Printable: Fourth of July Sparkler Sleeves

Written by Sara Albers and Melissa Fenlon of  Alice & Lois

We love celebrating the Fourth with family and friends—decorating bikes for the town parade, barbecuing at home, our local fireworks show, the works! And, of course, we love sparklers (who doesn’t?!). So if you’re celebrating Independence Day with sparklers this year, check out these red-white-and-blue sparkler sleeves we whipped up to help make your Fourth of July party a little more bright and festive.

Free Printable 4th of July Sparkler Sleeve
Free Printable 4th of July Sparkler Sleeve

Click through for the free printable and instructions…

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Minted 2015 Holiday Challenge Winners Visit San Francisco

When we asked the top three winners of Minted’s 2015 Holiday Challenge about the favorite part of their prize-winning trip to San Francisco, they shared similar sentiments about instant connection. “Being an independent designer can sometimes be a little lonely,” explained first-place winner Karly Depew. “So getting to be with Kristie [Kern] and Phrosné [Ras] and meeting the people who work hard at Minted to make our designs come to life was inspiring and invigorating.”

The 2015 holiday challenge winners outside Minted’s San Francisco office, from left: Karly Depew of Oscar & Emma; Phrosné Ras; Kristie Kern. “The trip was a whirlwind!” Kristie said. “The Minted team kept us on the go from the time we hit the ground, which was absolutely perfect for me. It was my first trip to San Francisco, and I wanted to take in as much as possible. The experience was a great combination of sightseeing, celebration, and opportunities to learn more about Minted.”    

The winning designs of The Most Wonderful Time 2015 Holiday Card Challenge, from left: “Embellished” by Karly Depew of Oscar & Emma; “Amazing Frame” by Phrosné Ras; “Sparkling Frame” by Kristie Kern.

After spending nearly three days with Karly, Phrosné, and Kristie, exploring the city’s restaurants and sites—including breakfast with CEO Mariam Naficy at The Battery—it’s an understatement to say that we at Minted learned a lot from the artists. We really got to know them and enjoyed hearing about everything from their families to the fact that they’re all self-taught designers to their tongue-in-cheek fears about earthquakes and “what if foil goes out of style?”

When we asked if the artists had any “a-ha!” moments after visiting the Minted office and meeting the other artists, Phrosné talked about feeling inspired to experience “the brain behind the brand.” “Minted employees are constantly working on new and exciting things,” she said. “I was also reminded that the three of us shared an uncertainty about our work and a desire to improve. We share and recognize in each other a healthy insecurity about our work, which I believe is a powerful thing, because you’ll never become complacent.”

We hope you enjoy our photo album of the trip.


Perfect Match Award Roundup: Special Prizes

Announcing the special prize winners for our Perfect Match Awards! Our customers love that they can choose matching Minted Envelope designs that carry the theme of the invitation through to the envelope. These awards are for the most creative envelope designs that add something extra special to the invitations they accompany. A huge congrats to all the winners and runners-up!

The Most Wonderful Time 2015 Holiday Card Challenge
Merrily Matching Award

Everlasting Love Save the Date Challenge
Perfect Match Award

Suite Love Wedding Invitation Challenge
Perfect Match Award

Great Expectations Baby Shower Invitation Challenge
Perfect Match Award

Sweet Celebrations Kids’ Birthday Party Invitation Challenge
Perfect Match Award

Imagery created by Leah Conroy
Perfect Match Awards will be announced as a roundup twice a year. 
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DIY: Felt Mouse Favors

Written by  Kathleen Ballos

Have you ever tried sugar mice? I haven’t, but they look so adorable that I couldn’t help but use them as inspiration for these DIY party favors. Traditional sugar mice are apparently most common around the holidays but the pastel colors are perfect for summer, too, don’t you think? Fill these DIY felt mice with wrapped candies (I used Starburst and saltwater taffy) for a sweet little thank-you gift at your next birthday party or baby shower.

DIY Felt Mouse Favors | Julep DIY Felt Mouse Favors | Julep

Click through for the step-by-step instructions

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Artists Create Fun Inside #MintedBox

We tend to encourage out-of-the-box thinking, but for a fun summer project, we’re thinking about the inside of the box. We invited a small group of Minted Artists to get creative with Minted shipping boxes. The result? #MintedBox, a collection of eight interactive designs, including an astronaut by Bob Daly, rocket ship by Jessie Steury, and hot dog by Kayla King. This summer, customers who order stationery products will receive their products in one of the #MintedBox designs, in honor of Minted’s community of independent artists.

#MintedBox hot dog design by Kayla King, sported by Lolita and Joe, the dog and husband of Minted Artist and Creative Director Annie Clark.

This is project #001 of the Minted 100
The Minted 100 is an ongoing series of projects by Minted to promote collaboration among and between our community and customers. Projects will vary between big and small, but always focused on independent, creativity-first thinking.

