Artist Trading Cards (ATC)

by Jen del Muro

ATC is short for Artist Trading Card. These cards were made popular in the mid 1990’s by M.VÄNÇI STIRNEMANN, a Swiss artist attempting to gain exposure in the art world.


  • Paper Cutter
  • 8 1/2" x 11" Cardstock
  • Stamps
  • Ink pad and markers
  • Embellishments (punch, brads and ribbons shown)
  • Adhesives (foam squares and glue shown)


  1. Step 1

    Using your paper cutter, take the 8 1/2" x 11" cardstock and make a cut at 2 1/2" and 5" along the short side. You will have three strips of paper.

    On the first two that are 2 1/2" wide, make cuts at 3 1/2", 7", and 10 1/2". On the third strip which is 3 1/2" wide make cuts at 2 1/2", 5", 7 1/2" and 10".

    When you are finished cutting you will have ten 2.5" x 3.5" pieces of paper. This will be the base of your ATC. Cut other layers slightly smaller than the base.

  2. Step 2

    Stamp image(s) of choice on the top layer of cardstock, then color and embellish as desired

  3. Step 3

    Adhere layers. In this ATC the top layer is on 3-D squares and the middle layer is glued to the base.

  4. Step 4

    Sign and number the back of the ATC.

  5. Step 5

    Completed ATC. As the name suggests, these should be traded.

Your Turn

You've seen the tutorial, now you try it! We've got a section of the gallery set aside for Artist Trading Cards (ATC). Try this technique, then upload your artwork to the gallery. Show us your creations!

***Please note - Internet Explorer/Edge is not a supported browser, and will not allow you to see the videos. Please use Chrome, Firefox or Safari to view our tutorial videos.

Questions and Comments

We'd love to get your feedback or questions. Leave your comment below.


I was wondering what step 7 was for on the ATC instructions. It's not clear.
rae  |  Mon Jan 14, 2008 at 5:35 PM
I, too, am wondering what the last step is for?
patsy bocook  |  Wed Jan 16, 2008 at 6:28 PM
I'm thinking it's for the altered pop can project.
Shannon  |  Sun Jan 20, 2008 at 3:37 PM
I would like to know how to make a folded atc card do you have a project page for this ? Thank you Jackie K.
Jackie K  |  Wed Jan 30, 2008 at 12:51 PM
TINA M  |  Wed Mar 26, 2008 at 4:55 PM
Tina, you can find swaps to participate in, add them to cards as a centerpiece or even scrap books. It's like you are making your own special embellishment. =)
Gretchen Sheridan  |  Tue Apr 8, 2008 at 11:33 AM
I think it's a great way to pass around your name and number to everyone in a unique way. I'm going to make some to pass around in church and town because people are always asking for my number.
Betty  |  Mon Apr 14, 2008 at 3:01 PM
I absolutely love ATC's and if anyone wants to do a swap I want to be a part of it!
Ruth  |  Wed Apr 16, 2008 at 5:01 PM
I was also wondering what step 7 is for. I think it is a misprint.
I love to trade ATCs. It is a great way to get to know people and get ideas for cards as well.
I would love to swap ATCs if anyone is interested. [email protected]
Ruth, I saw your 1st name, don't have a last name or e-mail address.
Jeanette Conrad  |  Wed May 21, 2008 at 10:29 AM
¬°Que idea!, gracias porque me ha venido super bien, tengo un bebe y esta idea la voy a utilizar. Enhorabuena. Fantastico
Monika  |  Thu Aug 7, 2008 at 12:28 AM
Would love to join ATC group...please contact me...Marie
Marie A.  |  Thu Aug 7, 2008 at 4:54 AM
Adorable, uncluttered and well-designed with just the right amount of white space. Whose stamps are the clothesline with baby clothes and the "oh baby" sentiment?
macroartist  |  Wed Aug 27, 2008 at 9:10 PM
Id like to know how you get in on making and exchanging these little cards
Sandra Prince  |  Thu Dec 4, 2008 at 7:30 AM
Hello, I work at a library in Michigan. I am looking to plan a children's program involving atc's. I am wondering do all atcs have 3 layers of paper as in the bottom photo? Do you know of any place where children can trade atc with other children? Thanks, Sue Black
Sue Black  |  Tue Jan 13, 2009 at 9:19 AM
Hi Sue ...ATC's can be made in any shape or form as long as it measures 21/2 by 3..? it's been awhile for me to remember measurements...anyway not sure of any groups however if you google you may just find what your looking for ...I perrsonally looking for adult group to join...hope this helps you!
Marie  |  Tue Jan 13, 2009 at 9:57 AM
Thanks for this idea for ATC's. I have been making ATC's for a year and sometimes I get stumped for a new idea. If you kno of anyone who would like to tade please let me know.
Thanks, Patricia
Patricia R  |  Sat Apr 18, 2009 at 8:57 AM
hello fellow traders. mary and i have been trading atcs for about a year now. we will trade atcs with anyone who sends us cards...we promise to return the same number of cards. our address is...bob and mary gamble...p.o. box 565...milford, mi. 48381 just send em...ok? god bless you all...sincerely bob and mary
BOB AND MARY GAMBLE  |  Sun Aug 2, 2009 at 6:41 PM
would love to join a group to trade cards with but don't know where to begin? so here is my address,,, Jennie Waltz 1400 Garryana Dr. Red Bluff Ca. 96080 send me an acts and i'll send one back smile
Jennie Waltz  |  Sun Nov 8, 2009 at 7:45 PM
i was trying to find out what kind of stamps these are there super cute. i found one that is on a clothes line but it says baby
Gladys  |  Fri Jan 22, 2010 at 10:56 AM
What are those darling stamps you used?
Christine  |  Wed Apr 14, 2010 at 9:06 PM

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