DIY: Colorful Utensil Wraps

Written by Sara Albers and Melissa Fenlon of  Alice & Lois

Add a bright pop of color to your summer picnics with these DIY utensil wraps. All you need is your favorite patterned paper—scrapbook paper, wrapping paper, card stock, you name it!—to make these cute little flatware envelopes. Here’s how we did it…

DIY Paper Utensil Envelope | alice & lois for minted
DIY Paper Utensil Envelope | alice & lois for minted

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

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DIY: Paper Coaster Garland

Written by Kathleen Ballos of  Snowdrop & Co

Recently I’ve been inspired by vintage paper coasters—there are so many gorgeous designs, especially some of the floral-patterned ones. After browsing for what must have been ages, I finally picked out a few sets to use for this DIY garland. Some of the coasters can get pricey, so I mixed in some plain and patterned card stock circles cut to match. This is such a simple project to do, but doesn’t it make a big impact? I can’t get over how striking the coasters are!

DIY Paper Coaster Garland | JulepDIY Paper Coaster Garland | Julep

Click through for full instructions … 

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New Minted Artists Talk Swimming and Nordic Design

Every month we welcome some of our newer Minted artists to the community in the Welcome Wagon series. Hop on and learn some fun facts about Roberta Pinna, Thuy DoAlice Galeotti, and Chloe Chung.

Roberta Pinna
New York and Milano, Italy

Website and Instagram: www.robertapinna.com, @robertapinnaart

My first winning design for Minted: “Duet

What’s been your favorite part of the Minted experience so far?
As a professional artist, I find Minted an excellent and unique platform to share my deep love for art and design with other artists and designers. We find exposure and support in the same environment. Everything is so fresh and joyful and, at the same time, exciting and challenging. Also, and most important, professionalism is a keyword in this context. I really feel part of an artist community. It is definitely real life and not only a mere digital experience.

If you could have dinner with any artist living or dead, who would you invite and why?
Robert Ryman. His use of white color for me represents perfection. His paintings are masterpieces of perfection.

A lot of your work features divers, what is the inspiration and story behind that subject for you?
I was born on an island called Sardegna, the second largest in the Mediterranean sea. I learned how to swim before I could walk. My passion for divers is related to my passion for water. In my works all swimming performances synthesize life—we all can do our best by turning a fall into a flight.

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Meet a Minted Artist: Jinhee Park

Artist and illustrator Jinhee Park studied fine art in South Korea and Japan before settling in Brooklyn. We caught up with her to find out her latest inspirations and exciting projects in the works (including a children’s book!).

Meet a Minted Artist: Jinhee Park

How did you end up doing what you’re doing now?
I vividly remember the day my journey to becoming an artist began. I was in 4th grade and stopped by my mother’s art school to meet her for dinner. She had a meeting, so she gave me a Tombow 4B pencil and asked me to draw an empty beverage can while I waited. That drawing really triggered everything and was the catalyst for my mother’s decision later to send me to an art college prep school. Since then, I’ve had a constant hunger to create things by drawing, painting, and designing.

Did you study art formally in school?
I graduated from Ewha Womans University in South Korea with a BFA and also studied interactive art at Tsukuba University in Japan. Before college, I studied drawing, watercolor, and oil painting for about eight years.

Where do you currently reside?
In 2015, I moved from Northern California to New York City for my husband’s work. I’ve enjoyed the hustle and bustle of urban life, but sometimes I miss laid-back, sunny California.

Meet a Minted Artist: Jinhee Park

Can you share the schedule of a typical day in the life?
My daily routine begins with grinding beans for my coffee and watching NY1 News. While drinking coffee, I check email and my social media accounts, as well as Minted. At around 10 a.m., I usually listen to podcasts while I begin my work—usually “This American Life,” “Note to Self,” or “Fresh Air” as I draw and paint. After lunch, if it’s sunny, I photograph recent art pieces using natural light. And if I’m feeling like I need to get out of the house, I’ll grab my art supplies and head to Carl Schurz Park on the East River, Central Park, or a cafe. At night, I primarily work on my digital pieces.

