No-Carve Pumpkin Ideas for Halloween

Happy Halloween! If you waited until the last minute to purchase your Halloween candy and pumpkins (hand raised right here!), then skip the time-intensive carving and opt for one of these just-as-creative no-carve ideas instead.

No-Carve Halloween Pumpkin Ideas

1. Gold Confetti Pumpkins via Homey Oh My!

2. Sprinkle Donut Pumpkins via Studio DIY

3. Brushstroke Pumpkins via The Merrythought

4. Mummified Pumpkin via Better Homes and Gardens

5. Spider Web Pumpkins via Woman’s Day

6. Fall Foliage Pumpkins via Country Living


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Chic Halloween Decor in One Easy Step

Written by Lauren Saylor of A Fabulous Fete

The older I get, the less I want to decorate my house in traditional Halloween colors. If we are going to have decorations up for weeks at a time, I want it to look great—after all, I’m going to look at it every day! So this month has been all about brainstorming chic ideas with a spooky twist, which lead me to my new secret weapon for Halloween decorating, beakers. They give off a creepy laboratory vibe when paired with moody colors and maybe a spider web or two. Here are a few ways you can update the bar for your Halloween bash if you grab just a few.

Halloween BarBeaker Cocktail Glasses

• I ordered a few sets of beakers on Amazon: the cylinder shape and the flask shape.

Creative Halloween Ideas

Bar Styling Ideas Add treats and snacks in the wide-mouth beakers.

Halloween Cocktails Mix drinks and add stirrers and straws to turn them into the perfect Halloween cocktail glass.

Halloween Cocktail Ideas The larger pieces in the sets make perfect pitchers or vases for flowers!

Beakers Beaker Flower Arrangements

These beakers got my bar Halloween-ready with minimal effort. I did the same things I always do for guests, just in interesting containers! Great for any last minute decorating or putting that finishing touch on your decor.


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Last-Minute Halloween Costume: Julia Child

Have an aspiring culinary artist in your midst? Dressing up like Julia Child is actually super simple and you probably already have the items on hand. Throw in a Bob Fosse and Christopher Kimball and you have a complete PBS Saturday morning line-up.

easy halloween costume ideas

All you need is:
• A shirt dress or button-up shirt with pencil skirt
• Beaded necklace
• Apron
• Curly wig
• Props such as a whisk or baguette

julia child costume

Admittedly, this costume would work better on an older child or adult who wouldn’t yank the wig off instantaneously. I’m pretty sure Julia’s hair never looked that wild.

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The Essential Checklist for Minted Artist Stores

We’ve boiled down the easiest and most important steps to get your Store ready for the November rush.

Log into, and navigate to your Artist Merchandising Tools by visiting the Artist Dashboard and clicking the My Store link.


Read these instructions for preparing your Artist Signature file.

The cover image in Bethania Lima’s Minted Artist Store


Read advice in “7 Tips for Creating a Unique Artist Brand” and “10 Tips for Taking Great Photos for Your Artist Store.”

Miranda Mol’s About Yourself carousel in her Minted Artist Store


If you have Holiday products, use your Merchandising Tools to position your Holiday section after your Store Home section, so that it appears as the second category tab on your Store. For technical advice, read these FAQs, and watch this instructional video.


Featured Products are the first row of four products, within a carousel of up to 12 products. Read insights from the Minted Merchandising Team in “How to Merchandise Your Store for the Holidays.”


To position your best products at the top of each section, use Merchandising Tools to change the order in which they’re displayed. For help, read the “How can I curate my Store?” FAQ and watch this instructional video. Read more insights in “Top 10 Tips for Curating Your Minted Artist Store.”


Self-launch non-customizable products without going through the Design Challenge process. Minted offers self-launch non-customizable art, fabric, notebooks, wrapping paper, mini cards, and A2 and A7 stationery. Read more about self-launch in FAQs.

Pandercraft’s Holiday Headliner Gift Tag, a self-launched minicard


Stacy Kron’s Instagram includes a link to her Artist Store


Read our advice in the Holiday Playbook for Artist Stores:

What are the Best Social Media Platforms For You?
6 Tips for Creating Engaging Social Media Content
9 Ways to Build a Social Media Following


Stay tuned—we’ll email you codes and more information in November.

