Throw a Spooky Halloween Party

Written by Alicia Johnson and Betsey Hodge of  Happy Wish Company

Spiders, pumpkins, and bats, OH MY! Get in the trick-or-treat spirit with our spooky Halloween party. Minted’s creepy-crawly “Let’s Get Spooky!” invite (also available as a free online Halloween party invitation) set the stage for a classic orange, black, and white color scheme. Your little ghosts and goblins will have fun haunting your party—they can dress up in their spook-tacular costumes, carve pumpkins, and, of course, eat all the sweets! Keep reading to learn how to make a Halloween balloon garland, friendly ghost cupcakes, and amazing frosted-skull sugar cookies…

Minted Halloween Party Invitations

DIY: Creepy-Crawly Balloon Backdrop
Our DIY kit includes everything you need to make a haunted balloon garland to set a spooky mood but you can make one on your own, too! Use a combination of large and small Halloween-colored balloons like orange, black, and silver in a mixture of solids and polka dots. Have you ever used a balloon decorating strip? It’s clear plastic strip with perforated holes that you use as a template for your balloon garland; the strip can hold up to 12 latex balloons per foot. Simply pull the knotted ends of inflated balloons through the evenly spaced holes and trim the strip to the right length. To increase the fright factor, you can add pulled-cotton spider webs and eerie eyeballs made out of construction paper. The kids will love it!

Click through for more from our spooky Halloween party

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Meet a Minted Artist: Leah Bisch

Leah Bisch certainly is a talented graphic designer – especially for someone who majored in physical geography and originally intended to be a meteorologist. As she tells the story, Leah was always dropping in and out of art classes in elementary and high school, “but it never occurred to me that I could make a career out of it.”

Here, the Los Angeles Minted artist talks more about life as a part-time happy-go-lucky designer and part-time crazed-toddler-mommy.

Where did you go to school?
While I loved art and illustration, I ended up earning my BA from UC Santa Barbara in physical geography. I know—what? My studies focused on the planet and its processes, like weather and natural disasters. I’ve always had a strange fascination with weather—I’m actually irrationally terrified of thunderstorms, so I guess it’s a good thing I live in sunny Southern California. When I was a child, my dad owned a roofing company and he was always watching the weather channel to keep an eye out for rain in the forecast. I remember being interested in watching how weather patterns form and it seemed like a cool career.

So how did you go from geography student to artist?
After college, I eventually found myself working in marketing for a winery in Malibu. We didn’t have the budget to hire designers to create promotional items, so it was on my shoulders to create email blasts, event invitations, and flyers for the company. I found that I got swept up in that kind of work—in a good way. However, I soon felt limited in my design capabilities and wanted to get a formal education to enhance my skills. I enrolled in evening design classes at Otis College of Art and Design. The more classes I took, the more I wanted to learn, and I eventually left my job and enrolled in classes full time at Santa Monica College (SMC). The program at SMC gave me a solid foundation in the fundamentals of design like typography, layout and color theory. I also committed myself to reading every design book I could get my hands on.

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DIY: Rosé Halloween Costume

Written by Kathleen Ballos of  Snowdrop & Co

Halloween always seems to sneak up on me! Stepping foot into a party store this time of year can be a bit crazy, so I put together this quick DIY costume for my fellow procrastinators out there. It feels like 2016 has been the year of rosé, so why not celebrate by dressing up as the pink wine itself? Cheers!!

Rosé Halloween Costume | Julep

Click through for full instructions …

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Minted Real Wedding: Cassie & Scott in Aubrey, TX

Cassie and Scott, after a doozy of a wedding proposal in Aruba (involving Cassie passing out!), decided to tie the knot at The Grove, a stunning alfresco venue in Aubrey, TX. The couple sent out Minted save the dates (“Sweet Embrace” by Hooray Creative) and foil-pressed wedding invitations (“Engraved Flowers” by Phrosné Ras), then exchanged teary “I dos” before their 95 guests (including many of the groom’s family members who had traveled all the way from Australia).

