Introduction: DIY Clear Playing Cards

About: Community Manager for Instructables and Tinkercad.

Playing cards come in so many different themes nowadays. After seeing some clear, see-through playing cards on Facebook I decided I needed to make my own! I went through a lot of ideas before coming up with how I wanted to put it all together and what material I wanted to use.

A version for sale on Amazon that I was trying to imitate.

*Thanks to audreyobscura for help with the photos!

Step 1: Supplies

During the planning process, I considered using some type of plastic or acrylic and laser cutting it out.  I was disappointed when it didn't work out, but it ended up being better that it didn't.  After putting stickers on the front and back of the transparency cards, the deck got pretty thick.  If the material I used had been even a slightly thicker plastic, the cards would have made an unrealistically thick stack.

Step 2: Cutting Cards

This step is very easy.  Just load in a transparency on the cutting mat and cut out the cards!  I tried to put all the cards next to each other in the document, but since you use most of the sheet anyway, I just left them separate because they cut better that way.  Go until you have enough cards which is 54 if you want all 52 playing cards and 2 jokers.

My document makes 8 cards so you need to cut out 7 transparencies to get all the cards, plus a couple extras just in case.

Step 3: Designing and Cutting Stickers

I talk all about how to make stickers in my DIY Stickers Instructable, but I will give you a little bit here to get you going.

I made these entirely within Silhouette Studio.  It is basically basic shapes: circles, diamonds, hearts, clover, spade (which is an upside down heart).

You can make these as unique as you want.  I went fairly basic.  My circles are 1/2 an inch in diameter.  If you want to design your own, you can do whatever you want, but keep these things in mind.
  • You need two of each sticker per card (one for each diagonal corner).  Seems obvious, but I forgot this the first time.
  • Distinguish between 6 and 9.  You can tell based on how you put them on the card, but it is nice to have some way to tell them apart.  I used a ~ and put that under the numbers so you knew which way they faced.  Again, I didn't think of this until it was too late and I had to reprint them.
  • Playing cards do not go 1 - K, they go A - K.  Yep, I made that mistake too.

Step 4: Putting It All Together

Time to put on the stickers.  I decided to print out a fake card and lined up where I wanted the stickers to be.  Then, all I had to do is lay the transparency card on that template and then lined up the stickers.  (I've attached the template if you want it.)

Once you have the number stickers on, flip over the card and put on the back image that will go on all the cards.

Remember, you want the stickers to always have the top of the sticker being the closest edge.  Meaning when you look at the card one sticker should be right-side up and the other upside down.

Step 5: Instructables Version!

Why not make an Instructables deck!  I decided to have the robot on the backs of the cards and use orange and yellow backgrounds since those are the main colors of the site.

The text on the cards is in Complete in Him which is the Instructables "share what you make" text.  Uber authentic!

Step 6: Play Some Cards!

Have fun playing with your cool cards!

I plan on making my own box to put these guys in, so watch for that Instructable in the (hopefully) near future!