Since I am busy, busy trying to get ready for vacation, I am going to feature Karen’s Friday craft this week and next week as the doll play activity for the day. Karen always has such great ideas and I know you will love them. And don’t worry, I may be on vacation, but there will still be Doll Play activities, I will still be posting daily, and checking comments. Then when I get back, we will do the Reader Photo Contest for August (Back to School theme).

Doll Themed Artist Trading Cards

For today’s post I wanted to share with you a craft my kids and I have been doing for years, that anyone can make, is easy and fun share with friends. I am talking about “ATC’s” or Artist Trading Cards. These small pieces of artwork are the same size as Pokemon or Baseball trading cards. You make your own designs out of paper and cardstock and items you may already have at home.

Doll Themed Artist Trading Cards

For the artist trading cards you will need:

  • A ruler
  • Scissors (or paper slicer)
  • Pencil, Pen, Pencil Crayons, Crayons or Felts
  • Stickers or images of American Girl Dolls or other items you wish to feature on your ATC
  • A glue stick
  • Paper (white or scrapbook paper)
  • Card stock (Save your cereal boxes, you can cut them to the right size and use them to make your designs strong)
  • Words from Magazines or Catalogs you cut out

* To store your ATC’s you may wish to keep them in a binder with plastic trading card pockets/sleeves inside so you can see them.

Doll Themed Artist Trading Cards

Step 1– Cut your paper and cardstock (cereal box cardboard works great) to the 2 1/2 inches by 3 1/2 inches. This is the size of playing cards and other trading cards. You may want to cut a bunch ahead of time so that you can design a card when ever you feel like it.

Step 2- Decide on a theme and collect the items you need to finish your design. On a piece of paper cut to 2 1/2 by 3 1/2 lay out your design.

Doll Themed Artist Trading Cards

Step 3– If you are doing a Mixed media card like the ones in I made in the photo above you will need to glue or stick your designs to the paper. I use a glue stick for this type of craft as I find that craft glue bubbles and doesn’t always lay flat. Continue to decorate your paper until you are satisfied, let it dry.

If you are hand drawing your design, do so and remember if you use pencil, you should go over your design in pen or felt to make it stand out.

Step 4- You will need to glue your design to a cardstock backing cut to the same size as the design. Let it dry.
*Cutting these ahead of time will really help. If you are cutting a bunch ahead of time make sure to store them somewhere safe, I store mine in a zip lock plastic bag in my craft cupboard. This also makes a great rainy day activity or party craft.

Doll Themed Artist Trading Cards

Step 5– On the back side of your ATC you will want to put the title of the ATC, your name, the date you made it and if you are making a series of ATC’s you will want to number your series. Once this is done your ATC is ready for displaying or trading with your friends.

Doll Themed Artist Trading Cards

There are so many ways to create ATC’s, in the photo above are some examples of ATC’s I have done for this post, there is a Photo ATC (a picture of me in front of the American Girl Store in Boston), a hand drawn Doll Diaries one (that is my favorite) and some Collage and Mixed Media options I made with stickers, both flat and raised.

Doll Themed Artist Trading Cards

I store my ATC’s that I have made or traded for in a binder like the one shown in the photo above. I found my trading card plastic sleeves at Walmart.

Doll Themed Artist Trading Cards

In this photo you can see some ATC’s I have received in trades, they are all made so differently and I love the different themes and ways people make ATC’s . You do not have to make only Doll themed ATC’s you can make them to suit your style and ideas of the day.

As long as you have cut your cardstock and paper to the correct size there is really no wrong way to make an ATC, because as an Artist you have the ability to create anything you like and choose to keep it to your self or share it with others. Last year in our area there was an ATC display at an art gallery that was from ATC artists from around the world, it was amazing to see what other artists of all ages were able to create and share with others. At the end of the exhibition the cards were all traded with the participants. You could do a similar thing with your friends and dolls or girl scout groups as well. I can not wait to see what you make! Remember to send your photos to Char, (always get your parents permission first!)

To find out more about ATC’s you can visit these sites below:

I look forward to sharing more crafts with you next week!

Karen