Swap-bot Time: August 14, 2020 10:58 am

ATCs for Beginners All Are Welcome!!

Launch gallery slideshow

Swap Coordinator:VivaLaDiane (contact)
Swap categories: Artist Trading Card (ATC) 
Number of people in swap:50
Type:Type 3: Package or craft
Last day to signup/drop:August 31, 2011
Date items must be sent by:September 26, 2011
Number of swap partners:3

ATCs are my favorite things. I know some people fear what the super artist critics here think based on..maybe something you've heard or read in the forum or something?

Well, lets give it a try.

  1. Please look on flickr for 'atc' and you'll get a world of inspiration (I still do and I've done this for MANY years).

  2. You'll want to use something sturdy for your backing. (Think heavy cardstock. Even better, I alter sports cards. They're the exact correct size so I just cover it with a plain piece of colored paper or my image I'm using. OR craftstores sell perfect ATC blanks.).

  3. The sky is the limit. I've used melted crayons, rubber stamps, glitter, lace, and I don't know what all else to make the ATC beautiful. Try to stick to something on the flat-ish end though. Because of #5

  4. Fill out the back. It should include: Your username, the title of the swap, the date, etc. Google ATC back and look at the pics. That's what a typical ATC back looks like.

  5. Put it in a sleeve. They sell these at Walmart and Target (where the sportscards are) and also at Hobby Lobby, Michaels, etc.

  6. And most importantly, HAVE FUN. Ask any questions and I'd be happy to answer what I can. :)

I will allow newbies, but please have a filled out profile and remember to rate your partners when you've received your ATC. You will make 3 atcs (to get some good practice) and send 1 atc to each of your partners.


CSNYfan 08/ 5/2011 #

This has a great description. : )

HeidiJean 08/ 5/2011 #

I'll be watching this for now, but quick question: I think I read somewhere that you can use a card from a deck of playing cards? If so, that's perfect- I have about 300 decks with random missing cards that I can use

VivaLaDiane 08/ 6/2011 #

It depends on the size of the deck @HeidiJean ATCs have 1 basic rule. They MUST be 2 1/2 by 3 1/2 so they fit into those baseball card sleeves. So a standard deck of playing cards? No, but I believe you can trim them and they'd fit.

My only word of advice is a playing card is pretty thin. If you do cut them to make them the correct size, consider gluing 2 of them together for sturdiness. :D

doodlebugdezines 08/ 7/2011 #

Do we have an overall theme for this swap?

VivaLaDiane 08/ 8/2011 #

No theme. Totally use your own interests or wait to see your partners. Either way, you're free to create as you will :D

Conelmateenlaizquierda 08/ 8/2011 #

There are no Walmarts, Targets, Hobby Lobbys or Michaels in my country; and we don't have sports cards either. Do I HAVE TO have a sleeve? I guess I could try and make it...

janeblogs 08/10/2011 #

Someone told me that poker cards are measured 2.5 x 3.5 inches, so it might be worth looking and measuring next time you see some ;)

janeblogs 08/10/2011 #

oh, and you can get sleeves and blanks on ebay quite cheaply. hope that helps!

VivaLaDiane 08/10/2011 #

You can indeed make your own sleeve. In fact many people do.

HeidiJean 08/12/2011 #

I was at the dollar store, and got a pack of pokemon trading cards, I believe they are the same size as baseball cards. I'll confirm they're the correct size when I get home, of course.

By the way, I wanted to say thanks for making an ATC for beginners- I've been a little iffy about joining them because I'm kind of clueless and I didn't want a more experienced ATC swapper being like "what is this crap?!"

VivaLaDiane 08/12/2011 #

You're more than welcome. And...just make sure that if the cards are the correct size, that they're also a bit thicker than a playing card. Think sturdy. And above all of that....have fun.

Conelmateenlaizquierda 08/16/2011 #

Totally agree with HeidiJean about the beginner swap :)

mamajoy 08/19/2011 #

@ConeImateenLaizquierda - you can make little envelopes for your cards instead of the sleeves. Google envelope templates. Watch out for commercial playing cards, etc. They have a plastic coating that makes it hard for paper to stick. (I found that playing cards only stick when you are actually playing with them. LOL)You might have to sand it a bit to give it some "tooth".

camelsamba 08/23/2011 #

Pokemon are definitely the right size - I trace around those all the time to get the right size! They also are pretty sturdy, more so than cardstock (imo).

