Sunday, January 30, 2011

mydeck - Personalised playing cards using cityrail train tickets

Hello world,

I should have posted this a while ago but I'll cite the adage "Better late than never" as an excuse.

This was the xmas present I made for my Dad. It was fun to put it all together but I really left most of the work to the last minute. While I'm citing trite adages: "If it weren't for the last minute, nothing would ever get done."

I should also apologise for the low quality photos - I didn't realise until xmas day that I hadn't taken any pictures for my blog, so I snapped a few on my phone while I was at Mum & Dad's place.

Dad enjoys playing cards (and we all enjoy playing against him slightly less, because he always wins). He's also somewhat tight fisted. And the final ingredient in my idea: I pay a whopping $74 per fortnight on train tickets for work. Together with the fact that there's four kids in our family, two boys for the black suits and two girls for the red suits - what a great concept, I thought.

I had already put together a small collection of train tickets because I like to keep them to use in my Zine per diem project So when I decided this was what I was going to give Dad, I started saving them more, and picking up discarded ones that I found at the station that were still in good nick. I didn't have enough of my own saved up to make a full 54 card deck (52 + 2 jokers).

The train tickets were good because they're all a uniform size, and have a uniform back which is perfect for playing cards.

The next step was making the faces. Again I apologies for the really shocking quality of this photo! But hopefully the screencap from InDesign will make up for it.

I've uploaded the InDesign CS3 file that I used to print these out. Download it here. The image links will all break because they refer to the original files on my computer, but you can relink them all to your own images to make your own personalised deck!

I printed these on sticky-backed photo paper and proceeded to cut out each card with a pen knife and stick them to the front sides of the train tickets on the night before I was heading down to Mum & Dad's place (and gave myself a painful RSI which felt like a dislocated shoulder after a few hours in the car - ouch!). Do not do it all in the space of a few hours is you can help it - or engage some friends/family to help out and set up your own assembly line.

The final touch was a custom card box. Again, I have uploaded the InDesign CS3 file for anyone to use - just update the text and you're ready to go! Download it here. For fun, and to appeal to my Dad's monetary mind, I summed up the price of each ticket I used and put the total on the box. In effect, he go the most expensive present of anyone that year: $1125.30.

I printed this out on the photo paper, stuck it to a sheet of thin cardboard, cut it out with a pen knife and glued it together. Those lessons in making nets of prisms from primary school is finally paying off!

I hope you enjoyed this one. :)



  1. Wow I think that was a fantastic idea I bet you dad loved them too

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