Free Printable: Halloween Potions Drink Labels

Written by Sara Albers and Melissa Fenlon of  alice & lois

Are you hosting a Halloween party this month? We have the perfect printable for you, whether you’re throwing a spooky soirée for grown-ups or a monster mash for the kids. Print them out and turn your party drinks into Halloween potions: orange juice becomes Witch’s Brew while pink lemonade transforms into The Magic Spell. And for the adults? We love turning our favorite fall sangria into a Spider’s Elixir. Really, the creepy concoctions are endless!

Halloween Potions Free Printable | alice & lois for minted Halloween Potions Free Printable | alice & lois for minted

Click through for the free Halloween drink printable


DIY: Bewitched Bottles

Styled by Olivia Kanaley; photographed by Jessi Gilbert

Halloween Bewitched Bottles DIY

Stir up some ominous fun this halloween by turning ordinary bottles into bewitching potions and elixirs. Pair an assortment of old, recycled or re-usable glass bottles with some creatively-customized Minted labels for an eye-catching, spooky display. We’ve linked to the label designs we chose, and listed some fun copy ideas to get you started. As a finishing touch, you can fill the bottles with unsweetened tea, or water tinted with food coloring (please note, these are for decorative use only, unless you are using food safe bottles).

1. Quotable Bookplate by Olivia Raufman

Customize the text to read: Tonic | Water of Swamp | Guaranteed to cure all that ails. We have braved the mire of bogs and marshes to gather this magical substance by the light of the will-o’-the-wisp. Twelve fluid ounces.

2. Luxe by Alethea and Ruth

Customize the text to read: Poison Wormwood

3. Elegant Flourishes by Kristen Smith

Customize the text to read: Eye of Newt, Fang of Vampire, or Wool of Bat

4. Farm to Table Sara Hicks Malone

Customize the text to read: Mr. Oddfellow’s Pure Graveyard Essence or Mr. Oddfellow’s Pure Distilled Moonbeams

5. Adore by Leah Bisch

Customize the text to read: Bewitching Potion | Salem’s Best

More Halloween Ideas:
• Throw a Googly-Eye Halloween Party!
• DIY: Simple Spider Headband
• DIY: Witch’s Hat Party Favor

More from Minted:
• Halloween Party Invitations
• Online Halloween Party Invitations
• Halloween Party Decorations


Halloween Party Idea: Kittens and Candy

My four-year-old was bawling in the Halloween section of Target the other day—not because I wouldn’t buy candy but because the talking skull was terrifying (don’t get me started on the witches being sold at Costco!). With him in mind, I’ve kept these Halloween party ideas super kid-friendly by focusing on the fun stuff around Halloween, like kittens and candy. Here’s how to throw a similar low-key, not-spooky Halloween bash.

kid's halloween party halloween party ideas

Click through for more on throwing a kittens-and-candy-themed Halloween party


Holiday Decorating Inspiration: Into the Woods

Now that it’s officially fall, I’ve been dreaming up all things autumnal. This tabletop look features deep berry and bordeaux tones mixed with woodsy details like faux bois and dappled doe fur. Add to the mix different textures like faux burnout velvet and seasonal fruits and berries and you’ve got yourself an earthy, autumnal spread that’s perfect for this year’s Thanksgiving feast or your next dinner party.


thanksgiving flowers for minted by kelli hallThis deep berry-toned centerpiece includes dahlias and kangaroo paw.

thanksgiving table top by kelli hall

Fall is all about warmth—translate that coziness to your dinner table by mixing and matching different patterns. Aim to combine pieces that create richly layered colors, depths, and feel. I chose a berry shade of the “Soft Florals” fabric to evoke the feeling of a carpet of fallen leaves, then complemented it with a trompe l’oeil doe print. I like to experiment with the vibe by tossing the fabrics on the table for a layered effect and then stripping them away if it starts to look too busy. And, speaking of busy: To balance some of the jewel-like colors, I’ve paired them with a neutral, gravelly grey. I’ve also kept the menus and place cards relatively simple to act as a bold counterpoint to the energy of the patterned fabrics.

thanksgiving linen A simple folded linen for the bread bowl.

thanksgiving take home boxes by kelli hall Boxes and stickers make pretty takeaways for leftovers.

Keep reading for more fall decorating inspiration


Holiday Decorating Inspiration: Coastal Freeze

One of my favorite memories as a kid is standing on a beach around Christmastime, watching fat snowflakes float down from grey skies and dissolve on the sand. In fact, my favorite season at the beach has always been winter, with its misty greys and faded blues. Those moments inspired this winter-washed tabletop: Drawing from a frozen coastline, this look features a collection of blue hues and hints of copper iridescence for a bit of holiday shimmer.


ocean-inspired holiday table for minted by kelli hall
shell salt cellars with edible fondant pearl for holiday tabletop. styled by kelli hall

No need to limit your Christmas palette to red and green; layer tones of washed blues and deep indigos for a decidedly wintery vibe. The key is mixing the blues in a range of tones to avoid over-matching. Think: slate, arctic blue, even ultramarine; the more subtly varied, the better. On the table, the striations in “Watercolor Ombre” create a perfectly windswept foundation and complement the repetitive wave-like designs in both napkin prints.

