Dollar Tree Altered Playing Card Self-Challenge

The other day I had a ton of errands to run with/for my nieces. However, I knew there would be some lag time between a few of them that I wanted to use to work on my altered playing cards. I considered lugging a bunch of supplies with me, but that just didn't sound appealing at all. As well, I knew I had a few items to pick up at the Dollar Tree. So, I decided to challenge myself to create at least one playing card with supplies I got there. Here are the supplies I grabbed.
Left to Right: glue stick, paint, stickers, paint brushes, scissors, permanent markers, and a cute kids' activity book.

I did have a few of my gesso-ed playing cards with me, and let myself use items that were laying around my mom's house (where I waited between errands).
I used a yellow legal pad that was there as my underpaper.

To start, I painted the card.
However, I wasn't happy with the brush strokes from the stiff paintbrushes and decided to go another route.

From out of the paper recycling I pulled a piece of newspaper - the game section. Using the glue stick, I stuck the find-a-word onto my card and trimmed the edges with the scissors.
While I probably could have left out showing you the original painting of the card, I wanted to illustrate that it's okay and even easy to start over on a project like this - cover oopsies with paper, gesso over them, whatever. You don't have to keep something you're not happy with.

Since it was the brush strokes that bothered me in the first go-round, I decided to use my finger to rub the paint onto the card this time.
My palette of dark blue, green, and orange worked out perfectly. I had no direction, I was just putting paint down as it spoke to me.

From there, I used the permanent markers to make random marks on the card.
Dots, dashes, arcs, and circles were formed with orange and brown markers.

There were some really cute images in the activity book I bought. However, the colors just didn't seem to mesh with the color palette on the card. Instead, I turned to the stickers for a focal image.
This "Love" sticker was perfect. However, the blotches of color on it blended in almost too well with the blotches of color on the card.

I fixed that with a black marker, outlining the sticker to separate it.
The black marker was also used to outline the whole card and make it pop.

I think working with just a few supplies can sometimes inspire me more than having a whole craft room full of options. As well, this just goes to show you that it doesn't have to cost you a bundle to make some fun art.

I love being frugal and finding supplies for only a buck. Do you have any favorite craft supplies from the dollar store?


  1. Hope, this is faburrific! I've sent your URL to my daughter. She will love it, too! Hope to see you soon!

    1. Kim, You are so sweet. Thanks for sharing the link. I do hope she likes it. I'm having fun working on these little canvases, but often have to remind myself that they don't have to be perfect. I'm just using them as creative kickstarts for larger projects. It seems to be working well to as I've gotten so much accomplished here lately! Thanks again for dropping in and for sharing.

  2. Chris likes to buy the colored metal wire in the floral section. He uses it for all kinds of things. I like the idea of using playing cards as a "canvas." I personally like doing small scale work as I find a big empty canvas so much more intimidating.

    1. Oh yeah. . .I've got several packages of that wire myself. However, I've only ever made Fall pumpkins with them (I think there's a blog post somewhere that shares them). They were so easy. As for the small scale work, I totally get that. Though, I'm working my way up to larger pieces eventually!


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