Deck of Cards-Vintage Wall Decor: Free Digital Downloads

Mod Podge’ing paper to pre-stretched canvas is nothing new in the craft world, but deliberately allowing paper to moisten, crinkle, oversaturate, and images to smudge & deteriorate for the sake of art, might be a bit different than you’re used to. The combination of Mod Podge Matte finish for paper and vintage typewriter paper that’s been run through the printer make for a pretty cool effect when laminated to canvas. An effect, that in most cases, would have you in tears, so be warned that this is NOT a project for the perfectionist, we’re going to get messed up on this one to create very cool faux antique wall decor.
I found an old and grungy deck of playing cards with fantastic graphics. I gotta tell you, getting my hands on this discarded old pack was seriously just short of a full-on dumpster dive, though I’ll spare you the details. But it just goes to show you that you can find beauty in the least of places.I purchased two 12″ x 12″ x 1.25″ canvases @ 40% off at the local craft store, gathered my supply of Paper Mod Podge, a brush and a light brown marker.I scanned into my computer sections of the cardboard package and the back of a playing card, cropped, then very easily auto-enhanced and manipulated them with Photoshop into two square images and a series of strips for lining the sides of my canvas. (This is the kind of simple project you can do in Photoshop Elements, which is much less expensive than the PS pro.) These are now FREE PDF graphics for you to use, simply click on the image to access the file.

To print the images to 12″ when the desktop printer only prints as wide as 8.5″, I move my image around on the computer layout and print each design in 2 separate sections per canvas. When creating this design, I made visual divisions in the graphics for just this purpose. I printed to legal sized (8.5″ x 14″) thin vintage typewriter paper to get the ripple-grungy effect, but you can print to standard paper as well. I use an inkjet printer…and while on the subject, I am a lot asked about which printer I use for my projects. I have an all-in-one printer/scanner/copier. It is NOT one I want to recommend, however, it works good enough for projects like this. One day I’ll find a fabulous one and be sure to share that info with you.I trimmed out images along edges and visual breaks with my trusty Xacto knife.
I slathered the Mod Podge across the surface of the canvas and pieced the images together, burnishing using a layer of parchment paper between my hand and the printed paper to avoid over-smearing the ink that was moist from the underlying adhesive. You can see how the typewriter paper reacts to the moisture of the Mod Podge by crinkling and rippling. Stay with me, this is a good thing.I then added strips randomly to the sides of the canvases and pressed to adhere. See those places where my finger pulled up the ink from the image? Uh-huh, great stuff!
Once dry, I used sandpaper to distress the edges, corners and surface of the glued paper.
You can use a marker or other stain to add darkness to the distressed areas if you want.
I finished my canvases with a top spray coat of matte varnish. I would not recommend using the Mod Podge on the surface of this project as it will smear the ink if using the same paper I used. If you’re using something different, be sure to test on a separate printed piece first.I have a bit of a floral-yet-western thing going on in my living room with plenty of red, so these make pretty cool art for my little reading nook in the corner.The images in the FREE PDF files are high enough resolution to enlarge for this 12″ project. But you can also reduce and use on smaller canvases, plywood squares, coaster tiles, soldered jewelry lockets or whatever you can think of. Great gifts for the poker player in the family don’t you think?!

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96 Responses to Deck of Cards-Vintage Wall Decor: Free Digital Downloads

  1. #1 - Jenn says:


  2. #3 - Ginger@cottageonrosewood says:

    Way too cool. I love this idea for my son's room. He has an obsession with cards from poker to magic tricks. This is PERFECT

  3. #4 - Dolce Baci says:

    Wow those look great!

  4. #5 - Theresa @ 612Riverside says:

    That is so cool! Thank you for sharing…AGAIN! Theresa

  5. #6 - Nikki says:

    GENIUS!!!!!!!!!!!!! love it!

