Queen of Hearts Art – A Playing Card DIY
February 3, 2017

This Queen of Hearts Art DIY is such a fun addition to Valentine's mantel decor, Alice in Wonderland, Queen of Hearts birthday or Bachelorette party. Check out how easy it is to complete at Halfpint Party Design.

Queen of Hearts Art DIY

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  • Level of difficulty:     EASY
  • Time commitment:   2 ½ HOURS {or 2 DAYS if you have kids}
Check out how easy this Queen of Hearts art is to DIY. It's perfect for a Valentine's Mantel | Halfpint Design - Valentine's Decor, Alice in Wonderland, Mantel art, Queen of Hearts bridal shower or bachelorette party.

DIY – Queen of Hearts art

This little Queen of Hearts art project is a fun one for a Valentine’s Day mantel, Alice in Wonderland tea party, or Queen of Hearts bridal shower. You could also get creative and use it for a casino night or bachelorette party. I needed a focal point on my mantel for my daughter’s Alice in Wonderland Tea Party Birthday. I also love using the Queen of Hearts as a mascot for Valentine’s and having party decor play double duty makes me REALLY happy

DIY Introduction

Now many of you probably don’t need a step-by-step tutorial, since this is a pretty easy project. But if you DIY like me; I have questions when something doesn’t work right and end up feeling frustrated. All my DIY’s will {hopefully} be frustration free. I will walk you through each step like I would my 6-year-old daughter. I’m not implying you can’t get it. It’s that people have different levels of crafting experience and when doing anything for the first time we all have a certain learning curve. I’ve tried to reduce the curve and give you pointers on what made the project easier for me. I just made another one so I could get process photos and it went much more smoothly the second time. Learn from my mistakes, and have a great time creating this classic Queen of Hearts art.

Playing card heart tutorial. Queen of hearts art DIY | Halfpint Design - Valentine's Decor, Alice in Wonderland, Mantel art, Queen of Hearts bridal shower

The black frame is a little too tall. I like the proportions of the white frame better and the hearts turn out to be about the same size.

Materials needed:

A large frame is needed to accommodate the standard size playing cards. But if you’d like to create a smaller version you can find miniature playing cards for the best price I’ve seen or for quick and easy check out they are also on Amazon. You can also go big and create an awesome photo backdrop wall with these super jumbo playing cards.

I used IKEA’s Ribba size 50 x 70cm which is approximately 20” x 27.5”

*IMPORTANT…if you want your heart to be red, make sure you get at least one deck of cards with red backs. I’ve purchased both Bicycle and Maverik brands at the Dollar Store, both with red backs.

  • Scotch Tape: I tried using glue dots but since you sometimes need to re-position the cards I found them too sticky and bumpy. I prefer using tape rolls that allow some give before you stick them down tight and flat.
  • Scrapbook adhesive squares: Stick down the heart and any loose corners at the end with the adhesive squares.
  • Large piece of paper: approximately the size of your frame to make a heart template (tape pieces of copy paper together if necessary)
  • Pencil
  • Sharpie
  • Scissors

Step-by-step Photo Instructions:

Step 1 – Preparation:

Playing card heart tutorial. Queen of hearts art DIY | Halfpint Design - Valentine's Decor, Alice in Wonderland, Mantel art, Queen of Hearts bridal shower

Take your frame apart. Remove paper liner. Set glass and frame aside. Use the paper liner as your base backing. You can cut a piece of poster board for this step to add some rigidity as you work, but this adds an extra step, another material, and another trip to the store. So… I recommend using the free paper included in the frame. {Lazy? I prefer efficient!}

Step 2 – Cut Heart Template: 

Playing card heart tutorial. Queen of hearts art DIY | Halfpint Design - Valentine's Decor, Alice in Wonderland, Mantel art, Queen of Hearts bridal shower

Take your 2nd large piece of paper and fold it in half for the heart template. Do you want your heart to look rounded and plump? Or taller and skinny? Draw a half heart that matches your desired outcome. For my 20” x 27.5” opening I used a plump heart that is 17” tall and 17.5” wide. Leaving me 1.25” on each side and 5.25” top and bottom. Cut around your line, unfold it, and check it against your paper base. Does it leave enough space around the heart on the sides to not feel crowded? Does it look the way you want it? If not, trim it down and try again. It took me a couple of tries before I got the heart just right.

Step 3 – Apply Cards to Heart Template: 

Playing card heart tutorial. Queen of hearts art DIY | Halfpint Design - Valentine's Decor, Alice in Wonderland, Mantel art, Queen of Hearts bridal shower

From the first deck of cards with the red backs, I used 42 cards for the heart. Make sure you use the backs of the information and joker cards too.

Playing card heart tutorial. Queen of hearts art DIY | Halfpint Design - Valentine's Decor, Alice in Wonderland, Mantel art, Queen of Hearts bridal shower

Start at the bottom and work your way up arranging the cards slightly random. Overlap the edge of the heart a bit so the white edges are cut off at the end. Stick each card down with 2 tape rolls, starting with a single tape roll as you get things in place and then adding another tape roll or adhesive square to stick any loose edges down tight. Place 3 or 4 cards at a time, tape them down and continue from there making sure all of the base paper is covered and no cracks are forming between cards.

Step 4 – Trim the Heart:

Playing card heart tutorial. Queen of hearts art DIY | Halfpint Design - Valentine's Decor, Alice in Wonderland, Mantel art, Queen of Hearts bridal shower

Once you get them all taped down, turn it over and trim around the edge of the heart for a nice clean line. Keep those cut pieces, they’ll come in handy in the following steps.

