DIY: Papier-Mâché Swan Favors

Written by Kathleen Ballos of  Snowdrop & Co

Lately I’ve been loving everything and anything swan-related. When I was at a cake-decorating store recently, I spotted swan-shaped plastic moulds and had to buy them. They’re originally intended for melted chocolate, but instead I used papier mâché to make these DIY swan favors. Fill the hollow interior with confetti and treats so that when guests remove the back, they’ll have a fun surprise!

DIY Paper Mache Swan Favors | Julep DIY Paper Mache Swan Favors | Julep

Click through for full instructions …

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Minted Real Wedding: Maria & AJ in Honduras

Maria and AJ, who met during graduate school, invited their 160 guests to Indura Resort, a beautiful oceanside resort in the bride’s native Honduras, for their destination wedding. The Washington, DC-based couple chose “Olive Branches” by Carolyn Nicks as their invitation and incorporated their Honduran and Arabic backgrounds to create a celebration that reflected their cultures, life together as a couple, and shared love of travel and good food.

Minted Real Wedding Indura Resort Honduras

Bride and groom: Maria & AJ
Occupations: Pediatrician (Maria); medical student with a PhD in Engineering (AJ)
Based in: Washington, DC
Wedding dateDecember 19, 2015
Venue: Indura Resort, Tela, Honduras
Number of guests:  About 160
Minted wedding invitation: ”Olive Branches” by Carolyn Nicks
Wedding planner: Gladys Reyna from Agendas y Eventos
Florist: Musa Flores y Eventos
Photographer: Lauren Fair Photography

Minted Real Wedding Indura Resort, Honduras

How did you and AJ meet?
We met when AJ was getting his PhD and I was in medical school. We don’t actually remember meeting. We had chatted a few times here and there but things really took off after our friend invited a group of us over to her house to cook Arabic food together. We started talking more and shortly after that he asked me out.

Tell us about the proposal!
I did not see it coming that day. I was actually post-call from a long 30-hour shift and had napped for a few hours. AJ and I were supposed to go to dinner with my mom, who was in town helping me move to a new apartment. My mom left my apartment presumably to get coffee and AJ came up carrying a bouquet of flowers. He said a lot of wonderful things and got down on one knee in my kitchen, which is fitting since our favorite activity to do together is cook. We then ran downstairs to tell my mom and she pretended she had no idea.

Shortly after, a black car arrived and he said we were still going to dinner but to a different place. He wouldn’t tell me where we were going. We got in the car and drove until we pulled up to a small corner restaurant that I recognized as the place where we had had our first date. I got out of the car and to my surprise my dad was standing in front of the restaurant. He had flown up from Honduras for the occasion. I had called him right after the proposal and he pretended to be home while in reality he was only a few blocks away. I took a few steps and, to my even bigger surprise, AJ’s mom and sister were also there, who had flown in from the Middle East. We all then celebrated and spent the weekend together.

Click through for more from Maria and AJ’s destination wedding

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DIY: Personalized Pencil Pouches

This year, make the back-to-school transition a bit more fun for your little ones by personalizing the items on their school-supply lists with iron-on letters or stickers. Adding some flair to their pencil pouches only took a few minutes and your kids will love it (Bonus: Personalizing their stuff will ensure their supplies won’t get mixed up with their classmates’).

diy pencil pouch
diy pencil pouches

Click through for the project resources and details

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DIY: Watercolor Flower-Bouquet Wraps

Written by Sara Albers and Melissa Fenlon of  Alice & Lois

Summer is the perfect time to cut some fresh flowers and deliver a bouquet of pretty blooms to a friend. We’ve created a simple way to add a splash of color and whimsy to a bouquet of blooms with these DIY watercolor wraps. All you need: a watercolor set and some basic shapes painted on paper. Who knew your doodles could look so pretty?

Make these simple hand painted watercolor flower bouquet wraps.
Make these sweet DIY watercolor flower bouquet wraps to add a special touch.

Click through for the simple step-by-step instructions

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Minted Artists Connect Over Art and Community in Seattle

Photos by Lela Wulson

On August 11, Minted artists from around the Seattle area and as far away as Vancouver, Canada (Kelly Schmidt) met with CEO Mariam Naficy to connect in person with the people they’ve come to know well in the global creative online community.

Organized by Jan Kessel, the Minted Artist Seattle Meetup was one of Minted’s largest to date, bringing together nearly 20 artists. The artists met in the early evening at General Porpoise Doughnuts, a Capitol Hill coffee and doughnuts shop that moonlights by evening as an event space. Over conversation ranging from Minted Design Challenges to creative passion, they enjoyed wine and hors d’oeuvres catered by Bar Melusine, part of the Renee Erickson collection of restaurants.

Pictured from left: Catherine Hubert, Melanie Biehle, Minted CEO Mariam Naficy, Kelly Schmidt, Bri Davey, Sara Johnson, Allison Kincaid, Kelly Johnston, and Rachel Nanfelt of Alethea and Ruth. Rachel gave birth to a baby boy a few days after the meetup!