  6. #7 - PHARES CAUSEY says:

    That turned out wonderful! Couldn't have been done better! I may do that for my guest bathroom!

  7. #8 - Diva Kreszl says:

    these came out so well!!! I love what you've done, I may do something similar for my adult son as he has a poker room at his place although the graphics of these are delightful in their own right!!!

  8. #9 - Cori says:

    I love this project so much! You are such a GREAT teacher! I am going to make these SOON!

    They will work fabulous in my 9 year old son's red and brown vintage theme room.

    Thanks so much for what you do! We appreciate you : )

    Starview Sonnet

  9. #10 - Jill says:

    You are too cool. Awesome.

  10. #11 - Jane says:

    Fabulous project. Thanks for the PDF and the tutorial.

  11. #12 - Whitney @ Whisker Graphics says:

    Great idea and excellent tutorial! Well done, my friend, well done. 🙂

  12. #13 - Mc Allen says:

    that is so creative, I love it!!! Cute blog! xoxo LA

  13. #14 - TidyMom says:

    Oh Cathe I love these!! I think I could do this!! Thanks!!


  14. #15 - Just Rhonda says:

    holy COOL!!!!!

  15. #16 - La Vie en Rose says:

    Thanks Cathy, great project as per usual!

  16. #17 - Centsational Girl says:

    Those are seriously awesome. I know my poker playing hub would LOVE those ! Great idea for coasters too, thanks for the free downloads. You're always so generous !

    See you tomorrow for coffee, looking forward to it !

  17. #18 - Stephanie says:

    Very cool idea. The crinkly typing paper makes it look like old parchment!

  18. #19 - Rebekah says:

    SO cool! I want to copy this idea using enlargements of those king and queen "love" stamps they have out right now.

  19. #20 - Dana Gustafson says:

    Uh huh! TOtally cool! WHat a great find that deck of cards was too!

  20. #21 - Maggie says:

    oh my stars and garters! these are fabulous, as usual! Thanks for sharing!

  21. #22 - alamodestuff says:

    Love this project! I'm a Mod Podge queen and love seeing new things that get my creative juices flowing. Thanks for sharing!


  22. #23 - Kat says:

    Love this idea! Could you elaborate on how you kept your ink from smearing?… I'm a mod podge noob and my ink always gets runny…

  23. #24 - FleaMarketTrixie says:

    What a cool idea and a great look, thanks for sharing with us

  24. #25 - Dayhomemama says:

    Cathe, you rock my world!!! I LOVE THIS PROJECT!!!!

  25. #26 - Cathe Holden says:

    Thanks so much everyone!

    Kat, as per your question, my ink didn't smear because I never used the Mod Podge on the ink side of the paper. I sealed the pieces with a matte spray sealer.

  26. #27 - Conduit Press says:

    never thought about using sandpaper to 'age' the edges- sweet! I Love your blog, I never run out of ideas reading it;)

  27. #28 - Kat says:

    Haha… of course!! That makes total sense… And I have that stuff laying around, too! 😀

  28. #29 - Redfish Artwork by Vickie Fisher says:

    I am always looking for something to make for men and this is perfect! You are so awesome !!!! Thank you so much.

  29. #30 - Anji Johnston says:

    Your creativity is endless! Love this idea and can't wait to try it – thank you!

  30. #31 - Createology says:

    These look wonderful. I am amazed at the amount of work you did however the results are fabulous. Thank you for your generous sharing. Keep creating…

  31. #32 - Myrna says:

    Oh, VERY cool!

  32. #33 - Kristin says:

    This is the perfect example of why I love your blog. You can see something in the cover of a pack of cards and make it into great art, that does not resemble the cards! I love the revolver, it makes me wish I had a western look in some room somewhere. Thanks for the inspiration.

  33. #34 - Cari says:

    Love the finished project! Gives me some great ideas for some artwork in my own home.

