your Cards.
Choose whether you want all of the cards’ backs to be identical or more distinctive “jumbled up. In the past, every deck of cards had an identical “backs. This has the advantage that you won’t be able to tell which cards you’re drawing for a reading.
I suggest using masking tape, scrapbooking paper, gift wrap paper, or pattern stencils to create this uniform appearance.
The alternative is to customize each card. Although unconventional, this is a lot of fun. You’ll have to keep your eyes closed while drawing a card because you’ll be aware of the variations in your deck, but others who aren’t familiar with the cards might find the reading to be interesting. Their intuition might help them choose a specific hue or pattern from among your collection of miniature works of art during readings.
Paper weaving is a different technique I adore doing for the backs of my oracle cards. I take two identically sized pieces of colored paper and cut them into strips. I’m going to tape one pair of strips vertically side-by-side on a flat surface. After that, I horizontally weave in the second set of strips, alternating over and under, until all of the strips are woven in. You can glue the resulting checkerboard-style design to the back of your playing cards.
Step 5: Design the Front of Your Cards.
Recall the list you created in step two? Check it out by taking it out. Give each card in your oracle deck a design concept.
To create and embellish your cards, you can choose whichever medium you choose. Just bear in mind that you need to be able to shuffle these cards. Treat the textured materials gently.
Try outlining your symbols or characters on the cards if you can draw. Find photographs that go with your topic and attach them to the cards to give them a collage-like appearance if you’re not too confident in your artistic abilities.
Working on one card at a time can help you avoid getting overwhelmed. Only work on them when you’re feeling inspired because making them should be enjoyable rather than a duty. While you’re creating your cards, your energy will be absorbed, so have fun!
Step 6: Create Your Card Meanings.
Take a moment to connect with each of your finished oracle cards after gathering them all. Hold just one card at a time, giving it your whole attention. When you close your eyes, pay attention to the card’s energy. Describe how it feels in your hands. Does it evoke any feelings in you? After that, open your eyes and go over the card’s details. Keep track of the thoughts that run through your head. What does this card represent, ask yourself? Make notes on your observations and assign meanings to each card in light of your observations.
Additionally, you can do this as you design your cards. Writing down thoughts, associations, and meanings that come to mind throughout the creative process so that you can review them later can be quite helpful for this phase. Additionally, when you learn to know your cards better, don’t be hesitant to revise meanings. It should be a smooth and enjoyable experience. Do not overthink it.
Step 7: Make a Unique Cover For Your Deck.
Choose how you wish to store your cards while you’re not using them to prevent losing or destroying them. They can be kept in a pouch, tied with a ribbon, or kept in a pretty box. I like to preserve my oracle cards wrapped in a piece of white fabric that I used to wipe my paintbrush when creating them. Now I have a lovely fabric that matches the hues of my deck and has been imbued with my creative energy.
Step 8: Discover How to Use Your Oracle Deck.
Try out some oracle card combinations. Aim to pick a card each day, or design some spreads centered on the subject of your deck. If you like, you may add or remove cards from your deck. Let your oracle deck develop and adapt with you as it is YOUR design!
How are tarot cards created?
The major arcana, which contains 22 cards and is also known as the trumps, and the minor arcana, which has 56 cards, make up the 78 cards that make up this deck. Moon, card number 18 in the major arcana. The primary arcana cards feature images that stand in for a variety of energies, people, virtues, and vices.