What are some of your own “rules” for living + working?
Make as many mistakes as you can, learn from them, repeat.

Meet a Minted Artist: Jinhee Park

Please describe your last month in a word.

Serendipity

Can you share an as-of-yet unrealized project with us?
I have two ongoing personal projects: the first is updating my website (jinseikou.com) and the other is creating illustrations for a children’s book.

Meet a Minted Artist: Jinhee Park

When did you begin painting and drawing?
I began drawing more seriously when I was 10 years old.

If you could sit down with any artist past or present, who would it be and where?
Mark Ryden and his wife Marion Peck at their studio in California

How do you approach your art?
Imagine, research, and observe

Meet a Minted Artist: Jinhee Park

Please tell us about your studio space.
My small desk is right next to the window so that I can draw and paint under natural light. When my eyes need a break, I look out the window and have a nice view of Yorkville.

What is your creative process like?
Whenever an idea pops into my head, I write it down immediately or quickly draw a rough sketch. Then, once I’m done with a piece, I open my idea archive of notes and sketches and look for my next theme or series from there.

What do you do when you encounter artist’s block?
Work out at the gym, take a bath, or listen to Arcangelo Corelli’s  I-Grave

Click through for more from Minted artist Jinhee Park

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Behind the Design: “Modern Marble” Wedding Invitation

Vancouver-based Minted designer Kelly Schmidt shares the vision and creative process behind her elegant, swirl-patterned wedding invitation “Modern Marble.”

Marble Wedding Invitation

What was the inspiration behind this wedding invitation?
I wanted to design something classic but modern. I envisioned a piece that was artistic and painterly, yet sophisticated and chic. I had been playing around with marbled paper patterns for a while, in borders and backgrounds for different concepts. Through some experimentation I flipped from flat colour to foil and was immediately inspired.

Describe your creative process – from initial idea to end result.
When inspiration strikes, I usually start brainstorming and making lists, trying to get all of my ideas down on paper in a messy mind map of writing and small, simple thumbnails. I narrow down my ideas and create loose inspiration boards and notes, drawing from all types of sources: art, photography, interiors, colour palettes, patterns, and textures.

I am typically working on more than one project at a time and I hop around between them, which means I’m getting inspiration and influences from different places and applying them in ways I might not expect at the outset. I am all about experimentation and happy accidents with unexpected results. I use Photoshop and Illustrator heavily through this trial and error phase, saving many different ideas. It’s common for me to use hand-drawn or hand-crafted elements, which I manipulate digitally, sometimes extensively so. I go on feeling a lot, with what feels right. My end results are often drastically different from my original idea.

Describe the couple that might choose this invitation for their wedding.
While I was working on this design, I envisioned a professional, creative couple who frequent art galleries, cultural events and concerts. They are well traveled and adventurous with strong, traditional values. I imagine the wedding as a sophisticated and elegant event, with rustic greenery, a muted palette and soft romantic lighting.

What wedding trends do you love right now?
I love how weddings have become an opportunity for couples to create an event that is unique and filled with personal touches that make the day extra special. I love seeing all the different ways couples are incorporating metallic details into their weddings to make it their own. It adds a touch of elegance and can mix with any style; vintage, black tie or rustic.

I can’t talk about trends without talking about food and drink! Classic cocktails are at the top of my list. I love a good Manhattan, Old Fashioned or Mint Julep. We had a classic cocktail menu at our wedding and everyone loved it! Family style receptions are something I am really excited about. I love this way of eating (I can never decide what to eat because I like to try everything!) and I love that it’s becoming popular for weddings.

