DIY: Mini Flower Press

Written by Olivia Kanaley

Even the smallest buds and blossoms don’t go unnoticed those first few weeks of spring, so why not make them last a little longer by drying them in a flower press. This mini, DIY version doesn’t take long to fill with seasonal sprigs—plus, it’s sized just right for use as a gift or favor; you can even tailor it to match your springtime gathering with a custom label.

Supplies:
Makes one flower press
• Two 4-inch plywood squares (1/8″ thick)
• Sandpaper
• Acrylic paint, water, brush, and rag
• Printed flower-press template
• Masking tape
• 3/16″ drill bit and drill
• Cardboard
• Printer paper
• Scissors
• Eight #10 flat washers
• Four #10-24 wing nuts
• Four #10-24 2.5″ machine screws
“Pressed Petals” custom label

Steps:

1. Lightly sand the wood pieces to remove any splinters and smooth edges. If desired, brush all sides of the wood pieces with diluted acrylic paint and wipe away excess with a rag. You can repeat to deepen the color. Set aside to dry completely.

2. Layer the printed template over the two wood pieces and secure all three layers together using pieces of masking tape. Drill four holes using the template as a guide (it’s OK to drill through the paper).

3. Using a pair of scissors and the printed template, cut cardboard into 3.5″ hexagons. You will need 7 for each flower press. Repeat this process with computer paper—you will need 10 printer-paper hexagons for each flower press. Stack the cardboard and paper pieces so that two paper hexagons are between each cardboard hexagon. When you use the flower press, place flowers and leaves between these pieces of paper.

4. Place a washer on each of the four machine screws and insert each into the four holes on one of the wood pieces.

5. Add the stack of cardboard and paper from Step 4 and the top wood piece.

6. Finally, add another washer on each of the screws, followed by a wing nut. Finish with a custom label.

Tips:
• The easiest way to load and unload the flower press is to loosen all the wing nuts gently and remove one of the screws. You should be able to slide out the stack of paper and cardboard to add flowers and greenery.
• Flowers with less bulk, like hydrangea blossoms or violets, tend to work best.
• Flowers should be left in the press for about one week. Drying time can vary depending on flowers and environment.

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Q and A: Ever Thought About Your Creative Turnoffs?

For this edition of #WhatInspiresMe, we’re taking a bit of a departure from our usual process of spotlighting artists’ sources of inspiration. Today we’re talking about inspiration killers. Minted artists Elliot Whalen and Christian Bennin share both sides of the coin—what does and doesn’t inspire them—so, really, this is a “double issue” edition.

Elliot Whalen
San Francisco
Elliot’s Minted Artist Store

I prefer not to dwell on things that drain my inspiration, but while we’re on the subject, I can list a few. To start, I’m not saying I’m Superman, but I do take up all my vitality from the sun, absorbing its energies and converting them to creative inspiration. I love natural light and fresh air. In fact, I just assumed a one-minute power pose in the morning sun to write this feature.

IceSCREAM” custom art print by WHALEN

In a similar vein, cramped and cluttered spaces make me claustrophobic. Not literally, but in a creative sense. I get cabin fever easily. Growing up in Southern California near the beach, I spent a lot of time outside, which became a major inspiration in my art. I drew waves, surfboard designs, and beach landscapes in my school notebooks. And a few years ago I moved to San Francisco, which has the perfect blend of bustling city, creativity, and all the outdoor adventures you could want just 20 minutes away.

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Download: March Desktop Wallpapers

Spring is right around the corner, which means it’s time to get a head start on some spring cleaning. And that applies to your digital space, too. Breathe new life into your computer desktop with one of these two season-inspired wallpaper designs by Minted artist and graphic designer Kristin Doversberger of Lorent & Leif.

March 2016 Downloadable Desktop Wallpaper

Download: “Cherry Blossoms” Desktop Wallpaper (above)

March 2016 Downloadable Desktop Wallpaper

Download: “Trees” 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
Easter Cards
• Photo Calendars

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How To: Host the Prettiest Spring Brunch

Spring is in the air! My favorite way to celebrate the season? By hosting a brunch for friends, with a pretty palette inspired by glowy honey golds and delicate spring blossoms. Want to host your own spring-inspired fête? Keep reading for my tips on welcoming the season with a simple, freshly styled table.


spring pollen and rose quartz inspired brunch table by kelli hall

1. Set the tone with table linens.
A striped table linen offers the perfect graphic counterpoint to feminine blooms—after all, it’s about simplicity and balance. I like a linen with an asymmetrical, relaxed drape. To be completely honest, this tablecloth had a raw edge, which I don’t mind at all: I simply trimmed some yardage from one of my favorite patterned fabrics and tossed it on the table. Add cloth napkins with painted cherry blossoms and you’ve got a fresh, pretty table.

spring pollen and rose quartz inspired brunch table by kelli hall, copper piping place card holder

2. Add simple (and cheap!) table accessories.
Place cards can work for even the smallest of gatherings and add a special touch to a relaxed table. The key is easy presentation: Here, I repurposed simple copper pipe caps to hold a each place card (check back later this week for the copper place-card holder DIY). As for the napkins? I threaded the cloth napkins through a gold-toned purse ring. Napkin rings feel fresh again and these purse findings make the perfect linen bundle (and cost less than a dollar per ring!). Unsure if gold and copper can play well together? Of course they can—mixed metallics make for an decidedly informal feel.

spring pollen and rose quartz inspired brunch table by kelli hall

3. Choose double-duty menu items.
To save both time and money, think about how your food can double as decor. Jewel-like honey pots, ruby-hued grapefruit slices, and soft meringue icing on a cake all taste as delicious as they look.

spring pollen and rose quartz inspired brunch table by kelli hallRuby-hued grapefruit adds a pop of color to the table.

spring pollen and rose quartz inspired brunch table by kelli hallHoney jar favors will give your spring table a soft, amber glow.

