ATCs, Inchies, Twinchies & More!!

ATCs, Inchies, Twinchies & More!!
Written by: Melodie Hand for Elemental Doodles™ (2009)

Miniature art has really gained in popularity over the years.  And with so many different types of mini art out there it can get confusing.  If you plan to join any swaps for particular types of miniature art it's important to get the sizes correct.  Most of the time anything goes except for the size (unless it is a specific themed swap).  Traders of these miniature works of art are also pretty particular about the sizes.  

I save all my scraps.  I never really knew why until I got into the miniature artwork.  This is a GREAT way to use up those scraps that you would normally toss.  So now nothing goes to waste.

I've put together a little guide to the various forms of miniature artwork to help clear things up a bit.  And below you will also see a few examples of some mini art that was submitted by one of our original DT members back in 2009.  Janine Blackwelder used one of our coffee sets and one of our fruit sets to create these inchies and moos that you see below.

ATC (Artist Trading Cards)

  • 2 1/2" X 3 1/2" (the size of a baseball trading card)
  • Usually TRADED, not sold - ATC purists are very particular about this fact as well as the size.
  • ACEOs can be sold (Art Cards, Editions and Originals).  These are the same as ATCs in size.
  • The back generally contains information such as: Artist Name, Contact, Title & # (ex. 1/10, 3/15, etc) or it can just state "One of a Kind" if not duplicated.
  • The idea of ATCs started in Switzerland around the mid 1990s (according to the research I've done, please correct me if you know of a more exact origin).

Mini ATCs

  • Size is 1 1/2" X 2 1/2".
  • I'm not quite sure of their origin.
  • These are exactly the same as regular ATCs other than the size.  Just a mini version of ATC.


  • 1" square pieces of artwork.
  • Can be displayed alone or combined and used as elements in larger works of art.


  • 1" ROUND pieces of artwork.
  • Great for pendants, charms, pins, etc.
  • These make excellent accent pieces on larger works of art.


  • 2" square pieces of artwork.
  • Just like the Inchies, these can be displayed alone or combined and used as accent pieces or focal points in larger pieces of art.


  • 3" square pieces of artwork.
  • I had never heard of these until I started my research on miniature art.  I suppose these could actually be 3" square OR round.
  • Displayed alone or combined and used as an accent or focal points in larger works of art.


  • Postage stamp-like artwork that is the size of a postage stamp.
  • These can be of any subject or theme.
  • NOT valid as actual postage LOL.
  • According to Wikipedia, the history of artistamps dates back as far as the late 1800s.
  • Punches and Diecuts are available in a postage stamp shape to make it easier to create these little pieces of artwork.
  • There are also many different postage stamp shaped stamp images available.


  • 1 1/8" X 2 3/4".
  • 1st printed at as photos on one side and text information on the other.  Visitors to the site could upload their photos or have something custom designed.  But the size was always 1 1/8" X 2 3/4" (28mmx70mm) and it caught on in the art world.

Skinnies, Itty Bitties, and more.....There are a few others that I've seen floating around.  However, I have been unable to find more information on them to share with you here.  As I dig up information on these other forms of miniature art I will update this article.

The images below feature Inchies and Moos by Janine Blackwelder.  And one coffee ATC by Melodie.  All stamps used are from Elemental Doodles™ and will be available in our re-launch in August.


This article was written by Melodie Hand for use on the Elemental Doodles™ website.  It is Copyright © 2009-2019 Melodie Hand and Elemental Doodles™.

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