Keep reading for more of this coastal freeze-inspired holiday tabletop look

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Holiday Decorating Inspiration: Evergreen and Amber

For a rich, luxe look this holiday season, decorate your table with jewel-tone colors and lustrous fabrics like velvet. I turned to nature for this holiday look and was inspired by the deep evergreen hues of forest pines; the glowing amber accents you’ll see are a nod to the golden colors of petrified tree sap. Create visual interest by adding patterns to your holiday table—the prints will add energy and I love that the pattern I chose is also reminiscent of fallen fir needles. Lastly, don’t forget to add some shine: Gleaming metallic accents in copper and gold have a scintillating effect when set against deep evergreen and emerald tones.

Berry & Woodlands
Peppermint & Gingerbread
Coastal Freeze

evergreen inspired holiday tabletop for minted by kelli hallAdd jewel-like pieces for added sparkle. I made these place-card holders using inexpensive druzy stones that I sliced with a Dremel blade.

evergreen inspired holiday tabletop for minted by kelli hallGive fresh pears a misting of (edible!) metallic color (they also double as take-home treats).

Click through for more evergreen and amber holiday-party inspiration

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How To: Get Great Family Photos (for Your Holiday Cards!)

It’s that time of year again—time to start thinking about family photos to grace this year’s holiday card. So whether you’re hiring a professional photographer or staging your own portrait session, these expert tips from talented San Francisco-based family photographers Katie Rain and Sarah Sloboda will ensure that you nail that picture-perfect shot.

How to Get Great Family Photos for Your Holiday Cards Photo: Katie Rain Photography

Reserve a session with your favorite local photographer as soon as you can. “October and November are always the busiest months of the year,” says San Francisco-based photographer Katie Rain. “Reach out early to ensure you get a session on the calendar.” Some photographers also offer shorter “mini” portrait sessions, so sign up for photographers’ mailing lists to hear about the offerings before everyone else does.

If you live in the San Francisco Bay Area, Los Angeles/Orange County Metropolitan Area, or New York Tri-State Area and are looking for an easy way to schedule an at-home photo shoot, try out the new service Photo Op by Minted. They’ll send an independent photographer to your home (or anywhere you’d like, at a time that’s convenient for your family) to take beautiful photos for your holiday cards for $100. You’ll receive your retouched photos in two to three days, and Minted’s experts will style five holiday cards to complement your new family photos. Click here to book a session.

First, think about when you’d like to send out your holiday cards, suggests photographer Sarah Sloboda, who is also based in San Francisco. Right after Thanksgiving? Just as long as it’s before New Year’s? “Figure out the date you need to send them by, subtract a couple days for safety, and then subtract your card company’s turnaround and shipping times,” Sarah says. (Turnaround times can be found on the card company’s website.) Then, mark that day on your calendar with a big X—that’s your drop-dead date for placing your holiday-card order.

How to Get Great Family Photos for Your Holiday Cards Photo: Sarah Sloboda

Most photographers will suggest some local photo-shoot locations, but you can also think of your portrait session as an opportunity to do something fun as a family. Visit that new art museum that opened recently and check out some exhibits together. Or, if your family loves the water, you could head to the local pier, beach, or aquarium. “My job is to help clients think in reverse—memories are something we look back on, but when planning a photo session, you want to look forward,” says Sarah. “What would be a special experience for you and your family? Documenting those moments will bring back more memories than just standing somewhere posing.”

How to Get Great Family Photos for Your Holiday Cards Photo: Katie Rain Photography

Avoid taking photos at noon, when the sunlight is at its harshest. Instead, schedule your portrait session for late-morning, which is the ideal time for kids of all ages. “It’s when they’re most awake and their energy is still fresh,” says Sarah. However, if you’re going the DIY route and taking your own portraits with a camera and tripod, Katie Rain suggests timing it for “golden hour” —about an hour before sunset—when the sunlight is soft and most flattering.

How to Get Great Family Photos for Your Holiday Cards Photo: Sarah Sloboda

“A photo shoot is a time for relaxed discipline and healthy bribes,” says Sarah Sloboda. Entice your kids with a reward after the photo shoot if they have fun and participate and pay attention. And during the session, remind them of the bribe. It helps if you keep everything positive—threats and discipline can really make a child stew, and then natural smiles will be hard to come by. A great photographer will develop their own rapport with your child, so encourage them to interact with them directly. Often children want to please strangers that they like, so if you refrain from too much reprimanding and give them space to listen to the photographer’s suggestions, they’ll often listen to them better than their parents (sorry, but it’s true!).

More from Katie Rain & Sarah Sloboda:
Katie Rain’s Portfolio
Katie Rain’s Instagram
Sarah Sloboda’s Portfolio
Sarah Sloboda’s Instagram 

More from Minted:
Holiday Photo Cards
2016 Top-Voted Holiday Cards
Foil-Pressed Holiday Cards

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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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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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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