Do-It-Yourself Scratch Cards

The lottery is to some a potential bonanza, to others a tax on the poor and the stupid. The only sure-fire way to win a huge fortune in the lottery does remain to start with an even bigger fortune. Nevertheless, scratch-off tickets are the entertainment that keep our roads paved or something. [Emily] over on Instructables came up with a way to create your own scratch-off cards, and the process is fascinating.

For [Emily]’s scratchers, there are five layers of printing on the front of the card. From back to front, they are the gray ‘security confusion layer’ printed with a letterpress, black printing for the symbols and prize amounts, also printed on a letterpress, a scratch-off surface placed onto the card with a Silhouette cutter, the actual graphics on the card, printed in blue with a letterpress, and a final layer of clear varnish applied via screen printing. There’s a lot that goes into this, but the most interesting (and unique) layer is the actual scratch-off layer. You can just buy that, ready to cut on a desktop vinyl cutter. Who knew.

After several days worth of work, [Emily] had a custom-made scratcher, ready to sent out in the mail as a Christmas card. It’s great work, and from the video below we can see this is remarkably similar to a real scratch-off lottery ticket. Not that any of us would know what scratching a lottery ticket would actually be like; of course that’s only for the gullible out there, and of course none of us are like that, oh no. You can check out a video of the scratch-off being scratched off below.

14 thoughts on “Do-It-Yourself Scratch Cards

        1. The quote in the post was written by a writer in the US, edited by an editor in the US, on a website hosted in the US, posting a story about a person in the US, commented on by a person referencing the US.

          I think it’s pretty obvious the answer to your question is “France”

    1. I vaugely remember as a kid drawing over text with a crayon, then painting with probably cheap poster paint or something. It was a really long time ago so I don’t remember how well it worked but I think it wasn’t a total failure.

  1. More than just lotto, there are certain types of gift cards and online game store cards that utilize the same scratch off deal to act as a tamper-evident mechanism for the redeem code.
    Makes it more obvious if someone was screwing with the card before you buy it and find out the hard way.

  2. But Brian you forgot to describe what a letterpress happens to be. It happens that’ the favorite materials for it happen to the slugs from a Linotype machine. Or ordinary hand type. I should know it was part of the family business for many years.

  3. I haven’t watched the video, so I’m not sure if it’s mentioned or not, but the material used for the scratch panels in commercial print (and likely this as well) is a latex. Put it down over a glossy surface and away you go!
    You might even be able to paint/laminate a digital print, put the latex down and draw/stamp on top to do this on the cheap.

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