Have you got a deck that you would love to read with, but something about it is putting you off? For me, one of those decks is the Druidcraft Tarot deck. A standard Tarot deck size is 2.75″ x 4.75″ while the Druidcraft Tarot deck is 3.5″ x 5.5″. This deck is rather difficult to shuffle with those big cards. It doesn’t help that each image is surrounded by a 1/4″ white border. I’ve recently seen some images of the cards where the border has been trimmed and decided to do the same myself. When thinking whether or not to trim a deck, consider how the illustrations are located on the card. Is the location of the illustration consistent across all the cards? Is it the same size across all the cards? What impact will trimming have to the back? If it will affect the back design, is that important to you? How big will the finished deck size be? Can you work with that size? Once you have answered these questions, you have another consideration. One thing I have noticed when trimming decks, even when the illustration seems to be placed consistently on all the cards, is that there frequently is a slight deviation from one card to the next. This comes to the forefront when trimming as you have to consider whether you want to trim to focus only on the artwork – which may leave uneven edges, or do you want to focus on making sure the edges are consistent, which, in my opinion, makes the deck look like it was created that way, but leaves the tiniest bits of border edge around the images. Once we’ve decided on a deck to trim, and how to trim it, you’ll need:
- Cutting surface
- Professional or heavy duty cutter
- 1/4″ corner rounder
Start by positioning a card in the cutter so that the line where the border meets the artwork is lined up with the cutting blade. I use the card to place the straight edges so that the sides of the cutter and straight edges form a template I can place the cards into for cutting. Using this method requires going through the deck 4 times, once for each side being cut. I pull a few cards from the deck and slip them into the template to check the border/artwork alignment. Once I have made sure that I have things adjusted so that the maximum border is removed and the maximum artwork is maintained, I’m ready to start trimming. When it’s done, I go through the deck one more time, inserting each corner of each card into a 1/4″ corner cutter to trim off the points and makes rounded corners.
Your deck is now ready to be enjoyed, unless you want to add some gilding to the cards or edges. Many like to color the edges of the cards instead of leaving them white. It creates the finishing touch that gives the cards an elegant aesthetic. It is easier to use a jumbo or a medium size permanent marker with a chisel tip. This wide chisel tip prevents accidental marks that can occur when using a non-chiseled tip. Since it is perpendicular to the card, it’s rather fool proof. It’s important that you ink one card at a time. It doesn’t take that long and it will eliminate any bleed through that may happen from trying to ink all the cards’ edges in a stack. For the color to use, keep in mind that it’s best if the borders on the front and back match. A good testing method is to try it on a test or title card first if your deck came with one.