Jan said that although some of the artists were a bit nervous upon arrival, that feeling quickly evaporated. “Everyone shared details about their lives, both inside and outside of art and Minted,” the Bellingham, Washington, photographer said. “It was really interesting to hear everyone’s stories, what else they did in life, work, motherhood, and how participating in Minted was a priority.”

From left: Maria Estigoy of Arden Reed, Candice Leigh, and Jan Kessel

Jan said Mariam shared interesting stats about how Minted’s community critiquing system helps everyone achieve better designs and scores. The recent Spaces and Places Art Challenge was the first in which Jan actively participated in critiquing, both in asking for others’ help, and in offering my help to those who ask. “I found it deeply rewarding to help and be helped, and I really think my work is better for it. I learned from others who may see something slightly differently that I do,” she said.

“As the artist, you stare at something so long that it’s easy to lose perspective. The critique helps with fresh eyes, and a fresh point of view.”

Brandy Brown of Marabou Design and Melanie Biehle

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DIY: Champagne Coupe Place Cards

Written by Kathleen Ballos of Snowdrop & Co

I recently discovered a cake-decorating store in my neighborhood and I can’t get enough of all the adorable cake toppers they have in stock! I saw these mini champagne coupes and immediately bought them all—they came in both clear and gold, but I love the look of the gold ones filled with pink cotton candy. At 20 cents each, they are a super affordable way to dress up your table for an upcoming bridal shower, bachelorette party, or birthday party. Cheers!

Champagne Coupe Place Cards | Julep Champagne Coupe Place Cards | Julep

Click through for full instructions … 

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Printable: Back-to-School Lunchbox Notes

Add an extra dash of love to your kiddo’s school lunch by tucking a handwritten note into their lunchbox. We asked two Minted designers (Baumbirdy and Alethea & Ruth) to design these (free!) printable lunchbox notes. Just print ‘em out, trim the edges, and write an encouraging note letting your little scholar know you’re thinking of them throughout the day!

Free Lunchbox Notes | Printables

Download #1: “Sweet + Studious” Lunchbox Note Printables by Baumbirdy

Download #2: “Brightly Inspired” Lunchbox Note Printables by Alethea & Ruth

Download #3: “Academic Adventures” Lunchbox Note Printables by Baumbirdy

Free Printable Lunchbox Notes from Minted

Photos: @LunchboxDad (top) and @lindseyleeandtheboys (bottom)


More Back-to-School Ideas:
DIY: Back-to-School Pencil Holders (made with duct tape!) 
DIY: Make Your Own Clipboard Frames
DIY: Summer Memories Textbook Covers

More from Minted:
Lunchbox Notes
Notebooks
Clothing & Name Labels

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Printable: Treat of the Month Club

This might be my most favorite gift idea, ever: a subscription to a “treat of the month” club! How it works: Each month, you make or buy a yummy treat your recipient will enjoy and deliver it to their doorstep. Who wouldn’t love that? Download the printable treat-of-the-month gift tags below and start scheming up what you’ll be putting in the first box.

treat of the month

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Minted CEO Mariam Naficy Hosts Artist Meetup in London

Photos by Jess Henderson of Jess-on-Thames

Pictured above from left: Gwen Bédat, Annie Montgomery, Zhi Ling Lee, Mariam Naficy, Bethan Lumb, Viktoria Rodek, Pooja Pittie, and Jan Shepherd.

What was it like to attend a London meetup with Minted Founder and CEO Mariam Naficy? In the words of Minted Artist Pooja Pittie, “It was like an evening out with your girlfriends — if they were all artists! We sipped rosè, alfresco, in an historic bar in London. Everyone was so warm and friendly — I didn’t feel like I was meeting them for the first time.”

Pooja traveled a long way from her hometown of Chicago to visit family in London and attend the first U.K. meetup for Minted artists on July 27 at The American Bar inside the Stafford Hotel. Mariam was on holiday in the U.K. with her family, and as always, was thrilled to talk with some of Minted’s global community of artists.

“It was an honor to meet the CEO of Minted — a lovely lady with a calm aura,” said Jan Shepherd, pictured above left. Pooja Pittie, seated at right, organized an artist meetup in her hometown of Chicago in April 2016.

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DIY: Simple Lace Crowns

Written by Sara Albers and Melissa Fenlon of Alice & Lois

This pretty lace crown is the perfect summer craft for all the ladies in your life. They’d be great for a summer garden party with your girlfriends or your daughter’s birthday celebration. All you need are a few supplies—lace trim and fabric stiffener—and you’re ready to make a pretty crown. We kept ours white but you could also use gold or silver paint to add some shimmer. Another idea: a craft station at your next gathering where guests can customize their own lace crowns with ribbon, flowers, and paint!

DIY Lace Crown | alice & lois for minted
DIY Lace Crown | alice & lois for minted

Click through for the simple step-by-step instructions

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