What were some challenges you faced while designing this invitation?
I wanted a classic design and started out with very traditional serif typefaces, but then decided to experiment more with the type, mixing things up to create something more modern. I was torn on which direction to go. I always tweak and push my designs until all the elements feel right. The hard part is trusting that what I’m feeling in that moment will resonate with others as well (and that I will still like it the next day!).

Tell us about your workspace.
I often do my messy process work on the dining room table where I can spread out. If I’m doing production work, it’s more flexible so sometimes I’ll work at a smaller desk in our den, or go out to a local pub or coffee shop if I feel like I need a change in scenery. We just moved this past year so we are also working on turning one of our small rooms upstairs into a studio space where I can be a bit more messy with paint and exploration.

How did you start designing for Minted?
I had been following Minted online for a few years while considering the launch of my own wedding stationery line. I was curious but felt intimidated about entering challenges, because of the high caliber of work. Once I started entering challenges I learned how open, inclusive and supportive the community is, and I am so grateful to be a part of Minted.


More from Kelly Schmidt:
Kelly’s Minted Store
Kelly’s Instagram

More from Minted:
• Wedding Invitations
• Save the Date Cards
• Wedding Websites

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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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Minted 2015 Holiday Challenge Winners Visit San Francisco

When we asked the top three winners of Minted’s 2015 Holiday Challenge about the favorite part of their prize-winning trip to San Francisco, they shared similar sentiments about instant connection. “Being an independent designer can sometimes be a little lonely,” explained first-place winner Karly Depew. “So getting to be with Kristie [Kern] and Phrosné [Ras] and meeting the people who work hard at Minted to make our designs come to life was inspiring and invigorating.”

The 2015 holiday challenge winners outside Minted’s San Francisco office, from left: Karly Depew of Oscar & Emma; Phrosné Ras; Kristie Kern. “The trip was a whirlwind!” Kristie said. “The Minted team kept us on the go from the time we hit the ground, which was absolutely perfect for me. It was my first trip to San Francisco, and I wanted to take in as much as possible. The experience was a great combination of sightseeing, celebration, and opportunities to learn more about Minted.”    

The winning designs of The Most Wonderful Time 2015 Holiday Card Challenge, from left: “Embellished” by Karly Depew of Oscar & Emma; “Amazing Frame” by Phrosné Ras; “Sparkling Frame” by Kristie Kern.

After spending nearly three days with Karly, Phrosné, and Kristie, exploring the city’s restaurants and sites—including breakfast with CEO Mariam Naficy at The Battery—it’s an understatement to say that we at Minted learned a lot from the artists. We really got to know them and enjoyed hearing about everything from their families to the fact that they’re all self-taught designers to their tongue-in-cheek fears about earthquakes and “what if foil goes out of style?”

When we asked if the artists had any “a-ha!” moments after visiting the Minted office and meeting the other artists, Phrosné talked about feeling inspired to experience “the brain behind the brand.” “Minted employees are constantly working on new and exciting things,” she said. “I was also reminded that the three of us shared an uncertainty about our work and a desire to improve. We share and recognize in each other a healthy insecurity about our work, which I believe is a powerful thing, because you’ll never become complacent.”

We hope you enjoy our photo album of the trip.

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Perfect Match Award Roundup: Special Prizes

Announcing the special prize winners for our Perfect Match Awards! Our customers love that they can choose matching Minted Envelope designs that carry the theme of the invitation through to the envelope. These awards are for the most creative envelope designs that add something extra special to the invitations they accompany. A huge congrats to all the winners and runners-up!

The Most Wonderful Time 2015 Holiday Card Challenge
Merrily Matching Award


Everlasting Love Save the Date Challenge
Perfect Match Award

Suite Love Wedding Invitation Challenge
Perfect Match Award

Great Expectations Baby Shower Invitation Challenge
Perfect Match Award

Sweet Celebrations Kids’ Birthday Party Invitation Challenge
Perfect Match Award

Imagery created by Leah Conroy
Perfect Match Awards will be announced as a roundup twice a year. 
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DIY: Felt Mouse Favors

Written by  Kathleen Ballos

Have you ever tried sugar mice? I haven’t, but they look so adorable that I couldn’t help but use them as inspiration for these DIY party favors. Traditional sugar mice are apparently most common around the holidays but the pastel colors are perfect for summer, too, don’t you think? Fill these DIY felt mice with wrapped candies (I used Starburst and saltwater taffy) for a sweet little thank-you gift at your next birthday party or baby shower.

