How To: Decorate a Store-Bought Cake

Sometimes there just isn’t any time to bake a cake from scratch. And sometimes your attempt at a homemade cake completely flops. And sometimes all the birthday kid really wants is bakery frosting. Whatever the reason, there’s no shame in a store-bought cake. And all it takes is a few minutes to make it look good, no skill required.

easy ways to decorate a cake

Click through to see the “before” cake and two other decorating ideas below…

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Baby Shower Invitation Challenge: Special Prize Winners

Announcing the special prizes for our Great Expectations Baby Shower Invitation Challenge! Friends and family of expectant parents come to Minted seeking a baby shower invitation that not only sets the stage for this event, but is also special enough to serve as a cherished keepsake for the parents-to-be. We turned to you, our talented community, to shower us with the most unique baby shower invitation designs in the world! We were blown away with what you dreamed up for this challenge. Congratulations to all the winners and runners-up!

For the most design-forward, innovative baby shower invitation
Fresh Feathers by Simona Cavallaro


Runners-up: Agave Bebe by Marabou Design | Nesting by Anne Holmquist
Bohemian Babe by Lorent and Leif


For the best design specifically created for one of the Minted’s unique shapes
Welcome to the World by Laura Bolter Design

Runners-up: Up Up and Away by Baumbirdy | Baby’s Breath by Susan Moyal


For the best design that celebrates both parents-to-be
Good Sport by Shari Margolin

Runners-up: Brewing baby love by heythird | Baby Brews & BBQ by Sarah Brown


For the best design for an alternative to a traditional baby shower
Cool Little Reveal by Ashley Hegarty

Runners-up: Miles Apart by Sarah Brown | Box Reveal by Leah Bisch
Modern Sip & See by Hooray Creative

Click through for more special prize winners

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How To: Throw a Baby Shower in Just One Week

I recently threw a baby shower for my sister-in-law and, while I knew about it for months, I procrastinated as usual and put it all together in just a week’s time. Amazingly, it turned out just how I wanted it to, so here are my tips and timeline advice on throwing a great shower when you find yourself short on time:

baby shower decorations

One Month Before the Shower:
• Mail the baby shower invitations (okay, so this is the only step that should be done more than a week out).

fresh floral garland hanging balloons eucalyptus garland

One Week Before the Shower:
• Order florals. I ordered bay leaf and seeded eucalyptus garlands and peonies from Flower Muse. Accessibility to great florals is limited in my area so ordering online was the way to go. The quality was great and all the guests commented on how nice the garlands smelled.
• Order cookie containers to pass out as favors.
• Order any other supplies that aren’t convenient for you to buy locally, like pretty paper plates and decorations.

baby shower printables

Three Days Before the Shower:
• Print “motherly advice” cards and cookie-favor labels and trim.

baby shower menu
pink ombre cake

Two Days Before the Shower:
• Purchase food and any final supplies. The menu for this shower included turkey/bacon/pesto sandwiches, pasta and green salads, guacamole and chips, smoothies, and chocolate cake.

baby shower decorations

One Day Before the Shower:
• Food prep, which included making cookies for the favors
• Hang balloons from ceiling with fishing line and tape
• Decorate

hanging upside down balloons
where to order fresh flowers

Day of the Shower:
• Finish food prep
• Arrange florals
• Set out party favors
• Celebrate!

party favors

Completely doable right?! Proof that a great party doesn’t have to take loads of time.

Resources:
• Baby banner, lanterns, and cake plates from Meri Meri
• Greenery garlands and peonies from Flower Muse
• Table linen fabric from Minted
• Pint containers (for cookies) on Amazon
• Letter board from Letterfolk


More How-To Guides:
• How To: Host the Prettiest Spring Brunch
• How To: Create an Art Gallery Wall at Home
• How To: Make Mini “Naked” Cakes

More from Minted:
• Fabric
• Stickers and Labels
• Name Labels

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DIY: Oversize Diaper Pins for a Baby Shower

Written by Kathleen Ballos of Snowdrop & Co

I love browsing through vintage paper goods—some of the designs and patterns are so striking! Today’s DIY project was inspired by retro baby-shower wrapping paper I recently found. Since most of the baby shower decorations available at party stores are either very baby pink or baby blue, I thought it would be more interesting to use a coral instead to match these “Modern Momma” baby shower invitations by Lauren Chism. Hang a pair of giant diaper pins on the front door of the baby shower venue, or make a few as decoration for the party. You could even use real safety pins and glue them to the backs of invitation envelopes!

