An Artful Deck: The Playi...

If you love to play cards, alter cards, are an artist trading card buff, are an artist, a collagist, a painter, a sketcher, a draw-er, a writer, a crafter, a scrapbooker, or just want to put your hand into this participatory project and create your very own version of a set of playing cards, here is your chance.  Maybe you don’t like the same old, same old of the traditional look of a deck of playing cards.  Maybe you believe you have a more fanciful way to artify those mundane game cards.

An Artful Deck: The Playing Card Project is open to ONLY 300 participants and when it’s full, it’s full.

REGISTER NOW to participate and we’ll send your kit out so you can get started immediately!  Upon registration, each participant will receive a kit which includes a set of blank-on-one-side playing cards, a list of themes from which to choose, the rules and other suggestions for the project.  Participants do not have to have any artistic experience although artists and crafters are attracted to this project.  The $85 participation and kit fee also includes digitizing your deck into our online library and inclusion in a traveling art show and exhibition.  You’ll have until May 30, 2014 to complete your card deck.  

Additionally, a dozen artists/card decks will be selected by our staff to be featured in an issue of Art Outside the Box monthly ezine.

Mail back your completed card deck by May 30, 2014 and your cards will be included in the exhibition tour traveling through the United States through May 2015. Your card decks will be available for viewing in our digital library by the end of August, 2014. Upon the completion of the art show tour, each participant who sent in a completed card deck according to the rules will receive another artist’s card deck in exchange.


REGISTRATION begins: January 24, 2014

Registration deadline:  March 28, 2014

Post Mark deadline: May 30, 2014

Feature Artists Selected for ezine:  June 1, 2014

Digital card decks online by:  August 30, 2014

Exhibitions and Art Shows Tour Begins:  September 6, 2014

Exhibitions and Art Shows Tour Ends:  May 29, 2015

Card Exchange Mailed Out: July 30, 2015


REGISTRATION must be completed by March 28, 2014.  Postmark card decks back to us by May 30, 2014.


  1. Be sure that all cards are included—4 suits (hearts, diamonds, spades, clubs) with 13 cards for each suit (King, Queen, Jack, Ace and 10-2 numbered cards). Decks missing cards cannot be included in the traveling show and will not be digitally archived in our library.
  2.  All artwork on the card decks must be original to the participant.  Choose a theme for your card deck per the kit.  You can choose the mediums you use to decorate your playing cards but be sure they follow these rules, especially rules #2 and #6.
  3. Card decks must be registered at using our bar code system as included with instructions and rules in kit.  Non-registered journals will not be eligible for inclusion in the digital library or the art show exhibition(s).  There is a bar code label attached to the back of one of the cards in your kit.  Please keep this bar code intact and unobscured.  Register your bar code number to connect your card deck to your account and ensure your card deck gets cataloged and registered.  Go to once you receive your card deck and type in the number on your bar code.  If your bar code is damaged or lost please contact us.
  4. In order to give consistency to the project, the card decks we send in the kit must be the ones used.  The card decks are specific to this project.  Please be aware that we cannot digitally archive pop-ups, fold outs, or larger dimensions than noted in these rules. We will not archive card decks that do not follow the rules.
  5. Do not include loose embellishments, photographs or items not secured to the cards, textiles or items that dangle off of the cards, materials that smudge or can transfer to hands or other cards, glitter, ties, or scents. Abrasive, sharp, or hazardous materials are absolutely prohibited. Avoid delicate materials. Please do not use varnishes or glitter on the cards–use of these materials may eliminate your cards from our digital library and the art exhibitions and shows.  If you want glittery effects, please consider using glitter gel pens or twinkling H2Os.  If you need to, we suggest using a LIGHT spray of art fixative over each card.  Decoupage, even matte, can stick to other pieces so please consider this in your choices.  The glossy decoupages and spray varnishes have been known to cause considerable stickiness often resulting in torn artwork.
  6. Card decks that miss the postmark deadline or do not follow the rules will not be included in the digital library or the art exhibitions and shows and will not be exchanged or returned.  Be sure all glues, paints, and other materials are completely dry before you mail it.  Refunds are not given for any reason.
  7. Be sure to keep your account information up to date with us with current email and mailing address so that we can send your cards to the proper address.  Cards that are returned to us after mailing will not be resent due to failure to update address by participants—participants who don’t keep their mailing address up to date with us will forfeit their card deck exchange option.


Pen and Ink
Color Pencil
Traditional Photography
Digital Photography
New Media
Digital Art
Printmaking (hand pulled)