Are you like me and love oracle cards? Perhaps you always wanted to create an oracle card deck, but never knew how, where to start, or if you wanted to dedicate the time. I can relate! I’ve been wanting to create a dream interpretation oracle deck, received messages from my angels to do it, and heard it from two psychics. Yet I waited for the perfect timing, which is now.
In this blog post, I will give you the information that I’ve researched so far on the how-tos of creating an oracle deck to save you research time. This blog is packed with information for creating an Indie deck that is accurate to the best of my ability. If you are interested in having your deck published through a publisher, here are three publishers to help you on your journey – U.S. Games, Schiffer Publishing, and Beyond Words. Warning – it’s not an easy process to go with a publisher and you won’t have the free range of creativity as you would as an Indie.
Before going into the process, I would like to point out that people do buy Indie decks. Why? Folks enjoy Indie oracle and tarot decks since they are unique and carry the energy of the maker’s love. Large companies miss these exclusive qualities. Often the Indie creator involves their social media and email following in the steps to make the deck and people enjoy the final outcome.
Create an Oracle Card Deck
The first thing to realize is that there is no structure or rules when it comes to oracle decks; therefore, you can make the deck in any format your desire. Yay! This rebel enjoys doing it her way! However, if you prefer a system and guidelines, then a tarot deck is the best way for you to proceed as it has a standard format to follow. With an oracle deck you can have two to hundreds of individualized cards. Plus on any topic you desire: Goddess, angels, cats, dogs, birds, fairies, chakras, crystals, witchcrafts, or in my case – dream interpretation.
Also, during your oracle deck creation process – pay attention to the messages you receive in your nighttime dreams, your daytime intuition, and messages from your angels and spirit guides for additional guidance.
These are ten steps to create an oracle card deck:
- Figure out the concept of your oracle deck.
- Decide if there will be a guidebook.
- Jot down the title of each card.
- Write down each card’s meaning.
- Proofread the writing and have some else edit it.
- Begin or hire someone to do the artwork individualized cards.
- Buy or find photos and/or use a program to make the artwork for the cards.
- Produce the guidebook as a paperback or in a PDF.
- Prepare the cards for the printer’s template.
- Get the cards printed.
Artwork for Your Deck
Before you begin with figuring out the artwork, check out other oracle decks to see what you dislike and what makes you say, “Awesome!” If you’re talented enough to do your own artwork, go for it. Some people use apps or programs to do graphic artwork. Hiring someone can be expensive, unless you find a student or a starving artist.
When I was six or seven, I took my art teacher to the side, and whispered in her ear, “I got a secret.” My teacher asked what the secret was, and I responded, “I can’t draw.” I commend her for not cracking up in my face. But the truth is, my talent is very lacking in that area. Can you relate to my artistic abilities? Then do what I plan on doing, find photos or drawings that are free for commercial use. Warning! Do NOT Google a photo that you like and use it as you could be sued if it’s copyrighted! Pixby and Unsplash are two sites that I use for my pins for Pinterest. Please note there could be scammers on these platforms; therefore, check their profile to avoid copyright complications. It would be nice to buy the artist or photographer a cup of coffee for their photos. Or go to a site where you pay for photos. You could also use your own, family, and friends’ photos. If you choose, use a program to alter them.
Printing Your Deck
Okay, you took the big step to create your oracle card deck, now it’s time to find a printer for them. Using a local print shop can be expensive, unless you are lucky enough to have a loved one who owns the company!
There are companies that have print on demand services, which is nice if you only want anywhere from a few to a hundred oracle decks. An added bonus is that some of these POD companies allow you to have a shop page for your customers to save you from having to collect taxes and do the shipping for you.
If you plan on printing more than a hundred decks then you will save money using a printer that does bulk printing. Nonetheless, you will be responsible for collecting taxes, shipping, and any damages or lost items that occur during shipping.
It’s important for you to decide: what size cards you want, thickness of the card, gold or silver tint edge, and a glossy or matte finish for your cards. Next, what type of package do you desire for the deck: a velvet bag, plastic box, tin box, box with lid and bottom, shrink wrapped without a box, or a tuck box (that is used for playing card deck)? Luckily, some printers will send samples; however, you might have to pay for the sample.
Since I live in the United States, I will give you the printers that I found here, yet it’s important to mention popular printers in China. To my shock, during my research I discovered many large publishers like Hay House have their products printed in China. Duh, I never noticed the “Made in China” on the bottom of the boxes. Why do large companies go out of the country to have the decks printed? Because they’re saving a ton of money, even with the VAT tax. In a Facebook creators group I’m in, some of the members from the United Kingdom used Chinese printers. Personally, I feel it’s good to support the printers in the country you live in, although you may feel differently.