Minted Real Wedding at The Grove in Aubrey, Texas

Bride and groom: Cassandra Tipps & Scott Mcguinness
Occupations: Professional figure skating coach (Cassie); PGA Tour caddy (Scott)
Based in: McKinney, Texas
Wedding dateNovember 14, 2015
Venue: The Grove, Aubrey, Texas
Number of guests: About 95
Minted save-the-date card:Sweet Embrace” by Hooray Creative
Minted wedding invitation: “Engraved Flowers” by Phrosné Ras
Wedding planner: Wendy Kay from Birds of a Feather Events
Florist: The Southern Table
Cake designer: Jar Cakery
Photographer: Apryl Ann Photography

How did you and Scott meet?
Scotty and I met at Christie’s Sports Bar in uptown Dallas. A girlfriend of mine and I went to the restaurant/bar to watch one of the Dallas Stars playoff games. (My friend and I were ice girls at the time for the NHL hockey team, so we were and are pretty big hockey fans.) We sat in a booth towards the back by ourselves, ordered food, and focused our attention on the game. Scotty and his friend were sitting nearby—his friend ended up saying hi first, but it didn’t take long for Scotty (who was pretty shy at first) to come over and sit across from me after my friend got up to go to the bathroom. We continued to talk and the game ended, and as we were walking out he asked for my number so we could hang out soon. The rest is history!

Tell us about the proposal!
Okay, so I have a story for ya… The second week of December 2014, I had a weeklong break from work, so Scotty and I took off to Aruba for a nice, warm vacation. (Little did I know he had already asked my father for my hand and bought a ring.)

The day that he proposed was a doozy. We had planned to go on a four-hour excursion to the south part of the island with a tour group; our first stop was a natural pool surrounded by volcanic rock. When I got in the water, I struggled with my flotation device and I remember kicking a sharp rock. I got out and one of our guides noticed I had cut my foot and was bleeding. Now, anyone who knows me knows I don’t do well in these situations—I sat down and suddenly felt queasy. While holding on to Scotty and trying not to pay attention to the guy cleaning me up, I passed out. Fell into Scotty arms. Out cold. I came to about a minute later and was very out of it. “Where am I? Why do I hear water?” The rest of the day was a slow one. Being bandaged up and very groggy, I told Scotty I didn’t know if I was up for dinner that night and he put absolutely no pressure on me to go, which I loved. Thankfully, I decided to suck it up and go out—we were in Aruba, after all!

Little did I know that Scotty had it all planned: a table on the beach with a perfect view of the sunset (I thought we just got lucky!). After dinner, it took forever for our check to come. Scotty went to “ask” for it and our waiter came over and suggested we take more photos. This was weird to me since it was dark by this time, but we stood up and suddenly the saxophone player, who had been playing for the restaurant, walked over playing “All of Me” by John Legend. Next thing I know Scotty is saying “I love you so much,” crying, and fumbling with this little blue bag (Tiffany!). He got down on one knee and asked, “Will you marry me?” I started crying and said “YES!” I kissed him, we hugged, and the all of the guests at the restaurant clapped and cheered. What. A. Day.

Minted Real Wedding at The Grove in Aubrey, Texas

Who made your wedding dress?
Wtoo by Watters

What was the wedding-dress shopping process like?
Fun. I loved seeing how different dress styles looked on me—big and poofy, slim and classic. I definitely wasn’t a “first dress” girl. It took me a little while to realize what I wanted. And my mom, who is a dressmaker, was there every step of the way to help me, as well.

Click through for more from Cassie and Scott’s wedding

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Horror Movie-Inspired Cocktails: The Spider Bite

Next up in our horror movie-inspired series of Halloween cocktails: The Spider Bite. It’s an Arachnophobia-themed libation that’s a fitting homage to the deadly arachnid nest in the film. In the spirit of the film, the drink is infested with an oozing overflow of gelatinous spider eggs, threatening to burst open and release a torrent of tiny hatchlings. But don’t let its sinister look fool you—this cocktail is actually silk sweet and full of rich coffee flavors (the spider eggs are simply tapioca pearls with flecks of vanilla bean!).


