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!


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  1. I’m in! I’ll email you in a few with my information! Thanks for hosting this :)

  2. Hey Jessica. Count me in. How FUN! I love creating tiny art. I have participated in some ATC swaps, it’s so exciting to see what others create. Great idea.

  3. Oh, my – -Wonderful idea!!!! Christine Mason Miller is one of my “Who’s” so I am definitely in! xo

  4. This is such a fun idea. I have never created anything like this before, but I’m all in. Sending you my info. HSHB really started something….

  5. Please do count me in! I so wish I was going to make it to the very last Artfest this year, but alas, it’s just not to be. I’ll email you in a moment, but so glad I found this blog and this opportunity :) Looking forward to sharing some inspiration with you all!

  6. Love this, I’m definitely in xx

  7. i am in! i love an inspirational deck!

  8. Oh. Oh this is awesome.

  9. I’m in – I just sent you an email. This is going to be sooooo fabulous! Thanks for hosting and doing all the coordinating! Hugs. (FYI we are both in HSHB)

  10. Love this idea — I’m in! Thanks for hosting!

  11. Susan Schmieding says:

    So glad I saw this in time. I’m mailing my info.

  12. I’d certainly love to participate and it will be the first time I’ve ever done anything like this through the internet. Sending best wishes and empowerment to you and towards this project. Sincerely,Queen

  13. this is a fantastic idea, i am writing down saying right now. i love how you included christine to get a special deck from all of us.

  14. What a fabulous idea. I love this! :)

  15. I blogged about this swap today!

    Just wanted to share :)


  16. Just sent the email! So excited to be participating!

  17. Esther Rupp says:

    Jessica is my Goddaughter, my Friend, and with this, my Inspiration in still another way. I’m in!

  18. Sent my email. I am excited to participate! First I thought I might be too busy, with moving and all, What you said about breaking it into two movie nights took the pressure off. I can do this, I want to do this and it will be such fun. Inspired to join the group!! Cheers!
    Linda Thiltgen

  19. Deedee Forrester says:

    I need to jump in and not give it much thought! Sometimes I tend to think it out way too much. So thank you for letting me join this Inspiration Deck. Deedee

  20. This sounds amazingly fun!
    I meet with a group of friends every other wednesday! could we all create a deck as a group and send it?
    WE would love to be able to do so and then share the deck that comes back and use it to read and use at our art night! if so….we’re in!!!

  21. scamp (aka Shirley) says:

    Sent you an email yesterday–working on cards today!

  22. I just e-mailed you. Count me in. I’m off to gesso some cards.

  23. Serendipity- the wind is blowing fiercely so tennis and kayaking are out…I sit down at the computer for a few minutes before I begin to create birthday cards for my February students…I run across your Inspiration Deck Swap…I wonder, will my cards be good enough? Do I have the time?…My heart says, “just do it!…I want in…Heading out to buy a new deck of cards right now.

  24. I love this idea! I participate in a big fat book swap a couple years ago and had a wonderful time. Emailing you!

  25. Can’t wait for this! What a fun idea for inspiration and a mixed deck at that of all styles and creativity from artists all over. Am so ready to play and swap, YEAH!

  26. Half way through my first deck…. Signing up now! ~Hobby

  27. Valerie Fitzmaurice says:

    Yes, count me in!!! This is such a wonderful idea. Thank you so much. I’m starting on it today!

  28. Norina Morris says:

    Hi Jessica,

    I would love to participate. Is it too late. Please let me know….Thanks. Norina

  29. Norina Morris says:

    Is it too late? I would love to participate.

  30. Hello Jessica, May I join?? Please let me know, Thanks. Patricia

  31. Just found my deck of cards today – Bicycle that support Breast Cancer Research and they are pink and black – so cool. Found them at Walgreens if anyone is interested!

  32. Eeeeee! This is AMAZING. Thank you so much for hosting this awesome swap. I’ll email you in a moment. Just blogged about it, too:

    Can’t wait!

  33. Taking a huge leap of faith and heading off to send you my YES< PLEASE email.

  34. Hi Jessica,

    I am really keen to join and popped an email to you yesterday. I am in the UK so would be grateful for instructions on paying you via paypal (I have an account). Thanks so much for hosting this idea.

  35. I would love to do this!! Is the deadline really March 1st? (Or are you perhaps extending it a bit since you have a few latecomers signing on?) If you can extend the deadline by a week or two, I’m in!!

    BTW: You can buy BLANK decks of cards from many stamping/scrapping stores. :-)

  36. This looks like a great project! Definitely in! :)

  37. Suzanne Gwynne says:

    I feel serendipity at work here! . . . A deadline & direction to play and share may be just what I need to get over the winter doldrums. *big sigh of relief*
    Thank you, Jessica, for hosting such a positive & timely swap!

  38. I love this – i am just learning of it so I won’t have time to participate – hope to be involved next time!! xo

  39. Drat! I missed it! Well, maybe next time…

  40. Linda Randono says:

    Sounds fun, just now saw the post, if you do it again, let me know.

  41. I would have loved to do this…what a fantastic idea! Please let me know if you decide to do this again.

  42. This would be wonderful to participate in. Just saw this today and missed it but I would like to give it a go if you host another.

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

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

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

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


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

  48. 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?

  49. 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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