  34. #35 - Janee says:

    wow,… I'm always amazed at the creative genius you share on your blog Cathe! Thank you. :0)

  35. #36 - Magpie Magic says:

    That's a fabulous idea and a really stylish project. Love the canvasses on the wall. Thanks for sharing. 🙂

  36. #37 - Tea Potty says:

    Terrific idea! Thanks for the know-how. I could do this with my daughter's (age 3) artwork.

  37. #38 - creative jewish mom/Sara says:

    Great Project! Would love to have you at my blog linking party every sunday @! Hope to see you then.

  38. #39 - floatingink says:

    Wow–this is brilliant. I'm having a ball sitting here thinking of variations on this theme. Thank you!!

  39. #40 - My name is PJ. says:

    I love these, Cathe and they're my favorite color too!!!! Thanks for sharing.

  40. #41 - CraftCrave says:

    Thank you! This blog post will be advertised on CraftCrave in the Printables category today (look for timestamp: [25 Feb 01:00pm GMT]).

  41. #42 - LP Vintage says:

    you are just so clever and generous!!

  42. #43 - Amy says:

    What a great idea!!!

    Crafting by Candlelight

    (and a fellow Petaluman!)

  43. #44 - Suzy says:

    A-W-E…S-O-M-E Awesome, Awesome are thee!!!

  44. #45 - Elaine A says:

    Super project Cathe! I love it! Thanks for file images also.

    Elaine Allen

  45. #46 - Linda K. says:

    Very nice project and your tutorial is excellent. I like how the MP crinkled the typing paper.


  46. #47 - Beth says:

    I love that project! Sooo neat!

  47. #48 - Suzy says:

    Okay seriously, you are so incredible! You've basically decorated my house. Keep 'em coming!

  48. #49 - bridget {bake at 350} says:

    Well, that is awesome!

  49. #50 - Molly @ thecreativemaven says:

    That is so, so cool! I love it!

  50. #51 - Thea says:

    Wow! So talented and so generous. Thank you for the amazing inspiration throughout this blog, the advice and the free downloads. Again, so generous.

  51. #52 - Linda B says:

    Very cool! Thanks for the freebees!

  52. #53 - Debra says:

    Thank you so much Cathy I just downloaded these I can't wait to try them.

  53. #54 - Kelly says:

    Lovely! I've read about creating the same kind of wall art using vintage post cards. I've got a thing for old fashioned hand-writing! Keep up the good work!

  54. #55 - Emily says:

    How Clever!!!!!!!

  55. #56 - Anonymous says:

    Very cool…inspiring

  56. #57 - Rebekah says:

    Cathe, I listed you among my "nominees" for the Kreative Blogger award today. Thanks for the never-ending supply of inspiration! 🙂

  57. #58 - Miriam at Made Right Guide says:

    Great idea for legal sized paper! I totally forgot that even my rinky-dink printer could print that size.

    Thanks for the fun project!

  58. #59 - BlissfulDiversions says:

    I love this! What a wonderful idea!

  59. #60 - BlissfulDiversions says:

    This is so cool! What a great idea! Thanks for sharing the PDF files.

  60. #61 - HeatherBabe says:


  61. #62 - Jennifer says:

    You just totally gave me an idea for a Mad Hatter Tea Party fashion show and fundraiser I am working on for April — for the red and black cards!

  62. #63 - Rachael Rice says:

    BEAUTIFUL! Love it, thanks!

  63. #64 - Janet's Creations says:

    I love your reading nook. The colors are great!

    I think I'll look through my vintage card collection and see what treasures I may have.

  64. #65 - Crafty Dawn says:

    Really enjoyed reading this very interesting I'll never look at a pack of card the smae again!

    Love Dawn xx

  65. #66 - FILIGREE MOON says:

    Really fabulous creation here! These images are fantastic – thank you so much for sharing! ~ Angela

  66. #67 - Roberta says:

    Cathy these are great…thanks so much for sharing. I can see these in my nephews game room…aka…kitchen table…lol

  67. #68 - Lisa says:

    This is so cool! My great uncle would have loved these!

