The best route is still to buy blank card stock and print your own. You can create your own designs in a variety of programs: Photoshop, Paintshop Pro, Adobe Illustrator and other freeware alternatives to these programs all come to mind.
There are websites online where you can find free stock photography to use such as Morguefile or Stock.xchg or you could purchase a royalty free CD of vector graphics or clip art.
Another idea is to physically create a deck. Draw, paint, or decoupage your designs in whatever medium you prefer. When your original art is completed have a high quality scan done of your work that can later be printed onto blank card stock.
U.S. Games also sells blank tarot decks giving you the option to draw directly on the cards themselves or put words or anything you can think of. I haven't taken this step just yet, although a custom Tarot deck is one of the goals on my bucket list.
You can be as creative as you want! Make a deck that is similar in theme to the original deck (78 cards, major and minor arcana, 4 suits) or come up with a theme that has special meaning to you. If you are an animal lover you may want to develop a totem type deck or if you are a nature lover, perhaps something connected to the elements? There's so many unique ways to create Tarot decks – I've even seen recipe cards based on Tarot lessons!
The idea is to express yourself, pour your heart and soul into your own creation and that deck will be infused with the unique energy that is you. You can use your deck to do readings, for meditation, spells, or whatever strikes your fancy.
Need a unique gift that your loved ones would always treasure? Create a deck, make copies and give it to your friends and loved ones. What could be more memorable or unique?
Things to consider in the creation of your deck
- What theme are you building on?
- What colors speak to you the most and what feelings are brought out by them? (Making a list of these can help you establish color themes for your deck that more deeply convey the feelings behind them)
- What texture or feel do you want your cards to have?
- Do you want to break from the traditional size or shape?
- What methods will you use to create your originals?