Wednesday, January 16, 2013


I decided that the world needs a little cheering up lately.  I belong to a group of seniors who meet every Tuesday to discuss the current events of the world.   Sometimes the world news seems pretty bleak and depressing.  But on a more personal level...I have friends who are out of work and can't find jobs.  They wonder if their money is going to hold out until they can find employment or if they are going to be kicked to the curb.  Three of my friends are battling a major medical crisis.  Whew!  Like I said...the world needs a little cheering up lately.

Anyway, I asked myself what could I do to add a little sunshine to someone else's life.  Maybe even change the course of events by my actions.  Then I though of "random acts of kindness" or "gorilla art."  The act of randomly and anonymously gifting a stranger with something that would put a smile on their face.

I had just finished listening to Oprah's Life's Class with Joel Osteen and Iyanla as guests and thought how beautiful and inspirational their words were. They made me feel happy...I felt validated...purpose driven and I wanted to pass that feeling along to someone who could really use some perking up.  So I grabbed my collection of inspirational quotes and started typing away at my keyboard...I could use my art to make someone else happy!!!!

Did any of you participate in the inspirational card exchange a few months ago? If you did you will know exactly where I am going with this.  Let's make the inspirational cards but instead use them for the "random act of kindness" project. Here's what you do:  find or buy a deck of playing cards, decorate them with paint, collage or whatever you would like, include an inspirational quote and then leave them in a place for a stranger to find.  Make their day!

This is how I made my cards:

Materials used:

Deck of playing cards
Gesso, white
Mod Podge
Scrapbook paper, envelope liners from old bills, old book pages.
Used postage stamps, clip art, ephemera
Black fine or extra fine point marker like Pitt, Micron, Sharpie or Copic.
Printed quotes.
Hole punch
Ribbon, string or yarn

STEP 1:   If your cards are used, clean them with a swipe of rubbing alcohol (both sides) to remove any grease from fingers.  Then lightly paint a thin coat of gesso over the face of the card.  I barely painted it so the card's value would show through and add to the final design.

Tip:  Use an old telephone directory or magazine for painting and gluing. Once the page is used, don't use the same section of the page again.  This way you can keep the back of the piece that you are gluing or painting clean.  Once the page is used, fold it over and use the next page.

STEP 2:  Tear strips and pieces of paper and glue them to the face of the card using Mod Podge.  Once dry, trim the paper from around the edges.

STEP 3:  Glue clip art, postage stamp or ephemera as a focal piece.  Then glue the quote in place.

Tip: I was careful not to paint Mod Podge on top of the pictures or quotes printed with my ink jet printer as the ink would smear.  It would have been better to have them printed from a laser printer at my local office supply store.  Next time!

STEP 4: When the card is completely dry, add black ink outlines around the quote and picture embellishments.

STEP 5:  Glue the label to the back of the card and once dry, trim the overlapping paper from the edges of the card.

Tip:  Coat the back of the card with the Mod Podge, place the label on the card and then hold it up to a light in order to see if it is centered.  If not centered, slide it into place.

STEP 6:  Punch a hole in the top of the card and tie a ribbon or multiple strings as decoration.

There you go....your cards are finished so start leaving them around town for people to find!!!!

A few words of advice....Be careful that you are not seen leaving them and don't hide them so well that no one can find them.  Also think about who will find them. If you leave them on a table in a a busboy going to throw them away with the trash?  In addition, if you use water reactive paint, do not leave them where they will be exposed to moisture.  You don't want them ruining the merchandise!!!

Here are some places that you might leave them:

In a dressing room
Tuck it in a magazine in a waiting room.
On the seat of a bus or train
On a library bookshelf or tucked in a popular book or magazine.
On the shelf of a grocery store.
Tucked in a car window
In a shopping cart after you put it back.
In a church hymnal.
Leave it with your tip in a restaurant.
(Be careful not to leave it it a store where it would appear that the person finding card is stealing the merchandise.  We don't want anyone getting arrested!!!)

Be creative...Use your imagination!!!

Feel free to download and print the labels for the back of the cards.  I cut lightly patterned scrapbook paper and ran it through my ink jet printer.

You may also download and print the quotes:  (For more downloads, check out the Downloads tab above. I will be adding more from time to time!)

I hope that you join me in this worthwhile project.  We can make a difference by spreading a little happiness to one person at a time!!!

I would love to hear from you if you have ever done "gorilla art" or "Random Acts" with you art.  Tell us your experiences.  What kind of art did you make and where were some of the places that you left it to be found and were you ever caught in the act?



  1. What a great idea! I love the random acts of kindness idea - it feels like doing something that makes a difference instead of just hand-wringing.
    I've had trouble with ink-jet copies smudging when I try to paint/ink over them. My solution is to keep clear embossing ready (cap off!) and as soon as the paper exits the printer, sprinkle it on - you have to do it quickly as the ink dries fast. Then heat-emboss and no smudging.

    And thanks for the downloads!

  2. Wow! Deb, thanks for the tip about the embossing powder. I will have to try that. I was able to have copies made at Office Depot for 10 cents a copy so it didn't break the bank but if the embossing powder works with my printers ink that would be even better. Especially for the B&W pictures. I don't know why but only the black ink smears and not the colors. Ugggh! I guess that if I didn't mind the gloss, I could cover them with clear packing tape.

  3. Deb, I have more downloads on my download page. One using the word "chocolate" and another with "Love."

  4. Wonderful post, Ginny. Another way to seal an inkjet print job is to use matte spray sealant once the ink is dry. That will help if you want to Mod Podge the paper later.

    Re the guerilla art, I have been abandoning art for about eight years now. It is SO much fun to think that you could make someone's day when they find your little treasure. I love art by stealth. Are you a member of our Art Abandonment group on FB? I can't remember because it is such a big group. If not, please join us.


    1. Hi Joanna!!! For some reason the black ink in my printer bleeds no matter what. Funny, but the color ink doesn't. Ughhhh! What brand spray do you use?
      Thanks for directing me toward the Art Abandonment FB group. I'll check it out!
      BTW, love the magnets that you made for abandoning. Anyone would be thrilled to find them. xoxoxo

  5. What a great idea! Thank you so much for your generous sharing! I love the quotes!

    1. Thanks Valerie. I have really had fun with these. Sometimes I just hand them to people that I strike up a conversation with and who appear to need a lift to the spirit. It amazes me that a lot of the time the quote or verse matches the persons situation. Hugs!