Stenciled Artist Trading Cards

Hello everyone!

Robyn here, sharing a stenciling technique you can use to create artist trading cards, commonly known as ATC’s.


The Crafter’s Workshop provided me with some product to create this project. The opinions I share are solely my own.


The Crafter's Workshop blog post - Stenciled Artist Trading Cards by Robyn Wood

I love creating artist trading cards, they are mini works of art that are a great way to try out new techniques or design ideas. Artist trading cards have a long history and thought to have been initially created by Swiss artist M. Vänçi Stirnemann in 1997. They all have a couple of common features – a size of 2 ½“ x 3 ½” and an edict that they are never to be sold – only gifted or traded. If you look on the internet there are a lot of swaps that happen where people trade their ATC’s, just like what happens with baseball cards. As far as design goes, anything is possible and there are no rules but I like to follow three basics – a background, a focal image and some text. Sometimes the lines between these three are blurred.

backgrounds stenciled using Sakura white gel pen over spray ink

I started my ATC’s using a couple of background pieces created with shimmery spray inks and chose a couple of stencils with smallish patterns that I could stencil over the top to create an interesting background. For this pair I chose TCW884 Explosion and TCW889 Dash V, both designed by Julie Fei-Fan Balzer as I love the variety of pattern options on each.

Next, I took a white gel pen and traced the designs directly onto the backgrounds using a Sakura Gelly Roll white gel pen. When I used the TCW889 Dash V stencil, I chose the part of the design that I thought would look the best and traced it just across one portion of the background rather than filling the whole space.

After tracing the designs, I used the Sakura Gelly Roll white gel pen and a metallic gel pen to fill in parts of the designs to create solid shapes. You could also doodle inside the larger spaces for a different look. The spray ink was a non-permanant one so the white gel pen activated the ink a little for a pastel look.

The Crafter's Workshop blog post - Stenciled Artist Trading Cards by Robyn Wood

Finally, I inked around the edges and added some die-cut pieces from Prima Marketing Inc for focal imagery and text.


The Crafter's Workshop blog post - Stenciled Artist Trading Cards by Robyn Wood

Thanks so much for joining me, I hope this pair of ATC’s give you some inspiration! 

We would love to see what you create with The Crafters Workshop Stencils and Mediums. You can share it with us on our Facebook Page, Instagram and Pinterest using hashtag #stencillove

Robyn Wood
The Crafter’s Workshop Design Team Member

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