Easy Printable Balloon Cake Toppers

Written by Kersey Campbell of  And We Play

Have you ever found yourself in a party pinch and in need of some fast, easy, and fun decor? I have on far too many occasions! This cake topper is not only super easy to make and fun, but it works for just about any happy occasion!

Let’s get this party started with supplies

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DIY: Whimsical Valentine’s Paper Flowers

Written by Kathleen Ballos of  Snowdrop & Co

I love making paper flowers but often I find they take way too long to create. These whimsical flowers are a bit less labor intensive—instead of cutting crepe-paper petals, I used styrofoam and ping-pong balls to make up the majority of the flower. If you’re looking to make a handmade bouquet for Valentine’s Day this year, try your hand at these modern flowers!

DIY Whimsical Valentine's Flowers | Julep DIY Whimsical Valentine's Flowers | Julep

Click through for the step-by-step instructions … 

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Recipe: Meyer Lemon Cupcakes and Buttercream

We have a small, potted Meyer lemon tree at our house that produced dozens (and dozens!) of lemons this year. It’s been so fun to think of delicious ways to use them up. One of my favorites so far has been Meyer lemon cupcakes topped with fresh Meyer lemon buttercream. The homemade cupcakes are light, fluffy and sweet, just like all good cupcakes should be. And the frosting is tart and tangy, bursting with fresh lemon flavor and beautiful flecks of bright-yellow zest. These cupcakes are truly irresistible and are a little taste of sunshine, the perfect pick-me-up during the long, dreary days of winter. If you can’t find Meyers, you can use regular lemons instead, although the flavor will be slightly different (Meyer lemons taste a little more like oranges and tangerines).

Meyer Lemon Cupcakes with Meyer Lemon Buttercream

Click through for  ingredients and instructions…

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Minted Real Wedding: Christen & Timothy in Maui

Though Timothy Dayton had been a family friend for years, he and Christen Huff had never crossed paths. That is, until Christen’s brother’s wedding. The pair began dating and after two-and-a-half years, Tim surprised Christen with a bedside proposal on Christmas morning. With Christen pregnant with their daughter, the Southern California-based couple decided to host an intimate destination wedding in Maui and planned their celebration in just four months. Guests were sent letterpressed invitations (“Inline Type” by Hooray Creative) printed in navy and pink, and the couple tied the knot in front of their 67 guests during an alfresco celebration complete with bold colors, vibrant florals, and tons of tropical touches.

Maui Wedding at Sugar Beach Resort

Bride and groom: Christen Huff & Timothy Dayton
Occupations: Registered nurse (Christen); owner of a commercial fishing business (Timothy)
Based in: Ventura, CA
Wedding dateApril 23, 2016
Venue, catering, cake: Sugar Beach Events in Kihei, Maui
Number of guests: 67
Minted wedding invitation: “Inline Type” (letterpressed) by Hooray Creative
Calligraphy: Miss B Calligraphy
Welcome bags: Waller Designs
Wedding planner: Amy Nichols Special Events
Florist: Wild Heart Floral & Event Styling
Photographer: Kathleen Geiberger Art

How did you and Tim meet?
We met at my brother’s wedding. Tim has known my mother and brother for many years, but our paths had never crossed.

Tell us about the proposal!
We got engaged on Christmas morning. We had a house full of people who had stayed with us during the holidays and everyone knew what was about to happen but me. Tim surprised me on one knee me at 6 a.m. at my bedside. I was hardly awake.

Maui Wedding at Sugar Beach Resort

Why did you decide to marry in Maui?
Tim and I knew that if we were to get married in Ventura our guest list would be way too large. We wanted something small but not too small, and we both love tropical, warm weather. Our wedding was planned in four months so it also had to be within the United States. Maui just worked!

How did you find your wedding venue?
Amy, my wedding planner, has a friend who’s also a wedding planner based in Hawaii. We asked for suggestions and, based on capacity, we found Sugar Beach Events.

Click through for more from Christen & Tim’s wedding

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DIY: Latch-Hook Door-Hanger Hearts

Written by Sharon Garofalow of  Cupcakes and Cutlery

During the holidays, our family seemed to be filled with sweets and junk food. So for Valentine’s Day this year, I decided to ease up on the candy and go a different route. Sure, the kids will probably still get a bit of chocolate (I’m not a monster!), but I also want to give them something that isn’t full of sugar. These easy-to-make latch-hook hearts are the perfect way to say “I love you”—hang one from their door so it’s the first thing they see in the morning. Plus, latch-hooking is kind of therapeutic, the perfect craft to work on while bingeing your favorite Netflix show.

Latch Hook Heart Door Hangers for Valentine's Day

I promise, once you’ve made one, you’ll keep wanting to make more! This fun, 70s throwback craft is really easy to customize and create a gift that is handmade and comes from the heart.

