DIY: Valentine’s Day Dog Bandana

Valentine’s Day isn’t just for humans! Show your favorite furry friend some love with this adorable doggie bandana (since some of us—me included!—have four-legged soul mates). And this gift is as simple as it is cute: You’ll be turning a rolled-up dinner napkin into a posh pup accessory.

Click through for the simple step-by-step instructions

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DIY: Iron-on Valentine Treat Bags

Written by Sara Albers and Melissa Fenlon of  Alice & Lois

For Valentine’s Day this year, my daughter decided she wants to host a treat-making party for her girlfriends, and these easy-to-make cotton goody bags will be perfect for stashing the finished treats. All you need are basic muslin bags, double-stick fusible paper, an iron, and some fabric scraps (this is a great way to use up leftovers from previous projects!).  Keep reading for the full tutorial.

DIY Valentine Treat Bag | alice & lois for minted
DIY Valentine Treat Bag | alice & lois for minted

Read more for the full tutorial

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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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A is for Art Challenge: Special Prize Winners

Announcing the special prizes winners for our A is for Art Challenge! At Minted, we believe that it’s never too early to surround children with beautiful art. We asked you, our talented artist community, to create unique customizable pieces of artwork, perfect for any child’s room or nursery. Congratulations to all the winners!

Bold Name Award
For the art piece that most beautifully displays child’s name
Watercolor Whale” by Lindsay Megahed


Monogram Award
For the most interesting use of a child’s initial
Track Initial” by Erica Krystek


Cradle Award
For the best work of art that celebrates the birth of a new baby
Meadow Fawn” by Jennifer Wick


Little Artist Award
For the best executed and beautifully artistic piece
Vintage Floral Monogram” by Hannah Williams


Rhyme Time Award
For the best piece that showcases a quote, pieces of poetry, or literature
Eeny Meeny” by Ariel Rutland


Back to School Award
For the best art print that also teaches kids something in a fun way
Homes” by Natalie Groves


Tiny Dancer Award
For the best ballet or dance inspired piece
The Ballerina” by Oma N. Ramkhelawan


Rainbow Award
For the brightest most colorful piece
Welcome to the World” by Shiny Penny Studio


The following awards will be announced with a catalog round-up post at a later date: Just for Boys Award, Little League Award, & Petting Zoo Award

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Meet a Minted Artist: Kaitlin Rebesco

A series where we highlight a member of our Minted artist community. Featured this month: photographer Kaitlin Rebesco, who is currently based in Austin, Texas.

Fine art photographer (and newly certified yoga teacher!) Kaitlin Rebesco shares her current inspirations, how she overcomes artist’s block, and a glimpse into her daily life as a working artist.

Meet a Minted Artist: Kaitlin Rebesco

Quick! Tell us…
Digital or Film? Digital. But one of my goals for 2016 is to start shooting film!
Modern or Vintage? Both. Contrast is key.
Portraits or Nature? Nature
Landscapes or Still Life? Landscapes
Summer or Winter? Summer
City or Country? Both. I need to split my time between both types of environments in order to feel balanced.

How did you end up doing what you’re doing now?
After college I spent a year working and traveling in Australia. I took photos obsessively during this time, wanting to document every new sight and experience. Upon returning to the States, I decided to pursue photography as more than a hobby. I took classes, built a portfolio, and applied to a professional photography program at a school in Paris. I studied photojournalism but, in the time since graduation, I’ve gravitated towards fine art photography. I enjoy that it allows for more creativity and abstract representation.

Did you study art formally in school?
I studied photojournalism at Spéos Photographic Institute in Paris. I have also taken many continuing education courses at the International Center of Photography and the School of Visual Arts in New York.

Where do you currently reside?
I am currently in Austin, TX. The warm weather was a huge draw for me; I couldn’t do another winter in New York! I also like that there are many state parks not too far outside of the city. It’s the best of both worlds. I often gather inspiration from my environment though, so, above all, I value change and I enjoy moving around. I will be leaving Austin at the end of January to spend two months in Costa Rica.

Meet a Minted Artist: Kaitlin Rebesco

Can you share the schedule of a typical day in the life?
This is something that I struggle with! I thrive within new environments and experiences, but keeping up with work and responsibilities can necessitate a schedule or routine. I try to mix up my routine as much as possible, but one constant that remains is a daily yoga practice. This has been life changing in many ways. But, as it relates to my creative work, I think it keeps me open and receptive to new ideas and inspiration. It’s funny, but photography and yoga are actually closely tied. While studying photojournalism, I realized that in order to be successful you have to be able to reach a sort of meditative state. As with yoga, the goal is to remain alert, aware, and present in the moment. If you let your mind wander, you can miss something.