Print On Demand
Below are printers that you can use to create an oracle card deck:
Drive Thru Cards – https://www.drivethrucards.com/
Game Crafter – https://www.thegamecrafter.com/ (I used them for my Purrs for Humans deck)
Superior POD – https://www.superiorpod.com/
Shuffledink – https://shuffledink.com/
Print Play Games – https://www.printplaygames.com/
*Even though Printers Studio is located in San Francisco, it’s obvious that they are a subdivision of Make Playing Cards located in China. Honestly, their prices seem high to me compared to other print on demand companies.
I’m sure more companies do bulk printing, but I’m not sure whether or not I desire to go that route, so I didn’t research it more.
Last Thoughts on Printers
Before your final decision on picking a company, research the company. Then email or call them to get a vibe if they’re right for you. Always get one demo deck printed before placing a small or large order to find any mistakes and view the quality of your cards. Lastly, don’t be afraid to switch printers if you’re not satisfied with their work.
Should you create an oracle card deck, then use a crowdfunding site? During my search on possibly raising money for my deck, I noticed that Kickstarter and IndieGoGo were very popular for creators of oracle and tarot decks. In fact, I was shocked at the amount of money they raised!
With Kickstarter, you set an amount to raise for your deck. If you don’t hit the set amount – you don’t get a cent, no matter how much work you did! IndieGoGo also has fixed funding like Kickstarter, yet they also have flexible funding, where you keep the money raised even if you didn’t reach your goal. Both companies take a percentage of the money and there’s a fee for processing the backer’s payment.
Wouldn’t it be nice if you could sign up for a campaign, do nothing, and money flies in? Giggle, you might as well wave a magic wand! Crowdfunding is a ton of work during the campaign. People need to be aware of your project; therefore, you need to keep your following informed through email/social media and may need to pay for advertising. It’s important for your page to be as polished as possible with a well written description, and upscale videos/ photos of the cards. Plus keeping your funders informed of the process. Even with this work, you may not hit your projected amount. Or raise the money, but miscalculate the cost of your project, and end up owing money.
Finally, if you do decide to go this route, please have a website or at least a large amount of followers on social media. It’s better to have both. Why? Nobody wants to back someone’s project that is an unknown on the internet, as too many people have been scammed. Therefore, if you don’t have a social media following or website – build your platform while you create an oracle card deck.
Where to Sell Your Oracle Decks?
This is a question that you need to ponder during your creation process. There are three ways you can sell your cards. If there is another method, please let me know in the comments.
On Your Own
Sell the cards on your website, at fairs, and as a wholesaler through stores for the largest profit, nevertheless; you will be responsible for:
- Finding customers.
- Processing payments.
- Refunding unsatisfied customers.
- Collecting and paying taxes.
- Storing of decks and shipping supplies.
- Shipping in your country and worldwide.
- Replacing damaged or lost packages.
- Paying for a post office box, if you don’t want to use your home as the return address.
- Having to deal with thieves and scammers.
I noticed that Etsy is a popular place for Indie oracle and tarot decks; however, there are other platforms as well. What is nice about some of these online stores is they have a huge amount of established customers, collect sales or VAT tax, ship or give you a shipping label that doesn’t have your home address. Of course, they will take a percentage for these conveniences.
For those of you who desire to have your decks on Amazon, be aware that there is a charge for you to be a vendor, and you have to follow their ever changing rules. One colleague of mine had Amazon return her un-bought decks with damaged boxes!
Print On Demand Store
An easy way to sell your decks is through the companies that print them. You can have your own shop page through: Game Crafter, Drive Thru Playing Cards, Printers Studio, and Make Playing Cards. These printers will help you with fulfilling your Kickstarter or Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign. The Game Crafter has their own crowdfunding.
Having your cards for sales on these websites lessens the work because you don’t have to have a website, collect taxes, or do the shipping. Instead, you receive a percentage of the sale. You still need to market and send customers to your shop page.
Hopefully, this blog post inspires you to create an oracle card deck, to do more research, and to create or continue building your platform. I know it’s a ton of work; nonetheless, as an author of six books and Purrs for Humans oracle deck, I know the rewards are worth it. Oh, what a feeling to at last give birth to an oracle deck and hold it in your hands! Even better when people buy and love your card deck!
I will keep you updated on my dream interpretation oracle deck journey. And just to let you know, the Indie decks in the blog post’s header picture above and below pin are from Dyan Garris, Jacqueline Lunger, and myself.
My Analyze Your Dreams Oracle Cards are finished and available at Etsy. Here’s the route I took to create this deck. *Update – these cards are sold out and no longer available. I will create a new, updated version and stay tuned for the announcement. In the meantime, please check out my other decks on Game Crafter.