Click through for the step-by-step directions

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DIY: Fabric-Covered Clock

Written by Sara Albers and Melissa Fenlon of  Alice & Lois

Refresh and brighten your home this month with this easy DIY project. We started with a simple wood clock base and added some beautiful abstract-patterned fabric (“Painterly Splash” by Alethea and Ruth) to create a one-of-a-kind home decor piece. The brushstrokes have a modern, painterly touch while the gray and coral tones add a soothing splash of color to any room. And the possibilities are endless—instead of fabric, you could use leftover wallpaper, wrapping paper, or even your kid’s artwork.

Click through for the step-by-step instructions …

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Joy Cho’s Lucky in Love Save the Date Pick

Back in August, we announced that Joy Cho would be the Guest Judge for our Lucky in Love Save the Date Challenge. Joy Cho is the founder and creative director of Oh Joy!, a lifestyle brand that includes a product line at Target, lifestyle videos, and a daily blog. She has also authored three books and has consulted for hundreds of creative businesses around the world.

Joy selected The Adventure Begins by Kelly Schmidt. When asked why she chose this design, Joy said, “I love The Adventure Begins because it is truly a representation of the new chapter of life that marriage brings—adventures together, both big and small. Visually, I love how the typography is beautiful yet simple. It allows the photo to be the focus while also making it easy to find a photo that fits with the placement of the typography. I love everything about it!” Congratulations, Kelly!

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Meet a Minted Artist: Jessie Steury

Scroll through Jessie Steury’s Minted Artist Store, and you can see that she is a prolific illustrator. Since joining Minted in 2011, she’s built a strong reputation for her signature style of perky, colorful illustrations of animals, maps, trucks, and more. Hers is the kind of art that transforms a child’s room into a gallery of rainbow-colored wonders. Jessie’s illustration style is a mix of modern and vintage influences, a direct reflection of the things she loves in real life. “I love clean modern spaces, but I also like to spend my spare time searching thrift stores for silly old knick-knacks,” she says.

Funny thing is that Jessie never planned a career in illustration. “I’ve always loved drawing, but never thought I could actually do it for a living,” says the Indiana artist and mom of three. “This is where I owe another big thanks to Minted. Entering all these design challenges have really helped me grow and find my own style.”

In this interview, Jessie talks about her original career plan, life as a “farmer’s wife,” and how she developed her successful path on Minted.

Animal World Map” by Jessie Steury

Minted: Did you study art or design formally in school?
Jessie Steury: I did! I attended the Illinois Institute of Art in Chicago, with a focus on graphic design. It was such a great experience — both the formal education and what I learned while living in the city.

Animals of the World” fabric by Jessie Steury

Illustration comprises a lot of your work now. What were your “original” career plans?
Graphic design was the original plan. It seemed like a more realistic career choice — something I could do and get a job anywhere, even in an Indiana small town. I worked for a marketing company in Fort Wayne, Indiana, on projects like RV brochures and outdoor furniture catalogs. It wasn’t terrible, it just wasn’t a good fit for me. Looking back, I realize that before I left for college, I had no idea that the Internet would allow me to work with companies all over the country.

Can you share the schedule of a typical day in the life now, as a Minted artist?
I’m happy to say there is no “typical” day, although, they are all probably pretty similar. It’s a mix of normal mom duties and designing on my computer. I really do enjoy the flexibility of working for myself. I don’t force myself to sit at a desk for a certain amount of time every day, and I probably never will. If I sit down to work and I’m not feeling it, I do something else — just until that creativity comes back. Usually a few minutes of housework, and I’ll quickly feel like getting back to designing.

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Save the Date Challenges: Special Prize Winners

Announcing the Special Prizes for our Lucky in Love Save the Date Challenge and our We Belong Together Photo + Letterpress Save the Date Challenge. Your beautiful designs are sure to inspire soon-to-weds for a day filled with matrimonial bliss. Congratulations to all the winners!

We Belong Together Photo + Letterpress Save the Date Challenge

For the best design featuring chunky text or design elements that show off letterpress best
DESPINA by Melanie Kosuge

Runners-up: Candy Striped by Shirley Lin Schneider, Impressed by AK Graphicsaccentuated by Kimberly Chow,


For the most unique, original take on a Letterpress + Photo Save the Date that we’ve ever seen
Written by Annie Montgomery

Runner-up: sparrows in flight by Morgan Kendall


For a design that incorporates edgy design elements, bold colors, or other designs that are not typically seen in letterpress
Love Lines by Belia Simm

Runner-up: Modernist by Amber Barkley


For the design that best gives the impression of a full bleed photo (even though it’s not)
Refined by Sarah Brown


For the design that best lays the groundwork for a sophisticated, classic wedding
sacher by chocomocacino

Runner-up: Timelesss by Sarah Brown


For the best design that puts the couples’ names or other customizable text on a curvilinear path
Sea you there by Gwen Bedat

Runner-up: Modern Romance by Nicole Barreto


Lucky in Love Save the Date Challenge

For the most daring, innovative take on a Save the Date that we’ve ever seen
wash of color by Karidy Walker

Runners-up: modern angles by Rebecca DurflingerCrossed Brushstrokes by Everett Paper Goods


For the best humorous or clever design that just makes you smile
In Tandem by Laura Moyer

