How to Make a Business Card Holder . . . From Playing Cards

comments (7) December 12th, 2011     

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Sister_Diane Diane Gilleland, contributor
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You can make these cases from standard playing cards or from loteria, tarot, or novelty cards. Anything that fits a business card works!
You can choose playing cards for your guys favorite numbers or suits, his hobbies, or assemble a poker hand!
The case is nice and compact to fit in his pocket. Download the template and get making!
You can make these cases from standard playing cards or from loteria, tarot, or novelty cards. Anything that fits a business card works!

You can make these cases from standard playing cards or from loteria, tarot, or novelty cards. Anything that fits a business card works!

Photo: Diane Gilleland
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If you're looking for a fun, compact gift to give your guy, try making this business card holder from playing cards.

Let's talk lamination: If you don't have a laminator at home to use for this project, call around to your local copy shops—many of them have self-service laminators and pouches.

. . . And let's talk cards: This project is designed around a standard-sized playing card. Feel free, however, to experiment with novelty playing cards, loteria cards, and tarot cards. Just keep in mind that these may be slightly different sizes. I used some loteria and tarot cards in the samples above, and I needed to trim them down a little to fit the template.

What you'll need:

  • Downloadable template (see link below)
  • Five playing cards (per case)
  • A sheet of 65# cardstock
  • Metal straightedge
  • X-Acto knife and cutting surface
  • Bone folder
  • Glue stick
  • Poly fiberfill
  • Five-mil lamination pouch
  • 1/8-inch hole punch
  • 1mm stretchy beading cord
  • Craft glue
  • Scissors
  • E6000 adhesive
  • Masking tape

Download and print the template. Select five cards.

To begin this project, download this template and print it onto cardstock. Then, gather five cards. Three of them will show prominently on your finished case, so use face cards or really cool backs. The other two cards will show on the inside of the case, so you'll probably want their backs to show.

(When I make these cases, I save the face cards, aces, and jokers for the outsides, then use up the random number cards for the insides.)

Score the cardstock on the printed lines.

Cut the card case template out along the outer edges, using a straightedge and X-Acto knife. Then, score all the remaining lines with a bone folder.

Here's a key thing to remember: The side of the cardstock with the lines will be the inside of the finished case. The side with no lines will be the outside.

Lightly fold the cardstock on the scored lines.

Gently bend the cardstock at all the scored lines. Don't bend it too sharply! All we're doing at this point is making light fold marks that will show up on the other side of the cardstock, as shown.

Use the fold lines as a guide to glue down the cards.

Then, use those folds as guidelines as you glue playing cards to the cardstock using a glue stick. Here, you see the cards you'll need to glue down for the outside of the case. (That half card on the right side will end up as the front of the pocket inside the case. But don't let this confuse you!)

If your cards are directional, make sure they're placed with their tops together on the front of the case.

Most playing cards look the same whether they're right side up or upside down. If you're using cards that must face one way, be careful how you place them! Here's a card case with one-direction cards—see how they're placed with their tops together?

This is the placement of cards for the inside of the case.

Shown above is how the cards should be placed for the inside of the case. In the finished case, the business cards will be partially covering the card with its back facing.

Laminate the assembled case.

With all those cards glued down, it's time to laminate. Place the case inside a laminate pouch. In fact, with careful placement, I can get two card cases in an 8-1/2-inch x 11-inch pouch. (Just make sure there's 1/4 inch of space between cases.)

Run the pouch through a laminator to seal the plastic.

Cut out the case. Score firmly along all the printed lines.

As you cut, leave 1/8 inch of laminate around all sides of the piece.

Then, score the piece firmly on all of the scored lines. (The laminate may resist scoring, so use firm pressure and run the bone folder back and forth a few times as needed.)

Carefully cut diagonally into the laminate at these corners.

Now, we need to make a tiny adjustment to help the pocket fold together better. Use scissors to carefully cut into the 1/8-inch edge of the laminate at the corners shown here. You'll be cutting diagonally into the corner, but cut only the laminate—not the cardstock.

Trim the laminate to the edge of the cardstock along these two edges.

Trim away the 1/8 inch of laminate at the two edges shown. This is the only place you'll want to trim that closely—that 1/8-inch edge is very important to keep the laminate sealed along all the other edges.

Fold the case along all of the scored lines.

As you fold the case along all of the scored lines, the printed lines themselves should be facing the inside of the case.

Punch two holes in the case. Thread stretchy cord through one, and double knot.

Now, we need to make a little strap to hold the case shut. Begin this by punching a tiny hole in each side of the pocket, as shown.

Cut an 8-inch length of stretchy cord. Thread one end through the first hole and tie a knot in the card twice. (You need a large knot so it can't pop back through the hole.) The knot should be on the inside of the case.

Wrap the cord around the outside of the case.

Bring the other end of the cord around the outside of the case, and pass it through the second hole. This is how the cord should look on the outside of the case: It should lie flat and not be pulled too tight.

Thread the cord through the other hole. Tie a double knot.

Tie another large double knot at the inside of the case. Trim both ends of the cord close to the knots, and put a small drop of glue on each knot to make it sturdier.

Prep some strips of masking tape. Apply E6000 to the side flaps of the pocket.

Time to glue the case together! Prepare four small pieces of masking tape. Then, apply E6000 to the two flaps of the pocket, as shown.

Fold up the pocket and anchor it with masking tape.

Fold the pocket up, adjusting the sides so they fit together precisely. Wipe away any glue that oozes out between the layers. Then, place the tape around the edges to hold the case together while the glue cures.

Allow the case to dry overnight before removing the masking tape.

Leave the case taped together like this overnight, until the glue has completely dried. Then, remove the tape and your case is ready for giving.

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Comments (7)

marthaom writes: This is such a cool project! I'd love to try making it, but I can't seem to locate the link to download the template - is the template still available?
Posted: 11:49 am on December 19th
CoffeePotPeople writes: Oh, my goodness, Diane. You have just made my day. I went to bed last night thinking about the dozens and dozens of card decks we have (my hubby went through a "phase", lol) and wondering what I could do with them, craft-wise. Yay! This is perfect.

A thought on the process: It occurred to me that the glueing up might be stabilized if you filled the case with extra playing cards beforehand. I'm going to try that; if it doesn't work, or do anything helpful, I'll let you know.
Posted: 12:04 pm on January 13th
Sister_Diane writes: phunkymama, I used what is probably a heavy-duty laminator at my local copy shop. I used 5 mil pouches, which sealed fine at the edges, although I did need to cut the laminate 1/8" from all edges to incorporate a slight gap around the very edges of the playing cards. If you have access to the 5 mil laminate, perhaps that would work better for you. Please let me know!
Posted: 9:55 pm on December 29th
phunkymama writes: Can I ask what kind of laminator you're using for this project? I used Scotch 3 mil pouches in my Scotch laminator, and I can't get it to seal well. The thickness of the playing cards is making it so that my edges won't seal.
Posted: 3:22 pm on December 27th
Sister_Diane writes: chibimaddy, I've been trying to see your posting, but this link doesn't take me there! Can you give it to me again?
Posted: 12:02 am on December 16th
prpldy writes: I love this...and will be making one for myself. Thanks for the wonderful instructions and the template.
Posted: 12:33 pm on December 14th
chibimaddy writes: Thanks so much for a wonder project!! I saw this early in the morning, and just had to try it! It's wonderful.

I made some modifications to make it personal for me, and I uploaded pics so you could see.

Thank you so much Diane!!!

xo Maddy
Posted: 5:35 pm on December 13th
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