Desire To Inspire: Inspirational Card Deck Project

I wrote about my new favorite book, Desire to Inspire, the other day here on my blog, and today I want to share with you the results of doing one of the project ideas given in the book.  In the book, Christine Mason Miller talks about having her own Inspiration Cards which she took the time to collage and now keeps in a bowl on her desk. Since I am a time oriented person, and I like to have habits and habitual actions, I took it one step further and created a 52 card Inspiration Deck, bound together, so that I can flip to a new card every single Sunday of the year. This deck will last me the whole year, and I don’t doubt that I will continue to re-use it in years to come, because many of the lessons and ideas that I added to the deck are themes which we artists come back to over and over again in our artistic journeys.

Here is what I used:

1 deck of cards


Hole Punch

Metal Ring

Miscellaneous Art Supplies



Here’s what I did: 

1. Purchase/Use a Deck of Cards. Remove the instruction cards and joker cards if you want a 52 card deck, or keep them if you don’t care about the number!

2. Cut out the awesome inspiration cards that Christine includes in the back of the book, and set aside.


3. Gesso one side of each of the Playing Cards. I was not worried about doing a “clean” job at this!

4. The fun creation part! Decorate, embellish, paint, collage, stamp, draw, doodle, glue all over your cards. Make sure to include one passage on each card. **I used the cards that Christine included, but I also used favorite inspirational quotes (from inside of her book, from other books, from my inspiration board, from my mom…). I used one per card and decorated around it. You can make this as simple, messy, clean, quick or as lengthy as you want. I chose to do this in two afternoons and not get too much into labored art but instead let my inner child just decorate messily. It was more fun than I expected!

Truth be told, I decided that not every single inspirational card from the back of Desire to Inspire spoke to me. I felt that they might speak to others more than me. I kept the ones that meant the most to me and the others found new homes shoved between CDs at the Starbucks counter, or on the digital credit card swiping machine at the grocery store. I left them in all kinds of places (just couldn’t get a very good picture of one!). I even got up the courage to leave one in the Drive-Up Bank canister for the next car!

5. I used the hole punch to punch a hole in the corner of each card. Then, I bound them together with a ring binder purchased from Office Max.

Now, in the photo below you’ll notice a deck of cards from “Meet me on the Beach.” I want to take the time to tell you about the most amazing moment I had Christmas Day. I had almost finished my own Inspiration Deck and was just letting all of the cards dry, getting ready to do the whole punching. I put the project on hold for Christmas day celebrations and feasting.

At the present exchange, I gave my brother a book that my father gave to me before he passed away last year. It was a topographical book of Big Bend. I decided that my brother would use and appreciate it much more. I hoped he didn’t think of it as “regifting!”  It was a very rough thing to lose my Dad so suddenly. He was given a terminal diagnosis 2 1/2 months after we discovered his cancer. One day last October his doctor gave him a 1 to 3 month time period left, and he died five days later. Needless to say, anything that belongs to him has a special value to it right now.

So, I gave my brother the book on Christmas and he really appreciated it! And then he said, “Well then you’d better open this one,” and he handed me a gift from himself. Inside, I found this deck of cards to the right of mine in the photo below. First, to see my father’s handwriting took my breath away for a moment. Second, when I began to flip through and realized that this was a deck of cards with inspirational adages written on them, and bound in the exact same way, I got CHILLS. Third, it was such a happy funny coincidence that my brother and I both gave one another something that belonged to our father, that we thought the other would appreciate more. Serendipity at work.

6. All done! I set my Inspiration Deck on my office desk (the one not covered in paint and miscellaneous projects!) and every Sunday I flip to a new adage!

Seriously guys, this is a super easy project. It took me all of two hours and could easily be done in front of a great movie, with your kids’ help, whatever! And, if you haven’t looked into Christine’s book, you need to! You can buy Desire to Inspire on here. 


  1. What a fun project. And now I have an idea for Christmas gifts next year too!

  2. Jessica… This post touches me on many levels. Truly inspiring. Just this past summer, my daughter, her friend and I hid “Hope Notes” in public places while visiting Princeton, NJ. It was so much fun to leave bits of hope in unexpected places…I blogged about this as well.

    I also started an altered book for my mom (really for me) just before she passed away. It took me quite a bit of time to finish and three years later, I still leave notes in it. It was a book I had read to her when there were no words left to speak. It was a very healing experience. I used the words of the book and added and altered them to make them my own. Your dad’s cards are amazing. What a gift. When he made them he had no idea what they would mean one day to you and your brother.

    I love this idea and cannot wait to make one for myself and those I love. Thank you!

    See you in class!


  3. Jessica, I just LOVE this post!! What a great idea…will definitely have to check out the book. I love how you chose to create your cards and especially love that you left some in fun spots so as to add a bit of sunshine or a smile to someone’s day. How special that you and your brother gave such heartfelt gifts to each other…and, I must say…”Me, too!” about the “chills”!! Just love it when something happens like this! Just amazing that you were creating the cards and then, opened a gift to find such a treasure!! Hugs ~ happy to be experiencing this awesome class with you!!