DIY Felt Mouse Favors | JulepDIY Felt Mouse Favors | Julep

Click through for the step-by-step instructions

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Artists Create Fun Inside #MintedBox

We tend to encourage out-of-the-box thinking, but for a fun summer project, we’re thinking about the inside of the box. We invited a small group of Minted Artists to get creative with Minted shipping boxes. The result? #MintedBox, a collection of eight interactive designs, including an astronaut by Bob Daly, rocket ship by Jessie Steury, and hot dog by Kayla King. This summer, customers who order stationery products will receive their products in one of the #MintedBox designs, in honor of Minted’s community of independent artists.

#MintedBox hot dog design by Kayla King, sported by Lolita and Joe, the dog and husband of Minted Artist and Creative Director Annie Clark.

This is project #001 of the Minted 100
The Minted 100 is an ongoing series of projects by Minted to promote collaboration among and between our community and customers. Projects will vary between big and small, but always focused on independent, creativity-first thinking.

#MintedBox cactus design by Pistols, worn by Avery, the daughter of Mary-Kevin Stuart, Minted’s Senior Merchandise Manager, Baby + Kids.

#MintedBox Social Media Campaign
We’re encouraging customers to show our community how far their art has traveled with the #MintedBox social media campaign and contest. Get your creative juices going and take a fun photo of yourself with a Minted Box to post on Instagram with the hashtag #MintedBox. Tell us where you are, and we’ll put you on the Minted Box Map on Minted.com. We’ll award prizes for the first in your state to post, the furthest away from the artist to post, and many more.

#MintedBox ice cream truck design by Susie Allen, sported by Delaney, a friend of Karen Zinn, Minted’s Head of Catalog.

Susie Allen shares a few insights about her #MintedBox ice cream truck design.

Minted: Have you ever done anything like this before?
Susie Allen:
No, and I’m excited to see it in person. One thing I love about working with Minted is the variety of new materials and genres I’ve been able to experiment with, from customizable art prints to fabric/home decor — and now interactive boxes.

Your ice cream truck design is really clever. How did you approach the concept?
When I got the assignment, one of the suggested themes was an ice cream truck, based on my “Ice Cream Truck” custom art print. I really loved the idea, but I knew it was going to be a challenge to make it into a character with a face, and an image that extended down the length of the box. When I hit on the idea of a whimsical map-like scene winding through different landscapes, it really clicked with the idea of the boxes traveling all over America. There was still a bit more box to fill, so I added some optional cutout props to up the interactive factor.

Ice Cream Truck” custom art print by Susie Allen

What did you learn from the #MintedBox project?
That limitations can actually be super helpful for the creative process. The map-like scene (complete with happy sun) is my very favorite part of the image, and it’s not something I would have conceptualized without the challenge to make use of such a long, narrow space. I was initially very nervous about the color restrictions — only three Pantone colors (plus the white background) to make a fun image that really pops. That limitation forced me to make decisions I typically wouldn’t (like red/pink trees and lakes) and to incorporate texture into the illustration in different ways than I normally do. This project has really changed the way I look at color, and I’m excited about using some of the new tricks I learned in upcoming work.

Learn more on the #MintedBox page.

About the Author: Amy Schroeder, Minted’s Community Content Manager, founded Venus, the magazine about women in the arts and DIY culture, and has written for Etsy, West Elm, and NYLON. Connect on Instagram @thevenuslady.

Published June 29, 2016 • Want to join the Minted Artist Community? Submit to a Challenge here.
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