How to create your own oracle cards
If you're new to my website, welcome! I'm Deja and I've created 4 oracle decks so far and currently working on my 5th.
I am an artist and graphic designer and taught myself everything I need to know about creating an oracle deck.
Since I started creating oracle decks in 2016, there's been a lot more new and free information out there on the web that can help.
I got so many questions over the years that I finally decided to create my very own oracle course where I teach you EVERYTHING I could possibly imagine on creating your own oracle (or tarot) deck.
If you've landed here, I'm assuming you want to make your own oracle cards. Here are some of the most popular questions I get:
Who will publish my cards?
Who publishes your cards is up to you. I chose to be my own publisher. That means I pay to print my cards and I sell them on my website (and other online shop platforms such as Etsy.) Others decide to go through a publisher. This means they find a company that will pay for all production and marketing of your cards, they will sell and ship them on your behalf. All you need to do is send them your art files and they will send you royalties based on your sales. I heard some royalties range from 8-15%. This means for every deck they sell you make 8-15% of that dollar amount. Just remember, most mass produced decks cost a lot less than self-published decks.
For example, a deck on Hay House can cost as little as $10 (even $5 during holidays) that means you would only make about 8% or so per sale. The benefit is you don't have to deal with customers, marketing, shipping, or production costs and they can sell a lot more decks than a new self-publisher.
A self-published deck can cost anywhere from $50 to $100. You also get to control all the details of your cards and other publishers tend to not like fancy finishes like gold foil, thick color guidebooks, colored edging, etc. I personally love these details and have a hard time letting go of that. But that is just me! And who knows, maybe in the future, my opinion will change on that.
In the end it is your decision which route you'd like to go.
Who is my printer?
The biggest question I get from people is who printed my cards.
The truth is, there are tons of amazing printing companies out there, but things can go wrong with communication or during production that can lead to terminating that business relationship and you having to go hunt for a new printer. This is why it's important to learn to find your own printer and also not be too attached to one company.
I've gone through several printers. My first 2 printers are actually highly recommended in the oracle and tarot community and still do great work for others. They even printed some of the most popular decks out there. But in the end, things just didn't work out for me, and I went to a new printer.
Why don't people just share their printer publicly? I think the main reason is because it takes months to print an oracle deck, sometimes there is a backup in printing. So the more customers you refer to your printer, the longer it may take for them to print your project. This was the situation in my case. As long as my printer can keep up with the demand of new customers, I would be a lot more at ease at referring them to new customers.
But then there's another issue. I've now gone through 3 different printers. All 3 started out amazing. But eventually there was a hiccup in production and things didn't print to the quality I expected and when I asked for things to either get reprinted, or why that happened, or if they could give me a discount, there was no resolution, no apology and it seemed like things were simply rushed or overlooked and I decided to go elsewhere. This is the reason you should learn to find your own printer and not just rely on someone else's.
In my oracle course, I teach you how to find your own printer and even an artist for your deck.
Who can help me make my own cards?
Here's the main skills you may need:
- artist or illustrator (that can be you as well!)
- author for the guidebook which is optional (that can be you too!)
- graphic designer (to design your box, packaging, guidebook, and files)
If you cannot do any of the above, you can hire someone to do that for you. I personally did everything from the art, packaging, writing the guidebook, and also being my own publisher.
What programs do I need?
There are a variety of programs you can use, but here are the ones I use:
- Adobe Photoshop (for creating all the card files, box, and guidebook cover)
- Adobe Illustrator (I no longer use Illustrator, but you can use it as well)
- Adobe InDesign (To create the guidebook. You can also use Photoshop to make your guidebook, that is what I used to do before I switched to Indesign which is just a lot easier!
What size files do I need to make?
Once you decide what size and shape your cards will be (and thickness), your new printing company will send you custom templates to use. If you don't have a printer yet, you can find templates for free online or just guesstimate while you are creating your deck. In the end, you will need those custom size files from your printer so expect to have to reformat everything.
I promise you that YOU CAN DO THIS!
Creating an oracle deck is not that hard, it just takes patience and close attention to details. It can get stressful at times, but it's not HARD. I've done it many times, and had to overcome all kinds of challenges, and still experience new unexpected ones. The key is to keep going.
Have more questions?
I go into a lot more detail in my oracle course which is about 2.5 hours long. If you ever have a question that isn't answered in my oracle course, I will definitely answer you and also consider adding the answer to my course for the other students.
Check out my oracle course here: