Gettin' Crafty: trading cards for the artsy sort

For all those who give pom-pom critters for birthdays, feel an urge to stick googly eyes on everything or just occasionally get a twitch to fold some origami, we bring you "Gettin' Crafty" where we feature a craft you can easily make with minimal supplies and limited finances. Today, we have a new hobby/obsession for you: Artist Trading Cards, 2 ½" x 3 ½" size works of art created by you (or me, or whoever) that allow you to appreciate and be appreciated. There are dozens of online forums for you to pick from to register, sign up for a theme and swap with other traders -- all they need is you. And some of your free time. Supplies

  • Scrapbook-y type art supplies
  • Internet
  • Envelopes and stamps to mail off your mini masterpieces


1. Pick an Artist Trading Card forum to join. Some of the major ones are ATCsforAll.com and IllustratedATCs.com.

2. Pick a swap to participate in. I choose "Be Charmed", so I was to incorporate a charm somewhere in my Art Card. You can find swaps in everything from "Bob Dylan Lyrics" to "Photography". If you don't find anything that inspires you (picky, eh?) just start your own.

3. Make your card using whatever you want. The restrictions are few, except that it has to fit inside of an envelope, so nothing too 3D. Many ask you to put a backing on it (like foam board or cardstock) and mail it in a plastic sleeve.

4. Mail it off to a fellow swapper. If you want it returned, you have to specifically ask for it to be returned. But in my opinion, that's pretty tacky to ask for it back. Not really in the spirit of "swapping" is it?

5. Compulsively check your mailbox for another card to come to you. Isn't getting mail the best?

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


All-access pass to the top stories, events and offers around town.

  • Top Stories


All-access pass to top stories, events and offers around town.

Sign Up >

No Thanks!

Remind Me Later >