Chip + Joanna Gaines, Sweet Paul, and Girls With Glasses’ Holiday Card Picks

Back in April we announced the guest judges of our “Making Spirits Bright” Holiday Photo Card Challenge: Joanna and Chip Gaines of HGTV’s Fixer Upper, and Paul “Sweet Paul” Lowe, Editor-in-Chief of Sweet Paul Magazine. Shortly before that, we announced that blog and YouTube personalities The Girls With Glasses would be the guest judges of our “Oh Come, All Ye Faithful” Religious Christmas Card Challenge. To say that a number of Minted artists were excited is an understatement.

Without further ado, here are our guest judges’ picks from each challenge, along with their thoughts about the designs.

Guest Judges Picks: 2016 Holiday Card Photo Card Challenge

Joanna and Chip Gaines (pictured above) are one of the most popular couples on TV — they’re in the business of flipping left-for-dead homes for their clients: Chip handles construction and Joanna focuses on design.

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Great Expectations & Sweet Celebrations Challenges: Guest Judges’ Picks

Announcing the Guest Judge prizes from our Great Expectations Baby Shower Invitation Challenge and Sweet Celebrations Quickfire Kids’ Birthday Party Invitation Challenge!

Great Expectations Baby Shower Invitation Challenge

We were thrilled to partner with the talented ladies from 100 Layer Cakelet, a creative collaboration between friends and fellow designers Jillian Clark, Amanda Dawbarn, and Kristina Meltzer. Their wedding blog, 100 LayerCake, launched in 2009. 100 Layer Cakelet, their family blog and newest addition to the brand, is the natural next step, for readers who want a space that can inspire their lives after the last bits of wedding confetti have been combed from their hair.

They selected “Bright Confetti Pop” by Ashley Little of Little Print Design. They “loved the simplicity and the fun modern design and that it’s totally appropriate for a boy or girl (or surprise!) shower.” 100 Layer Cakelet announced their selection via Instagram to share this great design with their followers in addition!

Congratulations, Ashley!

Bright Confetti Pop” by Little Print Design


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My Heart in San Francisco: Special Prize Winners

Announcing the special prizes for our My Heart in San Francisco Quickfire Design Challenge! In support of our first-ever Minted retail store located in Union Square in San Francisco, CA, we looked to our talented Minted community, for unique art and designs that bring a piece of California, and especially the San Francisco Bay area, to life. The best designs showcased local spirit that both tourists and residents alike can take home and treasure. We were blown away with what you dreamed up for this challenge. Congratulations to all the winners!

For the best Art Print design
Pacific Coast Highway by Denise Wong


For the best Customizable Photo Art Print
that features a San Francisco theme

Golden Grizzly by 2birdstone


For the best fabric design that features a San Francisco theme
San Francisco Toile by Surface Love


For the most innovative and original designthat best captures
the spirit of San Francisco, the Bay area or California in general

Flower Power by Baumbirdy


For the design that best features a well known San Francisco or
California icon in a different and innovative manner

Hop On! by Paul Berthelot


Click through for more special prize winners

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2016 Holiday Photo Card Challenge: Non-Foil 1st Place Winner

Today is one of my favorite days of the year — when I have the privilege of announcing the winner of Minted’s annual Holiday Photo Card Challenge, the most competitive stationery design event in the entire industry. In the ninth year of this challenge, we received 5,078 entries from artists and 2,021,056 votes from voters. Everyone who entered deserves applause for their accomplishments, their risk-taking, and their support of their fellow artists.

I’m thrilled to announce that the first-place winner, as determined by voters, of the 2016 “Making Spirits Bright” Holiday Photo Card Challenge is Susan Moyal, from Toronto, Ontario, Canada, for her design “Christmas Sprigs.” Susan is the first artist from outside the U.S. in Minted history to take first place in our Holiday Photo Card Challenge!

Susan won $10,000 and a VIP trip to San Francisco along with second-place winner Ann Gardner for “Winter Window” and third-place winner Angela Marzuki for “Freshly Framed.” All voted-in winners and Editors Picks receive an up-front cash prize and earn ongoing commission on every sale of their winning designs. Scroll down to see a video of the surprise and my interview with Susan.

