DIY: Printable Reindeer Mask

Written by Kersey Campbell of  And We Play

If you’re looking for a fun holiday activity to keep your kiddos busy, they’ll love this fun reindeer mask craft. It’s really easy to make and you probably already have all of the supplies to make it around the house. That’s what I call a win-win craft.

Click through for the download and instructions

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DIY: Modern Organic Wreath

Written by Sara Albers and Melissa Fenlon of  Alice & Lois

‘Tis the season for creating simple, one-of-a-kind holiday decorations for your home. For the past few years we’ve made handmade wreaths and fell in love with the process—gathering bunches of evergreens, eucalyptus, and berries from our local florist (or foraging the materials!) to use (Tip: We like collecting scraps from the Christmas tree lot!).

While circular wreaths are classic and festive, today we’re demonstrating a modern take that incorporates driftwood from the beach to create a more organic, natural-looking shape.

DIY Modern Organic Wreath | alice & lois for minted
DIY Modern Organic Wreath | alice & lois for minted

Click through for the step-by-step instructions

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DIY: Mini Christmas Cardboard Houses

When I was little I remember being in awe of a friend’s mantle overflowing with Christmas putz houses all sparkly and lit up. It was a sight to behold and if Pinterest had existed then, a photo of that mantle would have been pinned over and over with the caption #christmasdecorgoals. Lately I’ve been seeing a resurgence of these mini Christmas themed houses popping up and remembering the fondness I had for them, I made my own (but with a limit on the glitter so they’re more my style). Here’s how you can do the same:

cardboard christmas houses
homemade christmas village

Click through for the step-by-step instructions…

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DIY: Holiday Room Spray

Written by Sharon Garofalow of  Cupcakes and Cutlery

The holidays are in full swing and the temperatures are dipping, making cozy nights at home a frequent occurrence. I love the different scents during the holidays, like the way my house smells after I’ve baked a batch of holiday cookies or the fresh pine scent after bringing home our Christmas tree. To make sure my house smell festive all season long, I made these holiday-themed room sprays to keep spirits bright and and conjure up that holiday feeling whenever I like.

Click through for step-by-step instructions

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Take the Perfect Holiday-Card Photo (with your phone!)

How is it mid-December already? If you’ve been putting off your holiday cards (procrastinators, unite!), don’t fret—there’s still plenty of time to pull off a stylish Christmas card or holiday greeting. And if you weren’t able to book a professional family photo shoot, no worries. Just use your smartphone’s camera and follow these tips from professional photographer Edyta Szyszlo to stage a successful DIY shoot (no one will know the difference!).

Last Minute Christmas Cards: How to Get Great Family Photos with Your Phone

1. Find natural light.
Natural light allows for more even skin tones and better image quality. Avoid being “backlit,” which happens when the brightest light is behind you, and instead, seek shade (no more squinting eyes!). Also, be sure to ditch the flash (because let’s face it—no one looks good with a harsh light in their face!).

2. Phone a friend.
Ask a friend or family member to take your picture—smartphones have better image quality when using the forward-facing camera.

Last Minute Christmas Cards: How to Get Great Family Photos with Your Phone

3. Think: Selfies!
However, if you can’t recruit a friend to play photographer, then it’s perfectly fine to go the selfie route—they’re great for a fun, candid feel. Be sure the person with the longest arm is snapping the photo (or use a selfie stick!) and shoot from above for a more flattering look. Pro tip: Use the camera’s shutter shortcut for better hand positioning.

Click through for more cameraphone tips

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DIY: Golden Holly Drinking Glasses

Written by Kathleen Ballos of  Snowdrop & Co

Growing up, we had special Christmas drinking glasses that we used during the holiday season. My mom would pack away our plain glassware and swap in Christmas-themed ones instead—I loved it! I recently realized that I don’t have any holiday glasses of my own, so I decided to craft these festive ones decorated with golden sprigs of holly.

DIY Golden Holly Glasses | Julep
DIY Golden Holly Glasses | Julep

Click through for full step-by-step instructions … 

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Printable: Christmas Treat Labels

If you’re looking for a super easy-yet-stylish way to package up your homemade holiday treats this year, we’ve got you covered. Simply fill pint-size ice cream containers with your goodies and decorate with our printable treat labels featuring these wonderful and whimsical Christmas illustrations.

christmas treat labels
christmas cookie packaging

Click through to download these free printable labels

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How The Presidential Election Has Impacted Holiday Card Greetings

As you receive holiday cards in the mailbox this season, check carefully: you might notice an interesting post-election trend. Minted, your source for stationery, art and home decor designed by independent artists, is also a cutting-edge analytics company with extraordinarily rich data regarding design trends, cultural trends, and anonymized consumer behavior.

In fact, as reported by Ellen Byron at the Wall Street Journal today, Minted Labs — the company’s research and analytics arm — unearthed interesting shifts in the holiday card greetings that consumers are choosing this year before and after the U.S. presidential election.

Use of the word “cheer” is down -14% compared to 2015 orders, and ”peace” and “hope” are up +14% and +9%, respectively, compared to 2015.

It’s fascinating to see the geographical differences when it comes to holiday card preferences this season. In Hawaii, “Mele Kalikimaka” and “Sand and Snow” are messages on photo cards in our top five sellers. In California, customers prefer “Happy Holidays,” while in Alabama, “Wonders of His Love” and “O Come Let Us Adore Him” are two religious greetings among the top five bestsellers. But what’s really interesting is the trend we’re seeing around non-photo cards. In Washington, D.C., one of our best-selling designs this year is “Floral Peace” by Baumbirdy, a non-photo card which depicts a peace sign created out of holiday greenery. This is the first time in our company’s history that a non-photo holiday card has been a top-seller. Typically, designs featuring photos on the front of the card dominate our holiday card sales. This is another example of how some customers are taking a more contemplative approach with their holiday card this year.

Minted Labs investigated the greeting trend when customers contacted the company after the election to ask if they could change the message on their recent holiday card orders to be more sensitive to the feelings of friends and family. In response, we took care of these customers and also created this special product page featuring holiday cards with “peace” messages. Customers may also customize their cards by choosing the perfect greeting to express themselves.

To learn more, please read Ellen Byron’s full Wall Street Journal story here.

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Recipe: Easy Peppermint Fudge Brownies

One of my favorite flavor combinations is peppermint and chocolate. And luckily, the holiday season is the perfect time of year for baked goods featuring this tasty pairing. These easy-to-make peppermint fudge brownies have a great mix of dark, fudgy chocolate and brisk peppermint. Thanks to a dressed-up boxed brownie mix, they are super easy to make, but they’re so decadent that no one will ever know you used a baking shortcut!

These delicious peppermint fudge brownies are super simple!

Click through for ingredients and instructions

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DIY: Eucalyptus Garland Christmas Card Display

Written by Sara Albers and Melissa Fenlon of  Alice & Lois

This hanging display of fresh eucalyptus is a modern way to display your Christmas cards and holiday cards. Best of all, it’s simple to make—all you need is fresh greenery, wire, and a nice long branch you can probably find in your backyard.

Christmas Card Display Ideas

Click through for the step-by-step instructions

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