Create your own story cards

One of the things I most enjoyed during the Season of Story at Get Messy, was the project where we made our own story cards during the week I took over the Get Messy instagram account. It is such a simple method and yet the results can be stunning. So I thought I would share the process with you here in case you’d like to give it a go.

These cards can be a great source of inspiration for your art journal pages and a wonderful way to create stories with children (and with anyone who loves stories!)

Click here to view the complete process on the Get Messy instagram page. (The story is currently saved in the “highlights” section.) I will also detail the step by step process below.

All you need to get started is a sheet or two of thick paper and your choice of art materials. I used 300 gsm smooth watercolour paper. I made 16 cards out of one sheet of A3. You can always use two sheets if you’d like more cards.

Step one

To start, write one of your favourite fairytales across one side of the paper. Don’t worry about getting it right. Just start writing and carry on until you reach the end of the page. You can make it up, if you like! Just be sure to go right to the edges as this will be the back of our story cards. You can change your pens and the size and font of your writing to create some variation. I used permanent pens but some of my Messy artist friends used water-soluble pens and sprayed the page with some water at the end to create wonderful blurry effects.

Step two

Turn the page over and cover it with colour. I used fluid acrylics but you could also use regular acrylics or watercolour. Go for whichever colour palette connects you with the world of story. I went for all the bright colours! Then add lots of different marks all over the page to add detail.

Step three

Once the page is dry, if you like,  you can turn it over and splatter the writing side with some of your leftover paint!

Step four

Cut the paper into cards of equal size. You can measure up with a ruler or use a paper cutter.

Step five

Now make a list of all the different story images you can think of. It can be helpful to create separate lists for different categories such as characters, settings, happenings and objects.

Step six

Spend some time looking at each card. Perhaps the colours and marks already suggest a certain story image? If so, you can bring this out with a simple doodle and then add a title and border for each card. If no story image suggests itself, just choose one from your list.

I made four cards in each of the four categories.





Once your cards are complete, shuffle the deck and pull a few cards. What story do they suggest to you?

Fun ways to use your cards:

  • Pull one card from each category to create a story.
  • Play a storytelling game where one person pulls a card and starts a story inspired by the card. The next person pulls a new card and continues the story. Keep going until the story is complete!
  • Pull one or more cards to inspire an art journaling spread. Pull two cards and make a spread showing the meeting of these two different energies.
  • Use the cards as an oracle deck to reflect what is happening in your life right now.

Have fun making your story cards! Do let me know how it goes, I’d love to see!

2 Replies to “Create your own story cards”

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