About Those Cards You Don’t Love…

So one of the questions I get a lot is what I do with card rejects… cards I don’t love or even like. Honestly? I create a lot of stuff I don’t like. A lot. But I use everything. I figure someone will like it!

This next one is an example. I did some stamping and didn’t like the results – the colors weren’t right, the stamping wasn’t even close to good and nothing was lined up. But I still used it to make this quick card. Do I love it? Not at all. Do I like it? Not really. But will I share it and use it? Yep.

(You can see the redo of this card HERE.)

Here is another I did that I wasn’t happy with. The stamping isn’t lined up well and I just didn’t like the results. But hey! It works…

So there you have it. Those cards I don’t love? I still use them. 🙂 What about you?

See you soon!


Below are the supplies used for this card. To find them at Simon Says Stamp, click on the SSS below the thumbnails. For Ellen Hutson, click on EH and for My Favorite Things, click MFT…

MFT Trendy Triangles Stamp Set (MFT|SSS)


MFT Blissful Butterflies Stamp Set (MFT|SSS)


MFT Max Alphabet Stamp Set (MFT|SSS)



Hero Arts Fresh Peach Shadow Ink (SSS|EH)


Hero Arts Butter Bar Mid Tone Shadow Ink (SSS|EH)


Hero Arts Green Hills Mid Tone Shadow Ink (SSS|EH)



Hero Arts Tide Pool Mid Tone Shadow Ink (SSS|EH)


Hero Arts Cornflower Mid Tone Shadow Ink (SSS|EH)



Favorite Fiskars Trimmer (SSS|EH)






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66 thoughts on “About Those Cards You Don’t Love…”

  1. Those cards I don’t like? I don’t photograph them and blog about them, but I hang onto them.

    If I can’t find them a home, then I give them away to family and friends if it catches their eye or need something in a hurry and don’t care what it is.

    And as a last resort, I heat up the adhesive and pull off the elements I want to use and throw the rest in the scraps pile to use as test cards for coloring and stamping!

    Everything can be reused!

  2. Wow. I even love your “rejects”.

    I tend to just store mine, but I think I will give them to my nieces so that they can write to me.

  3. Enjoyed your post! I make cards I am not happy with, and either I send them, or I cut them up and reuse portions etc. Good to know even the pros do this!

  4. Yep I use all mine. I need LOTS of birthday cards and I find that the ones I don’t like others love so I get over it and use them. Of course, like the others, I think you’re rejects are actually pretty cool. We are all too critical of ourselves, others are far kinder and don’t know what we had in our mind when we were creating.

  5. How funny that you posted this. I made a hideous card just this morning. I had to use it because I didn’t have time to make another one. I’m sure my next one will be great.

  6. Ah, the rejects. I try to use them in some way by pulling bits off or cutting them down or something like that. If it’s really bad it goes in the bin. It’s just the way of it sometimes!

  7. Wow…. I don’t see it! I think ALL of your cards are fabulous. In my eyes you can’t do any wrong! I too will take your reject cards and treasure them for all time! I especially love the dotted triangles so much I am going now to order that set.

  8. mine are trashed. so honey any time u want 2 send me ur rejects. I’ll gladly take them.
    I like both your cards. TFS

  9. I have lots of cards I don’t like, but still use. I took mine to work after being hassled for a long time, all the cards I wasn’t keen on we’re the first to be bought. One mans trash is another’s treasure. Isn’t that how the saying goes

  10. Hi Jennifer,

    I make lots of cards I don’t like. I simply reuse parts of them to make new cards. Thanks for this post 🙂 It makes me feel a little better 🙂

    I have a couple of doubts, I hope I can post them here. Is the base of the second card made of HA pool layering paper? is 80# paper thick enough to be the base of a card. (Pardon me, but here in India cardstock thickness is measured in gsm.)

    I am about to place an order at SSS, and I just want to be sure.

    I’ve also created a card inspired by you. I would be so happy if you could drop by my blog and see it.


  11. But they are beautiful !!
    When I don’t like a card, that means it’s really ugly, the kind of card you really can’t send to anyone !

