I've been altering some of my tarot decks. Not all of my decks will get de-bordered but there are some decks that I just don't enjoy using, usually because they're too big for me to handle easily. Bear in mind I will not alter most of my out of print, collectable, signed or self printed by the artist decks. After de-bording a few I've come to realize I also didn't connect because the white border washed out the artwork. The following will be photos of some decks I altered.
This is the first deck I played with. It's a vintage Rider-Waite-Smith (RWS) laser printed. I laser printed it on heavy card stock because I needed something back in 2005 that I could easily carry for study of the images while I was working on my master's thesis. I'm thinking of carving a rubber block with a pattern I can hand stamp onto the backs. I did experiment with coloring the edges; here I experimented with using very thin stroke with a sponge brush with bronze acrylic paint. The mistake I made was in trying to do all the edges of one side of the deck in one swipe, the paint ,although dry-brushed, bled around the edges. Fortunately since it's a copy of a vintage deck the bleeding adds to an aged look. So in order to avoid this issue with a deck I'd actually like to read with I took the time to watch some YouTube videos of tarotists who successfully trimmed and edged their decks.
Back in 2007 I bought this Llewelyn deck. I found the artwork gorgeous but it was so big I couldn't easily handle the cards and so I never could connect with it. I figured this deck was a good one to be my first trim and edge. In the upper left of the photo, atop the organza bag I laid a trimmed card over an untrimmed title card to compare the difference in size. Bottom left you can see just how lovely the artwork is and how beautifully it stands out without borders. Bottom right you can compare a trimmed back to an untrimmed back Top right I stood the cards so you could see the edge treatment I did. I use a copper colored "Brilliance" brand stamp pad, gently running the edges of each card one by one over the pad to distribute the ink. It's lovely but the stamp pad was an older one so there are faded spots. I will redo the edges with a new copper Brilliance stamp pad that I just bought at Michael's (with a 50% off coupon - thank you).
I used a Fiskers paper trimmer that uses a razor blade, I didn't care for it because the cards would slip around to I bought a guillotine Fiskers trimmer that has a bar to firmly hold down the cards as I chop off their sides...I used it on the next deck trim...
...and it worked beautifully! The edges are near perfect squared and can be easily shuffled. The deck is a standard sized mass market newer RWS and I love them trimmed. The trimmed size is just a tad larger than Scarabeo mini decks and so much easier to handle than the standard tarot size, Plus the artwork just pops without borders to box in the archetypes. I silvered the edges using a giant chisel tip "Craftsmart" water based marker from Michael's. These markers work very well for edging the cards as the large chisel tip is much like the cloth pads of stamp pads. And the color is works very well with the ubiquitous plaid RWS backs.
Now I know I said that I wouldn't alter out of print (OOP) decks but I love the Sharman Caselli deck and wanted one trimmed to I could love it even more. Since I didn't want to jack up my well cared for deck from the OOP complete tarot kit I did an eBay search for a used Sharman Caselli and ended up buying an OOP kit because it was cheap, used, in so-so condition so no longer collectable. And it gave me an already opened black and white deck that I could feel free to color (I never could bring myself to open the one that came in my kit). It is so obvious in these trimmed cards just how much the white borders wash out the gorgeous artwork of this deck. I can't believe how it was possible to love this deck even more! You can compare the difference in size with the black and white sample shown with these. I don't know if it was the thicker card stock of this deck but the trimming was harder than the RWS and the edges aren't as squared but I won't be riffling this deck anyway. Oh the size of the trimmed deck is similar to the U.S. Games pocket decks, maybe a tad larger.
So I've started the next projects. The generic "Tarot Cards" with pips are giant and perfect for doing mixed media artworks on. I've scuffed and gessoed the backs of the major arcana. I will be doing mixed media artworks on those backs leaving the fronts untouched (mostly) I'll post those projects in progress in my blog "Phare-Camp Fine Art" I've started the trimming of the Druidcraft Tarot and am photographing the altering of this deck as I go. My next post here will be all about that. I thought I was going to Trim and Edge the mini Marseille but since I like to use it for playing solitaire I'm only going to edge it. I just have to decide what color to use...