DIY: Personalized Initial Ornament

Written by Sara Albers and Melissa Fenlon from  Alice & Lois

Are you ready for the easiest and most thoughtful handmade gift this holiday season? We’re sharing how to make this hand-painted initial ornament! It makes for a sweet hostess gift for all of those holiday parties you’re attending. We love coming up with ideas for easy and affordable handmade gifts (our favorite holiday tradition!), and this one totally fits the bill. Don’t be intimidated by the hand lettering because we used graphite transfer paper! Personalize it by incorporating a first initial, last name initial, or even their full name—the possibilities are endless!


DIY Initial Ornament by alice & lois for minted

More after the jump

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DIY: Candy-Cane Popcorn Favors With Printable Tags

by Kathleen Ballos of  Snowdrop & Co

I’ve always been a sucker for classic Christmas tunes and “Let It Snow” is no exception—today’s project was inspired by the line “I’ve brought some corn for popping.” These DIY candy-cane popcorn favors are so simple: Package some unpopped kernels, white chocolate, and crushed candy canes in a small box, top with the printable tag, and you’ve got the perfect sweet treat to give your Christmas party guests.

Popcorn Favors + Printable Tags

Click through for full instructions

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Design to Dish: Chocolate Crinkle Cookies

This time of year, I just can’t get enough holiday baking! Holiday cookies are my absolute favorite treat during the Christmas season. We have a long list of family classics that we make year after year: peanut blossoms, molasses crinkles, Russian tea cakes, sugar cookies, snickerdoodles, and these chocolate crinkle cookies! They’re rich and fudgy, and the contrast between the dark chocolate cookie and snowy powdered sugar coating is really beautiful. They are, of course, fun to make and eat, but they’re also a great giveaway treat for friends, family, and neighbors. I love how they look paired with this cute “Gingerbread Home for the Holidays” card from Baumbirdy for Minted. If I were on-the-ball like I should be, I’d order these to send to all of my blogger friends, along with a box of homemade treats. There’s always hope for next year and, in the meantime, I’ll be eating more of these yummy chocolate crinkles!

chocolate crinkle cookies “Gingerbread Home for the Holidays” card from Baumbirdy | Chocolate
Crinkle Cookies (recipe below)

chocolate crinkle cookies

Keep reading for this classic holiday cookie recipe…

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DIY: Marbled Clay Drink Tags

By Kathleen Ballos of  Snowdrop & Co

Holiday party season is here! Is your bar cart all ready for your party guests? These DIY clay drink markers are the perfect way to add a custom touch to your cocktails. Make them in a variety of marbleized colors and your guests will be sure to remember whose drink is whose.

Clay Drink Tags
Clay Drink Tags

Click through for the step-by-step instructions…

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How To Display Your Holiday Cards: Fabric Cork Board

Chances are you’ve received lots of holiday cards from loved ones in the mail by now. Instead of letting them pile up on the kitchen counter, show ’em off by displaying them on this clever fabric-covered cork board. This easy DIY project was created for us by the lovely Melissa Fallon of the fabulous blog Design Eat Repeat; it’s designed to look like a cute envelope with its heart-shaped seal (which also makes it perfect for Valentine’s Day—just keep it up until February rolls around, then swap out the holiday cards for valentines!).

How To Display Holiday Cards: Fabric-Covered Cork Board

Click through for the step-by-step instructions

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How I Holiday: Handmade Gifts With Kids

Today we’re sharing a holiday-themed guest post from Minted artist Carolyn MacLaren, a graphic designer based in Encinitas, CA.

DIY Kids Pottery Painting

Name: Carolyn MacLaren
Where you’re based: Encinitas, CA
How long you’ve been with Minted: Since 2011

From Carolyn:  For the past three years, we’ve made it a tradition in our family to create handmade gifts for friends and family members. The first year, my daughter, who was two years old at the time, painted with watercolors; I chose a small section of the painting and framed it with a large matte. Framing a small portion of the painting made it feel more artistic, special, and versatile. The next year, we made handmade soaps and jams: We found an amazing soap recipe on Pinterest which included grapefruit, mint, poppy seeds, and shea butter—they turned out fantastic and were perfect for the kids. We gave everyone the soaps paired with homemade lemon curd and jams.

