Free Your Deck

Last week I decided to free my deck from the black borders that contained them!

Allow me to elucidate a few points:  I had planned on the finished cards being no bigger than 3″x5″ but when they arrived from the printer they were a full 3.5″ x 5.5″.  Fantastic for the art, but a bit unwieldly.  I wanted the deck published borderless but because of the limitations the printer had to work with it was not an option.  Further, they required quite a large border.

Trimming off the border brought the size of the cards back down to about 2.75″ x 4.5″  a very nice size for shuffling!  They now look beautiful without the border and the lines and shapes in the images can flow into one another how I intended them!  It’s a very nice effect.

I chose to trim off the titles as well, though you could leave the border on the bottom if you like.  What I did was use a gold pen and wrote in the titles.  It’s readable but subtle and doesn’t take away from the image.  I probably would have used a silver pen if I had one handy.  I didn’t round the edges like many people like to do just because I personally like them squared.  To round them you can purchase a corner rounder for fairly cheap at any craft store.

To trim I used a rotary paper trimmer.  I didn’t do any kind of fancy measurements, I just eyeballed it and they are all close eough to shuffle nicely.  For the occasional card that still had a tiny strip of black showing I used some small, sharp, pointy scissors, the kind you would use for collage, to carefully trim it off.

Here are some pictures!

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13 Responses to Free Your Deck

  1. LisaM. says:

    Wow! The pictures seem to come into focus even more…not sure if I could trim my deck-yet. Maybe I’ll look for a silver or gold pen for awhile… 🙂

  2. wintergreen says:

    I trimmed & rounded the corners on mine awhile ago, and also wrote the titles in gold pen (Pilot Super Color Extrafine Gold). I love it even tho my corners are imperfect.
    I did mine with a straight ruler & xacto, plus a fiskars corner trimmer.
    The images appear more luminous & its easier to play around with juxtapposing them. All thats left is to finish the edges in either black or pewter.

  3. grneyedgypsy says:

    I did this right away when I first got the deck… mostly because they were too big for my hands… but it turned out to be a lovely meditative experience.

  4. Jennah says:

    How do you get this deck?

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  6. smithford says:

    The idea of altering a tarot deck is not one easily embraced in the Tarot collector’s community. I love that you did this! But I think back to the times I worked at the psychic line that co-workers freaked over minor changes. It was, they felt, sacrilegious, and broke the energy of the cards.. At the very least it was disrespectful to the author and/or illustrator of the cards. Cudos for altering your deck!!!

  7. I wish more decks would be made borderless. They look even more amazing now!! Well done 🙂

  8. Marie says:

    Thanks! Me too! At the time the publisher had a ‘no borderless decks’ policy. It would have been nice though.

  9. Zephyr says:

    I know this post is a bit old now, but I was wondering if you were planning on reprinting the cards sans borders (or if you already have done this).

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  12. it’s so annoying when you have a deck you adore but your fingers cannot reach around the edges to shuffle. The only way I could shuffle the Druidcraft deck was to do a 78 card pick up. So i agree with trimming if needed 🙂

  13. john says:

    John Collins,
    Yes, although I have left my deck in the way they were intended, I must say you’ve done a great job. I like Borders, but only if they are black. It’s just when I receive White borders that I cut them, however I have not touched the THOTH deck. Ciro Marchetti, if he uses a border, is always black.
    As for the size, I don’t have huge hands, but have had no problem with this stunning deck. I just shuffle them vertically! With the recent release of the ‘Borderless Deviant Moon Tarot’ it may well be
    some publishers are catching on to this issue. No Borders unless they are black.

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