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Tarot Modification


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I've trimmed one deck and I won't do it again because I botched the hell out of it. It was a Thoth deck. The artwork was much better without those horrible borders! I would be willing to pay someone good money for a decent trim job on a Thoth, though! (This is not a proposition here; just speaking in the hypothetical...)

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I've trimmed one deck and I won't do it again because I botched the hell out of it. It was a Thoth deck. The artwork was much better without those horrible borders! I would be willing to pay someone good money for a decent trim job on a Thoth, though! (This is not a proposition here; just speaking in the hypothetical...)

 

l would love to have trimmed your deck hypothetically speaking  ;D

 

Many decks l have trimmed and been very pleased with the outcome, it does make a difference to the decks that have ugly or too large borders.

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Guest libra

I've trimmed one deck and I won't do it again because I botched the hell out of it. It was a Thoth deck. The artwork was much better without those horrible borders! I would be willing to pay someone good money for a decent trim job on a Thoth, though! (This is not a proposition here; just speaking in the hypothetical...)

 

There was someone on Tumblr who ran a blog dedicated to her side hustle of modifying decks! Trimming, wedding, glittering etc. I was tempted for Thoth and for Fairy Lights Tarot (man, that one still eludes me for exactly how one would trim. Wavy irregular borders with suit symbols that are different sizes and poke into the card at different heights. It's a shame, because the deck is made of matching pairs, so it blend really well, but the borders ruin that flow!)

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Scissors and rotary/guillotine cutters will give the best results, while standard paper cutters tend to fray the edges and make them more prone to bleeding. Secondly, it matters a lot whether you use a pen or an ink pad. Permanent pens bleed way more and those cannot be removed, while ink pads are water soluble so you can wipe off any excess ink from the fronts/backs before it dries. If you use ink pad then it’s really important that you place each card flat down and allow for plenty of time before you restack them (1-2 days depending on how fresh the ink pad was). So it takes more time, both during the actual edging plus for drying. It’s all worth it to me, though. I’ve tried both ways and much preferred the result I got from ink pads. I use the archival ones that contains no acid that could damage the cards over time.

 

Thanks for the tips. Here's a pic of the trimmer and inks I used.

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I've trimmed one deck and I won't do it again because I botched the hell out of it. It was a Thoth deck. The artwork was much better without those horrible borders!

 

Here's a pic of my trimmed Thoth (shown next to the large greenie for comparison). I'm loving how it turned out. What happened when you tried to trim yours? Just curious -- tips on what to avoid, right?!  :)

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I did a Thoth too - but I didn't round the corners, so that I could see all the geometry. But I do remember that n the older ones, the images are indeed not the same size...

 

I did do the Pink deck, as I said - and also a few that I have printed off myself (like the Myce from AT) - and my corner rounder is Fiskars -  slow, but effective.

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onemysticdragon

Has anyone trimmed the Mystical Manga Tarot published by Llewellyn (Barbara Moore, Rann)?  I love this deck and it has such stunning colors, but the borders may be tricky to trim.  I have trimmed about 20 decks with success, but this one makes me nervous with the way the borders are: the Minor and Major Arcana borders are similar but there is some moon art at the top of the corners that may have to stay on the cards so the cards do not get really small or the art gets cut into.  So just wanted some feedback of those who have thought about it or done it and have pics.  I hope Llewellyn decides to make a borderless edition of this deck. Thanks in advance.  I did trim my Faery Wicca deck by Kisma Stepanich and had to leave parts of the border on the deck.  It still turned out well, and I am glad I did it.

Edited by onemysticdragon
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On 4/19/2019 at 6:35 AM, Raggydoll said:

 

There are two factors to this. First. The way you trim your cards will determine how vulnerable your edges will be (cardstock/lamination also plays a part of course). Scissors and rotary/guillotine cutters will give the best results, while standard paper cutters tend to fray the edges and make them more prone to bleeding. 

Vulnerable in relation to bleeding or do they completely fray out? Is there a big difference with the chipping of trimmed vs original decks? Do you "seal" the edges somehow? 

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22 minutes ago, -fenrir- said:

Vulnerable in relation to bleeding or do they completely fray out?

Both. A heavily laminated card can chip, bleed or fray. But it’s usually nothing major. I’ve never ruined a deck and I have even successfully trimmed several glossy decks. I just had to be careful and go slow. 

22 minutes ago, -fenrir- said:

Is there a big difference with the chipping of trimmed vs original decks? Do you "seal" the edges somehow? 

No difference other than on super glossy cards of poor cardstock. Those will eventually chip even without being trimmed, but it can start chipping earlier if you trim them. I never had any problems with regular, semi-glossy or matte cardstock. If you can picture the really glossy cardstock on certain Shiffer decks then you know what I mean with poor cardstock. So decks from Us games and Lo Scarabeo etc are usually perfect for trimming, as are most high quality indie decks. It’s only ever the cheaper cardstock that can give you trouble. Or if you use a cheap/dull paper cutter. That can ruin a nice card too. So make sure to test it out first on a deck of playing cards or something similar. You can’t test edging on those though, because it won’t look as good as on real tarot cards. Playing cards tend to bleed more. 

 

And no, I don’t seal them in any way. I find that they hold up really well as long as you don’t use a cheap paper cutter. Some of my decks you can’t even tell that they’ve been trimmed (or shuffled regularly for years). 