  12. I guess even the great and the good among us make cards they’re not so happy with… its not just me, hehe!!
    My ‘rejects’ go straight to the ‘donate me’ pile and will just not make it into my stash boxes for sending. Every so often if my ‘send me’ box is too full, I’ll clear out a pile to donate to a local charity so they can still do good. If a card isn’t up to the mark in the first place, then it goes straight for donating.
    Yours are good though! You set the bar high! Rx

  13. Um sorry…I’m confused? Bahahaha. What’s wrong with these? I’m seriously not seeing it. These are 93284028340832048230482083 times better than the BEST card I could ever make!

  14. Isn’t it funny how we are the harshest critics of our own work? The lining up of the second card would really have bugged me if I had made it myself, but on your card I didn’t notice it until you pointed it out lol. All I saw was the overall design and colours. As for your first card I agree your redo is great, but your reject is still a lot better than many of your followers’ cards, including mine! My cards usually take a long time to make, and I need to order all of my supplies from overseas, so I really hate throwing away anything. But I guess most of the recipients of my cards are less critical than I am and appreciate receiving a hand-made card.

  15. What a breath of fresh air this post is Jennifer! I have also found that a card I’ve made that I’m OK with, but maybe not wowed by, is someone else’s favourite LOL. It’s great that we all have different views – it’d be boring if we all liked the same! Thank you for bringing a dose of reality 🙂

  16. I have more than my share of cards that I’ve created that didn’t come out the way I had hoped, but I still use them. Someone always appreciates them. Sometimes I have friends go through my ever growing stash of cards and take several home with them. I am always amazed at the cards a person chooses.

  17. I mostly use the cards that I’m not particularly fond of. I think folks like a homemade card and like them because they are an expression of love. If I make a boo-boo, I salvage the card for parts – LOL. I know I would love any card of yours no matter what you thought of it 🙂

  18. I really like the turquoise card with the little dots.
    I try to rework cards I’m really not happy with.
    Others that aren’t my favorite get used since
    I figure someone else will like.

  19. I try to reuse a pierce from a card “fail” but most time I just throw it out so that I can clear my mind to be free to create something else 🙂 I think it’s all part of the process to arrive at a card creation you truly love!

  20. I either cut them up to make different projects, flip them over and start again, or sometimes I just have to let go & dump it in the trash.

  21. What do I do with cards I don’t like really depends on the card. If it’s pretty awful, I take it apart and use what I can. If I don’t like the final colors, or the layout isn’t appealing to me, then I’ll donate it. If it’s sort of okay, I’ll keep it awhile for emergency card occasions. And you know, when it just can’t be selvaged, it is just paper after all. Into the waste paper basket it goes, and that’s one mistake I don’t have to make again. Sometime we just have to let go of our mistakes.

  22. I tend to take them apart and reuse any portion that I can, after I decide why I don’t like the card!!!!

  23. I agree completely – somebody will like them! I store all of my cards away for future use – even the ones I’m not too pleased with. Occasionally, I gather together a bunch of cards that I know I won’t use myself and donate them to our local cancer support centre so that they can sell them to raise funds for the centre. I really think that card makers sometimes forget how special our handcrafted cards really are – even the duds. Too close to the forest to see the trees I guess.

  24. Holy moly. I love your rejects!!! 🙂 My rejects get flipped over and I use the backside. If I can’t do that, then they get tossed in the recycle bin.

  25. I am SO GLAD you posted this…that is one thing I struggle with the most….if I see the imperfections and I don’t like I usually trash…..thanks for the inspiration!!!!

  26. Your rejects look like my finished projects lol! They look great! When you compared the first one to your final version I could see why you preferred the latter. Thank you!

  27. I agree with some other posters — we really are critical of our own work. I usually use my cards, even if I am not totally happy with them. I was asked to make an 80th birthday card and decided to make two and let them decide which one they wanted. Well they picked the one that I wasn’t that happy with …. go figure – the one that I spent quite a bit of time on was not chosen. Everyone has a different style they prefer.

  28. Girlfriend, you do not know the meaning of the phrase “stamping not lined up well” until you see some of MY rejects! lol… I would love to be able to see what you think is not lined up well in your card, but I just cannot. What does that say abt my own BEST ones???!!! EEEK!!! Better not answer that…..

    This is a great post. I appreciate the tips you and others have given for what to do with some of these. I never thought of donating them to charities or putting them into a box for my friends to paw through. I usu either keep adding more stuff to hide the problem areas or cut them up for parts.
    <3 J

  29. I was going to say, also, that handmade cards do not HAVE to be perfect. Sometimes there is charm in a degree of imperfection. I know you all have an idea of what I am saying. A stamped image that isn’t all the way inked can look vintage. We distress edges to make them look imperfect. We smear ink here and there intentionally for a certain effect or cut things not-quite-square for a quaint look.

