Art on Your Sleeve T-shirt Challenge Special Prizes

For our first fun quickfire challenge of the year, we resurrected a community tradition from the Minted days of yore. We held our last Minted T-shirt design challenge in 2012 and we looked to our community to design fresh new t-shirts for us! We gifted these t-shirts to our community at the 2016 National Stationery Show. We’re looking forward to giving out more shirts to our community at some of the upcoming meetups this year!

Congratulations to our special prize winners! These designs will be repurposed as desktop wallpapers.

Employees’ Choice Award
For the design that captures the hearts of our Minted employees and of Minted’s founder, Mariam Naficy
Artsy by Stacy Kron

Out of the Box Award
For the most design-forward, innovative T-shirt design
Where Creativity Soars by Zhay Smith

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Minted Launches Minted Local (Our First Retail Store!)

Last week, Minted opened the doors to its first-ever brick-and-mortar store Minted Local, situated in the heart of San Francisco’s Union Square neighborhood. The shop brings the e-commerce company’s products to life and features art, home goods, and stationery from Minted’s community of independent artists and designers. The boutique also emphasizes the work of California-based artists and offers original art and one-of-a-kind items (which we’ve never done before!).

We kicked things off last Thursday with an opening party featuring pressman Matt Kelsey operating an old-school letterpress in the shop window (he made art prints for guests to take home!), delicious bites from Taste Catering, and a flower bar where guests could create their own bouquet (and have it wrapped by yours truly!). During the first week, 50 percent of all sales will benefit Every Mother Counts, a non-profit organization founded by Christy Turlington Burns that is dedicated to making pregnancy and childbirth safer for mothers around the world.

Minted Local also will feature workshops, artists-in-residence programs, styling services, as well as interactive crafts and complimentary mementos to keep children entertained while you’re shopping. Come by to see it in real life and say hello! Minted Local is located at 222 Grant Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94108; we’re open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Minted Local store, San Francisco

Minted Local store, San Francisco

Minted Local, San Francisco

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Minted Artists Connect at National Stationery Show 2016

Just as Minted has come a long way since the company’s humble beginnings in 2007, NSS has evolved to become more than merely the country’s largest paper-goods trade show. It’s also an annual meeting place for the Minted community to connect, share ideas, and get inspired for the year ahead. Here’s a photo recap of the whirlwind that is NSS—from the vendor floor at Javits Center to the community cocktail party, CMYK Artist brunch, and the conversations in between.

Lower left: Mary-Kevin Stuart, Minted’s Senior Merchandise Manager, Baby + Kids, talks with NSS attendees about Minted Wholesale.
All Photos by Sara Wight

We showcased a sampling of Minted Home products for the first time at the 70th NSS.

Alicia Schultz of Vine and Thistle designed the lettering of this year’s brand statement for the Minted NSS booth.

NSS attendees were excited to take home this postcard map of New York’s High Line, designed by Minted Artist Jordan Sondler.


DIY: Graduation Garland with Notebooks and Diplomas

Written by Kathleen Ballos of  Snowdrop & Co

If there’s one thing I love, it’s marbled paper. I can’t help but be drawn to it, no matter the circumstance. Which means I’m obsessed with Minted’s “Modern Marble” wrapping paper by Kelli Hall and have been crafting with it pretty much nonstop. Today, I used it to make this simple notebook-and-diploma garland that’s perfect if you’re hosting a graduation party. Plus, wouldn’t it be fun to ask guests to leave a note for the new grad in the little blank books?

Graduation GarlandGraduation Garland

Click through for full instructions …

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Minted x West Elm Art Challenge: Special Prize Winners

Announcing the special prizes from our Minted x West Elm Round 4 Art Challenge! We were excited to partner with West Elm for the fourth year.  West Elm is a widely admired brand in the home decor space, known for their contemporary and eclectic style. And most importantly, West Elm shares our passion for discovering and supporting independent artists and makers. Congratulations to all the special prize winners!

West Elm Curator’s Choice Award
For the piece that most captures the attention of the West Elm Team
Lina y Challie by Lauren Packard Art

Photography Award
For the most beautiful and unique piece of photography
praia da ursa by Hi Uan Kang Haaga

Urban Award
For the best piece of art inspired by a city or industrial space
Scoring Through by Van Tsao

Click through for more special prize winners

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“Adventure Awaits” Printable Pennant Flags and DIY Garland

Written by Sara Albers and Melissa Fenlon of  Alice & Lois

It’s so hard to believe that in a few short weeks school will be out for the summer! If you have a special graduate in your house, kick off graduation day with a little fanfare with these printable “Adventure Awaits” pennant flags we created for you. Then add some flair to the graduation paper with a simple DIY paper garland done if their school colors. Get the free printable and paper-garland instructions below.

Adventure Awaits Free Printable Pennant Flags and DIY garlandAdventure Awaits Free Printable Pennant Flags and DIY garland

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


New Minted Artists Talk Prince, Day Jobs, And Creativity

Introducing the first edition of the Minted Welcome Wagon, where we spotlight a handful of new members of the community—and find out what makes our talented designers tick.

Zhay Smith
New York Metro Area

My first winning design: “Where Creativity Soars” for the Art On Your Sleeve Challenge

My Instagram:

The highlight of my Minted experience so far:
You want me to name just one? Now that’s a challenge! How about three?

1. I like that Minted is not just your run-of-the mill crowdsourcing experience. The people in the community are really present and willing to give advice that will move you forward when you need it.

