5 Fun, Poker-Themed Crafts to try at Home

People often associate casinos and poker with excess. However, Las Vegas is actively pursuing greener and more sustainable initiatives. Case in point, many casinos work 24/7 to sort through trash – nearly 20 tons on a busy weekend – and fish out recyclable products to limit what eventually goes to landfills. Caesars Entertainment alone diverts about 45% of all their waste from landfills, recycling close to 40 million pounds of materials in 2020.

And when you imagine how many old card decks and poker chips are disposed of annually, you can see how getting rid of worn-out poker sets can create a lot of waste. Maybe you’ve taken a break from playing poker or recently received a new set of chips or cards to play with. Before throwing them out, why not consider reusing these to make creative decorations or gifts? Aside from saving money, you also help the environment by reducing waste that goes to landfills — especially as upcycling is on-trend across the globe.

If you’re interested in upcycling your old cards or chips, here are some simple crafts you can try at home:

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1. Poker Card Garland

Playing Card Garland

If you’re planning to host a poker night at home, you can make an easy banner by stringing up a deck of cards. First, measure the length the garland has to cover and prepare a thick red string according to these measurements (with extra length at the ends to tie up).

Then, tape or hot glue the cards perpendicular to the string. You can also attach the cards using a hole punch and threading the string through. It’s important to keep even spacing between the cards so it looks symmetrical. Try it with ribbons and other decorative items! You can also consider this decoration for casino or Alice in Wonderland themed parties.

2. Poker Chip Magnets

Poker Chip Magnets
Save the Date Poker Chip Magnets by jessharringtondesign

With just adhesive magnets and poker chips, you can turn old poker chips into displayable magnets. The great thing about poker chips is that they come in different colors, with white as the lowest denomination, then red, blue, green, black, purple, yellow, orange, and another shade of green.

Some poker chips also come in pink and various shades of blue – and most casinos do allow players to take these home as memorabilia. Add the adhesive magnet to the flat side of the chip. 

3. Poker-Themed Greeting Card

Poker Greeting Card
Poker Greeting Card by lizkohlerbrown

Turning your poker cards into small greeting cards can save you from having to buy extra craft paper. As the amount of space on a playing card is quite small (3.5 x 2.25 inches or 8.89 x 5.71 cm), you can opt to digitally design your greetings and then print them on your choice of paper, before cutting them out and sticking them on the poker cards.

My guide on Adobe Illustrator can teach you how to properly format and layout your card to ensure it gets printed correctly and fits your playing card later on.

4. Poker Card Art Canvas

Painted Playing Cards
Cards by bunnywithatoolbelt

Another alternative way to recycle a deck of playing cards is to paint over them. Acrylic paint is a great option if you’re just starting out; this type of paint makes it easy to hide the original card design by painting it over, then waiting for the paint to dry.

If you’re not sure what to paint, here are some painting ideas that you can be inspired by. It could be your favorite whimsical animal, simple shapes, or retro-inspired flowers, to name a few. You can even opt to display the painted cards, be they hung as decorations or put together in one big frame.

5.Poker Chip Wind Chime

Photo by chiaroscurosantafe

Although it won’t have an actual “chime”, hanging a wind chime made out of poker chips can be an interesting decoration for your next game night. This craft requires a bit more effort than the previous ones on this list, as you need to drill tiny holes into the top part of each chip. 

The strings holding the chips should be different in length, similar to an actual wind chime, to give the body an interesting shape and design.

5 Fun, Poker-Themed Crafts to try at Home


5 Fun, Poker-Themed Crafts to try at Home

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