  4. What a marvelous idea! I see something similar in my future! My birthday is in mid-February. With it coming so soon into the New Year, I never really feel as though the year as started until I have my birthday. That means I have plenty of time (yeah, I’m house hunting and moving soon. Plenty of time!) to put together something like this before my birthday. Thanks again for sharing your idea with us!

    Hope you’re enjoying class!

  5. I love this idea.

  6. Ah. You guys didn’t tell me. But it is truly wonderful–as in full of wonder, which is what the word means, that you and Evan exchanged gifts this way. I am touched, on so many many levels. Mainly for you two. One more chance to get it right: your dad is dead, but he is not gone. He is here. You and Evan can continue to fix things, and get it right. Love, Mom. P.s. love your cards.

  7. Jessica…this is Great! Would be a fun swap, like ATC’s. OH…….or possibly little reminders of our business girl.
    Hope you’re loving the class as much as I am.

  8. I knew I was hanging on to those mix/matched cards for a reason!! I can’t wait to get started, what a great idea.

    This is going to make the perfect bridesmaids gifts for my daughters friends!!!


  9. Great idea. I have little inspirational cards I have made with friends. I love your card deck idea. Thanks for sharing. It is, well, inspiring. :) Followed you over from Business Soul Sessions.

  10. Clare Docherty says:

    Loved your post – brought tears to my eyes and i absolutely love or cards! a great idea, thanks for sharing! Cxx

  11. You guys are so awesome! Love that you love this little project. It’s such a great weekend/football watching project!
    and definitely check the book out, it’s a keeper!
    Send me pics if you do make one!! I want to see!

  12. What a lovely post, not just because the deck of cards is a splendid idea, but the story of your brother and you exchanging gifts that had belonged to your dad is wonderful What a lovely memory. I might see if I can put together a deck of cards like this, it looks like a great project.

  13. What an awesome idea! I really love that letting your ‘inner child’ mess around resulted in something so polished looking! If I let my inner child play with art, I think I’d end up with some macaroni glued to a page! haha! You’re great, and what a great story about your Christmas gift exchange :-)

  14. Great job!! I love it–and would be such a lovely gift too~ thanks for sharing!!!

  15. Oh. My. Goodness.
    I have been out of town all week so am just now reading this and am truly blown away. What a beautiful story, a beautiful “coincidence”, and a beautiful deck of cards. My own deck also has 52 cards!!

    Thank you…every day I adore you more. xoxo

  16. I love this. What a great idea putting the extra quotes that don’t necessarily speak to you, out into the world for others to discover. I dream of finding a little love note like that when I’m out & about.

    xo & buckets of belief in you,


  17. Your energy is contagious. I told myself I would hit the hay by midnight, but your website is keeping me up!! I will read them one by one (over time) and savor them. And I will get the book…and use your link to Amazon to do so. You DO inspire. I think you know that. I see you.

  18. WOW. What a beautiful story and I love how you’ve taken the book with both hands and used it with so much love. In such an empowering way. This is inspiration coming full circle. I’m tempted to pick up the book and create something new with it. Thank you for this.

  19. Hi Jessica, I love this story, and especially the comment from your Mom! I think I will have to participate, thou not sure how I will fit it in, but I must. The inspiration deck is calling to me…
    HSHB hugs!
    x, Val

  20. Rina Grasman says:

    My mailing address is 403 Dressler Road Victoria BC V9C 2W6 Canada

  21. What a beautiful story about your Christmas present exchange. That will be a special memory – in addition to the gift you received. Thinking about the exchange – have started some cards. Will let you know by the 20th – gulp – in the next few days if I feel I can commit. Thanks for the beautiful inspiration, regardless. Christine’s book is a treasure.

  22. Wow Jessica, What a heartfelt story. Just beautiful. Thanks for sharing.

  23. Wow!! Jessica, not only do I love the idea of the inspirational card deck, but it seems you and your brother are very much in tune. How wonderful! I can’t wait to join in this time round :)

  24. Have you ever considered about including a little bit more than just your articles?

    I mean, what you say is valuable and all. Nevertheless think about if you added some great photos or videos
    to give your posts more, “pop”! Your content is excellent
    but with images and video clips, this blog could undeniably be one of the most beneficial in its field.
    Awesome blog!


  1. […] I wrote about the chill-inducing coincidence which occurred (and really, are there really any coincidences??) while I was making my “Inspiration Deck” (inspired by Christine Mason Miller’s latest book, Desire to Inspire,) recently. Even now, the details of the story make me shake my head in wonder. I love looking at my little note of inspiration, which I keep on my desk, and I love the quiet moment on Sunday when I flip this week’s card over to the back, and I have a brand new mantra for the week to hone in on and live by for the week. There was a great reaction to the post and it seems like you all need your own Inspiration Decks! […]

  2. […] you haven’t read about how I received this deck after my father’s death, over a year ago, and how serendipitous it was,  you can read about it here. We’re also […]



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