Monday, January 10, 2011

ACEO (Art Cards, Editions and Originals)

I finally got around to making some ACEO's for my Etsy shop and thought I would post a little tutorial here for anyone else that would like to try it.
So, what is an ACEO?

ACEO stands for Art Cards, Editions and Originals. They are also known as ATC's (Artist Trading Cards).
Each card measures 2.5 x 3.5 inches (or roughly so) and most are signed/dated on the front or back by the artist. They are a great way to collect little, affordable works or art and even original pieces.

The medium can be anything you imagine: watercolor, oil, pencil drawing, pen, collage and yes, photography.

Here is what you will need to make a photo ACEO:

1. Archival paper to print your image on. Any paper is acceptable (watercolor, metallic, matte, luster...).
I printed mine on archival matte Epson paper and put 8 images per page in Photoshop.

2. Archival paper or cardstock to use as a backing for your card so it is more sturdy. This is optional; many photo ACEO's do not have backing.

3. Paper Cutter. You will need this for straight edges. Roll cutters are good too, but don't even try using scissors. I did and wasted a good deal of printing paper.

4. Archival spray adhesive. I used Elmers and it worked great. Make sure you use an archival glue to extend the life of your ACEO.

5. Rubber roller

6. Pencil

7. OPTIONAL: mat for framing. I had 5x7 mats cut to fit the 2.5 x 3.5 ACEO at my local frame shop for about $5.00 each.

How to:

Once you have all of your supplies and have printed out your images you are ready to start.

Step One: Spray adhesive (in a well ventilated area) on the blank sheet of archival paper or cardstock. Place the sheet with images on it on top of it (image side up, of course!). Make sure papers are lined up as straight as possible and that the glue covers the blank sheet thoroughly.

Step Two: Place the glued together papers on a flat surface and use the roller to flatten it out. You want to make sure there are no gluey lumps (which there shouldn't be with a spray adhesive) and make sure the papers are really pressed together well. This step is important and will give you a very nice finished product.

Step 3: Once the adhesive has dried, you are ready to cut the images out with a cutter or rolling cutter. Make sure you know how to use your cutter. If you aren't very crafty, like me, you are bound to make mistakes. Practice first!
Cut each 2.5 x 3.5 image out.

*If you don't own a paper cutter, they can be purchased at any craft store or Target for $10 to $60.

Step 4: Inspect your cards and make sure they are good to go. Sign and Date the front or back with pencil and you have your very own ACEO! See how easy it is? I chose to sign the back, as mine are full bleed, but I think they look lovely signed in the front like The Jane Studio does. (See last image)

Here is my packaging. A small glassine scalloped bag tied with black and white bakers twine.

I have 6 images available now in my shop and 4 more coming soon!

For more inspiration, here are some beautiful ACEO's from other artists to start your collection:

1 comment:

Ci Ci said...

Hi. Great post.
I'm VERY much an amateur photographer, but use my camera a lot to take photos of items for my Etsy shop. Was thinking of making ACEOs of some items I've photographed to be given as a thank you to customers. However, I don't have Photoshop and don't foresee getting it soon due to finances. Is it a must to do this?