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A trio of Quirky Mixed Media ATC Cards

A trio of Quirky Mixed Media ATC Cards main article image
Posted on June 18, 2021 by Jan Hunter

This trio of cards uses 3 different collections, some odds and ends from the craft room, and the bases are created using corrugated cardboard from a box found in the garage. Throw in a little paint, some modeling paste and you have the perfect setup for some mixed media Artist Trading cards!

The following collections provided the jumping-off point for this grouping of cards:

Artist Trading Cards have been around for a while. Finished, they measure 2.5 x 3.5 inches. Use mediums of your choice. Fabric, leather, paper, etc. Generally, these cards have several layers and different mediums are used. The cards are often shared, traded, or put into pockets and may be kept to create a personal gallery of sorts.

Other Supplies:

  • Corrugated cardboard (cut to 2.5 x 3.5) If desired, tear some of the top paper covering off on the sides
  • Modeling paste
  • Palette knife
  • Stencils
  • Paint (white, black)
  • Distress ink
  • Embellishments (gems, stones, word phrases)
  • Mod Podge Dimensional Magic
  • Scissors
  • SCAL5 / SCAL5 Pro
  • Electronic die cutting machine (optional)
  • Stamps
  • Clear embossing ink pad
  • White and pearl heat embossing powder
  • Paper trimmer
  • Craft knife
  • Dimensional Foam dots or strips

Let’s get started!

Precut all the bases from the corrugated cardboard.

Remove some of the upper paper from the face of the cardboard, tearing it rather than cutting.

Using a dry foam brush, lightly brush some white acrylic paint on the face of the cardboard. If desired, add some contrast with a mixture of white and black paint. You can also brush a little paint in between the spaces in the torn areas if desired. Set aside and let dry.

Now, let’s add a little more texture and color to them. Stencils used in these were from In the samples below, some color may have been added before the modeling paste using embossing folders.  Apply a bit of modeling paste through the stencil using the palette knife here and there on your painted cardboard base. Let dry. You can add additional color using the small distress ink pads, markers, or dry brushing with a paint brush. Remember: There’s no right or wrong here… you can add color before or after applying the modeling paste or leave the surface of the modeling paste white. Just have fun in the process.

Set the backgrounds aside for right now to dry.

The Digis – Next steps: 

Unzip the files you’ve downloaded. Choose your images. Open your cutter software, which was SCAL5 Pro for this project. Under the file tab, choose import. Import the PNG file. Most Png files have a transparent background and the cut will follow the outside edge of the image. Size to approximately 2 x 2.5 inches. Sometimes a slightly smaller image will work for this project size. It’s all about your personal preference on the size and what you envision your finished card will look like.

Print and cut your images. Set them aside for right now. Images for this project were cut with a craft knife rather than by the machine. You can cut with your electronic machine if you choose. TIP: Be sure to check the preview option before cutting. You may need to add a blackout shadow behind one or more images for a smooth, clean, cut.

On to the details!

Love Buffalo Oleg – This ATC card is for a birthday celebration. The sentiment is stamped with the embossing ink and white embossing powder on black cardstock. Heat and watch the magic happen! A little of the Mod Podge dimensional magic was added to the flower and the pants of the graphic. Let dry – it takes about an hour with low humidity. If you live in an area with higher humidity, allow additional drying time. Apply some dimensional foam to the back of the image once everything has dried and add your sentiment.

Goodbye Elephant – The color for the background of the elephant  ATC card was done using a couple of watercolor markers. Some faceted clear colored gems were added and a metal “thanks” were glued on using some E6000. Some foam dimensional strips were used to lift the elephant off the card a bit.

Yoga Pig ATC – The blue and the pink from the yoga mat were used to highlight the stenciled area on the cardboard base using some distress ink pads. Swiping across the card and along the edges. A little yellow was added in the center using a blender tool.  While the pig does come with a sentiment, a stamp was used with some pearl embossing powder… it kind of blends back into the black cardstock when the light doesn’t hit it, but it does add just that touch of completing the card. Some Dimensional magic was applied to the snout and the entire image was added to the card base using some dimensional foam strips.

This trio of cards really didn’t take a whole lot of time to create. Every collection used for this grouping has several illustration options to pick from. You’re really not limited in what you could create. It would be fun to create a card with every illustration in each of the collections and create an album that would bring a smile to anyone looking through the pages.

Do you have to use cardboard as a base?  Certainly not!  Use cardstock, chip, or whatever!  Enjoy the journey as you have a little fun with these quirky characters. Make them your own and CELEBRATE some quirkiness in the process.

We hope you’ve enjoyed the creative process in this article.  For more inspiration, please visit Jan’s Artistry author’s page here or visit her blog.

Should you decide to create a few ATCs of your own, be sure to share your projects with us. We’d love to see them.

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