Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Artist Trading Cards aka ATC

Over at Little Scraps of Heaven we are going to be hosting an ATC swap in the near future.
Since not everyone knows exactly what an ATC is, I thought I would make a blog post explaining them.

First off there are only two rules when it comes to making an ATC but they are important.

Rule #1- Your card must measure 2 1/2 x 3 1/2 inches.  You can decorate your card vertical or horizontal, that is your choice.

Rule #2-Cards are only to be traded, never sold.

So now, what is the point of making an artist trading card? 

For me I enjoy making them.  Sometimes I have a total block when it comes to scrapbooking.  I can't think of anything to make & a 12 x 12 page seems so overwhelming.  If I'm having trouble coming up with something, then I turn to an ATC.  Since there are no rules I can do whatever.  I can dig in my scraps which can include the paper, stickers just about anything. 
I also enjoy trying out new techniques.  Some of those might include embossing, either dry or wet.  It might be coloring an image in with  new markers or pens.  It's so easy to try out these techniques without worrying about wasting a lot product or some how ruining a big project.
I love going to the mailbox & finding a new card in it!  It's really fun to see what someone else has came up with or what technique they have tried.
Here's some pictures of some cards I have received in the past.

As you can see, you can try just about anything when making these little gems!

How to start? 
You want to start with a good heavy card base.  You don't want your card to be flimsy.  For this you can use scraps of paper or you can buy already cut card bases.  Here's a couple of packages that I have in my stash.

There is also a template at Mirkwood that shows you how to get the most cards from an 8 1/2 x 11 sheet of paper.

When you have finished your card you will want to write on the back.  You should include the title of your card(if you have one) also how many of this card you made and which number this one is.  It's also great to include your contact info. 
You can do this in a few ways, first is the cheapest by just writing all the info on the back.
On this card the artist used address labels and wrote the info on those.

You can also get stamps that are just for the backs of your creations.  Here is one that I have.

So, once you've started making these cards, what do you do with them?
Easiest thing is storing them in a 3-ring binder & put them in baseball card sleeves.

You can also buy albums that are just for storing your cards in.  Here is a picture of one that I have.

I have also found tins that are just the right size to put them in.  I "think" I found this one at Michael's.

My newest addiction to making these cards is using paper piecing patterns from  Little Scraps of Heaven Designs.  It's a great way to try out a pattern!

I hope this has helped explain artist trading cards!  Watch our facebook page for details about an upcoming ATC swap!


Fot said...

Oh thank you for sharing! So i would go and buy the atc Paper ?

Jeana said...

Deborah, you would not have to buy special paper to make an atc. The main thing is to make sure you use a good cardstock base so that your card is not flimsy. The packages are just convenient.