One Man's Trash - Vintage Playing Cards Turned Valentine's Garland

Monday, February 10, 2014

I suppose that these barely fit into the category of One Man's Trash. I mean, they're not all that vintage. 


But it is kind of neat to find an old set of cards and rather than leaving them in their current state of disrepair, a Valentine's garland seemed to be a fitting project for them. (And considering card players are always on the lookout for a "fresh deck of cards" - you might come across some of these easier than you'd think.)


Look at the date on the blue box of cards. Why they're marked as Atlanta 1996 Olympics! And look at the red box, it's marked as Rider Back - we'll get to that soon.

First you'll need to gather your materials:

  • Playing cards
  • Hole punch
  • Ribbon
  • Scissors

Remove the heart cards from the deck plus any additional cards to use for their red backs. Set aside.


Next, choose a card that you'll not be using in your garland. (This is in case you screw up the next step and have to try again - luckily I got it right on one try!)

Evenly punch two holes at the top of this card. You will use this card as your template for punching holes in the other cards for your garland.


Carefully line up the template card with each heart card and punch holes in the heart card through the holes on the template card. 

Cut a piece of ribbon that is the length you want your finished garland plus hanging loops. This length should equal the width of all cards (side by side), plus approximately 2 1/2 to 3 inches between the cards, plus extra length on the ends to make loops for hanging. (For example, my garland has 16 cards and my joining ribbon is 9 feet long.) 

Thread the cards onto the joining ribbon in random order, leaving 2 1/2 to 3 inches between the cards. Make sure to leave enough room on each end to tie loops. When finished threading cards, tie loops for hanging.

Cut coordinating ribbon into 6 inch lengths. Randomly tie 2 to 3 ribbons into each space between cards and on each loop knot.

Hang garland and enjoy!



Remember those Rider Back cards? Well, Bicycle Playing cards have several different back designs. Their Rider Back design features a Cupid riding a bicycle. When I noticed this, I decided to include some of those in the garland, which you can see in the photo below right next to the King and Queen of Hearts. 

But, if you happen upon a deck that is a little low on heart cards (or if you just want to make a bigger garland), red backed cards would be a great way to extend the garland, even if they don't happen to have Cupid on them.



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