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Red Oak Farm
3040 Big Buck Road
Trezevant, TN 38258

Copyright 1998 -2012
All Rights Reserved
Red Oak Farm
Revised: almost weekly


Altered Cards

Altered Cards, like Altered Books, involve changing something simple into a work of art.  An altered card is "art on a small scale".  Using art on a small scale can be an inexpensive way to help children, nursing home residents and others to understand and express their feelings in a healthy way.

An altered card starts with a simple deck of cards (or if you are like many activity departments - a piece of a deck of cards).  The card is decorated with pictures and words cut out of magazines, bits of fabric, feathers, locks of hair, seashells, dried flowers, glitter or whatever strikes the artists fancy.  The card can be painted or colored with crayons or magic markers, stamp art or stickers can be used.  The card suit can be left showing or hidden. 

Subjects can be family members, friends, events,  memories or intangibles like old age, youth, or sickness.

Below are some examples to help give you ideas for your projects.

Australia:  A simple project would be something like choosing a country to describe.  This altered card features Australia and has a map, pictures of a kangaroo, emu and other items.  Using a word art program, various phrases have been cut out and glued to the card.  While cards do not have to be embellished with things hanging off them, many are.  This card has been hole punched.  A key chain connects a couple of dyed emu feather to the card as a further embellishment.  Another alternative would be to use ribbon or yarn to tie things to the card. 

Altered Card - September 11911

Sometimes events in our lives need to be addressed.  Art can help us work through our feelings. The card to the right expresses feelings regarding the September 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon.  After searching through magazines for pictures and words to express  the feelings that this event triggered, then cutting out words like terror, panic, anxiety and trepidation for over an hour; most were culled.  Only the phrases "shock and horror" and "My God, we are under attack" were used with pictures and other catch phrases. 


This altered card doubles as a Christmas ornament.  A metal carousel deer has been altered by removal of the carousel.  The card has been painted a dark blue and hole punched in the left corner.  A grommet was applied to keep the card from tearing later.  A price tag has been painted gold and is attached to the main card by a gold ribbon.  The word leap is glued to both the card and the tag, as has the deer.

Meet Joe Black

A salute to one of my favorite movies.  The Jack of Spades is used in this one, with "Joe" centered and tilted on the card.  A price tag is painted black and embellished with black beads and a pink heart (Joe did fall in love in the movie).

Family Cards - Click here for suggestions.

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