Recently in chat, a lot of members have discussed issues on affording a tarot deck or not liking the ones they see on store shelves. I have decided to make a little guide of instructions on how to make your own tarot card deck at home. I feel like crafting your own deck is more personal and gives more meaning to the cards.
- Blank Card Stock Paper (avaliable at most craft stores)
- Tracing Paper (semi-clear)
- Self-Laminating Paper
- Pencil or Pen
- Colored Pencils, Markers, or Other Coloring Material
- A Well Lit Room
To make your tarot cards, the decision needs to be made on whether or not the deck will be a standard deck or if it will be a more personal deck with more or less cards in it. Typical tarot card decks contail 78 cards divided into two suits. The first suit is the Major Arcana consisting of 22 trump cards which are the most important cards, and the second suit consists of the Minor Arcana of 56 lesser cards that help set up the Major Arcana.
The Major Arcana cards are one card a piece, and contain the cards of The Fool, The Magician, The High Priestess, The Empress, The Emperor, The Hierophant, The Lovers, The Chariot, Strength, The Hermit, Wheel of Fortune, Justice, The Hanged Man, Death, Temperance, The Devil, The Tower, The Star, The Moon, The Sun, Judgement, and The World.
The Latin suits for the Minor Arcana contain Wands (Batons, Clubs, Staves), Pentacles (Coins, Disks, Rings), Cups (Chalices), and Swords. French suits contain classic card suits with Clubs, Diamonds, Hearts, Spades. Elements can also replace the suits with Fire, Earth, Water, and Air. Each Minor Arcana consists of an Ace, 2-10 cards, a Page, Knight, Queen, and King card.
Once the decision has been made on sticking with a standard deck or making a personal non-standard deck, now it is time to create the deck.
- Gather the total amount of card stock paper one will need to create the deck. For the example, we'll stick to the standard 78 cards, so one will need to have an extra piece of card stock for a total of 79 sheets.
- On the extra piece of card stock paper, measure out the size of the card desired for the deck. Standard decks are retangular, but the cards are personal to the individual, so circles and other random shapes are just as acceptable.
- Once the shape and size is determined, cut the extra card stock off of the card. Use this new card to cut the extra edges off of the remaining 78 pieces of card stock.
- Using the extra card, draw the design that will be on the back of all of the tarot cards. When that is done, flip the card and design the border that will go around the image on all of the tarot cards (unless you do not want a border).
- Grab a piece of tracing paper, go to a well-lit room, and lay the paper over the back design of the card. Trace it WITH A PENCIL.
- Remove the tracing paper.
- This step is VERY Important. Flip over the tracing paper so the pencil side that was drawn on is now laying against the table or other surface. Trace the design, pushing down so a lot of pencil graphite is left on the design. Flip the paper back over.
- Take a new blank card, and lay the tracing paper and design over the card with the heavy graphite site directly on the card. Trace the design. When you remove the tracing paper, the heavy graphite will have transfered the image to the new card.
- Repeat steps 7 and 8 with the remaining cards. Repeat steps 5-8 for the border designs as well.
- Once the back of the cards are finished, color them in or leave them as they are.
- To create the images for the front, either draw them directly to the cards, or draw them on normal paper and repeat steps 5-8 with the front designs to easily transfer the final desired image. This allows for multiple pictures to be created and chosen for the best design.
- Color the front images on all of the cards.
- The Final Step! Using the self-laminating paper, follow the directions on the box to laminate the cards. This protects them from outside dirt and damages from repeatedly being picked up and used.
Ta-da! A tarot deck has been created!