diy wednesdays: custom house of cards

charles and ray eames are big heroes of ours, and their house of cards is something we look at often—not only for visual inspiration, but as an example of a perfect design object that is smart, playful and modern. this week we gathered some images from the weekly photo assignments we post on our blog, smarts&crafts, to create our own custom house of cards. it’s a great way to keep track of the things that inspire you, and would also make the perfect holiday gift! click here for the full post and instructions or just click “read more” below.

have fun!
derek & lauren

Custom House of Cards

here’s what you’ll need:
3 sheets of photo quality ink jet paper
3 pieces of 8.5” x 11” cardstock
rubber cement
x-acto knife and straight edge
rounded-corner punch (optional)

1. resize a selection of photos to 2.25” x 3.5” each in a photo editing program such as photoshop, and print them out onto photo quality ink jet paper. we printed 24 photos, and were able to fit 8 per page.

2. mount the printed sheets onto cardstock with rubber cement.
3. carefully cut out the photos using your x-acto knife and straight edge, and round the corners with your rounded-corner punch or scissors.
4. cut six 1/2” slits into each card: 1/2” down from the top and 1/2” up from the bottom on either side, and in the center of each short side.
5. you can decorate the backs of each card with a drawing or a rubber stamp.

  1. Rosie says:

    Wonderful idea – I love this!

  2. Christine says:

    One of my favorite projects so far!

  3. victoria says:

    these turned out fantastic! it was fun to watch you make them, and to see you at STITCH! xo, v.

  4. Fiona says:

    I did this project for school! : )

  5. Lecia says:

    My boys would love this!

  6. Mara says:

    I just did a paper on the Eames and focused on their playful toys. I was especially in love with these cards. Wonderful post!

  7. laura says:

    that stack of ribbons is my photo!
    haha, what a fun project.

  8. Sarah Kuchar says:

    We used Eames House of Cards as inspiration to create a dining environment at Dining by Design. Check it out!

  9. Sophie S says:

    Yay – lovely way to deal out your inspiration board in different ways and pair various images. Only problem – you’d need a room full of interns making them full time in order to build up a proper set of all the ones you’d want. And an old warehouse to house the resulting inspiration castle. I feel a plan coming together…

  10. Montserrat says:

    Great idea! I love it!

  11. amanda says:

    that would be the coolest thing to sell at my senior show! i’m a photographer.

  12. VisuaLingual says:

    What a great way to keep track of your inspiration! This is way cooler than a stack or book of tear-outs.

  13. Tracey says:

    This a great idea! I love it!

  14. Árný Hekla says:

    Love-love-love this
    going to do this in a kindergarten! (I´m studying to be a kindergartenteacher)

  15. kinou says:

    Would anyone here speak enough french to tell me what ‘rubber cement’ is ? Some kind of gluing material I suspect, but which ?
    I love this project.

  16. Genevieve says:

    This is also a great way to display Christmas cards!

  17. Jenny says:

    what a great way to use all the postcards i’ve collected… instead of them languishing at the bottom of a desk drawer! thanks so much for this eames-tastic idea!

  18. Robyn says:

    I really love this idea!

  19. Chamberlaine says:

    Any suggestions of where to get such vivid pictures?
    I thouhgt about flickr, but the images on are protected.

  20. Ashley says:

    In an answer to Chamberlaine’s question, if you check Creative Commons they have free-non-commercial use photos by the ton in their image search.


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