DIY: Colorful Wood-Block Ornaments

Written by Sara Albers and Melissa Fenlon of  Alice & Lois

Every holiday season we love to make ornaments. Last year we shared a few faves: a personalized initial ornament and our fabric-covered tree ornament. Today we’re excited to share the latest addition to our DIY ornament obsession, these modern and colorful tree adornments made from one-inch wood blocks. We chose bright, unexpected colors to add some fun and flair to the tree—choose your favorite color combinations to match your holiday decor.

Click through for the step-by-step instructions…

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DIY: Gem Christmas Ornaments

Written by Kathleen Ballos of  Snowdrop & Co

Even though we haven’t set up our Christmas tree yet, that hasn’t stopped me from crafting some ornaments ahead of time! These gem ornaments are super simple to make— plus, they have a secret compartment for candies and holiday treats! Check local packaging stores (or jewelry-packaging sites online) to track down plastic boxes and keep reading to see how to turn them into colorful ornaments for the holidays!

DIY Gem Christmas Ornaments | Julep DIY Gem Christmas Ornaments | Julep

Click through for step-by-step instructions … 

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Behind the Design: “Joyful” Wedding Invitation

Chicago-based Minted designer Carolann Belk Parran of Pink House Press shares her vision and the creative process behind her hand-lettered wedding invitation “Joyful.”

hand-lettered wedding invitation

What was the inspiration behind this design?
I was in the middle of planning my own wedding, so I thought about what words I would want my guests to associate with my wedding from the moment they opened their invitation. I knew I wanted to do something fun with typography, so I decided to give the word “joy” the most prominent and central role so that the happiness of the couple could really come through. 

Describe your creative process – from initial idea to end result.
Knowing that I wanted to do something typographic for this design, I first decided on the wording and which words to make most prominent. I sketched out the design making the words “joy” and “marriage” largest, and filled in the empty spaces with the floral filigree. To finalize the design, I scanned in the words and floral pieces that I wanted hand-lettered, and positioned complementary fonts for everything else.

What are some challenges you faced as you were designing?
I wanted my hand lettering to look clean and smooth because I was mixing it with fonts, and that’s always difficult when moving from pen and paper to digital. I used the help of my Wacom tablet to digitize this design, but just purchased an iPad Pro and am excited to play with that to make the digitization process easier in the future!

Describe the type of bride or wedding you imagined this design would complement?
I envisioned this invitation for a sweet Southern belle whose spirit exudes the title of this design, “Joyful.” And with such a long season for outdoor weddings in the South, the floral-inspired filigree would perfectly suit an outdoor celebration (like my own!).

What wedding trends do you love right now?
I love that more and more couples are breaking from tradition or are putting a new spin on an old tradition to make their day more personal. And now that guests tend to be more spread out and have to travel farther for weddings than in the past, I love adding in a little local flavor in the form of wedding favors, décor, welcome bags, or food and drinks!

hand-lettered wedding invitation

Tell us about your workspace.
I was excited to get my very own home office when I moved to the Chicago area last year! I now have lots of storage space for my printers and presses, and a large desk where I can spread out my pens, brushes, and tablets. But realistically I usually meander over to the couch to work by the TV.

How did you come to design for Minted?
I had heard about Minted through the grapevine and knew they held design challenges, so when I had a little spare time from my then-day job I decided to submit a little watercolor illustration I did on a Sunday afternoon. I always think the best worst thing to happen in my Minted experience was that this very first entry got picked, because it made me think that winning challenges would be easy (spoiler alert: it wasn’t!).

More from Pink House Press:
• “Joyful” wedding invitation
• “Evergreen Wishes” holiday card
• Carolann’s Instagram

More from Minted:
• Wedding Invitations
• Save the Date Cards
• Wedding Websites

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DIY: Bright Clay Trees Christmas Card Display

Written by Kathleen Ballos of  Snowdrop & Co

Looking for a cool, colorful way to show off this year’s batch of Christmas cards and holiday cards? These bright and modern clay trees are the perfect way to save your mantel from a paper blizzard.

Christmas Card Display Ideas: Bright Clay Trees
Holiday card display ideas

Click through for the step-by-step instructions


4 Pinterest Tips to Help Your Content Drive Traffic + Sales

Pinterest is a platform of discovery. In 2016, the Pinterest community has grown to more than 150 million monthly users around the world who use the social media network to find over 75 billion ideas for them to save, to try, and to purchase. It’s the only social network that people go to save ads. To help you generate traffic and sales, we’ve put together four Pinterest content strategy tips to help you cut through the clutter and advertise your products.

1. Know Your Keywords & Popular Search Terms

To generate traffic and revenue, you must generate awareness of your product pins through proper keywords and pin descriptions. Think like an SEO strategist. What is SEO? Search Engine Marketing is a marketing discipline focused on growing visibility in organic (non-paid) search engine results. Check out the Moz beginners guide to SEO here.