Click through for more tips on hosting a spring brunch

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Child’s Play Fabric Challenge: Special Prize Winners

Announcing the special prize winners from our Child’s Play Fabric Challenge! For this category, we want to help parents create beautiful, playful, and fun spaces for their children by offering a larger collection of fabric designs geared towards kids of all ages. In this challenge we looked to you, our talented community, to deliver unique, differentiated designs that are truly kid-worthy! We received so many incredible fabric designs that will surely infuse style and personality into any child’s room or nursery. Congratulations to all the winners and runners-up!

Mix it Up Award
For the designer with the best collection of three complementary
designs that cohesively mix and match together
Woodland Wonder” by Karidy Walker

Runner-up: Pretty Florals” by Lori Wemple


Boy Wonder Award
For the best design with a boy in mind
Planet Dots” by Baumbirdy

Runners-up: Treasure Map” by Alethea and Ruth | “Traffic Jam” by Mel Armstrong


Totally Teen Award
For the best design geared towards teens
Jamba” by chocomocacino

Runners-up: Catch a Wave” by Lorent and Leif | “Spring Meadow” by Frooted Design


Newborn Award
For the design that is best suited for a newborn nursery
Wild Things” by Emily Hein

Bunny Party” by Heidy Garay

Click through to check out more Fabric Challenge winners

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DIY: Fabric-Covered Party Hats

Written by Sara Albers and Melissa Fenlon of  Alice & Lois

We are all about keeping it simple when it comes to birthday parties and today we’re sharing this fun fabric party-hat DIY. This project is the perfect way to use up those leftover fabric scraps you’ve been hanging on to! We decided on a neutral color palette of light green, grey, and white, then chose some fun Minted fabrics to match and added a pop of color with bright turquoise ribbon. Best of all, you only need a few supplies to make these festive and fun party hats for your next birthday party.

DIY Fabric Covered Party Hat | alice & lois for minted
DIY Fabric Covered Party Hat | alice & lois for minted

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

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How to Build Your Creative Brand on Instagram

The current social media landscape exists in an attention-deficit economy. Since the advent of social media networking, the one-time novice user has matured into a seasoned consumer, fine-tuning their preferences according to only the most pertinent themes relevant to their universe. Nowadays, brands (and artists) looking to capture attention must also fine-tune their messaging with their own unique creative spin, topped with promotional tactics that support the social ecosystem.

How do you, as an artist and small-business owner, keep up? Simply put, the more perspective and visual cohesion you create through your social channels, the more value you’ll provide for your community, and the more you’ll succeed in marketing your brand.

Here are three steps to setting up a successful Instagram strategy…

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Printable Birthday Postcards

A friend recently told me about a tradition in her daughter’s class at school: For each child’s birthday, every classmate writes down what they love above that person; then, the teacher assembles the notes into a book. I love this idea so much and think it needs to be adopted more often, don’t you think? Which is why I’m sharing these birthday postcards—print them out and send them to your loved ones with compliments aplenty.

birthday postcard

Click through to download these free printable birthday postcards

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Meet a Minted Artist: Phrosne Ras

You’ll need more than a handful of words to describe Phrosné Ras’ aesthetic, but to summarize in three, we’ll go with beautiful, feminine, and detailed. Finely detailed. Her absolute focus on creating intricate details and—as she states on Instagram—of “making everything around me beautiful”—is core to her success as a leading Minted artist. But that’s not to suggest that her creative process is all roses and rainbows.

Hand Drawn Picture Frame” foil-pressed holiday card by Phrosné Ras

As she explains in this email interview, precision is part of the work ethic that drives everything she does, including freelance work and her Minted stationery, art, and home decor. “The last 2.5 years, I worked no less than 14 hours, six to seven days a week. Some days, more,” says the artist from Cape Town, South Africa. “I’m making more time for myself now, but I will always be someone who works tirelessly if need be.”

You have a beautiful name. Is there a story behind it?
I always tell people it’s made up, because it’s such a mouthful and mostly too extravagant! There is an original version, Euphrosyne. In Greek mythology, Euphrosyne was one of the “Three Graces”—goddesses of charm, beauty, nature, human creativity. She was the Goddess of Joy or Mirth, a daughter of Zeus and Eurynome, and the incarnation of grace and beauty. A beautiful, undeserving meaning to my name.

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DIY: Herb-Infused Honey Favors

If you’re hosting a party or gathering this spring—afternoon brunch, Easter luncheon, or even a wedding!—then consider giving guests jars of herb-infused honey as a take-home favor. The idea was inspired by a spring brunch I recently styled that featured the colors and textures of pollen and rose quartz, and these DIY honey jars were the perfect complement to the party. Your guests will be delighted by the fresh, bright notes of the herb-infused honey. Not to mention the fact that they look downright beautiful on the table.


Click through for the step-by-step instructions

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