Each issue of my Coven of Corals Tarot deck is a carefully handcrafted item. Ever since I first started manufacturing my cards in 2022, I discovered various technical tweaks and optimizations - also, I improved my hardware setup a little. Here, I'd like to share a brief, updated summary of my manufacturing process.
I use an EPSON ET-8550 six-colour photo printer to print the cards. I print the front illustrations on "PPD-40" matte photo paper (130g/sm) and the back design on sturdy "BIOTOP 3" naturally coloured paper (300g/sm). Note that I use a print template to print six cards on a standard DIN A4 sized sheet, so I can print, glue and cut the cards in bulk. I use two different paper types to benefit from the maximum clarity and colour representation of the photo paper, while the thicker paper on the back adds stability and a pleasant weight to the cards.
Each issue has a unique serial number, which is integrated into the back design of the cards. I carefully assess the print quality of each sheet after printing and add a stamp with my logo on the back if everything looks good.
I glue the fronts & backs of the cards together using solvent-free glue stick, press the sheets and let them dry for a day. I use a stapler to align the sheets before I glue them.
After the sheets fully dried, I cut the individual cards using a DAHLE rotary cutter. My print template incorporates cut marks to facilitate this process. When cutting cards, it makes sense to cut the short edges in bulk to make sure the cards will have the same height and shuffle well.
I wrap each card in an envelope of transparent, self-adhesive and very thin masking film. Strictly speaking, this film is not marketed as a laminating film and has only a fraction of the thickness of common laminating film. Therefore, it yields a very elegant, matte, unobtrusive finish and feels super soft to the touch, while offering permanent protection to the printed motifs. Wrapping the cards individually makes sure that the long edges of the cards are perfectly sealed and offers a lot of protection when shuffling the cards.
I run the individual cards through a hot laminator to make the masking film melt a little, sealing the cards and refining the finish.
While the long edges are perfectly sealed after using my "envelope method" for laminating the cards, the short edges will have a little extra film, which I cut away using the rotary cutter.
To make the cards shuffle perfectly and feel pleasant to the touch, I round the corners of all cards, using a handheld corner rounding punch: the Kadomaru Sunstar Pro.
I make sure that all the short edges of the cards are neatly sealed and that the two paper layers are joined tightly. If I detect any spots where the paper is coming apart, I apply a little paper glue (Planatol) to mend the spots.
Each issue of my handmade Tarot deck comes with a signed Certificate of Authenticity, which states the date of manufacturing and the serial number.
I package the cards in an elegant, naturally coloured cardboard box by Westpack. I fold little spacers using either cardboard or thick BIOTOP 3 paper so the cards can be safely stored in the box without moving around.
For shipment, I place the box in a sturdy and discreet cardboard envelope and use paper as filling material to make sure the box stays in place.
So far, I created 13 issues of my Tarot deck which I sold to collectors all over Europe, the United States and even Australia. If you would like to own my handmade Tarot deck, you can acquire it here on this page! When it's sold out, consider subscribing to my Email notifications so you will be the first to know when the next set is ready.
Let me know if you have any questions,