DIY: Printable Watercolor Tartan Gift Tags

This holiday season, in addition to our regular Julep contributors, we’re also sharing stories from our Minted artists and designers about how they celebrate this most wonderful time of the year.

Printable Watercolor Holiday Gift Tags

Name: Laura Condouris
Where you’re based: Baltimore, MD
How long you’ve been with Minted: Five years!
Favorite thing about the holidays: Everyone is extra generous and kind this time of year.
On my wish list this year: ”Adopting” an African elephant from the Baltimore Zoo.
This never fails to get me in the holiday spirit: Putting on the “John Denver and the Muppets: A Christmas Together” record! It’s the BEST.
Fave holiday tradition: Bursting into tears at the end of “It’s a Wonderful Life,” every single time.

Chances are you’re probably in major gift-wrapping mode right now and we’re here to help! Dress up your packages with these wonderfully wintry tartan gift tags, handpainted by Laura Condouris.

Click through to download our ready-to-print gift-tag designs

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Recipe: All-Natural Red Velvet Cake (Made With Beets!)

This holiday season, in addition to our regular Julep contributors, we’re also sharing stories from our Minted artists and designers about how they celebrate this most wonderful time of the year.

All-Natural Red Velvet Cake Recipe

Name: Elizabeth Hatchett of Betty Hatchett Design
Where you’re based: Cincinnati, Ohio
How long you’ve been with Minted: Three years
Favorite thing about the holidays: I love the challenge of finding/making the right gift for folks…one that helps them feel known and loved.
On my wish list this year: After sniffing a friend’s collection of essential oils this fall, I’d love to have some cedar and eucalyptus oils.
This never fails to get me in the holiday spirit: Bing Crosby and David Bowie’s “Peace on Earth/Little Drummer Boy” duet (along with Will Ferrell’s spoof, or course).
Favorite holiday tradition: In the days leading up to New Year’s, my husband Sam and I go through the year’s pictures and make a book. It’s such a fun way to remember moments in the past year together.

My mom has been making red velvet cake for as long as I can remember for the holidays. It’s our fancy dessert that sits atop her 1950s crystal cake platter, and we savor its light-as-a-cloud fluffy goodness after our main meal. To me, it wouldn’t be Christmas without red velvet cake. This year, though, I’ve been wondering if there’s a way to achieve the brilliant-red color without all of the artificial food coloring. Keep reading to find out if I was able to pull it off…  —Elizabeth

Click through to read more about Elizabeth’s red-velvet adventures

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DIY: Holiday Luminarias (with printable template!)

This holiday season, in addition to our regular Julep contributors, we’re also sharing stories from our Minted artists and designers about how they celebrate this most wonderful time of the year.

Name: Laura Hankins
Where you’re based: Edmond, Oklahoma
How long you’ve been with Minted: Since 2008
Favorite thing about the holidays: the family time, the foods, the decorations, the classic movies and music… I love it all!
On my wish list this year: A new phone. I routinely overload mine with photos—time to upgrade!
This never fails to get me in the holiday spirit: Mariah Carey’s “Merry Christmas” album
Favorite holiday tradition: One tradition we started while vacationing on our honeymoon is to pick out an ornament as our souvenir from each trip. It’s so fun to unpack them every year and remember all of the great places we’ve visited together.

One of my favorite memories growing up was the drive home from Christmas Eve mass—my dad would drive around a bit so we could look at the different light displays in our neighborhood. My favorite was a street of old homes that lined its’ long sidewalks with luminarias each year. There was nothing prettier than all of those little paper bags glowing up and down the street. Recreate the look at your own home with my easy DIY luminaria tutorial.  —Laura

Click through for the step-by-step instructions

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DIY: Colorful Confetti Ornaments

Had your fill of holiday crafts yet? If not, here’s a simple ornament project that will bring a little party to your tree. It is a birthday we’re celebrating after all.

how to make christmas ornaments

Click through for the step-by-step instructions

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DIY: Gold Holiday Laurel Leaf

‘Tis the season to dress up your front door or mantel with something merry and festive. But instead of a traditional fir wreath, make this elegant, gilded laurel using foraged leaves and spray paint—it’s an easy DIY project and is guaranteed to make your front door stand out.

DIY Gold Holiday Wreath with Fresh Leaves

Click through for the step-by-step instructions

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Easy Christmas-Brunch Cocktail: Blood Orange “Pomosas”

What’s the last thing I want to do on Christmas morning? Cook up a complicated brunch for our family drop-ins. My solution: easy bites that everyone can help themselves to, along with a make-ahead fizzy drink with bright flavors to perk up even the Grinchiest of holiday-morning moods. This simple riff on a mimosa recipe (a pomosa, to be exact) is made with vibrant-red pomegranate juice and a hint of green in the form of a thyme garnish. It’s the perfect apéritif for Christmas morning.

Blood orange and pomegranate sparkler for holiday brunch

Click through for the full cocktail recipe

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DIY: Printable Family-Trivia Game

This holiday season, in addition to our regular Julep contributors, we’re also sharing stories from our Minted artists and designers about how they celebrate this most wonderful time of the year.

Name: Kim Dietrich Elam
Where you’re based: Cincinnati, OH
How long you’ve been with Minted: Since 2011
Favorite thing about the holidays: Spending time with family

My dad’s side of our family is rather large—he’s one of ten children!—which means the stories shared at family gatherings are both too numerous to count and too entertaining not to recount. There’s an endless supply of trivia, and since there are so many family members, it’s pretty much guaranteed that no one knows all the answers. Some fun family facts I’ve recently learned: In 1971, my Uncle Jay defeated my dad and his seven brothers at ping pong. My grandmother, Anna Louise, always displayed her nativity set in the fireplace every Christmas. My Uncle Bobby caught the sailfish that hung in my grandparents’ basement.

One year, to preserve all of our family’s wonderful stories, I made little tins for everyone that contained cards printed with family-trivia questions, with the answers on the back. They were a big hit and made such a wonderful family keepsake, and I thought they might make a lovely little tradition in your family, too.  —Kim

Click through for the step-by-step instructions

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The Perfect Cocktail Party Playlist

If you’re hosting a holiday soirée this weekend but aren’t sure what tunes to cue up, look no further. I’ve compiled the perfect party playlist for those in need of fresh, mingle-ready melodies.

Selecting music is one of the most fun steps when you’re hosting a party—I usually try to pick a mix of songs that are upbeat and festive, but aren’t overly recognizable and distracting. This playlist includes mix of musical genres, and all songs are guaranteed to induce head-bobbing and mingling. Just remember to set the volume at a moderate level—conversation comes first, so keep it low enough to talk easily, yet robust enough to give your gathering a vibrant energy. Print the track list below in case any inquiring minds want to know; you could also give the playlist to guests as a take-home party favor. Enjoy!

Listen to Brandy’s Perfect Cocktail-Party Playlist right here (total listening time: 1hr 10min).

Photo: Cover image via The Simply Luxurious Life

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