My artist trading cards keep warping when I use glue

(Washington, United States)

How do I prevent an artist trading card from warping when I'm using glues to create an ATC collage? Alternatively, how do I flatten the card when it's finished? I've tried several different kinds of glue applied in a very thin coat, and I've also tried using several different backings for the ATCs: playing cards, postcards, heavy watercolor paper, and thin cardboard. No matter what I use the card warps. The same thing happens when I use watercolor paints on ATCs.

You don't say which types of glue you have tried.

In our article on what are the best glues to use we recommend using a dry glue that won't buckle the card. We would recommend a glue stick, like Pritt or Tombow, sticky dots, double-sided sticky tape, or a transfer tape pen like Stix2, which you may find more convenient. You may also wish to consider bookbinding glue, spread thinly with a plastic applicator (like an old credit card) rather than a brush. Two thin coats are better than one thick one.

It's possible that if you were to treat both sides of your substrate in the same way (for example by gluing paper to both sides of the card) any warping would even out. I don't know whether this would work, but it may be worth trying.

I assume that you have tried sandwiching your cards between heavy books in order to flatten them, but I wonder whether you should try doing so (carefully to avoid sticking them to something that you don't intend) whilst the glue is still wet.

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