This valentine is a variation of the "52 reasons I love you" card decks. My boyfriend plays Magic the Gathering so I wanted to use those cards. Since Magic cards already have text on them, I decided to use that to my advantage and design my own cards.

Step 1: Materials

Custom Magic the Gathering Valentine's Deck
Here's what you'll need:


- A deck of Magic cards. A standard Magic deck is 60 cards, so I used 60 (plus a cover card), but you could really make a deck of any size

- A list of 60 (or the number you choose) reasons why you love your loved one

- Photoshop or another photo editing software

- Printer

- Scissors or paper cutter

- X-Acto blade

- Glue or spray adhesive

- Stickers, gems, or other accoutrements

- Matte ModPodge

- Hole Punch (optional)

- Ribbon or loose-leaf binder rings (optional)

Step 2: The Cover Card

Custom Magic the Gathering Valentine's Deck
I first designed the cover card. My boyfriend and I frequently say "I love you XX much" with a random number, so I decided to use that with the number 60 (a standard Magic deck). You could just say "60 reasons why I love you."

For the title card, download a life-size image of the back of a Magic card and use Photoshop to personalize it. Use the clone stamp tool to remove existing text and find fonts that are identical or very close to those used on real Magic cards. I used this font for the titles:

http://www.searchfreefonts.com/free/magicthe-gathering.htm


Use Photoshop to duplicate the patterns within the main titles.


Step 3: Reason Cards

Custom Magic the Gathering Valentine's Deck
For the reason cards, download a life-size image of the front of a Magic card. I decided to make all of my cards red, since itís a valentine.

Use the clone stamp tool to eliminate the text and symbols on the card and replace all of the text with placeholders. Times New Roman font works just fine. Other good fonts include Goudy Medieval, Matrix Bold, and MPlantin

http://www.fontspace.com/mentor-type/goudy-medieval
http://www.ufonts.com/fonts/matrix-bold.html
http://ufonts.com/fonts/mplantin.html

Use a Photoshop heart brush or a text heart to replace the Mana cost in the top-right corner of the card. Remove the image using the magic wand and/or quick selection tools.

After you have created a template, duplicate it! I found that 9 cards fit tightly on one 8.5x11 sheet, so I made 7 sheets, for 60 cards.

Next, start filling in the text on each card. Give each card a clever title to reflect the statement being made, a card type (I used the standard Magic types), and write your reason in the main box. I also added inside jokes and additional things as flavor text on the bottoms of some cards. Lastly, add numbers to the power/toughness box. I just numbered mine x/60, in order.

Add your own photos to some of the cards, or all of them. I wanted to glue my cards to real cards for stability and also to eliminate having to print backs for every card, so I decided to add photos to some of them and leave some of them blank, so I could cut the space out for the image on the existing cards.

Step 4: Print and Cut

Custom Magic the Gathering Valentine's Deck
Print your cards on thick-ish paper and cut them out! Cut out any blank image spaces.

Step 5: Glue and Decorate

Custom Magic the Gathering Valentine's Deck
Custom Magic the Gathering Valentine's Deck
Glue each card to an existing card. Add stickers, gems, or other printed or drawn images to further personalize the images.

Step 6: Seal the Deal (Optional)

Custom Magic the Gathering Valentine's Deck
Custom Magic the Gathering Valentine's Deck
Give each card a coat of Mod Podge to seal it and make it sturdier.
If you printed your cards on an inkjet printer, a first coating of workable fixative or clear acrylic sealer may help to keep the Mod Podge from smearing the ink.

Step 7: Bind (Optional)

Custom Magic the Gathering Valentine's Deck
Custom Magic the Gathering Valentine's Deck
Custom Magic the Gathering Valentine's Deck
Punch two holes in each card and bind the whole stack with ribbon or loose leaf binder rings. You can create a hole template on an extra card to make sure the holes are in the same place on each one.

You could also simply put the deck in a box or tie a ribbon around it. I chose the latter.

Step 8: Present to your Valentine!

Present your creation to the one you love and inevitably watch his or her face light up!
 
 

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