Monday, August 01, 2016

{Mixed Media Tutorial} Artist Trading Card Holder by Melissa

Hi! It’s Melissa here with a fun Mixed Media Tutorial to share with you today. I've made an ATC holder and I hope you enjoy seeing the extensive process I used to create it!

Here's what you'll need. 

Full supplies listed at the end of the tutorial.

  Let’s get started! 
Instructions for matboard  – the base of the holder

Cut the matboard to measure 3 ¼” x 11 ¾”.

Score at 2 ¼”, 3 ½”, 7 ½” & 8 ¾”.

Carefully fold along score lines, round corners with a 1/2" corner rounder.
  Paint/color edges of both side to cover up the white, set aside and allow to dry.

Mixed Media Paper/Custom Patterned Paper – to cover the outside of the holder

Custom design/stencil your own patterned paper.

Trim 2 pieces of the patterned paper to measure/fit the outside of the ATC holder, they will overlap on the bottom side.

Cut piece #1 to measure 3 ¼” x 9".  If you wish, you can score at 2 ¼”, 3 ½” and 7 ½”. Or simply wait until you attach it to the matboard base and gently fold it at that time.

Cut piece #2 measuring 3 ¼” x 4 ¼”.  If you wish, you can score at 3” or wait as above.

Round 2 corners on one end of each piece of the patterned paper with a ½” corner rounder.

Adhere your custom patterned paper to the outside of the matboard, overlapping the 1 ¼" flaps neatly on the bottom (not the back).

 Start adhering at one end and fold the paper carefully as you adhere it, continue adhering from one end to the other, gently folding the holder slightly, in order to accomplish a smooth finish.

Colored Printer/Copy paper – to line the inside

Cut two pieces:
#1 measuring 3 ¼” x 9”, if you wish you can score at 2 ¼”, 3 ½” and 7 ½”.
#2 measuring 3 ¼” x 4 ¼”, if you wish you can score at 3”.

  Round what will be the 2 outside ends/corners on each piece with ½” corner rounder.
Adhere the colored printer paper to the inside of the matboard, overlapping the 1 ¼" flaps neatly on the inside bottom of the holder.

 At this point, I decided to add some heat embossing and more stenciling to the patterned paper.

Next, using a 1/8" hole punch, add a hole for the button closure.

Fold the string in half, thread the two ends through one button (4 holed). Next, thread both ends of the cord through the back of the ATC holder though the hole to the front.

Thread the cord through the 2nd button, into diagonal holes, from the bottom and then back down into the opposite 2 diagonal holes.


Tighten the string until both buttons are snug against the back and front of the holder. Tie the cord around the top/front button twice.

Thread the bead onto the end of the cord and tie a large knot, trimming the ends of the cord.

Colored cardstock – 14 sheets to make the pockets

 Trim each color to measure 3 ½” x 9”.

        Score each at  3” and 6”.

 Proceed to cut and score the other 13 colors of cardstock.

  Add a small line of glue to the entire edge of 1 end (on of the side measuring 3 1/2'”).

        Add another strip of glue just inside the closest score line.
        Fold the first third over the middle third and then fold both of these onto the glued side, pushing firmly to make the pocket adhere together. 

  Do not add glue to the bottom edge.
   Continue by cutting, scoring and gluing the other 13 colors of cardstock, making them into pockets.

Punch a half-circle out of the top center of a pocket,     

  When punching the half circle, use your first pocket as a guide.

 Glue the 14 pockets together by running a strip of glue, down the center of each pocket,
        from the top of the pocket to the bottom. When assembling the pockets, I made sure to keep the folded edges lined up together on one side and the glued edges together on the other.

Adhere the pockets to the front and back of the holder by adding glue to the inside back and front (not the bottom) of the holder. Make sure to add glue only where the pockets will be touching.


You should have about 1/2" clearance between the punched out half-circle of the top of the pockets and the fold on the back of the holder.

 Here is the side with the glue.

Add your ATCs to your beautiful new ATC holder! (See that this side shows the folded edge of the pockets?)

Wind the cord around the holder and then wrap the last few inches around the button.


* I made 2 ATC holders. My trial run, one the right, was made with the Shower of Flutters stencil.

My 2nd ATC holder is different from the trial in a few ways. I altered my 2nd holder to improve the design. I shortened my 2nd holder - the ATCs fell down into the pockets and were not easily accessible when stored in my trial holder. I rounded the corners of the second holder for a more finished look. I lined the 2nd ATC holder with paper, in contrast to having stamped the inside of the trial holder with a background stamp. I also added the bead for a pretty finishing touch. 

I love the rainbow accordion look of my finished ATC holder!

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial and look forward to reading your comments!

Grace & Peace,

ARTplorations Stencils: Big Bloom Factory, Leaf Prints, *Shower of Flutters
STAMPlorations Stamps: Big Bloom Factory


Other Supplies & Products:

Mixed Media Paper
Colored cardstock – 14 sheets
Matboard or some other flexible cardboard like a Cereal/Cracker/facial tissue box
Colored printer/copy paper – 1 sheet
Ink, ink blending tools (brushes and/or sponges), embossing ink, embossing powder & heat tool
String/cord/ribbon – 5 ½’ (yes feet!)
Buttons – 2, flat, measuring ½” – 1”
Pretty Bead – with a hole that is large enough for your cord to fit through doubly
Corner Rounder – ½”
Hole Punch – 1/8”
Paint/permanent marker to match/complement 1 of the colors in your patterned paper
Paint Brush


  1. I love this creative project! Gorgeous atc holders!

  2. So very cool, Melissa! I need to make this one for sure!

  3. This is so pretty! Love the fun colors and details! Great project!

  4. I love the rainbow accordion look of my finished ATC holder! me too !!!!
    perfekt tutorial
    TFS CU hellerlittle

  5. SUch a beautiful ATC holder loved the rainbow colors ,cheerful !

  6. Lots of hard work and so well worth it...fabulous project. Thank you for the step by step x

  7. Oh my word!! This is absolutely adorable!!! Thank you for the tutorial!!

  8. Thanks so much everyone! I'm very glad that you enjoyed it. :)

  9. WOW!! This is amazing project! I love it. THANK YOU so much for the tutorial!

  10. A fantastic tutorial Melissa, thank you for sharing it.

  11. Lovely colorful project. Thanks for the tutorial.

  12. Thanks, everyone! If you make one, I'd love to see it. :) You can share a link to your project in the comments.


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