#MintedBox cactus design by Pistols, worn by Avery, the daughter of Mary-Kevin Stuart, Minted’s Senior Merchandise Manager, Baby + Kids.

#MintedBox Social Media Campaign
We’re encouraging customers to show our community how far their art has traveled with the #MintedBox social media campaign and contest. Get your creative juices going and take a fun photo of yourself with a Minted Box to post on Instagram with the hashtag #MintedBox. Tell us where you are, and we’ll put you on the Minted Box Map on We’ll award prizes for the first in your state to post, the furthest away from the artist to post, and many more.

#MintedBox ice cream truck design by Susie Allen, sported by Delaney, a friend of Karen Zinn, Minted’s Head of Catalog.

Susie Allen shares a few insights about her #MintedBox ice cream truck design.

Minted: Have you ever done anything like this before?
Susie Allen:
No, and I’m excited to see it in person. One thing I love about working with Minted is the variety of new materials and genres I’ve been able to experiment with, from customizable art prints to fabric/home decor — and now interactive boxes.

Your ice cream truck design is really clever. How did you approach the concept?
When I got the assignment, one of the suggested themes was an ice cream truck, based on my “Ice Cream Truck” custom art print. I really loved the idea, but I knew it was going to be a challenge to make it into a character with a face, and an image that extended down the length of the box. When I hit on the idea of a whimsical map-like scene winding through different landscapes, it really clicked with the idea of the boxes traveling all over America. There was still a bit more box to fill, so I added some optional cutout props to up the interactive factor.

Ice Cream Truck” custom art print by Susie Allen

What did you learn from the #MintedBox project?
That limitations can actually be super helpful for the creative process. The map-like scene (complete with happy sun) is my very favorite part of the image, and it’s not something I would have conceptualized without the challenge to make use of such a long, narrow space. I was initially very nervous about the color restrictions — only three Pantone colors (plus the white background) to make a fun image that really pops. That limitation forced me to make decisions I typically wouldn’t (like red/pink trees and lakes) and to incorporate texture into the illustration in different ways than I normally do. This project has really changed the way I look at color, and I’m excited about using some of the new tricks I learned in upcoming work.

Learn more on the #MintedBox page.

About the Author: Amy Schroeder, Minted’s Community Content Manager, founded Venus, the magazine about women in the arts and DIY culture, and has written for Etsy, West Elm, and NYLON. Connect on Instagram @thevenuslady.

Published June 29, 2016 • Want to join the Minted Artist Community? Submit to a Challenge here.
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Printable: 4th of July Flair!

This Fourth, pull out all the red, white, and blue you’ve got! If you’re in need of extra flair, check out our free patriotic printables. These circle cut-outs can be turned into a myriad of fun decorations to wear, decorate with, and even dress up your barbecue fixings. Check out our ideas below.

4th of July craft

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8 Tips for Getting Started in the Design World

If you’re a recent college graduate on the hunt for design work, good news. Not only is there demand for traditional full-time jobs, but opportunities are on the rise for becoming your own boss. “There are so many resources for independent designers, platforms to sell your work, and opportunities to create passive income streams,” says Hailey Myziuk, who works full time for her company Snow and Ivy. The 31-year-old Detroit artist joined the Minted community in 2010 and says now is “such an exciting and fun time to be a designer.”

To help you curate your career, Hailey and Genna Cowsert — a fellow Detroit area designer and Minted artist — share these right tips for getting your digital foot in the door and developing your career.

The Sky Is the Limit” by Genna Cowsert


Minted x Pottery Barn Art Challenge: Special Prizes

We were thrilled to partner with two of the most widely recognized and largest brands in the children and teens home decor space: PotteryBarn Kids and PBteen. Pottery Barn Kids and PBteen share Minted’s dedication to producing high quality and well-designed products, and we can’t wait to introduce unique artwork from Minted’s community of independent artists into their assortments. Congratulations to all the special prize winners!

Minted Editor’s Choice Award
For the artwork that is chosen as most innovative by the Minted Team
Anim-Alphabet by Sarah York

From the Heart –Teen Award
For the best piece of art displaying an inspirational or unique quote for a teen room
Stay Awesome by Hannah Williams

From the Heart – Children’s Award
For the best piece of art displaying an inspirational or unique quote for a child’s room
You are so Loved by Alethea and Ruth

Click through for more special prize winners

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DIY: Fabric-Lined Wood Tray

Written by Sara Albers and Melissa Fenlon of  Alice & Lois

Sometimes, we fall in love with a certain patterned fabric and want to use it for absolutely everything. And we’re feeling the love right now for “Midnight Florals” by Alethea and Ruth, the crafting possibilities are endless with this pretty floral print—pillows, pouches, totes, trays… First up for us is this super simple fabric-lined wood tray. Your fave fabric, scissors, and Mod Podge are all you need to dress up a plain wood tray and make it unique. It’s perfect to use this summer for backyard picnics and barbecues, or as a coffee-table accent for books and a vase of flowers.

