Three Small Changes that Make a Big Difference on a Card

A made quite a few cards last weekend – and had loads of fun doing it. Sometimes, though, the card you want to make isn’t completed in the first try. I often sit with a card until I’m 100% happy with it, but I didn’t wait around over the weekend. I glued my cards down, sat with them for a while and then decided they needed to change.

Today, I’m going to share three small changes that (I believe) make a big difference on the card. Since the original projects made it to the “photography phase” of the cards’ life cycles, I can show you the changes they underwent. Here’s the good news – I didn’t have to re-make the cards from scratch. I was able to remove select elements and make my updates. Yay!

Change One Color

For this week’s InKing Royalty Blog Hop, we were inspired by one word – GREEN. I knew I wanted to work with the fun Call Me Clover pattern from the Painted Seasons Designer Series Paper. I went all-in with Call Me Clover, including the base, the top panel and the leaves on the sweet tree.

As I was out-and-about on Saturday (after I had photographed the card and started my write-up for the post), I decided my card needed another green. The best way to accomplish that change was to change the top panel from Call Me Clover to the bright Lemon Lime Twist.

One Small Change Can Make a Big Difference, Stampin' Up!, Brian KingThat small change brightened this card up quite a bit. I kept the card base and next two layers in tact. I ran my scissors sideways between the Thick Whisper White (glued to the Call Me Clover) and snipped the Stampin’ Dimensionals to remove the panel. I did the same with the Thick Whisper White oval. With the right pressure, you can run your finger over the Stampin’ Dimensional to “roll” it off the necessary pieces. I cropped a new Lemon Lime Twist and Thick Whisper White panel and re-assembled the card.

Here’s the finished card (if you’d like to read the original post or join the GREEN blog hop, click on the photo):

Daisy Delight, A Good Day, Stampin' Up!, Brian King

Change the Card Size

The same thing happened to my project for this week’s Global Design Project – I glued it all down and then removed/edited some pieces after I had photographed the project. The panels of color on my finished card seemed to overwhelm the sweet fruit that are supposed to be the focus of my card. To change things up a bit, I simply changed the shape of the card base and background panel to give the card a brand new look:

One Small Change Can Make a Big Difference, Stampin' Up!, Brian KingI snipped away (using the same technique I described above) the citrus shapes on the front of my card. I also snipped away at the three-panel base of the card. I  cleaned those up a bit by rolling off the Dimensionals with my finger and then cropped the colorful panel. Because the Whisper White square was glued to the panel, I had to whittle away at both sides to arrive at a 3-3/4″ square. Sometimes math is fun.

It was a lot easier to crop my Crumb Cake base to a 4-1/4″ square – I just had to cut the piece vertically at 4-1/4″. Yay! I re-assembled the card and was immediately happier with it.

Good news: while postage is higher on square envelopes, this card fits in a Medium Envelope, so…woo hoo!

Here’s the finished card (if you’d like to read the original post, click on the photo):

Lemon Zest, Beautiful You, Stampin' Up!, Brian King, pick-me-up card

Make a Small Tweak

I may have lied a little bit in the last section because I made another small change on this card. When I was re-assembling my card, I decided to slightly tweak the placement of the citrus on the front panel. Did you see the difference in the samples above?

While the sentiment is stamped straight in the shape of the lemon, it bothered me a little bit that the lemon was slanted on the finished project. When I re-assembled, I move the lemon a snidge (that’s a word, right?) to ensure the sentiment was perpendicular to the card base.

One Small Change Can Make a Big Difference, Stampin' Up!, Brian KingIt’s a small difference, but the change made me happy.

I keep learning about card design and am excited to share what I learn with you. I hope this discussion is helpful to you as you continue to learn and design, too. If something feels “not right,” it’s not always necessary to scrap it all and start over. One small change can make a big difference.

Thanks for stopping by today!


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  1. Thanks, Brian. Super helpful post! Might have to share this with my group–you may end up with more followers! Also, adorable cards.

  2. What an inciteful post. I love when you explain your process and educate your followers. I never tire of observing your design aesthetic at work and the results are always stellar. Thanks for the generous sharing of knowledge and talent.

  3. Suzie Patt Cullen

    I usually read your posts in my phone early in the morning. Today, however, I think I’ll have to read it on my laptop to be able to get the most out of your detailed explanation of the changes you make after sitting with your designs for a while! Get post, Brian!

  4. Thanks for the tips Brian, have a great weekend!

  5. I really like the Lemon Lime Twist addition on that first (adorable) card .
    Loving these card building posts . Card design tips and explanations always interest me . You also brought to my attention the other day that colors look different beside various other colors , I always thought that was my ASTIGMATISM (giggle) ! Great Friday fun !!

    • Thanks so much, Sonny! I’m glad you like the tips in this post – and I couldn’t agree with you more about how wonderful Lemon Lime Twist is. ♥ Hope your weekend is wonderful!

  6. Might be one small step…..but both cards took on a finished WOW FACTOR upgrade. LOVE what you did Brian.

    • Thanks, Kadie! I don’t often get to this point (where I’ve glued it all down). Funny that it happened twice this week. Glad you like it!

  7. a day in the mind of Brian… I’m LOVIN’ it. this was so helpful. if I’m not happy with something, I make one attempt to save it. if still not happy then it’s a re-do. love your tips, love your cards, love your insight. you rock!

    • Thanks so much, Dara! I could “go crazy” with these re-do’s because I knew I’d already gotten a picture I could work with (in case a cut went wrong or I wasn’t happy with the result). Glad you like my tips! ♥

  8. Thank you for sharing your design tips. Your cards are my best inspiration for clean design that pops and striking color combinations. Which, in practice is not easy to do! I love the lemon card!

    • Thanks so much, Susan! I’m happy to share and thrilled that you like what I’ve shared. 🙂 Thank you for always leaving such kind comments!

  9. Is it OK to like both the before and afters? Great post with lots of helpful tips! I giggle thinking of you rolling off the remaining Stampin’ Dimensionals – I do that all the time!

    • It’s A-OK to like both, Mary! 🙂 They both passed my “do I like it” test – it’s just that my mind kept designing after I was done. ♥ Can’t think of how many times I’ve had to roll those Dimensionals…

  10. Brian your though pattern is interesting, and always appreciated. I like both versions of each card, however; I see the differences. The focal point does show up more, thanks for sharing with visual Cards.

  11. I like it all. But that was good info and neat to see the differences. Thanks

  12. Thanks for sharing you method of fixing cards. You are my daily inspiration for clean and simple cards. I have to admit I love to count the number of layers you use.

    • 🙂 Thanks, Joyce! I’m sometimes surprised by how many layers I end up with. I just love cutting into paper and adding more. 🙂 So glad you like them! ♥

  13. Phyllis Strickland

    I noticed something was different with the citrus but took a while to figure out exactly what it was! Great tips.

  14. I always learn so much from your cards and your explanations, I was amazed by how much better your first card looked when you added the lemon lime twist!

  15. The post is so helpful. I sometimes don’t know where to begin when I think a card or project, “Just doesn’t look right”. I will save this post for reference! Thanks, Brian.

    • Thanks, Dianne! I might not get it right the first time, and I might not be able to tell you what need to be fixed, but I can always identify that “something is off.” 🙂

  16. My fave is the Call Me Clover card, but I love the movement the DSP creates for both the color versions.

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