How to make divider tabs for a long-box of Magic cards

When I decided that I wanted to learn how to play Magic: The Gathering back in February, one of my first major purchases was a Deckbuilder’s Toolkit for the 2013 Core set. As I began to read the cards and learn what they did, I also realized that if I wanted to keep my cards organized in the box that came with the kit, I would have to find some way of separating my creatures from my Instant and Sorcery spells, my Enchantments from my Artifacts and so on. And, as I got more proficient in building decks, I would need some way of being able to go straight to the category of card I wanted without flipping past cards I didn’t need to see right away.

My first solution was to use the extra card sleeves I wasn’t using as dividers, but because they weren’t labeled, I had no idea where my Enchantments ended and my Instants began. Then, after attending my first booster draft and seeing all the promo cards just sitting there among the discarded wrappers, it came to me: You could use promo cards themselves as a base for a tabbed divider.

It took a bit of experimentation, but here’s my tutorial on how to build your own divider tabs.

What You’ll Need:

  • At least two promo cards from a Magic booster pack
  • A pair of scissors
  • Address labels
  • A pen
  • Scotch tape

Instructions:

1. Start with two promo cards.

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2. Take one of those promo cards and cut it into six equal pieces. The most effective way is to cut it in half the long way, and then cut each of the halves into three equal pieces.

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3. Next, take a peel-off address label that is either already approximately 2-in. by 1-in. or 5 cm by 3.5 cm, or you can cut larger peel-off address labels down to size. Because I already had them lying around the house, I used Avery 5444 2-in. by 4-in. address labels and cut them into thirds, long-wise.

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4. Along the length of the label, write down the category for which you want the divider. Turn the label 180 degrees and write the same category on the other side.

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5. Tape one of the small pieces of cut-up promo card to the top of a whole promo card. You want to ensure that at least half of the small piece is sticking up above the card and that it’s centered. You also want to ensure that at least the top edge is an existing edge and not one that you cut yourself (unless you have a paper guillotine, that is). Finally, you want to ensure that the small piece is reasonably centered along the width of the card.

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6. Peel off the address label and center it over the small piece that’s sticking out. Affix it to the piece, and then fold it over so that the label entirely covers the small piece and around to the other side. Press the label together, and it should stick to both itself and the small piece. You are probably going to have to tape along the bottom edge of the reverse side.

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7. Arrange and sort your cards as needed, and feel proud that you have conquered one of the most wasteful things about opening booster packs.

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The finished results! Click to embiggen

Obviously, this is totally ad-hoc and there are probably ways I could manipulate the Avery label template in order to print out my categories as well a buying a paper guillotine so that I can have completely straight lines. But for the casual or first-time Magic player who has suddenly come into a collection of cards and a card box and has some promo cards lying around and wants to organize them, it’s not a bad solution at all.

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