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I haven't modified any decks myself, in fact I didn't even know it was a thing until yesterday. I went looking for websites and videos and I am very impressed with how brave people are. I'm a pretty crafty person, but I'm too afraid I'd be going along great and then mess up one card thus wrecking the whole deck.

 

I saw a video where one woman *went to town* on a deck, removing the borders, then sanding the fronts and backs and inking them all over and even using water to get the distressed look she wanted. I watched the whole thing while holding my breath! It turned out well and she was happy, so it's all good.

 

If you're interested, it's here:

 

Edited by djellyfish
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On 8/1/2019 at 7:33 AM, Raggydoll said:

Both. A heavily laminated card can chip, bleed or fray. But it’s usually nothing major. I’ve never ruined a deck and I have even successfully trimmed several glossy decks. I just had to be careful and go slow. 

No difference other than on super glossy cards of poor cardstock. Those will eventually chip even without being trimmed, but it can start chipping earlier if you trim them. I never had any problems with regular, semi-glossy or matte cardstock. If you can picture the really glossy cardstock on certain Shiffer decks then you know what I mean with poor cardstock. So decks from Us games and Lo Scarabeo etc are usually perfect for trimming, as are most high quality indie decks. It’s only ever the cheaper cardstock that can give you trouble. Or if you use a cheap/dull paper cutter. That can ruin a nice card too. So make sure to test it out first on a deck of playing cards or something similar. You can’t test edging on those though, because it won’t look as good as on real tarot cards. Playing cards tend to bleed more. 

 

And no, I don’t seal them in any way. I find that they hold up really well as long as you don’t use a cheap paper cutter. Some of my decks you can’t even tell that they’ve been trimmed (or shuffled regularly for years). 

Agree with this, plus IMHO your choice of tools (scissors, paper cutters, whatnot) is secondary to the fact that those tools need to be wicked sharp. The sharper the tool, the cleaner the cut. I favor long scissors myself, and keep them razor sharp using aluminum foil --a trick I picked up on AT, I think.

 

Edging is a lot trickier, because depending on the ink used and your precision it can bleed a little or a whole lot. If the ink is on the runny side and does not dry quickly, you may be in for an unholy mess. Trust me, I've been there.

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Page of Ghosts

I'm fantasizing about trimming my 25th anniversary edition of the Enchanted Tarot. The main reason I don't pull it out as often as I'd like to is because this new edition is so huge! My medium sized hands can't really hold the whole deck in a comfortable way and the only way to shuffle it is to do a very gentle overhand shuffle where I drop/pull the cards into my lower hand. It's not very efficient or comfortable for me. I feel the pull of the scissors 😈

 

I've trimmed my fair share of decks in the past so I think I'd do a good job, and I'm very accurate with my scissor aim. The only deck that turned out a little wonky would be the Original RWS, simply because the images weren't all the same size and I didn't really realise until I was far into the project, but I still think it's pretty cute. It's been very long since I last trimmed a deck and I've mostly done it for aestethic reasons, so a deck meeting the scissors for being too large is a new experience. I kind of like the colour coded borders as they are, except for the added size they give 😄

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3 hours ago, Page of Ghosts said:

I'm fantasizing about trimming my 25th anniversary edition of the Enchanted Tarot. The main reason I don't pull it out as often as I'd like to is because this new edition is so huge! My medium sized hands can't really hold the whole deck in a comfortable way and the only way to shuffle it is to do a very gentle overhand shuffle where I drop/pull the cards into my lower hand. It's not very efficient or comfortable for me. I feel the pull of the scissors 😈

 

I've trimmed my fair share of decks in the past so I think I'd do a good job, and I'm very accurate with my scissor aim. The only deck that turned out a little wonky would be the Original RWS, simply because the images weren't all the same size and I didn't really realise until I was far into the project, but I still think it's pretty cute. It's been very long since I last trimmed a deck and I've mostly done it for aestethic reasons, so a deck meeting the scissors for being too large is a new experience. I kind of like the colour coded borders as they are, except for the added size they give 😄

I either trim or re-home decks that are too large for my hands. I feel that I can’t be storing things pristinely for the sake of someone else maybe owning the deck some day. Good luck with your decision ❤️

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Page of Ghosts
On 4/5/2021 at 6:18 AM, Raggydoll said:

I either trim or re-home decks that are too large for my hands. I feel that I can’t be storing things pristinely for the sake of someone else maybe owning the deck some day. Good luck with your decision ❤️

I don't worry too much about that either. After the great decluttering effort of 2017 (or was it 2018?) I ended up sending a lot of trimmed decks to the charity shop. I hope someone was happy to find them! I feel like my deck collection might undergo some changes again so I'm waiting until I have the new decks that are coming in to make a final decision. I have a few decks I feel kind of meh or uncertain about that I'm trying to decide on at the moment. Trimming them is kind of a last resort to see if I like them better that way, if the borders are too big or distracting, but it is a lot of effort to put it for a deck I might get rid of anyway. Thanks for the encouragement 😊

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I'll trim contemporary decks (of which are plenty) or if I have a second copy of the same deck and I've never had a problem with inked edges smudging on my hands. I do not trim/alter my vintage, rare, or antique decks. 

 

As for "energy" in a deck --cards are paper, the "energy" is in the reader, in my opinion.

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