How To Make Jumbo Cards
A friend is working on a routine ending with a duck production and asked me how I might have the audience “pick a bird, any bird.” (and influence the choice, of course!)
Being a routine for kids, my first thought would be using a stack of colourful bird pictures, gaffed up as a forcing pack. She agreed, this sounded good! Being that such a thing is not available for purchase, I had roped myself in to bringing this idea into existence.
As I was making 22 jumbo cards (5 x 7 inches) this past week, I figured I might as well make a tutorial of the process! In this video you'll see me make the cards, beginning to end, explaining every bit of the 5-layer process. (including the finicky bit about aligning the front and back prints!)
This is a real doorway to magical adventures. If you can make up your own custom-made jumbo cards in an afternoon, there's no stopping you! You can make custom tricks for every occasion, every holiday, every theme.
When I was leading the local Junior Magicians Club I taught a lesson on the Color Monte packet trick, but I would only provide them with blank cards and a box of markers. They were forced to make their own cards, and their own stories.
Now I've handed you the blank slate. What's the story you wish to tell?
Blank Template with Crop Marks
Use this to help you make a pair of 5 x 7 cards, with the crop marks as seen in the video.
Blank Template with Registration Marks Only
Same dual 5x7 template, but no crop marks (used for the back side)
Custom Printed Decks with MakePlayingCards.com
The process outlined above is somewhat labour intensive, depending on your comfort with papercrafting. To me it makes a lot of sense to do the home-made process when you only need a few cards. However, if you're looking for an entire custom deck there is another option.
You can use the services of MakePlayingCards.com to upload your design files and have totally customized decks of cards made in a multitude of sizes. Here's a deck I made a few years ago for doing a "Will The Socks Match?" routine.
This deck was printed in a 3.5 x 5 inch size, on 100% plastic stock for durability. A quick look at pricing puts it at about $50 to have such a deck printed. Certainly expensive for a deck of cards, but consider the number of hours it would take for your to make 52 cards by hand! They can also print the giant 5 x 7 cards, as seen in the video above.
Fair warning, it can be a challenge to create the custom design files to send for printing if that's not in your wheelhouse. Find a friendly neighbourhood graphic designer to help. It seems you can't toss a thumb tip in a magic club meeting without hitting somebody who calls themselves a graphic designer!
I have no vested interest in you using MakePlayingCards.com. I've done a few orders with them. It's costly (especially with shipping to Canada) but I have been happy with the results, as happy as one can be with a stack of plastic sheets.
Note: While the plastic stock is durable, the printing is not 100% waterproof. It can be smudged if you try to clean the cards.