Once familiar with SEO, align your Pinterest profile, boards, and pin descriptions with the popular search terms under the umbrella of your products or services. Not sure how to find keywords related to your product? Try the Pinterest search bar as a starting point. Type in a keyword and see popular associated searches.

Not only will you be found on Pinterest, you’ll also be found via the major search engines, like Google.

Additionally, artists who have their own professional website with ecommerce capabilities should consider adding Product Pins. Product Pins update keyword text directly from your website, which makes it easier for Pinners to find information about things you sell by including color, style, pricing, and availability. Alongside increasing searchability, Product Pins also enjoy more prominence on Pinterest feeds by offering eye-catching branding icons and bolded text.

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DIY: Cork Tile Christmas Card Display

Written by Melanie Blodgett of  You Are My Fave

The annual flurry of Christmas cards and holiday cards is getting underway, and if you’re looking for a clean and modern way to display the season’s greetings, check out this easy DIY project using painted cork tiles.

DIY Christmas Card Display: Painted Cork Tiles

Click through for the step-by-step instructions

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2016 Holiday Gifting Challenge: Special Prize Winners

We’re excited to announce the Special Prize winners of the The 2016 Wrap It Up Holiday Quickfire Gifting Challenge! Throughout the year, Minted customers look for unique gifts for their loved ones for a variety of gifting occasions. Calendars, notebooks, day planners, and address books are the perfect presents for recipients of all ages or even as a treat for oneself. We can’t wait to see these gifts in the hands of our customers!

Out of the Box Award

For the freshest, most original design you wouldn’t find anywhere other than Minted.
Rainbow Geode by Alexzandra Fajardo

Perfect Picture Award

For the best design that incorporates 1+ photographs.
Botanica by Laura Hankins

Gentleman Award

For the most unique design that would appeal to a man in your life.
Starboard by Susan Brown

VIP Award

For the most creative design tailored to an important gift recipient (i.e., father, mother, grandmother, grandfather, best friend, teacher, daughter, son, etc.).
Old School by Sara Berrenson

Location Award

For the design that is evocative of a general location (i.e., beach, mountains, etc.) or specific place (think iconic landmarks or states).
Charleston Doors by Jenny Batt

Hobby Award

 For the most unique design customized for the hobbyist in your life (i.e., the chef, gardener, music lover, traveler, sports fiend, etc.).
Travel Essentials by Rio Grange

Minimalist Award

 For the most striking clean, modern, minimalist design.
Elegance by Kaydi Bishop

Inspiring Typography & Quote Award

For the design that incorporates the most interesting typography and/or inspiring quote.
mountains by Sweetgrass Paper Company

Forever Young Award

For the best design suited for younger kids (ages 5-10).
nutty nutcrackers by Tonia Dee

Let’s Hear it For the Boy Award

For the best design for a school-aged boy (ages 5-18).
BEAST! by jomolo

Corporate Award

For the most unique design that would work well as a corporate gift.
Painterly Plaid by Sarah Brown

Curvilinear Award

For the best design that puts a name on a curvilinear path.
Outside the Lines by JeAnna Casper

Newbie Award

For the best design from a first-time entrant.
Modern Holiday Trees by Angela Rekucki


Congratulations, winners!

Published November 28, 2016

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2016 Holiday Letterpress Challenge: Special Prizes

We’re excited to announce the Special Prize winners of the Hot off the Press Letterpress Holiday Photo Card Challenge! In this Challenge, we looked to our talented Minted artist community to come up with highly original designs that spread holiday cheer and love and allow our customers to express their own unique personal style.

Make an Impression Award

 For the best design featuring chunky text or design elements that show off letterpress best – bold text or thick lines or design elements.
classroom plaid by Annie Montgomery

Faux Full Bleed Award

This award is for the design that best gives the impression of a full bleed photo (even though it’s not).
Bright Starburst by Ling Wang

Visionary Award

For the most unconventional, unique design in the challenge that you couldn’t find on any other site. This design exemplifies the kind of design risk-taking Minted is looking for.
Abstract Outlines by Katie Zimpel

Not Your Grandmother’s Letterpress Award

Design that incorporates edgy design elements, bold colors, or other designs that are not typically seen in letterpress.
Birch Band by Baumbirdy

Holiday Elegance Award

Design that says “holidays” in a fresh yet classic way.
Sprig of Pine by Erin Deegan

Oh Come All Ye Faithful Award

Most striking religious holiday card design.
Hallelujah! by Olivia Goree

Cheers Award

Most original New Year’s card design.
cheerful snowflakes by Everett Paper Goods

Multi Photo Award

Most unique design that showcases multiple photos in an original way.
LEDA by Melanie Kosuge

Holiday Birth Announcement Award

Best letterpressed birth announcement design that someone would also send as a holiday card.
Grecian Crown by Annie Montgomery

Newly Married Award

Best holiday design that celebrates a newlywed couple.
Floral Frame by Erin Deegan

Published November 25, 2016

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