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"Discover the Art of Upcycling: Transforming Your Old Treasures with Perfect Paints!"

All of us crafters and makers have boxes, drawers, and containers full of stash, leftover paper, ephemera, metal parts, baubles, and old products that we couldn't bring ourselves to use over the years or never found a good project for. Now is the time to start digging and find those cool things that you would not normally use on a scrapbook layout or such. I am going to show you a fun way to play by adding Perfect Paints to your treasures, making ATCs.

Artist Trading Cards are miniature works of art that can be traded among friends, and fellow crafters and are meant to be traded all over the world. I have traded over 3,000 domestically and internationally and my collection is vast. ATCs are a great place to pull out those one-off products, pieces that just don't fit anywhere, for instance, as I was unpacking my craft room boxes from my move, I found a bag of cream chipboard butterflies with cutout pieces, circa 2013 from Tattered Angels. That sparked the initial idea, and then when I was working on a homemade saloon structure for an upcoming county fair, I was making my corrugated metal look from recycled Priority Mail boxes, well, that got the creative juices flowing. I will show you how I made this set of three (3) ATC cards ready to trade with someone anywhere in the world!


PRODUCT AND SUPPLIES USED FOR THIS PROJECT: Shimmering Acrylic Paints:

Polishing Plaster: Whipped Caramel

Recycled Priority Mail Box or any cardboard box Fiskars Punch: Teresa Collins, "Love" Word Creative Imaginations Black Cardstock Beacon Adhesives: "3 in 1" Liquid Adhesive Tattered Angels (no longer sold retail, they are circa 2013) Paint Brush


The only rule in creating Artist Trading Cards is the size. 3.5 inches by 2.5 inches. The product and method you use, the technique, and the thickness are up to you. However, a lot of collectors put the cards they trade in pockets in binders so be mindful of how thick they will be.


 Candy using Perfect Paints Shimmering Acrylic Paints
ATC Cards by Candy using Perfect Paints Shimmering Acrylic Paints

First, I cut the proper size out of a recycled Priority Mail box from a shipment I received. I will admit that owning a shipping store has its advantages. Think cardboard and bubble wrap!


Lets get started!
Lets get started!

I used a knitting needle to get in between the layers, which makes the top paper come off easily and leaves a lot less paper residue then tearing it off.


Use a knitting needle to get in between the layers
Use a knitting needle to get in between the layers


Top layer of cardboard removed!
Top layer of cardboard removed!

Using Vintage Mercury, I put down a coat to give it the silver color of metal and let dry.


Painting the background with Vintage Mercury


Once the Vintage Mercury was dry, I added Aged Copper randomly on the pieces, I am working on a patina look overall.


Adding Aged Copper to our background
Adding Aged Copper to our background


And you cannot achieve patina without some beautiful Perfect Paints Peacock Blue randomly placed as well.


Adding Peacock blue to the background
Adding Peacock blue to the background

And finally a bit of Red Wagon, before it dries completely take a bit of Vintage Mercury and softly go over the entire surface to tone down the colors and make it look like aged metal. Add a touch of Polishing Plaster in Whipped Caramel to give it a gritty look.


Adding Red Wagon to the background
Adding Red Wagon to the background


Finished "Patina" background
Finished "Patina" background

I wanted to add a lot of different paper textures on the top of each card. I grabbed a paper bag and cut a piece from it. I spent about 20 minutes wrinkling it up. I then cut out three smaller pieces and tore some edges, so that it would fit right on top of the card as a bottom layer.


Creating texture using a paper bag
Creating texture using a paper bag

Painting the crumbled paper for the background
Painting the crumbled paper for the background

I painted the wing chipboard, circa Tattered Angels from early 2013, again a great way for those things in your stash that you just don't know what to do with. I used a different color Shimmering Acrylic Paints on each butterfly: Red Wagon, Bright Gold, Vintage Mercury


Painting chipboard using Red Wagon
Painting chipboard using Red Wagon

Add the wrinkled paper bag to the top of the cardboard, then layer the butterfly on top of that. Paint the inside of the circles the same color to help make the love punched-out letters stand out. More information on what I have used to create these elements.



Painting chipboard using Bright Gold
Painting chipboard using Bright Gold


Gluing down the chipboard butterflies
Gluing down the chipboard butterflies

Layer the the punched out word "love" on top of the painted chipboard butterfly. I used Fiskars Teresa Collins Edition "Love" Word Punch. I love punches although I own all the cutting machines, yet I have never used them. I am old school!

Adding "love" to my ATC cards
Adding "love" to my ATC cards

Adding "love" to my ATC cards
Adding "love" to my ATC cards

Adding "love" to my ATC cards
Adding "love" to my ATC cards

Finished ATC Cards!
Finished ATC Cards!

They are a bit chunky but I love them. Now to find someone to trade with!


I hope this inspires you to dig through your stash and just go wild on making a mini art piece with an Artist Trading Card. Candy Rosenberg "A Vintage Girl"

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