DIY: Baby Shower Decor DIY: Baby Shower Decor

Click through for step-by-step instructions … 

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Baby Shower Idea: Tropical Jungle

Coming up with a fun and fresh baby-shower theme can be a bit of a challenge, but as soon as I saw Rebecca Turner’s “Jungle Fun” fabric, I knew it’d be perfect. The cheerful, illustrated pattern is just the right mix of playfulness and whimsy, and just begs to be the star of the show at the party. So, shower the mama-to-be with a jungle-themed celebration with darling decorations, freshly cut palm leaves, and plenty of tropical touches. Keep reading for our party-throwing tips…

jungle baby shower for minted by kelli hallrebecca turner jungle fun print table linen for jungle baby showerRebecca Turner’s “Jungle Fun” fabric inspired the whole shower vibe.

jungle baby shower for minted styled by kelli hall

1. Set the tone with a bold print.
This table is deceptively simple to pull together: All you need are simple dishware paired with fresh-cut palms. This lets the tablecloth be the real star, acting as a focal point and infusing the tabletop with playful energy. I especially love how this print feels like a storybook narrative is unfolding across the table. And the beauty of using a strong statement print as the focal point on the table is it becomes a jumping-off point for all other party elements.

wildflower journal j.bartyn for minted

In addition to the table linen, I used details like this custom baby journal (above) to incorporate other patterns with a similar jungle vibe, like the winding vines and green palm prints on the cover.

hibiscus fizz cocktail jungle baby shower by kelli hall for minted

2. Serve tropical-themed nibbles.
The party menu doesn’t have to be complicated; simple tropical-inspired flavors will create the right vibe. Think: coconut-lime chicken salad, tropical fruit skewers, or prosciutto crostini. For drinks, I served up this recipe for hibiscus soda (with a couple of minor tweaks—I went lighter on the hibiscus tea and swapped the raspberries for hibiscus flowers).

jungle baby shower for mintedI love how the linear pattern on the baby shower invitation feels like a stylized palm illustration.

baby tiger stationery by rebecca turner for minted

3. Get creative with gifts.
What’s a baby shower without a few presents for the mom-to-be? One of my favorite ideas: Gifting the guest of honor with coordinating stationery that she can use once the little one arrives (made extra-special by printing the new baby’s name up top!). Another idea: A custom baby book for her to record special events from baby’s first year.

gold jungle animal place card holdersGold elephants and tigers make the perfect place card holders.

jungle print baby shower for mintedThese “Sprinkled Love” place cards complement the linen’s navy-blue snake illustrations.

Click through for more tips on throwing a jungle-themed baby shower

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How To: Host the Prettiest Spring Brunch

Spring is in the air! My favorite way to celebrate the season? By hosting a brunch for friends, with a pretty palette inspired by glowy honey golds and delicate spring blossoms. Want to host your own spring-inspired fête? Keep reading for my tips on welcoming the season with a simple, freshly styled table.


spring pollen and rose quartz inspired brunch table by kelli hall

1. Set the tone with table linens.
A striped table linen offers the perfect graphic counterpoint to feminine blooms—after all, it’s about simplicity and balance. I like a linen with an asymmetrical, relaxed drape. To be completely honest, this tablecloth had a raw edge, which I don’t mind at all: I simply trimmed some yardage from one of my favorite patterned fabrics and tossed it on the table. Add cloth napkins with painted cherry blossoms and you’ve got a fresh, pretty table.

spring pollen and rose quartz inspired brunch table by kelli hall, copper piping place card holder

2. Add simple (and cheap!) table accessories.
Place cards can work for even the smallest of gatherings and add a special touch to a relaxed table. The key is easy presentation: Here, I repurposed simple copper pipe caps to hold a each place card (check back later this week for the copper place-card holder DIY). As for the napkins? I threaded the cloth napkins through a gold-toned purse ring. Napkin rings feel fresh again and these purse findings make the perfect linen bundle (and cost less than a dollar per ring!). Unsure if gold and copper can play well together? Of course they can—mixed metallics make for an decidedly informal feel.

