How to Make Art Trading Cards Using Botanical Illustrations

Botanical Art Trading Cards With Buttons and Embroidery by  Amy Solovay

Botanical Art Trading Cards With Buttons and Embroidery by Amy Solovay

I took a botanical illustration class. As part of the class, I learned to draw leaves, flowers, bulbs and other botanical forms. The drawings I made in class were time consuming, and I’m really proud of them.

Back when art trading cards were trendy, I was actively trading them with other artists. I wanted to use some of my botanical illustrations as the subject of the art trading cards I was making, but I couldn’t justify taking so many hours to make a single card. So, I photocopied the drawings I’d already completed, reducing the images to make them suitable for such a small art piece. Then I used my time to give the drawings additional creative embellishments such as hand embroidery and hand-stitched buttons.

If these ideas appeal to you, you’re welcome to use them in your own art projects.

How to Make ACEO Cards and Art Trading Cards Using Botanical Illustrations

Here are instructions for making ACEO cards or art trading cards similar to these:

  • Draw or photocopy several botanical illustrations.
  • Cut them into 2.5″ x 3.5″ rectangles.
  • Cut pieces of vellum to the same size and layer them overtop of the botanical drawings.
  • Stitch the two layers together, all the way around the edges of the cards, using embroidery floss — you can use any edging stitch you like. If you aren’t sure how to do edging stitches in embroidery, check out Mary Thomas’s Dictionary of Embroidery Stitches to learn bunches of different possibilities.
  • Stitch attractive groupings of buttons to the cards.
  • Remember to sign and date the cards; then you can frame and hang them, add them to art trading card albums, trade them, sell them or gift them to others, as you prefer.

A variation: Instead of stitching buttons to the surface of each art piece, you can trap the buttons or other small objects in between the drawing layer and the vellum layer of each card. Make sure that you choose objects that are not so sharp they would pierce the papers. In some of these cards, I used green beach glass that had been worn smooth by the ocean waves.

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Posted By: Amy Solovay

This page was last updated on 8-9-2021.