Tarot Cards Spread Out

Tarot Inspired Life by Jaymi Elford

Jaymi Elford doesn’t just love tarot, she lives it and, in her new book Tarot Inspired Life, she teaches you how to weave tarot through your life and your life through tarot. This has two huge benefits. First, it helps you learn the cards, or to learn them more deeply, and, second, it enriches your life through practical application and experiential techniques. From every aspect of reading to arts and crafts to magical activities to spiritual practices, Jaymi covers all the bases. Any tarot lover will find tons of inspiration.

Tarot Inspired Life, by Jaymi Elford

One of my favorite activities she teaches is how to make a tarot pocket shrine. But the instructions are lengthy, so you’ll have to check out the book for that. Another daring activity she shares is personalizing your tarot deck:

Personalizing a Tarot Deck

Tarot decks come in many sizes and shapes. There are miniaturized decks requiring a magnifying glass to view the images clearly and cards so large they require a wall to perform a reading. Personalizing your deck can be as simple as making your deck smaller, or enlarging it to fit your hands. In this section, we’ll explore the art of resizing your deck through cutting and trimming.

Tarot decks are as sacred as you want them to be. Taking scissors or a trimmer to a prized deck isn’t for everyone. There’s a large movement within the community who are willing to get crafty with their decks. Some remove the borders. In order to resize your deck, you’ll need the following items:

  • A deck to resize. Borders can be culled from any deck. Do use caution when you’re cutting rare or expensive decks. If you’re not precise in your slices, then the card backs can look awkward. Practice on used decks, or mock ups printed out at home. Don’t go ruining prized possessions.
  • A paper cutter. Buy one with a sharp edge. I prefer Fiskers brand paper cutters carried by many art supply stores.
  • A corner rounder. Unless you’re fine with sharp corners on your cards, you’ll want one of these handy punches. These vary by style and shape. Do some research before purchasing one. Make sure the rounder can cleanly cut through the deck’s card stock.
  • For accurate measures and drawing straight lines.

Practice using your tools before you make the first cut on a card. I’m a perfectionist so I use a ruler and measure the width and length of the cards. (Measure twice and cut once!) Use those spare cards which come with most decks to test your first trims. Mark the borders off with the ruler and then trim using your paper cutter. Does the backside please you? Then move onto cutting the other cards in the deck. You are free to pray or hold your breath as you try this out.

When all the cards are trimmed, use the corner rounder to round each card’s edge.

Once all the corners are rounded, take the resized deck for a test drive. Shuffle and do some test readings.

Did you trim the cards to remove the names and numbers off? You can add them back using Sharpie pens or other permanent markers. Further modify your deck by adding glitter, repainting areas with acrylic inks, or use permanent stamp ink on the card edges to give them a weathered look.

Maybe you want your cards bigger. I have a few options for you as well.

Paste a card onto cardboard cut to fit the size you want. You can decorate the new border to fit your style. Make sure you use glue designed to keep the card adhered to the cardboard. When finished, round off the corners, or get the deck laminated.

Buy plastic card holders from online trading card stores. I have never done this, but I do know they come in many different sizes. You can find ones with graphics printed on their backs.


Written by Barbara Moore
The tarot has been a part of Barbara Moore’s personal and professional lives for over a decade. In college, the tarot intrigued her with its marvelous blending of mythology, psychology, art, and history. Later, she served as the tarot specialist for Llewellyn Publications. Over the years, she has ...