There’s something almost mysteriously alluring about playing cards. It could be the simple contrast in colors, the knowledge that there are innumerable different designs or even the mere fact that we know cards have been used in everything from games to magic tricks for years and years. Indeed, it’s believed that playing cards first originated in China in the 7th century, making them a good deal older than many might guess!
Because of this allure, playing cards have long been favorite items among those who like to get creative with arts and crafts projects. Sometimes that means something as simple as a clothesline with some cards hanging on it to decorate a room for poker night, and sometimes it’s something as complex as this card deck chair we’ve made note of before.
Here we’ll look to discuss the middle ground a bit, noting some crafting ideas a bit more creative than clothesline streamers but not so involved as a chair built with 350 decks of cards. Here are some of the fun ideas we’ve come up with and/or seen on the web.
There are actually a few different ideas for playing card journals you might find floating around the internet. One way to recycle a deck is simply to cut out the numbers and symbols on the cards and use them to number pages in an existing journal. However, you can also punch tiny binding holes up the left side of the cards in the deck and actually turn it into a 52-page journal for this or that: 52 exercises in 52 days, 52 inspirational quotes, or, as a gift, 52 reasons you love someone. You need only find a way to write on part of the card or paste over parts of it, which of course just means getting as creative as you’d like.
This might look like a confusing category, but here we’re just noting that you can also think about actually making the cards, to begin with. Most of us are used to fairly standard playing cards, but naturally, with a history dating back to the 7th century, there have been countless different looks for these cards. So why not design your own? You can either make it a full-on crafting project or find software online that will help in the design of the cards with whatever photos or illustrations you’d like to put on them. It’s actually quite fun, and when you’re done with the deck you just have a more personalized set to do some recycled crafting with.
When we hear “House of Cards” now most of us think of the political drama on Netflix, but let’s remember that card houses are a very real concept. What’s more, with a little bit of hot glue you can make a house of cards that stay standing, and turn it into a fun decoration for the house. A DIY site with some lovely ideas of its own for playing card crafting suggested turning such a project into a little toy house, and we’d expand on that idea suggesting you can place a small card house on a bookshelf or mantle with all kinds of little decorative items on display within.
We’ll also point out that playing cards are fairly sturdy, even if they’ve been used for a while. And even if they’ve gone a little bit soft you can always stack them to make for a sturdier setup. Thinking of cards this way you can actually attach them to all kinds of creative ways to make small gift boxes, little desktop containers, or whatever else you might need them for. You could even make a little box to keep fresher playing cards in! It’s just a great way to repurpose them rather than throw them out, and depending on the design of the cards you might wind up with some really cool looking containers.