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There’s More to The Hobby Than Cards

Collectors love their cards.

Sometimes they love their cards so much that the cards themselves aren’t enough.

Sometimes they need something else to show just how much those cards mean to them and

that’s where human creativity comes in.  I am always impressed with the ideas and creations we come up with.  You can only do so much with a 2.5 x 3.5 inch piece of cardboard, so why not invent a new way to share our passion?  Today, I want to highlight a few of my favorite ways collectors highlight their love of the hobby besides only buying the cards themselves.

They aren’t purely cards, but they are card related.

You could say they’re “hobby adjacent”.


My first exposure to the idea of a hobby collage came from the pages of Beckett magazine back in the 1990s.  I framed up a combination of cards, magazine covers and photographs to capture the “Magic vs. Michael” 1991 NBA finals.  I went on to celebrate Bobby Hurley, the Bulls Threepeat, and Tiger Woods over the next several years.  You can read more about those creations in this waxpackhero blog article.

There is something about the mixed-media nature of a framed collage that really appeals to me.  Photos, cards, relics, autos, and other pieces of memorabilia can all be included into the same display.  I still have them hanging up on the wall in my basement!  

Wax Pack Coasters

For decades, collectors ripped open their wax packs, flipped through the cards inside, and tossed the wrappers straight into the trash.  The cards were the focus and the packaging they came in was an afterthought.  It wasn’t until years later when cellophane and foil completely replaced the traditional wax wrapper, that a sense of nostalgia started bubbling up in the hobby.  Old display boxes and lots of wrappers which had been carefully unfolded started to find their way into eBay listings.  But again, you can only do so much with a wrapper.

At some point a couple years ago, I stumbled across a Tweet with a photo of a drink coaster made out of an old wax pack wrapper and I was impressed.  This photo is from Etsy store owner KraftmansShip.  Options for both sports and entertainment releases are possible, and I anticipate giving this a shot in the coming months.  I bought all the supplies necessary to make some of my own, and I’ll likely start with a few 1988 Topps wrappers since I have so many!

T-Shirts, Mugs and Socks

I may never own a T206 Honus Wagner, but I can own a t-shirt screen printed with a picture of the card as shown here by eBay seller captain_atomik.  In this era of drop shipping and print to order websites, the limits to products with photos of cards, slogans, and logos are pretty much endless.  If we can dream it up, it can probably be produced.  

It would seem that copyright and trademark issues might come in to play for some graphics, so before you jump into creating these, make sure you have the appropriate permissions.  

From “low-tech” collages made with paper, scissors, and glue to drop shipped phone cases made from an uploaded image, we have more ways than ever to show off our passion.  I love how the internet and technology have given us ways to celebrate our hobby which were impossible to past generations of collectors.  

If you are reading this you probably collect cards.  But I’m willing to bet that cards aren’t the only way you show your love of sports and of the hobby.

What are some “hobby adjacent” ways you show off your passion?


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