Runners-up: Chemistry Love by Coco and Ellie Design


For the best design featuring non-floral, yet organic elements of the earth
Coastal Lines by Grace Kreinbrink

Runners-up: Mod Palm by Fig and CottonMarbled by Pine and Lark


For the most inventive and unique copy that shows an alternative way to say “Save the Date”
Definitely by Jennifer Lew

Runners-up: Cake (and a Wedding) by Up Up CreativeToss the Dice by Little Words DesignForever We Do by Ana SharpeSimply Best by Jessica Williams


For the best gender-neutral design that will appeal to both men and women
Stacked Banner by Amy Kross

Runners-up: Watercolor Edged Border by BaumbirdyModern Rusticism by Jessica OgdenSimply bliss by Seven Swans


For the best design featuring multiple photos
maybe im amazed by Bella Carta Boutique

Runners-up: Sleek & Chic by jomoloLove Square by Michelle Taylor


For the best Save the Date that doubles as a holiday card
Winter Day by Michelle Taylor

Runner-up: merry and almost married by Sara Hicks Malone


For the foil design that best lays the groundwork for a sophisticated, classic wedding
Have and Hold by Kimberly FitzSimons

Runners-up: Winter Foil by Susan Brown, Simply Striking by Stacey Meacham


For the Save the Date design which uses bold typography
Numerals by Up Up Creative

Runners-up: the big classic by Sara Hicks Malone, Bold & Gold by Meg Chalmers


For the design that best showcases one of Minted’s unique die-cut shapes in an original way
poised by Sara Hicks Malone


For the best design that puts the couples’ names or other customizable text on a curvilinear path
Wildflower by Lehan Veenker

Runner-up: Fall Foliage by Lorent and Leif


For the best design from a first-time winner
Autumn Gold by Olivia Faye Design

Runner-up: Modern Landscape by seulghi


Collection Awards
The following 20 designs will each receive a guaranteed full wedding invitation suite collection, including a matching Wedding Invitation, Day Of pieces (wedding program, menu, place card, table number, favor tag (for non-foil), and favor sticker (for non-foil)).

Watercolor Edged Border by Baumbirdydistressed tile by Carolyn NicksOrnate by Nazia HyderElegant Monogram by Simona Cavallaro

Wildflower Floral by Katharine Watson, This Love by Eric CleggGemstones by Lori Wemplefloral vignette by Kristen Smith

wash of color by Karidy WalkerGilded Crest by Kelly Schmidt, Mod Palm by Fig and CottonCoastal Lines by Grace Kreinbrink

Marble Matrimony by AK GraphicsSweet Leaves by Ana de SousaGeo Chic by Hooray CreativeTropical Hibiscus by Smudge Design

Orange Blossoms by Susan MoyalParadise by GeekInk Designboho glam by Carolyn NicksOmbre by roxy

 

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For Minted, customer service is an Oscar-worthy performance

“Sir, I’m literally sitting on a bench with a gun on my lap. I’m calling you from a military phone in Iraq — regarding envelopes.”

That’s a slice of what an American soldier, a Minted customer, described to Donald Antoine, Minted’s customer service supervisor, in 2014. The calm-voiced soldier called Minted on behalf of his fiancée, who had ordered save the date cards for their forthcoming wedding ceremony back home in the States. They needed their return address corrected on their envelopes — and they needed it yesterday.

Enter Donald to the rescue. “Rest assured we’ll do everything we can,” Donald said to the soon-to-be husband. Donald corrected the address, reprocessed the order, and shipped the envelopes to the bride-to-be the same day. Three months later, Donald received an email from the Mrs., thanking Minted for its service.

Donald Antoine heads up Minted’s customer service team. Minted Customer Service not only benefits customers, but also our community of independent artists who produce the products you see on Minted. The Customer Service team helps “close the deal” with customers and retain them as loyal shoppers. By providing this service, we free up time for our community of artists to focus on their creative work and spend less time on administrative work.

This is just one of the stories Donald shared when we asked him to recall some of the most memorable customers he’s met on the job. Donald and his team of associates serve customers around the world, many of whom are celebrating life’s most memorable moments — weddings, births, graduations, birthdays, and anniversaries. “It’s amazing the people you come across,” Donald says, gleefully.

Donald retells a number of stories from the front lines of customer service with vigor, but one is particularly close to his heart. In 2014, Donald “hit it off right away” with a customer who was also a nearly-wed — this time, a Golden Girl who needed help with the process of ordering her wedding invitations online. She loved the elegance of many of Minted’s designs and knew she wanted crisp black text — but was searching for something a little more simplistic. Like a trio in harmony, Donald, the customer, and her fiancée talked on the phone for nearly four hours, throughout the course of a day. Donald helped to personalize the couple’s invitation design and message, and the more they talked, the more they got to know each other. Donald got choked up when he learned the customer’s first name — which is the same as his sister’s middle name. “My sister passed away in 2012, and we were very close. Then when we realized the couple’s wedding date was the same day as my sister’s passing, they started crying,” Donald says. “We established a wonderful relationship, and they invited me to their wedding.” Although he wasn’t able to attend, he’ll never forget the experience.

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