Paige1900 08/24/2011 #


summerhawk 08/24/2011 #

Before I joined swap-bot, the only ATCs I'd ever seen and traded were made with playing cards. That was the norm before the craft stores jumped on the bandwagon. They're the exact size and a deck of them is far cheaper than buying the blanks at the hobby/craft store. I wouldn't use them, however, for swap-bot swaps due to the harsh attitudes of some swappers here. Only if I knew my swap partner used or welcomed them would I use them for trades on this site. :)

VivaLaDiane 08/25/2011 #

With this swap summerhawk, you can do pretty much whatever you'd like. There are also times when people will instead host altered playing cards, so that right up front, you know the 'rules' are different.

hibiscus 08/29/2011 #

When do we get our partners

hibiscus 08/30/2011 #

Thanks so much ... I am looking forward to it

SpikeyLisa 08/30/2011 #

Shouldn't we get o9ut partners on September 1 since 8/31 is the last day to sign up? 9/14 is the day the ATC ships by.

VivaLaDiane 08/31/2011 #

Yes SpikeyLisa, you are correct :)

emilyjane 08/31/2011 #

Okay I cannot resist any longer, I have wanted to know what it's like to make ATCs (especially seeing as I am not that great at actual 'art'), and I stumbled across some lovely pink playing card protective sleeves the other day. In short; I'M IN :D

Conelmateenlaizquierda 08/31/2011 #

Hey! I have a question. Is it common to add some extra gifts in the envelope? I mean like a sticker sheet or something...

VivaLaDiane 08/31/2011 #

Whoa. What a user name :) In any case...I will answer this and this answer applies to every swap you will EVER do on Swap-bot. It is common to send exactly what is required. For this swap, just 1 atc per partner. CAN you send extras? Absolutely. However, bear this in mind, it will not get you anything extra. You aren't guaranteed a heart because you sent something extra and most likely you won't receive anything extra.

I will use myself for example. I rarely send anything extra. The exception is when I know someone and have swapped with them a few times, or we're in a group together ...then I actually know what they'd like and what they wouldn't.

Finally, please take this as friendly advice because that's how it's intended...if I got a sheet of stickers in a swap, I'd usually throw them away. I'm really picky on what I'd use. So honestly you can check your partners profile and if they're ga ga for stickers, you can; but it's not required and more to directly answer, I don't feel it's common. I hope that makes sense.

Conelmateenlaizquierda 08/31/2011 #

Thanks a lot for your honest answer! It really helps me a lot as a beginner swapper :-)

VivaLaDiane 08/31/2011 #

Not a problem. Remember my user name or write it down, if you ever have a question; feel free to ask me. I've been on here for 4 years and though I don't know everything, I know a lot and can either help you, or get you to the right place. This goes for anyone.

VivaLaDiane 08/31/2011 #

In fact, I just started a mentor group... click to join

PinkZombie 08/31/2011 #

If I got something as an extra that isn't my taste or I wouldn't personally use, I'd send to someone else in a different swap as an extra if I thought they'd enjoy it. Otherwise I use it / keep it.

Conelmateenlaizquierda 08/31/2011 #

weren't partners supposed to be assigned today?

Conelmateenlaizquierda 08/31/2011 #

oh...never mind my comment above

crrcookie 09/ 1/2011 #

Re: Sleeves

I looked at HobbyLobby and they had none but the whole sheets intended for binders. Same story at Office Depot.

However, I did find name badge holders at Office Depot and they are the exact right size to be an ATC sleeve. There is a bit more plastic on the open side so that it can be attached to the person's shirt with a clip or to accommodate a lanyard but I think that can be trimmed off with no damage to the sleeve. And they come in horizontal and vertical formats!

I do so hope that this will work to fill the sleeve requirement. I am getting ready to start my ATCs and I am quite excited about it.

cinnjenn 09/ 1/2011 #

I found my plastic sleeves at Wal-Mart, with the trading cards, like baseball cards, and Pokemon or "Magic the Gathering" trading cards. Only 98 cents a packet, at my store.

Wranglyn 09/ 2/2011 #

Hobby Lobby had sleeves (locally) but in a really weird place. NOT in scrapbooking, rather in the art section, by the canvases. Sometimes you have to hunt around! :)

alkalinekiwi 09/ 2/2011 #

Title of the swap? Is that the 'ATCs for Beginners' or the title of the ATC itself? Sorry if this seems like a silly question.

hibiscus 09/ 6/2011 #

I did send my three atc cards please correct the "oops mark this unsent "

VivaLaDiane 09/10/2011 #

It can be either @alkalinekiwi but just note what the swap is for somewhere so you'll be rated for it.

VivaLaDiane 09/10/2011 #

Any sleeve is fine :)

I hope you're all enjoying this swap,

mamajoy 09/22/2011 #

I see you changed the send by date. I didn't know you could do that after the sign up period was closed. What was the reason?

VivaLaDiane 09/23/2011 #

I'd been contacted by a few people asking if it were possible. Because I had more than 3 requests, I did it.

mamajoy 09/24/2011 #

Thank you.

marzipandaizy 09/27/2011 #

Thank you so much for extending the send by date. I was running so late but didn't ask. Now it's all good :)

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