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Crackle Fun With Altered Playing Cards

By: Von Pappe II
June 9, 2016

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Crackle Fun With Altered Playing Cards
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Altered Playing Cards (or short APCs) are great fun to do! They are slightly larger than the better known Artist Trading Cards (ATCs) but still quite small – so they are perfect when you have only little space or time to create. And did you know that you can use DecoArt Media Crackle Paste to stick found objects directly to any substrate– without having to use additional glue? It's so easy, so quick and so much fun!

Items needed:

  • Americana Decou-Page (Glue-Sealer-Finish) 2oz - Americana Decou-Page Matte
  • Metallic Lustre 1oz - Gold Rush
  • DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics - Prussian Blue Hue
  • DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics - Raw Sienna
  • DecoArt Media Mediums and Specialty Products - Clear Matte Medium
  • DecoArt Media Mediums and Specialty Products - Crackle Paste - White
  • DecoArt Media Antiquing Creams - Carbon Black
  • DecoArt Media Antiquing Creams - Patina Green
  • Metallic Lustre 1oz - Cosmic Blue
  • DecoArt Media Antiquing Creams - Raw Umber
  • DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics - English Red Oxide
  • DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics - Phthalo Blue
  • Playing Card
  • Palette Knife
  • Baby Wipes
  • Soft Flat Brush
  • Black Archival Stamping Ink
  • Crackle Pattern Rubber Stamp
  • Rub Ons
  • Old Book Pages
  • Small Embellishments, Die Cuts, Chipboard Pieces, etc.


Step One: Prepare your playing cards by covering them with old book pages using matte Decou-Page. Make sure you seal the whole card as the Crackle Paste will only do its magic on a sealed surface! 

Instruction #1 - APC step173
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Step Two: Use a palette knife to randomly scrape on white Crackle Paste and stick various embellishments directly into the paste. The Crackle Paste also works as a perfect glue! Let dry naturally. 

Instruction #2 - APC step226
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Once the crackle process has finished its magic, your APC will look like this:

Instruction #3 - APC step2 after54
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Step 3 Preparation

Instruction #4 - APC step3 prep31
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Step Three: To make the cracks more visible, mix Carbon Black and Raw Umber Antiquing Creams and apply a thin coat to your APC. Let dry. 

Instruction #5 - APC step353
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Step Four: Wipe back the Antiquing Creams until you are content with how your APC looks. Don't go for a too dark result as we will add some more layers of media and colours later! 

Instruction #6 - APC step455
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Step Five: Seal this layer with a coat of Matte Medium to save your Antiquing Creams from being reactivated or worn off during the next steps. 

Instruction #7 - APC step571
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Step Six: Create a wash of Patina Green Antiquing Cream and apply to your APC. Only wipe back if needed. Seal again with Matte Medium once all is dry. 

Instruction #8 - APC step660
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Step Seven: Mix some Prussian Blue Hue with water and create drip lines across your APC by pressing a loaded soft brush in various spots while holding the APC upright. Let dry. 

Instruction #9 - APC step755
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Step Eight: Repeat step seven with Raw Sienna.

Instruction #10 - APC step844
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Step Nine: Apply a very light wash of English Red Oxide over the whole piece. Let dry naturally

Instruction #11 - APC step999
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Step Ten: apply Phtalo Blue Hue around the edge using your fingertip. 

Instruction #12 - APC step1022
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Step Eleven: To add a bit of bling randomly rub on Cosmic Blue and Gold Rush Metallic Lustres with your fingertips. Buff to a sheen using a soft cloth. 

Instruction #13 - APC step1163
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Step Twelve: For more depth add some crackle patterns to the glued on cogs using black archival stamping ink and a crackle pattern rubber stamp. 

Instruction #14 - APC step1312
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Step Thirteen: Finish off your Altered Playing Card with some rub ons. You're done! 

Instruction #15 - APC step1414
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Altered Playing Cards can be easily swapped via mail, you can use them to create your own 52 Card Pick Up pack or simply go for this format when you are in the mood for a very small and quick project.  

Instruction #16 - APC fin 192
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Have Fun!


Gorgeous altered card Claudia


June 9, 2016

This is awesome, Claudia. Great tutorial.

Candy Colwell

June 9, 2016

Stunning and inspiring!! Thanks for sharing your talent, Claudia.


June 9, 2016

This turned out very nice, love it


June 9, 2016

You make it look so easy. Gorgeous composition. Thanks. Carol.

Carol Woodley

June 9, 2016

Brilliantly explained steps Claudia and a fabulous project full of great techniques and elements, love it xx

Brenda Brown

June 10, 2016

Thank you all very much, ladies! :)) xxx


June 10, 2016

Super cool! I love it! All that crackle and texture is lovely. =)

Lisa H

June 10, 2016

Awesome project, Claudia. Fab techniques and colors used, too!

Barbara Rankin

June 11, 2016

Fabulous - I will certainly try this one - and learn about the products at the same time.

Christine Patch

June 15, 2016

Fabulous...What word stamps did you use?


June 15, 2016

Absolutely fabulous art Claudia! Funnily enough I am de-stashing some stuff and I just put some papers in the recycling bin which I have grabbed again to use after seeing this tutorial. Thank you lovely lady for sharing the step by steps. Next I need to get some antiquing cream xx


June 15, 2016

Stunning project. Thanks for the fab explanation

Moni Agila

June 15, 2016

Love these APC's!! I have to try some Claudia! Thanks


June 15, 2016

Thanks for the inspiration. Love the finished piece and thanks for the tip on the crackle paste! Carmen

Carmen Lucero

June 15, 2016


Kathy Gledsdale

June 16, 2016

Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh so yummy Claudia - wow! I loved it before you started adding color and was thinking NO - don't do it. But it turned out totally incredible - of course!!! What a super step by step too - thank you so much. Xj.


June 16, 2016

Thank you for the kind words, LIsa, Barbara, Christine, Jan (I used rub ons, no word stamps), Karen Moni, Maura, Carmen and Kathy! XXX


June 16, 2016

Oh gosh, I saw sneak peaks (or similar) of this apc, elsewhere in cyberland. It's absolutely fab! Your step-by-step is really clear & succinct, I get confused (still) with decoart products but this clears a few things up. When you said to add red over, I was thinking "surely not? It worked brilliantly as did your other choices....Tfs


June 19, 2016

Thank ... So Beautiful


October 9, 2016

Salve! Magnifica APC. Grazie per fare vedere questo passo a passo che è molto chiaro e perfetto. Patricia 25 maggio 2018


May 25, 2018

Thanks for the post. Actually, I have card sleeves for the cards which protect the playing cards from various conditions such as due to weather the cards gets yellowish if kept open in the air. If anyone wants the card sleeves, then please do refer this link:

Frank Trujillo

August 14, 2018

How long does "let dry naturally" take with the crackle paste? A day. A few minutes? "Naturally" - so I assume you mean no low temp heat gun or such. Thanks! Just wondering about this in a group setting and the timing.


September 17, 2019

Hi Jules - The natural drying time of Crackle Paste depends on how thick it is applied. It could be dried to the touch within minutes which allows you to continue working, but won't be fully cured until about 24 hours. Some people have had success using heat tools with our crackle products, but we generally recommend natural drying for best results.


September 18, 2019

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