What objects have been most significant to you lately?
Moving around so much has sort of made me an unintentional minimalist!

What are you serious about?
Finding meaningful work, feeling good about how I am spending my time, being grateful for what I have, not taking anyone or anything for granted, living thoughtfully/mindfully.

What things will you never take seriously?
That being said, I really don’t take anything too seriously.

Meet a Minted Artist: Kaitlin Rebesco

What medium(s) do you most enjoy working with?
Photography, mixed media/collage

When did you begin taking photos?
In my early 20s.

How do you approach your art?
I guess at the most basic level it is an outlet, a release of energy. I find a lot of satisfaction in being able to create something that represents the way I see things.

How would your describe your artistic style?
Clean, contemporary, minimalist

What is your creative process like?
Often I start by going out and just shooting. I photograph whatever catches my eye and resonates with how I am feeling. Later I will go back over my images and look for patterns, connections. This might spark an idea for a series or a concept to explore.

How has your work changed over time?
My work has become much cleaner, more in line with my vision. When I first started shooting there was this gap between the types of photos I was taking and the types of photos I would like to hang on my wall. As time goes on, that gap gets smaller. Although it has not yet closed!

What do you do when you encounter artist’s block?
I go in search of inspiration. Ideally this would involve travel or exploring a new place (even just a new neighborhood within my current city). Otherwise visiting a museum, gallery, or discovering new art and artists on the internet. I could spend hours looking at images on Pinterest, Instagram, and Flickr.

Meet a Minted Artist: Kaitlin Rebesco

What do you enjoy most about being part of the Minted community?
I really appreciate the open line of communication between Minted and the artists. It feels more personal and ongoing, and it’s clear that the company’s intent is to build a community.

What does Minted mean to you as a working artist?
It’s about partnership, and it also signifies how the internet is creating new possibilities for working artists in terms of exposure and reach.

What are some of your favorite Minted pieces?
There are so many great pieces to choose from! As you can probably tell from my selections I am attracted to abstract figures and forms, clean compositions, splashes of color…
“Form” by Lauren Packard
“Morning River” by Lauren Adams
“Drawing 264 – Gesturing Man” by Derek Overfield
“As You Are” by Karen Kaul
“Composed” by Amelie Conger
“Embrace” by R Studio
“Going for a Swim” by Whitney Deal

Meet a Minted Artist: Kaitlin Rebesco

Katlin’s Favorite Things
We asked Kaitlin’s to share her current favorite art and home inspirations.

Last stamp on your passport: Costa Rica
Favorite pieces of art in your home: A vintage photograph of the construction of the Sydney Opera House
Favorite gadget: iPad
Favorite neighborhood restaurant: Juiceland
Favorite drink: Water/juice/tea
Favorite artist: I have hundreds of favorite artists! Really, there are too many to count. Ranging from iconic artists to contemporary artists whose work I’ve mainly discovered via the internet. Nils Udo, Picasso, Matisse, Ellsworth Kelly, Saul Leiter, Marco Tirelli, Wyatt Kahn, Esther Ruiz, Gerhard Richter, John Baldessari, Andy Denzler, Henri Cartier-Bresson…
Favorite works of art: Again, too many too count.
Favorite camera gadget: Remote shutter release


More from Kaitlin Rebesco:
• Kaitlin’s Minted Store
• Kaitlin’s website
• Kaitlin’s Instagram

More from Minted:
• Art Prints
• Photography Prints
Maps & Landmarks Art Prints

Photos: Courtesy of Kaitlin Rebesco

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Meet a Minted Artist: Julie Green of Up Up Creative

Julie Green of Up Up Creative doesn’t do New Year’s resolutions, but she does usually choose a word to sort-of nudge her in a direction of growth for the year. Her word for 2016 is practice. “I’ve been self-employed since 2008, and I guess I feel like I’ve reached a certain level of proficiency as a designer, and as a human being,” the Rochester, New York, artist says. “If I want to continue to grow, I need to remind myself to practice new skills and keep challenging the status quo.”

Here, the longtime Minted artist shares interesting corners of her life, from her love of Baptiste Yoga, “being the worst multitasker,” and her healthy obsession with fonts.

GET TO KNOW JULIE GREEN
You have 11.5K Pinterest followers, with 117 boards. How’d you build such a strong following?
I know it’s called social media, and I definitely use Facebook and Instagram to engage with people in a more social way, but Pinterest is something I use just for me. It’s where I gather ideas and inspiration; it’s where I imagine my own life and the lives of my clients and customers; it’s where I go to observe trends in my own interests, tastes, and styles. As for how I built that following, I sure wish I knew! But maybe it’s partly that I didn’t try to.

