When you make your own Tarot Cards, you not only get exactly the cards you want, but you’ll also get an extremely strong connection with your cards. This kind of connection is something that can be difficult to achieve with standard cards.
Of course a drawing talent is a plus, but you don’t need it when you make your own Tarot Cards. The fact that you are making them for your own use, the “quality” of the “artistic look” is something you decide on your own.
The symbolic meaning is probably the only thing you have to consider, especially if you are planing to use the cards for esoteric work.
Otherwise it’s totally up to you. You could concentrate on the colors or even use abstract forms, so long as it’s only you using the cards. It all depends on how you visualize the images and their meanings.
How to Make Your Own Tarot Cards
When we look at the history of Tarot Cards, the symbolism is something we can’t exclude or be without.
This is why the size of the cards matter. In fact the size is probably the most important factor in the design of the cards, apart from the symbolism of course.
When you use your Tarot Cards, you will have to be able to see clearly the images and the cards have to be easy to shuffle. That’s why the cards can not be so small that it’s difficult to see or read the symbols on them, or so big that they’re difficult to shuffle.
My view is that the cards should be between 2.1 in (5.8 cm) x 3.5 in (8.8 cm), the size of a traditional 52 cards deck, and 2.8 in (7 cm) x 4.7 in (12 cm) which is the size of my Rider-Waite Tarot Cards. This is of course my personal view, but you should not be make your own Tarot Cards much smaller or bigger, than this.
The material you use for the cards has to be relatively hard, or not to flexible. If you use paper, I would say that a carton of not less than 0.04 in (1 mm) should be used. Preferably you should not use paper, but wood.
When you buy standard Tarot Cards, you don’t have much choice in material, but when you make your own Tarot Cards, the choice of material is entirely yours. Wood is a natural product and it’s easy to get in its natural form. Paper on the other hand is heavily treated with all kinds of chemicals.
The same goes for the painting. When choosing the painting, you should go for the most “natural” painting you can get. That is to say, you should try to bypass painting that is highly saturated with chemicals.
One of the things that you should keep in mind, is the back of the cards. You need to have all the cards with an identical image on the back. This is a must when you use your cards in fortunetelling.
It will not take you long to recognize the various defects on the back design that will inevitably affect your work. You might for example shuffle the cards in a way that keeps the “bad” cards from turning up in the beginning. The best is to use a single color background with no images or lines on them.