  68. #69 - Kim says:

    This is VERY neat! What a great addition to a MAN cave!!

  69. #70 - Vintage Shoes says:

    Vintage designs are just really very irresistible as always, the beauty of the wall will expand more.

  70. #71 - Kim says:

    This is some of the coolest glitter I've seen in a long time! It is so pretty!!!

  71. #72 - Rachael says:

    Very cool idea. I'll have to try it sometime!

  72. #73 - stephl says:

    cool, cool….neat and neater!!! I have a caribbean themed loft area, and a set of Tommy Bahama playing cards….. Ideas are happening here! I think I want them tea-stained…so I may do that, even put a glass down on the paper before adhering it, for an even more rustic look.

    Where do you find old vintage typewriter paper?

    And…please share the "almost a dumpster-dive" story! I think it would be fun to hear!!!

  73. #74 - Lindy says:

    thanks for the great step by step tutorial… and the artwork is ABFAB. Thanks for the free pdf, too!
    …scatter joy…

  74. #75 - me says:

    Great tutorial! I have had some luck with spraying a fixative (Prismacolor Final Fixative – Matte for pastel, charcoal and pencil) over ink jet printed images. And I have Mod-podged over them without smearing…

  75. #76 - Tammy says:

    Wow! This project is so cool! thanks for sharing

  76. #77 - Kristin says:

    Thanks for sharing! Graphic designers always have the best ideas for things like this! Glad to have found you on Scrap Scene!

  77. #78 - Dancing Hula in the Sunset says:

    I used your ideas for this project at my daughter's slumber party. Here are the results . . . .

  78. #79 - Anonymous says:

    Thanks for sharing these, Cathe! I love decorating western and these are a perfect project…I pretty much followed your example and although this was my first time using MP, I enjoyed the results.

  79. #80 - Sara says:

    I just love your projects! Thanks for another wonderful idea.

  80. #81 - gypsy rose says:

    These are fabulous. I'VE ALWAYS LOVED the card graphics

  81. #82 - Desjgn "J Design" Playing Cards says:

    These are awesome! I design playing cards for a living ( so anything playing cards intrigues me. Thank you for sharing!

  82. #83 - Its So Very Cheri says:

    This is AWESOME. I came over from ModPodgeROCKS and signed up to follow. I would love it if you came over and did the same. I am going to have to try this.


  83. #84 - Chelsea says:

    Stopping by from Mod Podge Rocks, fabulous project, can't wait to follow you and see all the wonderful things you do on a regular basis!!

  84. #85 - RootsAndWingsCo says:

    Beautiful! Really got my imagination going!

    Rebecca of the R&W Gals

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  86. #86 - Deb Routte says:

    Very clever! This looks terrific—perfect accent for that corner!

  87. #87 - Jennifer Erickson says:

    Another incredible project! I learned so many new techniques!

  88. #88 - Lee Ann G. says:

    Thank you so much for this tutorial. This idea is so awesome!

  89. #89 - Rupa says:

    As I go through all the old posts, I am finding so many treasures…yippee!!!! I love this project, can’t wait to try it even if I can’t use it in my living room etc. I think I can put these up in my arts/crafts room. Thank you so much for sharing these fabulous goodies!!!!

  90. #90 - Johanna says:

    These are so cool! Thanks for sharing!

  91. #91 - Joy B says:

    Wow! This is great – I’ll be able to make this for my great-nephews next Christmas! Thank you so much for sharing your talent!

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  94. #92 - Sue L says:

    Cathe, I love the graphics that you have as freebies on your site. The time and energy you put into them is very much appreciated. I plan to use some of them in my art journal, and will send you images of my finished pages.

  95. #93 - Victor says:

    You found a nice rare vintage deck and you destroyed it?