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2016 Holiday Photo Card Challenge: 2nd Place Non-Foil

By Easter, Christina, Kaitlyn, Elena, and Amy (Minted Artist Relations Team)

Without further ado, we’re thrilled to announce the second-place winner, as determined by voters, of our “Making Spirits Bright” Holiday Photo Card Challenge. Make sure to read on, below, about this artist who has given so much back to the Minted Artist community over the years.

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2016 Holiday Photo Card Winner: 3rd Place Non-Foil

By Ashley Ganz, Director, Merchandising, Holiday & Gifts

I feel incredibly inspired and impressed by our holiday assortment this year. The tremendous, innovative talent within the Minted Artist community never ceases to amaze me! It’s my honor to reveal our third-place winner for the non-foil category of the “Making Spirits Bright” Holiday Photo Card Challenge.

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2016 Holiday Photo Card Challenge: 4-10 Non-Foil; 1-2 Foil

By Amy Schroeder, Senior Manager, Artist Content & Education

Today we get into the very top ranks in our “Making Spirits Bright” Holiday Photo Card Challenge, including (drumroll…) announcing the top two entries, as determined by voters, in the foil category of the Challenge. We couldn’t be happier to congratulate the winners of this Challenge. We delight in your success!

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2016 Holiday Photo Card Challenge: 11-20 Non-foil; 3-6 Foil

By Christiane Pendarvis, VP Crowdsourcing Design & Operations 

The winners countdown continues for the “Making Spirits Bright” Holiday Photo Card Challenge. This is my first holiday season at Minted and I’ve been blown away by the quality of design produced by the community. Congratulations to all the winners!

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2016 Holiday Photo Card Challenge: 21-40 Non-Foil; 7-10 Foil

By Brady Wood

On April 4, we kicked off “Making Spirits Bright,” our ninth annual Holiday Photo Card Challenge. We asked the Minted community to create fresh, visionary designs that stand out on the mantel. And they did. We said, “There are no restrictions; we encourage you to be creative, take risks, and design cards that you and your friends would be proud to send.” As usual, our community surpassed our expectations.

This year, more than 500 artists submitted just over 5,000 designs, and their designs received a whopping 2,021,054 votes.

In our fine tradition, we’ll count down the top-ranked winners, as determined by voters. We’ll celebrate the winners from both the foil and non-foil categories of this challenge. Now, please help me congratulate the following artists on their remarkable work!

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2016 Religious Christmas Holiday Challenge: Top Winners

By Mariam Naficy

For the past several months, many Minted Artists have been heads-down, focused on creating the most beautiful, unique holiday card designs in the world. They’ve also been anxiously awaiting this blog post — the kickoff of our annual winner announcements for some of our most anticipated and celebrated Minted Design Challenges of the year.

The voters have spoken. Our guest judges — including Joanna and Chip Gaines of HGTV’s Fixer Upper, Paul “Sweet Paul” Lowe, and The Girls With Glasses — have made their picks. We’ll begin spilling the candy canes in just a moment.

For our ninth annual holiday card challenge season, we created something new: the “Oh Come, All Ye Faithful” Religious Christmas Card Quickfire Challenge, our very first faith-based design challenge. We developed this challenge for people who are specifically looking for religious or spiritual Christmas greetings and designs. We’re excited to share your cards with this growing market of Minted customers.

I’m thrilled yet again by the quality and beauty of this year’s submissions. If you’ve read our winner announcements in previous years, you’ve heard me say this before, and I want to reiterate: the Minted Artist community continues to surpass our expectations in design for the most unique, cutting-edge holiday cards.

As always, I want to thank every artist who submitted a design, gave a critique, voted in a design poll, and shared festive posts in the Minted Community Facebook group to help fellow community members get in the holiday spirit. At the end of the day, the heart and soul of Minted centers around our global community of independent artists and how they treat each other. We are a community that thrives on kindness and helping each other grow and learn with constructive criticism, and we appreciate all of us maintaining that spirit.

Here are the top winners, as determined by voters, for the “Oh Come, All Ye Faithful” Religious Christmas Photo Card Quickfire Challenge. Stay tuned for the start of the “Making Spirits Bright” Holiday Photo Card Challenge winners countdown tomorrow. Huge congrats to our first group of holiday winners!

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