I really want to make game card that's similar to Monopoly cards or the like.
What kind of paper should I use for the cards?

2 Answers 2


If you are looking to prototype a game there are really three options, you'll want to weigh Expense vs Effort vs Polish. Obviously if you are just playtesting (especially early in the process) Polish is not important, and keep expense and effort low will probably be helpful if you're going to be iterating your design a bunch!

There are three main options:

Print on heavy weight cardstock

Pros: fairly cheap, very low effort

Cons: Not very polished, cards will exhibit wear fairly quickly.

Print on paper and sleeve w/ CCGs for stiffness

Pros: Sleeves are probably the expensive bit, as it's not too hard to find someone who'll hook you up with junk commons from a Collectible Card Game like Magic. You can print on regular paper, and if just a few cards need changing it's quick and easy. Great for iterative design

Cons: Not everyone has access to junk cards to use as backing. Not polished, especially for final version.

Print on Demand Example: Drive Thru Cards

Pros: Assuming you've got good art skills can look professional/polished.

Cons: Not cheap, also not cost effective except as a vanity run/final playtest/review copies.

  • 3
    What's the dellivery time for Drive Thru? Slow iteration speed might be the biggest con there.
    – Erik
    Commented Dec 5, 2017 at 8:22
  • 2
    Also if you travel to a local gamestore and ask them for sleeves and junk cards to fill them with so you can design games, you'll probably be ready to go for $10 or something (assuming your game isn't massive). They always have junk cards lying around.
    – Erik
    Commented Dec 5, 2017 at 8:23
  • If the playtesting focus is determining random hands, it might be sufficient to code a program that outputs sets of random cards and draws additional ones from a pile on a keypress. This should be doable even with beginner skills, so chances are that you or someone you know can quickly hack it together. Commented Dec 5, 2017 at 9:09
  • Also, a note on sleeves: As you said, that's not a solution that would work for the final product, so there's no reason against taking inexpensive sleeves. So-called penny sleeves with the one buck for a pack of 100, and one or two of those should be sufficient for most board game requirements. In any case, the sleeve costs will always be less expensive than the amount of work you have to put into cutting the cards and putting them in there. Commented Dec 5, 2017 at 9:12
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    @aslum It's the cheapest and easiest one to work with, but I meat almost finished state, for demoing purposes for example. Can you give hints on what kind of paper/production process to look for to get nice looking homemade product?
    – Deo
    Commented Dec 25, 2017 at 7:57

How about going ahead and printing on 110lb card stock, but putting the cards in sleeves? Seems like that would work, plus they'll look good. You could also consider printing them on matte or glossy photo paper for a finer finish. As for the backs, I've accidentally printed on the wrong side of photo paper before, and not only did it print very good, it also gave the feel & appearance of textured cards.

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