Monday, April 17, 2017

A chunky ATC featuring Mermaids!

With an AIRs theme challenge like "bigger is better" I had to really put on my thinking cap.  Who doesn't love ATCs?  I thought a "bigger/better" ATC would be a Chunky ATC.  In order to create this type of Artist Trading Card I used a block of wood that measures 2 1/2" by 3 1/2" and is 1 1/2" wide.  When it's decorated and has tiny feet on it, it becomes the perfect little shelf decoration or paper weight.  Most of you know by now what a major art crush I have on Jane Davenport's supplies; this project demonstrates a fun use for her washi tape featuring, what else, mermaids!


ATCs, Artist Trading Cards, have been around for a few years now. They traditionally measure 2 ½” by    3 ½”, they can be collaged, stamped, matted, left plain, attached to greeting cards or put into albums. They’re quick and fun to make but you might wonder what other uses are there for this tiny work of art or are they only to trade with fellow artists? There are times when you love an ATC so much you can’t bear to trade it, you just want to look at it yourself and not share it with others. We don’t have to hide them away in an album, we can keep them on display by making them bigger and better, turning them into a free standing CHUNKY ATC. It’s very satisfying to create an ATC with whatever subject matter you choose; many times the subject matter is determined by a new set of stamps or paper. When you’re happy with the ATC mount it on a wooden block, add ephemera and four delicate feet. Now you can look at your favorite one on a shelf or turn it around to change the view with a second ATC.

Skill: All levels
Time: 2 hours or more, it depends on the artist


Step 1: Buy or cut a wooden block that measures 2 ½” by 3 ½” by 1 ½”.

Step 2: Decide the placement of the handle on top and the clock key on the side, make a hole to insert these items, remove, they will be glued on later.  Paint the wooden block any color desired; when dry apply a thin coat of white gesso, dry.

Step 3: Make two ATCs using stamps, ink, Washi tape, whatever scraps are on hand.  Make the ATCs on gessoed water color paper cut to measure 2 ½” by 3 ½”.  When the stamped images are dry, adhere to the wooden block. The faces on these ATCs are made from Washi Tape.  Ink the edges of the ATCs using a Jumbo Dauber.

Step 4: Glue feet onto the bottom of the block, these feet can be beads or small wooden embellishments.  Apply On Point Glue to the feet and then dip each one in glitter or micro beads.  Attach the knob on the top of the block, keys to the sides; decorate the ATC images with sequins and glitter.  Tie twine and baker’s twine to the handle/knob on the top.

Supply List
Imagine Supplies
StazOn ink –St. Valentine, Jet Black and Midnight Blue
Memento Luxe – Bahama Blue, Nautical Blue
On Point Glue
Jumbo Dauber
Craft Mat

Other Supplies
Stamps – Diamond Pattern, Clam Shell design, Phrase and Mermaid tail ALL by Graphic 45
Prima - Foil, Glitter, Micro beads, Foil Glue Stick, Metal Ephemera
Idea-ology - handle
Michael’s - Baker’s twine, brown twine, sequins, white gesso, watercolor paper
Paper Trimmer
Strong adhesive
Jane Davenport Mermaid Washi Tape
G45 “Voyage beneath the Sea” Collection paper
Wooden block measuring 3 ½” by 2 ½”by 1 ½”
Dark blue acrylic paint by Americana
Paint brush

If you pop on over to the Imagine Blog you can find other great examples of projects by many different and unique artists.  We can all use a little inspiration from others, it keeps our work fresh when we discover new ways to use products that are languishing on the shelves of our studio spaces.

Thanks for stopping by!  Hugs ~ Renee


  1. What a cute idea. I'm one of those people you are talking about who wonders what to do with ATCs. You've loaded this cute chunky ATC idea with great details. I really love those aged, sea crusted feet you created. Perfect for this mermaid and under the sea theme.

  2. Renee!! What an absolute cool idea! I love this chunky atc!! And I love your love of Jane! You really demonstrate her products so well- does she know? I might have to send he your post! heehee
    Beautiful and I am so happy you shared your steps- thank you!
    hugs,Jackie xx

  3. these are awesome and inspirational!

  4. A chunky with mermaids!!! LOVE every bit!