Make Your Own
Custom Photo Playing Cards
In 3 Easy Steps

Have you ever seen kids play with their own deck of custom photo playing cards? If not, you are in for a real treat!

boys playing games with custom photo playing cards

Sooner or later, CARDS will make their way to your family reunion. They're just too easy to ignore!

A deck of playing cards is:

  • small
  • portable

And the games they create are:

  • easy to play
  • extremely versitale
  • appeal to all ages
  • take take as much or as little time as you'd like

So even if you don't print playing cards specifically for the family reunion, you should still grab a deck to take with you for fun family games.

make your own custom photo playing cards

Step 1: Choose a game

There are so, SO many fun family games you can play with cards. So when you're making your own custom card game, just base your game off of an existing one.

personalized playing cards for the game "Crazy Cousins" is our version of Memory

Perhaps the most obvious answer is to think of the traditional poker deck with red and black aces, jokers, kings, queens, jacks and numbers in hearts, diamonds, spades and clubs.

Who's the "king" of the family? Put his face on all the king cards. Do you have an especially funny aunt or cousin? Make him or her the joker. Anyone in the family named "Ace"? If so, it should be obvious which card to use for him. :)

Or you could base your custom card game off of an existing kids card game such as:

Try memory

If you're wondering where to start, go with Memory. This simple matching game is easy to customize. Just print 2 cards of each photo. You can make the deck as large or as small as the people you have or the photos that you want to use.

Old Maid
Crazy Eights

You could also print playing cards that mimic:

Go Fish
Phase 10

You get the idea. Choose a card game that is already one of your family's favorites. Or choose a game that is easy to customize.

Shhh. Here's my secret insider tip. I usually use an existing template from Heritage Makers. And, get this - custom photo playing cards are just the tip of the iceberg! Watch the video (coming soon) if you want to see how to easy it is to create hundreds of meaningful, heirloom-quality personalized family gifts using someone else's creativity.

 -take the E-Course -

Work through the family reunion planning process by
focusing on three phases of printed materials.

It's Free!

Step 2: Gather photos

Gathering photos will be the hardest part of making your own custom photo playing cards. Trust me. It's the hardest part of any photo project.

So first, ask yourself these questions:

  1. What is the purpose of including photos?
  2. Who is the deck of custom photo playing cards for? Meaning, who will be playing the game?
  3. What kind of pictures do you need?

Here I've answered these questions using our family's "Crazy Cousin" memory card game as an example:

custom photo playing cards made for cousins
  1. The purpose? We live far away from extended family so I'm always looking for ways to stay in touch. Even though they may not be able to visit them often, I want my kids to know their cousins!
  2. Who's playing? The card game was for my kids. My young boys and my immediate family (there are 4 of us) would likely be the ones playing most often. 
  3. What kind of pictures? I needed fairly recent photos of each child's face.

In my case, current photos were a necessity and, luckily, we had just attended a family reunion where I had purposely taken close-ups of all my nieces and nephews. But don't get stuck on needing recently taken photos. I've seen way too many projects go unfinished because the "perfect" photo is too hard to find. Take the pictures you can, request some from relatives, but ultimately, just go with what you have.

If you're making a deck of regular playing cards as personalized family gifts, as a family reunion keepsake or just as a way to share photos, you will want a variety of individual and group pictures. Try to include at least one photo of each person that was in attendance. If you feel you don't have enough "good" photos, crop the photos you do have and use only the portions that work. You could also ask family to share photos from their cameras and phones or include a few "commemorative" cards with photos of reunions past.

Step 3: Print

You could make a deck of custom photo playing cards by hand using printed photos and basic scrapbooking technics, but why?

If you're going to take the time to gather photos and create a memorable project, choose to have it professionally printed. And choose a vendor that will be able to print additional copies in the future. Trust me. At some point, you will want the ability to share with your extended family.

several decks of custom photo playing cards printed by Heritage Makers

I create my custom photo playing cards via Heritage Makers. With Heritage Makers, you get:

  • A free basic account
  • Unique templates
  • Reasonable prices
  • Outstanding quality
  • 7-10 day turn-around

Let me know if you want help. I love teaching people how to use their Heritage Makers accounts.

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