Making Mighty Mini Works of Art with TCW!

Hello Everyone!

This week in my studio I have been all about making mini works of art with ATCs.

If you’re not familiar with that acronym, it stands for “Artist Trading Cards” and it exactly what it sounds like…small cards, approximately the size of regular playing cards (2.5in x 3.5in) that are made by artist to share with others!


Even thought it’s small, this little guy took about 15 steps to make!

I put together a little step-by-step collage to show you how I did it!


Step 1: Gesso Your surface. Dry completely.

Step 2: Using an old plastic card, scrape a bright yellow paint across your surface.

Step 3: Lay the 6×6 TCW “Numbers Collage” over you still wet paint and rub with a baby wipe to remove some of the paint.

Step 4:  Remove the stencil and you will have a great tone-on-tone look! Dry your piece.

Step 5: Using the smaller hexagons on the 12×12 TCW “Hexagon” stencil, use your finger to “paint” hexagons on three corners. I used a metallic blue from Plaid.

Step 6: Remove your stencil. It’s Ok if it’s messy!!


Step 7: Water down some pink acrylic paint just a little bit. Apply a good amount the top and allow it to drip down. I used a pipette, but you can apply with a small rounded paintbrush. It it’s not moving down you project, you can coax it by adding a few heavy drops in the area you want a drip and it should flow down. Dry.

Step 8: Add bits of washi tape for added details.

Step 9: Using a small lid and a bright green acrylic paint, add “bubbles” all over your project. Remember to keep things in odd numbers  to keep the eye visually moving around.

Step 10: Add a small swipe of gesso or white acrylic paint to your “bubbles” too look like highlights.

Step 11: POP your hexagons with a contrasting color acrylic paint. Since my hexagons were blue, I used an coral color to make mine pop.

Step 12: Using my “Hexagon” stencil again (and using the larger hexagon shape this time) I lightly sprayed an emerald green spray ink through my stencil. This color is from Marion Smith’s new DIY ink collection called “Color Lab.”

Finishing touches….

I didn’t get a picture of my “in progress” finishing touches, but…

Step 13: I felt like my blue hexagons were a little lost on the bottom left corner, so I added them again and outlined them in the orange.

Step 14: Using Heidi Swapp’s Archival Dye in Navy and a butterfly stamp from Graphic 45, I added a few butterflies to my background.

Step 15: To complete my ATC, I added a butterfly sticker from We R Memory Keepers “Inked Rose” line and some words from Cosmo Cricket. I used my Faber-Castell black PITT Pen to make a smudgy outline around them all and the edges of my ATC.

It might seem like a lot of steps, but with the small size of ATCs they go by REALLY fast!

I hope you will try your hand at making some mini masterpieces of your own.


Keri Sallee

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