Desire to Inspire (inspired) “Inspiration Deck” Swap


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!

I happen to be participating in a Chunky/Fat Book swap for Artfest and the idea of creating 52 cards which will then be given to strangers around the country, or world, ignites me. Soooo, let’s do the same thing here! Here’s what I propose (details on how to sign-up at the bottom of the post):


~You make one Inspiration Deck, using a normal deck of playing cards. The entire Inspiration Deck tutorial I created can be seen here. 

~ Embellish them, paint on them, sticker them, glitter them, bedazzle them in whichever way you love to do, and in whichever way you can do in two evenings in total (Let’s make this an easy and inspired project!)

~ Add one Inspiring or Motivating phrase to each card. You can glean your phrases from the handy internet, from friends, from book passages you love, from mentors or famous people. Just write something that inspires, encourages or ignites you on each card. *A different saying for each card please :) The phrase that I am needing to hear most this week is:

~ You decorate AT LEAST 53 cards. You can do the entire set which comes in the pack (including jokers and rule cards) or you can do 53. Again, it sounds daunting but as long as you break it into two movie-watching evenings and don’t get hung up on how they look, it will fly by! Why 53? Because I want to create one extra deck that features your cards to send to Christine Mason Miller herself, for being the real inspiration behind this, via her book, Desire to Inspire. 

~ Put your name and blog (and/or website) address on the back of each card. Here’s my easy way to add this to the back of my cards. I just smeared some gesso across the back, and then when dry, wrote my information across the smear with a permanent sharpie. But you can add your info how ever you want!


~ When your deck is DRY, put it into a well-sealed ziplock bag. This is to protect the cards from any inclement weather.

~ Put your ziplock bag, tightly closed, into a regular mailing package.

~ Mail it to me with your $5.00. ** Email me at jessica.brogan(at) in order to sign up and I will give you my address in return.


I will hole-punch each card and bind them with a metal ring as seen in this photo. I will divvy up the cards and recreate as many Inspiration Decks as there are participants. And then, I will mail each of you your new Inspiration Deck, made entirely of cards from friends around the country/world! How fun is that??! Just imagine what inspiring messages you are going to find all year. Will you peak and look through it right away, or let yourself be surprised every week? Am I an art/real mail nerd? A little bit!

I promise I’ll have better handwriting in the deck I submit to this swap…yikes.


For your reference, the supplies you will need are:

1 Brand new Card deck


Paint Supplies

1 Ziplock bag

2 Great Movies or 2 Episodes of Downtown Abby

Mail Pouch (can be purchased on site at the post office)

Happy Creating Y’all!



  1. I am finally getting caught up on my art projects (sort of) so I am working on my cards tonight!

  2. What a shame i missed this – it’s a fantastic idea! Will be waiting for more pics of the finished pieces

  3. You are a doll.
    I am so so so excited.
    Thrilled really.
    Many moon of thank you’s and sunshine with stars too

  4. So… I just found this link! I know its months old, but bummer! When is the next one? 😉


  5. I would also love it of you could let me know when you have another round of “Inspiration Deck” Swap”. Such a beautiful idea!!!

  6. Diane Y Swift says:

    I would like to know if you have any more of the Every Day A New Story Begins card. If yes, how can I purchase them from you?

  7. Kitty Kelly says:

    Hi! I found your site just a couple days after the deadline for your last project .. Are you planning for another ‘Inspiration Deck Swap’? I would love to participate if you are. :o) Keep Dreamimg! Kitty


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  6. […] Hiya friends. I have been at ArtFest, and then taking a vacation post-vacation, so I’m just now getting back into the swing of things, but one of the first things that I want to do today is to tell you about SPROUT MAGAZINE. One of the swap participants, the incredibly talented Amanda Fall creates and edits the online monthly magazine that is brimming with inspiration in various mediums, including poetry, essays, mixed media, and in the current (5th) issue, a spread on my Inspiration Deck Swap!  […]

  7. […] I read about this project over here I signed up. Not five minutes later I read this and took it as a sign, […]

  8. […] Jessica Brogran read the book and decided to organize a card deck swap based on a project from the book. She invited participants to creatively embellish 53 playing cards with inspirational quotes and words of encouragement and wisdom. We sent them to her and voilà — we each received a deck of cards from other participants. I love the collaborative aspect of the project and I’m up for all opportunities to share wise words. […]

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  11. […] weekend I had the opportunity to be a part of Jessica Brogan’s “Inspiration Deck Swap“. The jist of the swap is that you make 52 inspirational cards, mail them in, Jessica […]

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