Kids Pottery Painting

This year, my daughter wanted to paint pottery, so we went to a nearby children’s pottery painting studio and spent an evening painting small bowls. I chose bowls because they’re easy for the kids to paint—they make great gifts that have so many uses (keys, jewelry, food, etc.). I limited our color palette to blues and greens to keep all of pieces unique yet cohesive; the kids could paint any design they wanted, and since it was in a single color palette, I knew it would look fresh, modern, and fun. I love how they turned out! The energy of the kids’ designs is so carefree and whimsical—something that as an adult is hard to do. We painted the pottery, left it at the studio to kiln fire, then picked it up a few days later. Ben and Reese are so proud of their gifts!

Thank you for sharing your family’s wonderful holiday tradition, Carolyn!


More Holiday Ideas:
DIY Holiday Luminarias
• Free Printable: Modern Black-and-White Holiday Gift Tags
• Three of the Cutest Ways to Wrap Your Holiday Gifts
• How To: Tie the Perfect Bow

More From Minted:
• Shop Carolyn MacLaren’s Minted Store
• Gift Tags
Foil-Pressed Art Gifts

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DIY: Marbled-Clay Christmas Ornaments

Written by Sharon Garofalow of  Cupcakes and Cutlery

It’s prime Christmas tree-trimming time, which means it’s the perfect time to make these cute DIY marbled clay ornaments. Not only will they make a stylish statement on your Christmas tree, but they also make a great handmade gift idea, too!

How to make homemade clay Christmas tree ornaments.

The possibilities are endless with this marbled clay technique. All you need to do is find some great holiday cookie cutters and get to work!

Click through for instructions on how to make these homemade Christmas ornaments

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Printable Holiday Treat Labels

One of my favorite holiday traditions is delivering a little cheer with a festive treat. Whether homemade or store-bought, the best way to make it memorable (besides the taste!) is to package it nicely. Here’s a quick way to do that with colorful labels that can be added easily to a canister or box. Grab the free download below.

printable gift labels
printable gift labels

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The Perfect Holiday-Party Playlist

A holiday party is the perfect excuse to wear your favorite lipstick, shake up a signature drink, serve up some tasty snacks, and make merry with your nearest and dearest. Set the stage for a swinging night with this upbeat soundtrack of soulful sounds mixed with holiday classics that I put together just for you. Just remember to dim the lights, lower the music volume to promote conversation, and make sure every guest has a beverage. Happy merrymaking!

Listen to my Perfect Holiday-Party Playlist right here (total listening time: 1hr 12min).

Photo: Cover image via Fork Knife Swoon

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DIY: Gift Tote for the Pet-Lover On Your List

We all have that one friend who’s obsessed with their pet (or maybe you’re said friend?). If you’re stumped on what to give your pal this holiday, we think Minted’s new Completely Custom Pet Silhouettes fits the bill (we can turn a pet photo into a letterpressed or foil-pressed art print!). Surprise the pet-lover in your life with this DIY tote emblazoned with a handsome photo of their favorite furry friend and fill it with a custom pet silhouette, as well as some extra goodies to share.

Supplies:
• Cotton tote bag
Iron-on transfer paper
• Ink printer
• Iron
Completely Custom Pet Silhouette
• Extra goodies (I filled mine with all natural treats, an antler chew, a doggie bow tie, a leather leash, and a flossing rope toy)

Steps:

1. First things first: Stalk your friend on social media or go take pictures (in stealth mode!) of your friend’s pet. To make a silhouette, the photo should be side profile, shot in front of a white wall. But for the tote bag, anything goes!

2. Order a Completely Custom Pet Silhouette online (be sure to time it right so the gift arrives in time!).

3. Upload or scan the tote bag photo to a computer. Print the photo onto a sheet of iron-on transfer paper and cut out with a pair of scissors or craft knife. You may choose to cut out the entire photo or just the subject’s silhouette (which is what I did). Iron the image onto the tote bag according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

4. Fill it up and let the giving begin!



More Holiday Gift Ideas:
Turn Your Beloved Family Recipe Into an Art Print
• Free Printable: Modern Black-and-White Holiday Gift Tags
• Three of the Cutest Ways to Wrap Your Holiday Gifts
• How To: Tie the Perfect Bow

More From Minted:
• Completely Custom Pet Silhouette
• Gift Tags
Foil-Pressed Art Gifts

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