This is the eighth article in our 2015 Minted Holiday Playbook for Artist Stores, a one-month program designed to teach artists how to better merchandise, market, and sell their work. 

5 Tips for Getting Press From Local Media and Blogs
How to Promote Your Artist Store Beyond Social Media
What Are the Best Social Media Platforms for You?
9 Ways to Build a Social Media Following
Minted’s 7 Tips for Creating a Unique Artist Brand
How To Merchandise Your Artist Store for the Holidays
10 Tips for Taking Great Photos for Your Artist Store

Published October 29, 2015 • Learn how to become a Minted artist here.

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DIY: Glowing Moon Halloween Treat Bag

Halloween is quickly approaching! This year, stand out in the neighborhood with this glow-in-the-dark moon treat bag. A great craft for kids and adults, this project is a fun and easy way to collect candy on Halloween. Bonus: The moon motif holds up year-round so you can carry it long after All Hallows’ Eve is over.

• Black cotton tote bag
• Glow-in-the-dark dimensional paint
• Glow-in-the-dark brush-on paint
• Paintbrush
• White color pencil
• Dinner plate
• Piece of paper


1. Lay the tote bag flat on a table and trace the dinner plate in the center of the bag with the white color pencil.

2. Move the plate over about 4 inches and trace the edge to create the crescent shape.

3. Apply the dimensional paint over the white pencil outline

4. Allow to dry as directed.

5. Apply the brush-on paint to the inside of the crescent shape. Create a moon surface effect by varying your brush strokes.

6. Allow the paint to dry as directed; once dry, your tote bag is ready to be filled with treats!

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Save the Date Challenge: Special Prize Winners

Newly-engaged couples will soon be coming to Minted to search for unique and personal ways to announce their upcoming nuptials. We asked you, our talented Minted design community, to completely refresh our Save the Date assortment with a large number of truly exceptional new designs. We were blown away with the number of eye-catching and design-forward submissions in this challenge. Congratulations to all the winners and runners-up!

Collection Award: For the first time ever, we are awarding the ability to launch a full end-to-end wedding collection based on a winning Save the Date design. Each design below will receive a guaranteed full wedding suite collection, including a coordinating Wedding Website,Wedding Invitation, and Day Of pieces.

Click through to see more special prize winners from our invitation challenge


Design to Dish: Pumpkin Chocolate-Chip Snack Cake

Fall is my favorite time of year! I love the weather (sunny mixed with overcast, just the right amount of chill in the air), I love the activities (pumpkin patches, hayrides, apple picking), and most of all, I love the baked goods (apples, pumpkin, and spices galore)! One of my favorite fall flavor combinations is pumpkin spice and chocolate. I like it in all of it’s forms: muffins, breads, cookies, doughnuts, and this easy to make, easy to serve snack cake. It’s the perfect treat to serve at a low-key pumpkin carving party featuring these darling invitations by Hooray Creative.

pumpkin carving party invitations and pumpkin chocolate chip snacking cake “Pumpkin Carving Party” invitation by Hooray Creative | Pumpkin Chocolate-Chip
Snack Cake, recipe below

pumpkin spice cake with milk chocolate chips

Keep reading for this simply scrumptious fall recipe…


Meet a Minted Artist: Kamala Nahas

A series where we highlight a member of our Minted artist community. Featured this month: photographer Kamala Nahas, who lives with her family in lives in Camarillo, California.

Kamala Nahas has always loved snapping photos, but it wasn’t until a trip to Arizona’s Antelope Canyon in 2011 that something clicked. She came home inspired and enrolled in classes to hone her technique; two years later, Kamala started her own photography business. Here, the Southern California-based shutterbug shares a glimpse into her life, process, and inspiration.

How did you end up doing what you’re doing now?
I’ve loved snapping pictures for as long as I can remember, but I never took it seriously. About four years ago we took a family road trip to Lake Powell in Page, Arizona. I had just gotten a new camera and literally ditched my family to go on a six-hour photography tour in Antelope Canyon. This was the first time I completely immersed myself into photography and was smitten with the whole process. Looking back, that was the beginning for me. For years I’d taken pictures at holiday gatherings, on vacations, and at my kids’ school events. Even though people told me I “had an eye,” I think part of me was afraid of making a serious try at something I’d never really been trained to do. Brooks Institute is close to my home and they offer workshops for budding photographers. It’s nothing like attending the school itself, but participating in a few of the workshops in the years that followed the Antelope Canyon shoot allowed me to gain some technical knowledge and see how I stacked up. About two years ago I started a small portrait and event photography business: Tall Poppy Photography. I love it. Even though it’s been so much fun capturing special moments and connections between people, my heart has always been in nature and landscape photography. Last year, I finally got the courage to submit some photos to Minted and explore the more creative side of my work. I feel fortunate to be a part of this community and can’t wait to see what lies ahead.