    Still there is a difference between that and all-out “oops-es” with a smear of ink in a really bad place or something. Sometimes I just laugh and hand-write “oops!” or “crooked!” with an arrow and a smiley face at the goof, esp if the card is going to a close friend. I think my they get a laugh out of it. 🙂

    So, I guess my point is that we, ladies, are hard enough on ourselves as it is, without having to feel like our cards need to reach perfection in order to be acceptable….and by extension for us to feel like WE are acceptable. They don’t. As others have mentioned, we are often our own worst critics. Let’s give ourselves a break and embrace a few of the “mistakes”. As was said before, sometimes the cards that make us cringe are the faves for someone else. 🙂

    Hugs to us all!!

  30. I really enjoyed seeing the original vs.remake (which was outstanding, but then again I thought the original was great too.) I would love to see you do more posts like this.

  31. Wow I love your triangle one with the sequins. I do agree others like our rejects. I pass mine to my Mom or sister who love them all. Funny post thanks for sharing!

  32. Hi Jen…Thanks for sharing these cards with us. Of course I think everything you create is FAB!!! I try to make a card work the best I can. If all else fails, I’ll use parts of it for another card, but I rarely trash one. I have to be frugal (not by choice), so I do the best I can. Funny thing is, my family and friends think everything I create is wonderful, but what do they know, right?

    I’ve really appreciated your posts, even though it’s been busy for you with OCC and CHA. I can’t wait to see what you and Kristina have in store for us for the next OCC…they’re always so much fun! Have a great week…hugs!

  33. My rejects go into a big scrap box. I either reuse elements of the rejects, or my friends dig through the box and take rejects that haven’t been torn apart. Since none of them are craft people, they don’t seem to see the horrible alignments or bad balance. Eye of the beholder applies in crafting.

  34. I always do my best to save cards even if I don’t love them. I rarely trash a card. Even if part of it goes badly, I try to save part of the card. Many of them are still sitting in boxes waiting for me to find the right person to give them to. Eventually, I donate most of the ones I really don’t like to charity.

  35. Funny I like both of these cards esp. The last. Usually with my cards that I don,t like I have found others really like them or if I don,t UE them I take things off to use again.

  36. I love both of those cards! You can send them my way! 🙂
    Mine? I hate some of them and can’t give them to anyone. Sometimes I pull them apart and save the bling but mostly I put them in the give away bag. They may end up as trash but I give someone a chance to like them.

  37. When I make cards I don’t like, I send them to a specific friend (and vice versa), she will then add something to the card (to make it uglier) and send it back to me, we continue until there really isn’t any more we can add. It keeps us amused as we never know when we’ll get it back and what could possibly be added. I should say that none of your cards are ugly 🙂

  38. I love your rejects too, but I totally can relate. I have made some for magazine calls that started with a great idea, but just didn’t translate into an amazing card. Sometimes I let it sit for a couple days and I am able to think of some way to transform it and other times it just never feels right. I rarely throw a card away, but I have a couple times over the years when I feel it is completely beyond repair.

  39. I keep cards I like less for mandatory card-giving occasions for people I care about less, like a not-favorite co-worker’s retirement. I call them “cards for people I hate.” (No one knows this, of course.) I’ve only had a few cards that were so bad I felt i had to either trash or disassemble them.

  40. I do understand why there are cards that you dont like, but yours are hardly ‘bad’ compared to some duds that I have made..LOL When I make a stamping mistake, I turn the paper over and restamp and still use it or I dig deep into my paper scrapbox (yes, I have a terrible habit of saving all my scraps, but I do use them!) and try to find a paper scrap that will go with the card and stamp or die-cut it and cover up my mistakes. I use those cards, but wouldnt blog it or call it my best work. And sometimes I just have to use my trimmer and save the scraps and throw the really bad stuff away! LOL Oh…I absolutely LOVE the re-do of the trendy triangle card that you made. Thanks for sharing, Its nice to know Im not the only one that makes mistakes. 😀

  41. I really like the hello card. The stamping looks straight to me. Thanks for sharing your “rejects.”

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