2. The challenges are fun!

3. I like that we artists are encouraged to innovate, be ourselves, and bring our uniqueness to the table. As an artist, you get to hone your craft and expand your skill set. Minted has a true commitment to meritocracy, respects artists, and champions art and design. Wait, that’s beyond three, isn’t it?

Where Creativity Soars” by Zhay Smith

The most interesting thing about me: I’ve been told the most interesting thing about me is my perspective. I tend to see things through four lenses: fashion, history, craft, and culture. I always have my eyes open for things that intrigue me. Anyone who knows me, knows that I am constantly taking pictures of things that inspire my creativity. Whether it’s street fashion, a random oil slick, or it could just be noticing the way the leaves or flower petals fell on the ground that day. I appreciate latent beauty.


DIY: Make Your Own Clipboard Frame

Graduation season is officially upon us, which means a thoughtful gift for the soon-to-be graduate is in order. Help the grad in your life celebrate this huge milestone and embark on post-high school or college life (aka the real world!) with an art print bearing an encouraging, motivational message. Then, display the art piece on this easy-to-make clipboard “frame.”

• Bulldog clips (small or large)
• Gold spray paint
• Craft wood, cut to size
Art print (featured here are “World Awaits” by Johanna Phillips Huuva and “California Seascape” by Wilder California)
Command adhesive strips


1. Once you’ve selected your art print, cut the craft wood down to size. I cut mine so there was an extra inch on each side of the print to give it some breathing room.

2. Decide which clip size looks best. I used the smaller size clip for 5″ x 7″ prints and the larger clip for 8″ x 8″ and 8″ x 10″ prints. Spray paint your clip in a well-ventilated space; let dry completely.

3. Center your art print on the wood sheet and clip the print into place to secure.

4. Attach an adhesive strip to the back of the clipboard to adhere to your wall.

More DIY Ideas:
DIY: “Congrats” Screen-Printed Felt Flags
• DIY: Easy Ruler-Clip Frame
• DIY: Fabric-Covered Locker Magnets

More from Minted:
• Graduation Announcements and Invitations
Graduation Gifts
• Personalized Stationery for Graduates


Behind the Design: “Abstract Union” Wedding Invitation

Minted designer Simona Cavallaro, who lives and works in San Jose, Calif., takes us through the creative process for her modern, brushstroke-patterned “Abstract Union” wedding invitation.

What was the inspiration behind this wedding invitation?
I love combining contrasting trends together in interesting ways. Here I wanted to create something that felt chic and sophisticated with a fresh and unexpected look. I think the result is classic with a twist.

Describe the couple that might choose this invitation for their wedding.
This design is for the couple that wants elegance but with an unexpected twist. Maybe the wedding venue is an old urban loft instead of a ballroom. Or the couple opted to use succulents instead of flowers at the event. I want my design to set the tone and hint to guests that there will be something special at the wedding.

What wedding trends do you love right now?
I feel like weddings are becoming less about tradition and more about what makes a couple unique. Personal touches are apparent all throughout the details of the ceremony and reception which makes weddings feel more bespoke, no matter the budget. I guess I would call this “the anything goes trend.” And I love it!

Abstract Union modern wedding invitation from Minted

Describe your design process, from initial idea to end result.
Here is my typical process: A fantastic idea pops into my head while I’m driving, sleeping, showering, or doing something else that prevents me from writing it down. I repeat the idea in my head until it no longer makes sense, then I forget it altogether. I finally get to my workspace, clear my mind, relax, and start playing with paint on a blank canvas. Usually I’ll get a totally unexpected result that will naturally spark a new—even better—idea. And I just go with it.

In this case, it was the combination of rough brushstrokes and organic dots that really spoke to me. Once I finish painting, I scan and start working with the art on my computer by pairing it with typography. I really believe that type can make or break my designs, so I probably spend way more time setting type than any other part of my design process. The final thing I do is get feedback to make sure I’m not completely off with what I’m trying to achieve.

What were some challenges you faced while designing this invitation?
The most challenging thing with this design, and probably most of my others, was narrowing down the color options. I love playing with color and being limiting to only six different palettes is really hard! But I tried my best to choose a broad range that will appeal to different couples.

Abstract Union modern wedding invitation from Minted

Tell us about your workspace.
I like to say that I have a mobile or traveling workspace. I have a designated space set up for working, but most of the time I find myself getting more work done if I’m open to moving around. Sometimes a coffee shop can be the most productive place in the world, other times my dinner table might become my painting studio. The couch, the floor, my patio, even a picnic table at a park have all been my workspaces at some point. The more open I am about how I work, the more opportunities I make for my creativity to build.

How did you start designing for Minted?
I was at a point in my life when I needed to nourish my creativity or I would burst. Minted allowed me to do just that. I was able to create and design based on my inspirations and talents, join an amazing network of designers, make new friends, and literally infuse my life with the creative fuel it was craving.

More from Simona Cavallaro:
Simona’s Minted Store
• Simona’s Website
Simona’s Instagram

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

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DIY: Modern Geometric Mobile

Written by Kathleen Ballos of  Snowdrop & Co

I am loving all of the modern mobiles that have been popping up lately—the abstract shapes and bright colors are so whimsical and fun! I was so inspired by them that I tried my hand at making one myself using craft supplies I already had. The best part is that you can pretty much use any craft supply you like, just as long as it ties to a dowel rod! I used mostly plastic/styrofoam balls, straws, and paper. Wouldn’t it be fun to make a bunch of these to decorate for a party?

DIY Modern MobileDIY Modern Mobile

Click through for step by step instructions …

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