Did you study photography formally in school?
Aside from six weeks of photography in community college and a workshop here and there, I’m self taught.

What are some of your own “rules” for living + working?
In all things:
Be Authentic
Stand Up For Yourself and Others
There’s Always More Than One Way
Take A Chance
Wing It
Get Lost, Get Messy, Sing Loudly, Dance

Please describe your last month in a word.

What are you serious about?
I’m super passionate about education and volunteer a good portion of my time in schools. I’m very serious about finding ways of reinventing our educational system to ensure our next generation is made up of thinkers, innovators, and makers with a global conscience. I’m also very serious about preparing grilled cheese sandwiches properly—crunchy on the outside, creamy in the middle, with a side of homemade tomato soup to dip the corners into.

What things will you never take seriously?
Road trips, chocolate, and mashed potatoes are all things that should never be taken seriously—even when they are bad, they are still good.

Please tell us about your family.
I’ve been married for twenty years to my first and only true love. We have three children. My oldest is my daughter Asha who is almost fifteen. She is my partner in crime and assists me in my business—I’m going to be pretty lost when she goes off to college in a couple years. My oldest son, Sassin, is twelve. He has a generous spirit and can generally be found playing soccer in real life or on the XBox. My youngest son is almost ten. His name is Samir and he is the character in the family. He is constantly building something or making something or experimenting with something or getting away with something. Our house is loud and messy, but we love each other a bunch and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Click through to read more from Minted artist Kamala Nahas

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Has anything ever scared you so much it inspired you?

Sometimes fear can be a good thing—in the sense that it can inspire you to take a risk or move in a new direction. For this edition of #WhatInspiresMe, we asked Lehan Veenker, Natalie Groves, and Annie Seaton to answer the question Has anything ever scared you so much it inspired you?

Lehan Veenker
Plainfield, Illinois

As strange as it may sound, the thought of not being able to stay at home with my kids scared me. My husband and I always knew that having one of us stay home with our kids was important to us. In order to make that happen, I needed to find a career that would allow me to work at home with kids, and neither of my former professions would allow the time and flexibility to make that a reality.

I have always been fond of art and design and stumbled upon Minted in 2008 when it was just starting. I decided to enter a couple of challenges and didn’t have any winning designs. In my mind, I completely failed to enter anything close to the caliber of designs already present at Minted. I was scared of failing again and missing this amazing opportunity to work at home with our then-future-now-present children, so I took a break to learn. I taught myself about Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Photoshop, textures, typography—anything design-related that I could get my hands on. This self-teaching hiatus lasted about two years. In September 2010, I decided to give Minted another shot and actually had some winning designs in the wedding challenge that year.

From then on out, I continued to build my collection on Minted, which enabled me to stay at home with my kids. Even before they were born, my children were the catalyst of my graphic design career, and they continue to inspire me every day, as seen in works like my “Heritage Children” art print and my “Enjoy The Little Things” holiday design.

Heritage Children” by Lehan Veenker

Enjoy the Little Things” by Lehan Veenker

Natalie Groves
Exira, Iowa

One day my family and I were checking on our pumpkins, and we came across a giant garden spider! He had intricate yellow designs on his big black body. He was so spooky that we were in awe, and instead of smashing him, we let him be and visited him every time we entered the pumpkin patch (mostly because we didn’t want him to surprise us in a different location). His web became one of the “homes” featured in my latest painting for the A is for Art Challenge.

Our daughter Navine (rhymes with “pine”) loves to investigate new things with her little pointer finger. It’s so fun to teach her about the world, and I love that I can do that through illustration.