Step 5 – Trace Heart onto Backing: 

Now that your heart is finished, turn it face down onto your backing paper, find your final placement and trace it with your pencil. Putting it face down ensures your heart will not suffer any long-term consequences from a pencil slip. *Warning: Pencil slips are at highest risk when children are present.

Playing card heart tutorial. Queen of hearts art DIY | Halfpint Design - Valentine's Decor, Alice in Wonderland, Mantel art, Queen of Hearts bridal shower

You finished your heart! Give yourself a pat on the back and set it aside somewhere safe. Away from markers…and scissors. {Didn’t you read the warning? There might be children present and therefore your heart is in very real danger.}

Step 6 – Trace over Heart with Sharpie

Now the final stage. Trace over the pencil heart on your paper backing with a sharpie, and then put that thing back up on top of the refrigerator where it belongs!

{Think I’m paranoid? Turns out, I’m a realist with three children and a lot of experience with sharpie stains.}

Playing card heart tutorial. Queen of hearts art DIY | Halfpint Design - Valentine's Decor, Alice in Wonderland, Mantel art, Queen of Hearts bridal shower

This happened in the time it took me to type out the warning!

Step 7 –  Lay Out Backing Cards: 

Now, we’ll be using the face cards to finish the backing. I used the second deck of 52 cards, the remaining 10 from the first deck and had 8 left over. I like to start at the side of the heart where a single card fills the whole space. Doesn’t matter which side. Just pick one. As you tape cards around the heart, make sure you overlap that sharpie line well so you don’t have any accidental gaps at the end when you’re supposed to be celebrating. Even though the cards look like they were just thrown on the floor, this “randomness” takes a little planning to achieve.

Playing card heart tutorial. Queen of hearts art DIY | Halfpint Design - Valentine's Decor, Alice in Wonderland, Mantel art, Queen of Hearts bridal shower

Designed Randomness

I work with 4 cards at a time, one from each suit. I choose a face card, a large number, a middle number, and a small number. This insures I have a good distribution of:

  1. Color: black and red are evenly spaced. You don’t want to end up with 5 red cards all in one place.
  2. Shape: suits are spaced out well from each other. I try not to have the same suit touching.
  3. Number: by varying the numbers you can vary the white space. If you have an ace, 2, and 3 all in the same area there will be a lot of white space and read as a white spot. Alternately, if you use a Jack, Queen, and King in the same area, there will be very little white space and it will read as a dark spot.

Playing card heart tutorial. Queen of hearts art DIY | Halfpint Design - Valentine's Decor, Alice in Wonderland, Mantel art, Queen of Hearts bridal shower

It’s not as complicated as I made that sound! Just pick a card from each suit and make sure the numbers are different. Once you get your “randomness” patterns down, it’ll go much more quickly. Try to turn your cards a little so they are getting taped down at different angles. If they all line up, it looks funny. In making these angles, however, you create little triangle voids that need to be filled. Remember those scraps you saved from the heart? Now’s the time to use those babies. Try to leave open triangles on the outside edge or the inside edge. Use full cards for the middle. As you overlap, take notice of the corner of the card you are putting down. Does it have less color than the card under it? If so, tuck that corner under and show off as much color as you can.

Playing card heart tutorial. Queen of hearts art DIY | Halfpint Design - Valentine's Decor, Alice in Wonderland, Mantel art, Queen of Hearts bridal shower

When you’ve finished a quarter of the backing, turn it over and trim any overhanging pieces. Save these too. Keep going with all the corners until the backing is fully covered. Minus the center heart which has remained bare.

Step 8 – Apply Heart to Backing:

Now for the moment of truth. Take your heart and fit it onto the center of your backing. Wiggle it around until you find the perfect spot. All inside edges should be covered. Heart should be straight. If any gaps are noticeable, fill them in with the last of the scraps and tape that heart down! Make sure you get it taped down well so there aren’t any curling edges. On my first heart I see shadows where the layers lift up a bit and I’m not a big fan. But then again, for better or worse, I’m a perfectionist.

Playing card heart tutorial. Queen of hearts art DIY | Halfpint Design - Valentine's Decor, Alice in Wonderland, Mantel art, Queen of Hearts bridal shower

Celebrate! You’ve done it!

Hooray we’re done! Make sure you peel the film off the “glass” if you’re using IKEA frames. Or Windex the glass in the old frame you’ve reclaimed. Get all the pieces back into the frame and affix chipboard back. You can keep the cut matting inside for another day. I like to use my frames for multiple pieces throughout the year and typically just store each item in the frame so it’s easy to find when I need it: like a portable filing cabinet. This only works if you have specific pieces you use at specific times. Otherwise you’ll forget where you placed it and never see your artwork again!

Playing card heart. Queen of hearts art DIY | Halfpint Design - Valentine's Decor, Alice in Wonderland, Mantel art, Queen of Hearts bridal shower

Step back and admire your new piece of art. I’m using this updated version for a Romantic Valentine mantel design and Royal Valentine’s Party photo booth. So simple but oh so cute. Happy Valentine’s!

This Queen of hearts art is a simple way to step up your Valentine game. Use it as Valentine's mantel decor, as part of a royal valentine photo booth, or an Alice in Wonderland party. At Halfpint Design

Now, what are YOU going do with your Queen of Hearts art?

Until next time,

Halfpint Design, personal

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4 Comments

  1. sgarrison05

    Oh my this is so cute! And you make it look so easy!! I’ll plan on atleast 2 days to make mine!

    Reply

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Gingerbread houses in a row as table runner centerpiece for a Christmas Cookie Exchange PartyI’m Bri of Parties With A Cause. I’m a mother to three crazy awesome kids, interior designer, & party planning junky. I love reading, globe trotting, and frozen yogurt. And I’m elevating the party experience one cause at a time! Read More

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