Mini-tutorial: Labelling an Artist Trading Card

I love making Artist Trading Cards for our Very Berry swaps, but I HATE labelling the back. I find it SUCH a chore and hardly conducive to creativity (well, not for me…). Recently I bought some Lesley Riley’s TAP – Transfer Artist Paper for a project that I have in mind, and whilst I was playing around transferring photos onto fabric, I had a sudden thought about a really fun and quick way to label up an ATC, so I thought I would share the process for ATC swappers who are similarly challenged.

Using Lesley Riley's TAP Transfer Artist Paper The TAP paper is brilliant stuff – it is a polymer coated paper which will allow you to transfer images printed, stamped or drawn onto it, onto lots of different surfaces, just using an iron. When ironed onto fabric, the image is very crisp and colourfast, and doesn’t crinkle or crack. The surface of the fabric takes on a slightly waxy appearance and feel, but it is still very easy to sew through, and you can write on it too.

Here’s what I did….

First I created a blank image in my image processing software (I use Paint.NET – excellent free software) – the image is 300 dpi and measures 2.9 inches by 2.2 inches, so I know it will fit on the back of the card, and allow for a bit of edging, with no problems.

Making Labels using TAP Artist Transfer Paper

 

I saved this image and then opened it in my favourite online image prettyfy-ing website PicMonkey – because I love their fonts. I could have just used the fonts in Paint.NET of course, but I love the PicMonkey options. I used the font Special Elite, size 46.

Making Labels using TAP Artist Transfer Paper

 

The next job is to flip the text around, because the transfer will be a mirror image. And I put a little black edge round it too, using the frame tool.

Making Labels using TAP Artist Transfer Paper

 

Finally I put multiple copies into a Word document:

Making Labels using TAP Artist Transfer Paper

And printed them onto the TAP paper. The papers come with full instructions, and are very easy to use – I just popped mine into my printer, and it printed with no problem. You just need to remember to print on the slightly shiny very white side.

I then cut out and carefully trimmed one of the labels very accurately round the black line, and ironed it on to the back of my finished card. And then all that remained was to write on my details (I used a Micron Pigma pen, but I also tested a Sharpie and a Biro, and they worked fine too).  It is much easier to write on the transfer paper than just writing on the fabric itself.

ATC card with transfer paper TAP label

And here’s the front…  I’m all ready to post!

Say Something Artist Trading Card by Very Berry Handmade