Homes” by Natalie Groves

Name Bearers” by Natalie Groves

Annie Seaton with two Two Venice Beach longboarders. (Photo by Sonja Schenk)

Annie Seaton
Sherman Oaks, California

That would be pretty much everything. Let’s start with my decision to get pregnant and have two kids. I was scared to let go of my career and allow myself to become a mother. I always tell my children they are my best creative project. I never anticipated they’d become my best muses.

One of the reasons I named my daughter Violet was after a favorite oil color “Quinachridone Violet.” I felt her name reflected my creative values. Now, some of my bestselling artworks and paintings are of Zac and Violet. I would have never guessed I would paint them, and documented their entire childhood through my lens and paintings.

Secondly, I took a risk and decided to be a full-time artist after raising them. I moved into my own art studio and exhibited in the U.S. and Canada. It was a scary risk to not go back to a traditional job, and years later my artworks are selling in my Minted Artist Store.

Lastly, I did return to work and ran a brand-new photo gallery from the ground up as its director. I was scared, because I didn’t know if I could handle it and be a mom at the same time. I built up its program from zero, curated bi-monthly exhibitions, threw major special events, and grew to a very significant place in the L.A. photo scene. I was scared but I told myself,  “Don’t think Annie—just do it.” And it was one of the best projects I ever did and I’m proud of every exhibition and all the artist friendships I’ve made there.

Zachary And Violet Oxnard I” by Annie Seaton  

Zach and Violet Intertube” by Annie Seaton

How about you—has anything ever scared you so much it inspired you? Share your answer in Comments below and on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter with the hashtag #WhatInspiresMe. We feature some of our favorite social shares in our Minted Fine Arts newsletter.


Who’s your biggest creative influence?
When you need a quick creative pick-me-up, what do you do?
How has education inspired your creativity?

Published October 26, 2015 • Learn how to become a Minted artist here.

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5 Tips for Getting Press From Local Media and Blogs

Written by Brady Wood

What’s not to love about publicity? In addition to being free (or, at least, inexpensive), press coverage is more organic and authentic than paid advertising. Both press coverage and advertising have their places in building a brand. PR, in its pure form, is an objective, editorial endorsement of your work. PR vouches for you, whereas advertising is inherently self-promotional.

Want to hear another beautiful thing about PR? The saying is true: press begets more press. Journalists and bloggers read each other’s work. Once you garner some coverage, you’re more likely to be discovered by other journalists and bloggers and get included in their stories, as well.

The Minted PR Team has strong relationships with national publications and publicists. Our team pitches stories about a wide variety of Minted artists to national media (and select international media), ranging from magazines to television to major blogs.

To build your personal brand with publicity, we encourage Minted artists to start local, including local newspapers, entertainment and arts weeklies, blogs, and local TV. Not sure where to begin? Here are five tips to help get you started.

Shari Margolin’s “Illustrious Hanukkah” card was featured in a holiday cards feature in Atlanta Magazine’s November 2013 issue.

1. Create Your Pitch List

When it comes to local and regional media to choose from, who’s most likely to feature you? Keep this question at the front of your mind as you compile a list of the publications and blogs you’d like to pitch your story to.

If you’re unsure of what’s out there beyond local traditional media, Google is your oyster. Search for local blogs with keywords like “Dallas art blog” or “Texas photography blog.” Once you identify some blogs that you like, look for a blogroll on their site — many blogs maintain a list of links to similar blogs.

Study the blogs’ content and whether your work plus their content makes an editorial match made in heaven. For example, would your art complement a particular local home décor blogger’s design aesthetic? Do you create baby and kids designs that would gel perfectly with a particular local mommy blogger’s vibe? Does your local city magazine produce an annual holiday gift guide? If yes, put these publications on your pitch list.

2. Arm Yourself With Information

Once you’ve identified your Pitch List, take a deeper dive into their content, and identify the best person or people to contact with your story pitch. Some publications post editorial guidelines, deadlines and time frames, and advice for pitching stories.

As you’re reviewing publications’ previously published articles, ask yourselves these questions and take notes:

  • Have they covered artists before? If so, how did they cover them? Is there a particular “art” or “home decor” writer? If so, keep track of their name.

  • Does the publication have any sort of regular series that spotlights shopping recommendations, local businesses, entrepreneurs, or creatives?

  • What kinds of feature stories do they publish? How could you creatively pitch yourself for a story with an angle that’s different from what’s already been done?