spring pollen and rose quartz inspired brunch table by kelli hall

3. Choose double-duty menu items.
To save both time and money, think about how your food can double as decor. Jewel-like honey pots, ruby-hued grapefruit slices, and soft meringue icing on a cake all taste as delicious as they look.

spring pollen and rose quartz inspired brunch table by kelli hallRuby-hued grapefruit adds a pop of color to the table.

spring pollen and rose quartz inspired brunch table by kelli hallHoney jar favors will give your spring table a soft, amber glow.

Click through for more tips on hosting a spring brunch

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DIY: Fabric-Covered Party Hats

Written by Sara Albers and Melissa Fenlon of  Alice & Lois

We are all about keeping it simple when it comes to birthday parties and today we’re sharing this fun fabric party-hat DIY. This project is the perfect way to use up those leftover fabric scraps you’ve been hanging on to! We decided on a neutral color palette of light green, grey, and white, then chose some fun Minted fabrics to match and added a pop of color with bright turquoise ribbon. Best of all, you only need a few supplies to make these festive and fun party hats for your next birthday party.

DIY Fabric Covered Party Hat | alice & lois for minted
DIY Fabric Covered Party Hat | alice & lois for minted

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

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Conversation Hearts Valentine’s Day Party for Kids

Roses are red, violets are blue, we LOVE this Valentine party and hope you do too!

Valentine’s Day is one of Happy Wish Company‘s favorite holidays and when we saw Minted’s adorable Conversation Heart Valentine Party Décor and coordinating invitation, we just knew it was begging for a celebration.

The peach, light pink, dark pink and white color scheme is such a sweet twist on the traditional red and white, and gives this party a fresh, creamsicle-like feel.

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How to: Host a Sweet Cookie-Decorating Party

Want a surefire way to delight a group of kids this Valentine’s Day? Encourage them to play with their food! We dreamed up this bold and bright cookie-decorating party with a sweet modern theme; recreate it at home this Valentine’s Day by following our steps below.


Step 1: Invite Your Guests
Set the tone for your cookie-decorating party with a bold and bright invitation. Think: modern typography, graphic lines, and loads of saturated color. We adore this “In Love” invitation by Kim Dietrich Elam.

Step 2: Pre-Bake the Cookies
Store-bought dough is perfect for this (that’s what we used), but if you’d like to make your own dough from scratch, we love this sugar-cookie recipe from Julep contributor Melissa Bahen of Lulu the Baker. Pre-bake the cookies ahead of time for your party; estimate three to six cookies for each child to decorate (you’ll pack up the extras for them to enjoy later).

Condiment squeeze bottles are much easier for kids to use
(and are way less messy!) than icing piping bags.

Step 3: Prep the Cookie Decorations
Here’s what you’ll need:
• Royal icing and condiment bottles
We made ours using this royal-icing recipe; add flavors and colors to the icing to your liking, then pour the icing into squeeze bottles and label each with a flavor sticker.
• Sprinkles/candy/other cookie embellishments and paint palette trays
Plastic paint palettes are a clever way to neatly corral all your cookie embellishments in one place.

Tip: If you have young kids, you can pre-frost the cookies by flooding them with a layer of royal icing (above) and allowing them to set in advance. The kids can then use the icing bottles to “glue” on cookie decorations like sprinkles and candy.

Letter-shaped cookie cutters will help the little decorators find their seat.

Step 4: Set Up
Before everyone arrives:
• Cover your tabletop with a playful table linen that complements the overall party vibe. We used “Golden Triangle” by Cindy Lackey. Alternatively, you could cut rectangles of wrapping paper to make placemats (so easy to clean up, too!).
• Stack the pre-baked cookies on a tray in the center of the table.
• Set out individual cookie-decorating embellishments at each place setting (the paint palettes also work perfectly for mixing icing and sprinkles!)
• Set out a cookie cutter in each child’s initial. They make the perfect place marker and take-home gift for future baking adventures.

Click through to read the rest of our cookie-decorating party ideas

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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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