Gift Idea: Deck of Cards Album – Getting Started

Altered art is one of my most favorite forms of creativity. It is so much fun to create new from old. Just to brighten something drab and ugly and make it better and more beautiful!

That’s what I am doing this Christmas. Lots of altered art projects. My current project are mini albums for each of my five children. This will be our first Christmas together as a blended family and I am very excited about that. To commemorate the past year, I have collected lots of group shots from various celebrations, from events and holidays throughout the year. I have also gathered together lots of scraps and extra supplies that have accumulated over the year. A great way to use up stuff that might not otherwise get used.

I am making these mini albums with decks of cards. All of our children have graduated beyond the alphabet and number flash cards that we have piling up. The size is great, the cards are sturdy and we have plenty lying around.

To begin, I selected a nice number of photographs for each child, depicting group events and several of them with another child. I shrunk them all down into wallet size photos, printed them out on plain printer paper to save money and sorted them by child.

Once I had the photographs in order, it was time to prepare the different decks of cards. Some of them were regular cardstock on one side, but others were sealed on both sides or just one one side. If you have a sealed card, meaning it has a shiny surface, it needs to be prepped to be altered.

Begin by selecting several grains of sandpaper. I used a heavier grain because I wanted to be able to paint on some of them.

Taking the sandpaper, in one direction, scrape it on the card to sand the surface and remove most of the sealant. You aren’t looking to remove it all, unless that’s important to you.

This can take a bit of time if you are doing several albums. With mine, I am doing five separate albums at the same time. Because I wanted to include a large number of pictures, and overlapping photos in this size is difficult, I had to sand at least 50 cards and I probably did many more. Since this project is not finished I cannot give you an exact number of cards I’ve sanded yet. I suggest keeping all of your scraps, photos, and other materials for this project in a plastic container until it is completed to keep it safe and so as not to lose any of the items you might need.

Watch the scrapbooking blog for the continuation of this article: Gift Idea: Deck of Cards Album – Making the Pages coming tomorrow. For other creative ideas for gift giving visit the frugal living blog or look for other ideas in the scrapbooking blog.