  • How far in advance is this writer, blogger, or reporter working on stories? In general, magazines work months in advance, newspapers and TV might work weeks in advance, and bloggers have the most flexibility (although most established bloggers sometimes book their calendar weeks or months in advance). If they haven’t published this information on their website, it’s a good question to ask and it will demonstrate your willingness to accommodate the writer’s needs.

Editors and writers appreciate that you’ve taken time to read their work; if you convey that you’re a fan of their work and you’ve taken time to understand what they’ve already published, you’re making it easier for them to make a decision.

Michigan artist Kelly Ventura was featured in the November/December issue of Midwest Living.

3. Pitch an Interesting and Complete Story Idea

Now that you’re armed with information, you’re ready to craft your pitch email. As for how you approach editors, use your authentic voice and address them by their first name—not “Dear Publication Editors.” A casual, friendly, and energetic tone works well with writers and bloggers. Score bonus points for personalizing the message by including a personal detail that you have in common with the reporter, such as mutual friends, parenting similar aged kids, shared interests, or the reporter’s hometown.

You may want to use a slightly more professional tone with traditional journalists (for example, with bloggers, you can let the exclamation points fly in your emails, but with journalists, you might dial down the exclamation points a bit). Exclamations aside, you can keep it conversational and friendly with professional journalists. Don’t be stiff or overly formal.

As for pitching yourself for editorial coverage, think about your “hook.” As in, what will make your story compelling and timely to the publication’s audience? As you’re writing your pitch email, include details such as:

  • Ideas for beautiful and unique visual content that you could provide (beautiful images are particularly important for bloggers, who are always hungry for eye candy)
  • Relevant facts and links to your work and other press you’ve received
  • Information about your accolades and achievements
  • Any exclusive portraits, photographs, or designs

Karly Depew, first-place winner of Minted’s 2015 Holiday Card Challenge, was featured in Columbus Business First.

4. Pounce Quickly and Follow Through

Keep in in mind that media tends to move on extremely fast deadlines. If they like your story idea and want to feature you, be prepared for a fast turnaround. Respond to media inquiries within hours when possible, but always respond within 24 hours. Make sure you’re clear from the start about the deadline and timeline that the reporter has in mind.

Always follow through on your commitments. This is an obvious but extremely important point. Follow-through builds trust. If the writer knows you’re a reliable go-to person in a pinch, they’re more likely to call on you for future story opportunities.
5. Build Relationships and Scratch Their Backs

Show bloggers and local publications that you’re a fan of their work by following them on social media. Media outlets tend to check out your social presence to see if you have a strong following and can help them promote the published story.

We recommend following the social media accounts of all of your local publications and blogs and that you follow individual writers and reporters public social media accounts. In other words, it’s fine to follow a reporter’s public Instagram feed. You might, however, want to wait until you’ve established a connection before following their private social media accounts. Keep in mind that some people like to keep their personal and professional accounts separate, and don’t be offended if they don’t accept your connection request on their private account.

If you spot another interesting story or local event that you think would be interesting for a given blogger or reporter, send it their way as a friendly, no-strings-attached FYI. You can also help local reporters network—make introductions to people you know who could be helpful to them.

Your genuine helpfulness shows that you support the writer and appreciate her work. And what comes around tends to go around.

Brady Wood is Vice President of External Relations at Minted, working with our artist relations, public relations, business development, and social media teams. He has been with Minted for almost four years and previously led marketing. Brady has been building online communities since the Internet stone ages (mid-90s) and has led marketing, public relations, and partnerships for several successful startups (if you have high schoolers, they probably know his last venture, Shmoop). Follow him on Instagram @BradyWood and on Twitter @bradyrw.

This is the seventh article in our 2015 Minted Holiday Playbook for Artist Stores, a one-month program designed to teach artists how to better merchandise, market, and sell their work. Stay tuned to the Community>Resources section of Julep for more.


How to Promote Your Artist Store Beyond Social Media
What Are the Best Social Media Platforms for You?
9 Ways to Build a Social Media Following
Minted’s 7 Tips for Creating a Unique Artist Brand
How To Merchandise Your Artist Store for the Holidays
10 Tips for Taking Great Photos for Your Artist Store
The Essential Checklist for Minted Artist Stores

Published October 26, 2015 • Learn how to become a Minted artist here.
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