Cool and All” save the date card by Julie Green of Up Up Creative

You’ve gotten great press. What’s your favorite feature and why?
My favorite was Martha Stewart Living (December 2012 holiday gift guide), because it was the first magazine I was in that people in my life actually read on a regular basis. When you’re a freelance graphic designer with children—whether you work while the kids are napping or you work full time from a studio, or you do something in between—most people in your life don’t really get what you do and don’t even always think it’s a real job or a serious thing. When you turn up in one of their favorite holiday gift guides, suddenly you’re having conversations with them about your work. That’s pretty cool.

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DIY: Framed Art That Slides to Hide Your TV

Written by Amy Ehmann of  Design Lotus

What do you see in the photo below? Really, the better question is what don’t you see?! At first glance, you’re looking at a dresser and a lovely pair of framed art pieces. But (no joke!) behind those prints is our 46″ flat-screen TV! I can hardly believe it myself. Keep reading because I’m going to show you how to make these framed-art sliders to hide that unsightly screen without breaking a sweat or your budget. Believe it!


Click through for the step-by-step instructions

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Minted’s 20 First-Place Challenge Winners of 2015

We’ve entered 2016 head-on in our continual quest to discover the best in stationery, art, and home decor design. Of course, we couldn’t do it without the Minted Artist community and our customers who cast their votes in Minted Design Challenges.

Before we bid adieu to yesteryear, let’s take a look at Minted’s first-place Challenge-winning designs of 2015. The 2015 collection is a mix of heartfelt sentiments, breathtaking photography, colorful expression, and a dash of humor for good measure.

Congrats to the Grad! Quickfire Challenge
Past and Future” by Laura Bolter Design
Announced February 27, 2015


Three Cheers! Minted x West Elm’s 3rd Art Challenge
Directions I” limited edition print by J Ryan
Announced March 11, 2015


Baby on Board Baby Shower Invitations Challenge
Special Delivery Bouquet” by Karidy Walker
Announced March 19, 2015


Fall & Winter Digital Invitations Challenge
Holiday Soiree” Holiday Party Online Invitations by GeekInk Design
Announced April 10, 2015

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Download: January Desktop Wallpapers

A new year, a new desktop wallpaper! Start 2016 off right with a desktop wallpaper refresh—we love these two versions by Minted artist and graphic designer Kristin Doversberger of Lorent & Leif. Cheers to a fabulous 2016!

Download: January 2016 Desktop Wallpapers

Download: “A New Adventure Awaits” Desktop Wallpaper (above)

Free January 2016 Desktop Wallpapers

Download: “Gilt” Desktop Wallpaper (above)

Download instructions: Click on the download links above and the image will open in its own tab (depending on your browser, you might need to click again to make it full size), Next, drag the image to your desktop; for Macs, select System Preferences and then Desktop & Screen Saver; for PCs, right-click the picture and then click Set as Desktop Background.

Note: These designs are for personal use only and were created by Lorent & Leif for Minted.


More From Lorent & Leif:
• Lorent & Leif’s Minted Store
• Lorent & Leif’s Instagram

More From Minted:
• Gift Tags
• New Year Photo Cards
Photo Calendars

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How To: Make New Year’s Resolutions and Goals That Stick

When it comes to kicking off a new year of creative ambition, do you believe in New Year’s resolutions or goal-setting? That’s the question we asked Stacey Meacham and Raven Erebus, Minted artists who, as it turns out, advocate for setting attainable goals. Read their strategies here.

Stacey Meacham
Atlanta, Georgia
Stacey’s Minted Artist Store

I’m a list maker, so I am all about setting goals. I tend to set goals throughout the year, though, and am not a fan of one-time New Year’s resolutions. I feel like big, grand gestures can fall flat, so I like to set quarterly goals, which range in size. I like to set small, attainable goals and big-picture goals, and I try not to freak out if I don’t hit all of them. I just kind of add them to the top of a new list and start to chip away at that. Setting goals and thinking of new ways to generate business helps me focus. Making lists helps me prioritize which goals are most important at any given time. For example, I’ve had one goal on my list for some time now and haven’t even scratched the surface of making it a reality, but I’m fine with that. That day will come. For now I am happy to have other goals that were on my radar for some time ticked off. It’s such a feeling of accomplishment to cross off a list item. It shows that you are making progress—and I am all for progress.

I think it’s important to be realistic with your goals early on. That’s not to say don’t dream big, but if you need to take a workshop or class to hone your skills, be real with that expectation and make that one of your goals. I realize things take time. Overnight success is not the norm, so setting goals is a good way to work toward something bigger without setting yourself up for failure. Especially if you have mini-milestones along the way. Pat yourself on the back and recognize your little successes as well as your big ones.

Looking Sharp” save the date card by Stacey Meacham

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