A guest post shared by Jess.
When I started reading tarot, I sparked an interest in oracle and Lenormand cards but had trouble finding a deck that fit my style. All I kept running into were decks with wispy or vintage art and motivational messages. Those are all keen and savvy, but they didn’t suit my personal style. I have always been heavily drawn to graffiti and lowbrow art, so I wanted a deck that reflected that sort of feel.
So I decided to make my own. I started working on this personal deck in 2014. Each time I finished a new card, I would fall more in love with this deck. Every card was made with randomness and intuition, I never planned out a card in advance. However, I did know that I wanted a good mix of positive, neutral, and some shadow work -styled cards (or not-so-happy cards you could say). It’s good to have a variation!
My deck actually started out as a Lenormand deck, but after a while I decided to stray from the system and switch it to an oracle so I could have more freedom with it and a different card count. My deck currently consists of 28 cards and I’m not sure when I will finish the deck or what the ending card count will be.
My card creating process:
Card base – The base card I started with were blank tarot cards that I ordered online (search blank tarot cards). These made a great sturdy base for the deck.
Creating a card – I created the cards by collage using layered magazines cuts with a glue stick, nothing fancy! The magazines I used consisted of Juxtapoz, Hi Fructose, and Giant Robot. I’ve been collecting these for years, so recycling them for this project was perfect, I’m a big fan of recycling!
The glue stick I use is an Elmer’s X-Treme. You can find these in most retail stores that carry office supplies. This specific glue stick doesn’t give the magazine paper a rippled effect like most glue sticks do, the images lay flat. After I stick an image down, I used an old plastic gift card to rub gently across the image and press it down firmly.
How I chose images – As I went through my magazine clippings, I would intuitively chose a main image and begin my card with that. Eventually, a card title and theme came to me while creating. Everything was done at random and in the moment, I didn’t really plan out the cards in advance but you can certainly plan it out!
I also used Sharpie pens for card labeling and added stickers to a few. Anything that I thought would suit the card, I used. Try all kinds of things, book pages… photographs… print out words and images, you name it! Get creative, this is your personal deck!
Why create your own deck?! Why not!
Creating a custom deck is a great way to connect with the cards and put your own twist on things. The deck will be a reflection of you and have a lot more meaning than any deck you go out to purchase. You can use the method I described to create a tarot deck too, that is actually my next plan and I have already been saving magazine cuts that reflect the Rider-Waite-Smith based system.
If you’re worried about your card falling apart, you can laminate them with a home laminator or scan your cards on the computer and get them printed professionally by an online card maker like for example, The Game Crafter.
I would love to see your deck creations, tag me on Instagram @tarotseed!
I’m an intuitive tarot reader and coffee addict! I run a blog – Tarot Seed – where I share my own thoughts on tarot, as well as deck reviews and other tarot goodness. You can find me on Instagram and Facebook.