DIY Fabric Lined Wood Tray | alice & lois for minted
DIY Fabric Lined Wood Tray | alice & lois for minted

Click through for the easy step-by-step instructions…


5 Ideas for Throwing a Laid-Back Fourth of July Picnic

My favorite way to celebrate the Fourth and beat the heat? A simple outdoor picnic featuring a cool color scheme and even-colder drinks. So whether you’re planning a summer picnic or a casual backyard fete, these are my favorite tips for a simple outdoor soirée.

july fourth table styled for minted by kelli hall
july fourth table styled for minted by kelli hall
boxed blueberries, july fourth table styled for minted by kelli hallPackage your favorite summer fruit in individual-size kraft boxes.

july fourth table styled for minted by kelli hallFresh cherries make a simple snack.

1. Think finger foods.
You can make a terrific picnic with foods that require only two fingers to eat. Start with the healthy nibbles packaged in individual portions: summer fruit like blueberries and cherries, olives, cheese cubes, crackers, and so on. Then, round those out with heartier options such as open-face sandwiches, sliders, or a make-your-own bruschetta bar with baguette slices and a variety of toppings.

blueberry and rasperry ice cubes,july fourth table styled for minted by kelli hallFrozen-berry ice cubes in patriotic colors

2. Keep drinks ice-cold.
Help guests beat the heat by making sure their drinks stay cold. Wrap beverage bottles in cloth napkins to insulate and keep them chilled; I also love freezing fresh berries in ice cubes for a quick cocktail cool-down.

july fourth mini picnic styled for minted by kelli hallLarge throw pillows are a comfy alternative to a picnic blanket.

sparkler and tag, july fourth table styled for minted by kelli hall

3. Add festive summer touches.
What’s July 4th without some sparkle? Be sure to pack sparklers (or small bottles of bubbles if you’ve got lots of younger kiddos in tow) for some post-picnic fun. Pro tip: Place the sparkers (handles down) in a container about half full of water; once they’ve been used, you can quickly extinguish them in the water.

july fourth table styled for minted by kelli hallTie a simple tag on a sparkler stick with festive grosgrain ribbon.

bubbles and wand, july fourth table styled for minted by kelli hallYour littlest guests will love a bottle of bubbles with a unique blowing wand. 

july fourth table styled for minted by kelli hall

4. Keep things packable and portable
When you’re planning a summer picnic, packing is key—here are some of my favorite tips and ideas:
• Wrap drink bottles in fabric napkins to keep drinks insulated (and looking pretty!).
• I also like to roll fabric napkins and a fabric table runner around drink bottles—it helps save on basket space and keeps them wrinkle-free.
• Recruit helpers: I usually ask two people to help carry all of the picnic items to the picnic (all in one trip!).

fabric wrapped bottle, july fourth table styled for minted by kelli hallA simple napkin wrap keeps drinks cool and bottles pretty.

menu hand fan, july fourth table styled for minted by kelli hallCool down with a paper-menu-turned-hand-fan.

5. Think double-duty.
Keep things efficient by choosing picnic items that will work double-duty:
• Beat the heat with paper-menu hand fans: Attach a wooden stick to the back of a menu card and wave away the humidity and bugs!
• I like to wrap flowers in a white paper lunch bag—it keeps the stems in place while packing your picnic and can be used as a bag for post-picnic rubbish.
• Decorate place settings with fruit to add a festive pop of color and also serve as a tasty snack.

july fourth table styled for minted by kelli hallWrap flowers in a paper lunch bag that can be used later for rubbish.

july fourth table styled for minted by kelli hallScatter cherries on the picnic table like edible confetti.

summer poppies, july fourth table styled for minted by kelli hall Decorate the picnic table with a simple mason-jar arrangement of one or two blooms, like poppies and Queen Anne’s lace.

july fourth table styled for minted by kelli hall

july fourth table styled for minted by kelli hall

“Watercolor Frame” invitation by Laura Condouris for Minted
“Cute Red Little Flowers” fabric napkins by Alexandra Dzh for Minted
“Breton Stripe” table runner by Melissa Selmin for Minted
Wooden cutlery
“Ombre” menu card by Dean Street for Minted
Hand-fan sticks
“Cool Cobalt” pillow by Kelli Hall for Minted
Mini buckets
Bubble wand
Bubble bottles
Picnic table
Picnic basket (similar)
“Enjoy” gift tags by Melanie Severin for Minted
Small modern cake stand from Minted
Wire basket (thrifted)
Kraft boxes from Minted
“Family Name” stickers by Jill Means for Minted
“Aviary & Ink” place cards by Kelli Hall for Minted
“Johannis” gift tags by Jack Knoebber for Minted
“Kite” party sign by Lena Barakat for Minted