Do you prefer ‘proper’ Lenormand decks or have you ever thought about creating your own Lenormand cards and designs, as I have for this site? There are a lot of reasons why you might choose to do this:
7 Reasons to Make or Design Your Own Lenormand Cards
- You want a more resonant relationship with the cards
- You want a personalised set of cards, just for you
- None of the current decks quite represent the cards in a way that speaks to you
- You think you can make something better than the available decks
- You want additional cards
- You’re creative, an artist or designer yourself and you just want to try your hand at it OR
- You’re broke and don’t have a deck yet but want to get started
About Creating Your Own Cards
Personally, I created mine because my main deck is in such a battered state now, I wanted to be able to show my cards on this site, and I also wanted to create something that was unique to me & felt much more personalised. So if this idea speaks to you, first of all, check out the post about Choosing A Lenormand Deck: most of the questions in that post apply with regard to making your own cards too.
About Lenormand Imagery
Now, the GREAT thing about Lenormand is that in terms of imagery, it can be as simple or as complicated as you want. The House card, say, holds the underlying meaning of House, regardless of whether it’s the written or printed word “House”, a standard computer-generated icon or symbol from Word or Pages, a sketch you’ve personally done in a notebook, something your kid has drawn, a photo you’ve taken or an image found, all the way through to a beautiful art deco design, a modernist take or a classical painted depiction of a huge country house, including any designs that you’ve painted or created yourself.
Bear in mind that any imagery used in the Lenormand system is a tool only; the meaning of the card is the same regardless of the image used. This means you have a lot of freedom to make your own cards in whatever way best fulfils either your artistic sensibilities, the way your intuition works best, or your practical needs at any given time.
So what might be some of the options for creating your own versions of the cards? In the examples below, I’ll move from Emergency Decks (i.e. for when you don’t have a proper deck of your own yet) through to less basic and more creative options.
Ways Of Creating Your Own Lenormand Deck
Emergency Deck 1
Use Playing Cards.
This is easily the simplest method. If you check out the Lenormand Card Meanings pages, you will see that each Lenormand card has a playing card equivalent. So if you can get hold of a cheap pack of cards, or have one that you don’t need for other purposes, all you have to do is extract the 36 relevant playing cards & use them. I’d probably write on them all which Lenormand symbol each card is representing but other than that— voila. One deck, immediately ready for use.
And, no, it’s not sexy, it’s not beautiful and there’s no artistry involved whatsoever, but you can do a solid Lenormand reading just as well with a ‘deck’ created this way as you can with any other. I’d do this if you haven’t got yourself a proper deck yet or you’re stuck somewhere without one (on holiday, say) but can get hold of a deck of cards.
Emergency Deck 2
Making your own simple cards: the DIY method. Time to get out the scissors!
If you fancy feeling like that kid at primary school again, all you need is some thickish white card (you need it to be thick enough to shuffle in the normal way when the cards are done) & enough to make 36 cards out of it.
Size-wise, you’ll need each card to be a minimum of approx 100 x 62 mm (the same size as a standard Lenormand deck).
The simplest way, obviously, would be to write or print the card name and number on the card, and maybe a keyword or two of your choice OR, of course, there’s always…
Emergency Deck 3
As above, but using images of your choice, cut to the same size and glued onto the card. You could also do this as an emergency replacement card if you lose one of a particular deck of cards as I had to do myself when I lost my Clover card and had to literally “make my own luck”. (And yes, I did consider this a message from the cards.)
It’s all a bit Blue Peter — for those outside the UK, a long-running UK children’s TV show, famed for things like ‘building a model of the International Space Station out of only toilet rolls and sticky-backed plastic’—but kind of fun.
And naturally, of course, depending on how proficient you are as an artist, you could also paint or draw your own images straight onto your cards.
Creating Your Own Cards In Photoshop or Other Applications
If the above sounds a bit old-school to you, and you have access to and are familiar with applications like Photoshop etc (GIMP is a free app and quite similar to Photoshop, though a major headache to use in comparison. There’s also Canva, which is free, although just to warn you, it’s WAY more geared to online application for websites and ebooks than for print) there’s nothing to stop you making digital versions of your own cards for output however you wish.
The advantage of this also is that you can then start to manipulate and touch up your card images and designs in whatever ways you want, and make them perfect for your needs, designing them however you’d like. Want your cards laid out a certain way? Want to add in personalised notations or card meanings or keywords? If you don’t want to draw or paint them yourself, doing so electronically may be the way forward. Just bear in mind that you will need all images to be very high resolution if you ever want to output them to professional card printing services, which I look at below.
Making Or Taking Your Own Images for Your Cards
You could draw or paint your own images according to whatever style you wish if you have an artistic bent OR you could even take photos to personalise your cards. Bear in mind also that there are loads of ways available online that you can further personalise images, even photos, including putting them through art filters for different effects. This, for those of you who are interested, is what I did for my own versions of the cards. Some images are easier to take or make than others, obviously. The object cards tend to be fairly simple to take pictures of. Animals and people, though, less so.
You could even, as in some of the commercial decks, add in additional cards of your choosing.
Finding Online Images For Your Own Cards
Just as a general thing, when you’re making your own cards ALWAYS RESPECT OTHER PEOPLE’S COPYRIGHT & don’t try to use images that you don’t have the rights for, especially if it’s for anything other than purely personal use. That includes, obviously, the makers of the various commercial decks, but also artists and photographers: always credit others for the work that they have done rather than to try to pass it off as your own, and respect their copyright and intellectual property rights, especially if you’re going to share images. Copyright law exists for a reason.
That said, if you are going to use online photographs, there are plenty of sites offering royalty-free images to use if you wish and most of those can be downloaded free and used without credit. The advantage, of course, is that you can pick and choose the images that speak to you personally. Be aware, though, that some free images are more readily-available than others. Some can be harder to find.
For those of you who might be considering make commercial versions of the cards rather than just your own personal use, though, check carefully for terms & permissions for image use from various sites and DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT abuse copyright law & others’ work for commercial gain. It’s out of order, essentially stealing, and not just that, massively bad karma. (Can you tell I used to work in publishing?)
Making Your Own Cards Using Professional Card Printing Services
There are a number of online print services available now which specifically offer personalised card-printing services, and via which you could create your own single deck of highly personalised professional quality cards at a pretty low cost for the deck. Mostly, they tend to be geared to Tarot, but most of the options I’ve seen could be adapted easily to fit the Lenormand system of 36 cards, as you can use any images and designs you wish.
Just bear in mind that any images you use or supply to drop into their templates need to be print-quality high resolution JPEGs; obviously this can be difficult if you are using your own artwork and depends on your expertise in this area and how used you are to supplying your images electronically and ensuring they are adapted for print. Still, I’ve no doubt many of you would find the idea of your very own personalised deck, professionally produced and finished and created just for you with your very own artwork and take on Lenormand, a pretty appealing one! Why not go for it?
For a FREE card combinations PDF E-Book, sign up to my mailing list for weekly newsletters and other freebies. This ebook is also available to buy for Kindle, mobile, tablet as well as being now in printed paperbook format from Amazon.
Complete Guide to Lenormand e-book, available from Amazon, Nook, Barnes & Noble, Apple Books & other ebook platforms. Soon to be available in printed paperback format and here as a PDF.
Or head to the Shop for other goodies. More stuff coming soon!