More Horror Movie-Inspired Cocktails:
• The Spider Bite (inspired by Arachnophobia)
The Eel Charmer (inspired by Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein) 


halloween horror inspired cocktails by kelli hall: Spider bite black russian with tapioca pearl spider sac garnish
A shallow glass like a coupe will help the “spider eggs” float to the top when filled with ice.

halloween horror inspired cocktails by kelli hall: Spider bite black russian with tapioca pearl spider sac garnishTapioca pearls with flecks of vanilla bean shine like spider sacs, ready to hatch.

Click through for the recipe for The Spider Bite cocktail

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DIY: Splatter-Paint Halloween Treat Bag

Written by Sara Albers and Melissa Fenlon of  alice & lois

I don’t know about you, but I have fond memories of splatter painting just about everything in my youth. I used the same technique to create a one-of-a-kind Halloween goody bag that’s simple to whip up and makes a bold impact. I used cotton muslin bags and black paint to add dramatic, creepy-cool splatters—throw in some treats, candy corn, pencils, spider rings, and more for a festive surprise for the kiddos. These DIY splatter-paint Halloween treats bags are guaranteed to liven up your Halloween party.

DIY Splatter Paint Halloween Treat Bags | alice & lois for minted

Click through for the full tutorial

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2016 Holiday and Christmas Photo Card: Special Prizes

Announcing the Special Prize winners of our Oh Come, All Ye Faithful Religious Christmas Photo Card Quickfire Challenge (non-foil and foil) and Making Spirits Bright Holiday Photo Card Challenge (non-foil and foil)! We counted down the top-voted winners and Editors’ Picks for these Challenges back in September, and we’re thrilled to share the Special Prizes winners with you now.

Oh Come, All Ye Faithful Religious Christmas Photo Card Quickfire Challenge

Completely Classic Award

For the most unique, traditional design inspired by a religious sentiment or hymn
Starry” by Jessica Williams


Religious Scripture Award

For the best design inspired by religious scripture
Glory Bookplate” by Lorent and Leif


Multi Photo Award

For the best religious design that showcases multiple photos
His Blessings” by Erica Krystek


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DIY: Ghost Wine-Bottle Wrap

Written by Kathleen Ballos of  Snowdrop & Co

What are your Halloween plans this year? We’re going to a friend’s house for dinner and a night in watching scary movies. When I started to think about what to bring, it struck me how easy it would be to dress up a bottle of wine for the occasion! Keep reading to see exactly how to make your own ghostly wine bottle this Halloween. Boo!

Ghost Wine Wrap for Halloween | JulepGhost Wine Wrap for Halloween | Julep

Click through for the step-by-step instructions … 

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DIY: Felt Eyeball Planters

Written by Sharon Garofalow of  Cupcakes and Cutlery

I’ve never been a fan of Halloween. I don’t like scary things and would rather ignore it all and move on to the other fall and winter holidays. My kids, however, love Halloween. So I compromise by decorating with things that are cute and just a little creepy. This eyeball planter is super easy to make and perfect for our Halloween décor. You don’t even need to worry about keeping your plant alive—this is the only time of year when dead plants fit right in, which is good news for anyone (like me!) without a green thumb.

Click through to learn how to make this easy eyeball-embellished planter

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Horror Movie-Inspired Cocktails: The Eel Charmer

Taking cues from my favorite classic horror movies, I’ve whipped up three Halloween concoctions that are guaranteed to make your skin crawl. First up, an homage to Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein in the form of a life-giving citrus elixir: The Eel Charmer. The recipe includes a hefty dose of zingy orange and a potent shot of bourbon to invigorate—all in the spirit of De Niro’s life-giving eel bath from the 1994 film.

eel charmer frankenstien-inspired halloween cocktail by kelli halleel charmer frankenstien-inspired halloween cocktail by kelli halleel charmer frankenstien-inspired halloween cocktail by kelli hallAn orange peel eel is surprisingly simple to pull off.

Keep reading for the recipe for The Eel Charmer

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