Artist Trading Coins: The Latest Crafting Craze
Have you heard of artist trading cards? These miniature pieces of art are created and traded around the world! First introduced by Swiss artist, Stirnemann, in 1997, the idea of crafting bespoke cards and trading them with other creatives has since taken off in a big way. Today, artist trading card swaps take place in almost every major city in the world, as well as online. But last year, something new emerged – artist trading coins! Similar to artist trading cards, these coins are 2.5-inch circles of mixed media art, designed to be traded. The most important thing about making your artist trading coin is to make it in your own style; it can be very simple or very intricate. This is a craft for all abilities! Need some inspiration? We asked Kelly Anne Jordan to create some artist trading coins of her very own, and you can follow her step-by-step project below!
You can use anything to make your artist trading coins – paper, card, stencils, washi tape, rub-ons, stamps, ink, paint, napkins… anything you like to work with! The coins themselves can be made from heavyweight cardstock or watercolour paper, and should represent your own creative style!
Time it Takes to Make: 1 hr
Skill Level: ALL
You Will Need:
- 2.5 inch Circles Punch or Die
- Heavyweight Cardstock
- Stamp set of your choice
- Mod Podge
- Ranger Embossing Kit
- Patterned Paper
- Fine Liner Pen
How To Make Artist Trading Coins:
Step 1 – Coin Base:
To begin, you will need to punch two or three 2.5 inch circles out of heavyweight cardstock. I have used Hunkydory Adorable Scorable cardstock and a circular punch, but if you have a 2.5 inch circle die, that will work too. Use Mod Podge to adhere the circles together and let dry; this creates the coin base.
Step 2 – Coin Design:
Cut a 3-inch square of background paper; it is easier to work with a square format to create a coin image. I have stamped some images from the Rare Earth Cogs and Gears Stamp Collection, then coloured the images, cut them out, and adhered them to my square. I also added some cut-out words from a patterned paper. You can use anything you like – pictures from a magazine or newspaper, printed photographs… or anything else that takes your fancy! Just ensure you burnish your images down for good adhesion.
Once your picture is in place, it’s time to embellish! You can add any stenciling, washi tape, rub-ons, embossing, stamping, permanent pen or marker to add any doodling to your work. I have done some stamping and added ink to parts of my work, then used the Ranger Embossing Kit to add some embossed elements. When you are happy with your piece, add a layer of Mod Podge, and leave to dry.
Step 3 – Cutting out your design:
Frame your design in the 2.5” punch and move it around until you’re happy with the placement, then punch out the coin.
Step 4 – Back design:
Make a back design for your coin with your name, date and coin number – I have added some stamping and doodling to this too!
Step 5 – Adhere it all together:
Apply a generous amount of glue to the back of the coin design and the coin base, stick together and burnish well, them leave to dry. Do the same for the back design, so both sides of the coin are in place. I like to apply a good layer of Mod Podge to the edge of the coin, and then leave to dry.
Step 6 – The perfect finish:
I like to finish my coins with a distressed look around the edge; I do this by adding a permanent ink to the edge along with some embossing.
Now your coins are all finished and ready to swap… enjoy!
If you loved this papercraft tutorial from Kelly Anne Jordan, check out the rest of our papercraft articles and projects right here on the blog!