Meet a Minted Artist: Laura Condouris

When we asked Laura Condouris to name her favorite Minted designs, she prioritized those that were created by artists other than herself. That’s the kind of selfless artist she is. Based in Baltimore, Laura works full time from home as an independent calligrapher, illustrator, and type designer. In this interview, she talks about her passion for animals, her most memorable experience of the year, and all the Minted designs she loves.

Do you think of yourself as an artist or a designer or both?
What a good question! I think everyone is a little of both. Design is just applied art.

How did you end up doing what you’re doing now?
I started doing freelance calligraphy and design work while working full-time office jobs. After the hours of my freelance work began to tip the scales of my regular work hours, I had to make a tough decision. The first few years of freelance-only were very, very hard, but in the end, I’m glad I made the switch.

Skyline-New York” wedding invitation by Laura Condouris


The Perfect Holiday-Party Playlist

A holiday party is the perfect excuse to wear your favorite lipstick, shake up a signature drink, serve up some tasty snacks, and make merry with your nearest and dearest. Set the stage for a swinging night with this upbeat soundtrack of soulful sounds mixed with holiday classics that I put together just for you. Just remember to dim the lights, lower the music volume to promote conversation, and make sure every guest has a beverage. Happy merrymaking!

Listen to my Perfect Holiday-Party Playlist right here (total listening time: 1hr 12min).

Photo: Cover image via Fork Knife Swoon


DIY: Wood Serving Board

By Lauren Saylor of  A Fabulous Fete

I always love a good multitasker, like these fabulous DIY wood appetizer boards. Not only are they perfect platter for cheeses or hors d’oeuvres, they can also double as a place-card marker or take-home favor. Give your guests something to ooh and ah over at your party, then surprise them by giving it them as a gift. Read on to quickly craft these up for your next holiday soiree.

Holiday Favors
Dinner Party FavorHoliday Entertaining

Click through for the step-by-step instructions

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Minted artist finds inspiration despite health challenges

Kailyn Glassmacher, who is deaf, is one of 10 people in the world who has a rare muscular dystrophy-like syndrome. She recently won her first Minted design challenge, and we were blown away with her response to our question: What was most inspiring about 2015? Read her story here.

This was both a difficult and inspirational year for me.

I was born profoundly deaf with a rare form of muscular dystrophy-like syndrome. I am in a wheelchair full time and communicate using American Sign Language. My syndrome was only recently identified, and I am only one of 10 people in the world who has this disease—I am the oldest and only girl to have it.

Although it has been difficult, I haven’t let it stop me. I graduated from Gallaudet University with bachelor’s degrees in Business Administration and Graphic Design. I now work as a freelance graphic designer and continue to search for a full-time job that matches my artistic style.

In 2015, I was hospitalized twice for significant periods of time. I joined the Minted community between hospital stays to share my work and improve my art skills. Joining Minted kept me focused on my art and allowed me to forget about my illness. It helped me to develop a passion for stationery design that I didn’t know I had. I began working on the designs for my older sister’s wedding, which came out looking great! I am so proud of them. The wedding was wonderful, and I was well enough to fulfill my duties as maid of honor.

Although this was a tough year with my health, it was also a surprisingly wonderful and inspiring time in my career as an artist.

American Sign Language Love” Valentine’s Day Greeting Card by Kailyn Glassmacher

We’re honored that Kailyn has joined Minted’s global community of independent artists and designers, and we hope to see more of her designs in our assortment of holiday cardslimited-edition art, and home decor.

What was most inspiring about 2015 for you? Share your answer in Comments below and on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter with the hashtag #WhatInspiresMe.

Does routine inspire or stifle your creativity?
Has anything ever scared you so much it’s inspired you?
How does food inspire your creativity?
Who’s your biggest creative influence?

Published December 10, 2015 • Learn how to become a Minted artist here.


DIY: No-Sew Fabric Apron

I’m all about easy, last-minute solutions to tackle your holiday gift list. This fun, no-sew fabric apron would make for the perfect hostess gift, cookie-party favor, or everyday kitchen accessory. I always love making useful presents and this craft is very easy (no sewing machine necessary!). Plus, Minted has so many amazing fabric patterns to choose from, the options are endless.

Click through for the step-by-step instructions

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DIY: Gift Tote for the Pet-Lover On Your List

We all have that one friend who’s obsessed with their pet (or maybe you’re said friend?). If you’re stumped on what to give your pal this holiday, we think Minted’s new Completely Custom Pet Silhouettes fits the bill (we can turn a pet photo into a letterpressed or foil-pressed art print!). Surprise the pet-lover in your life with this DIY tote emblazoned with a handsome photo of their favorite furry friend and fill it with a custom pet silhouette, as well as some extra goodies to share.

• Cotton tote bag
Iron-on transfer paper
• Ink printer
• Iron
Completely Custom Pet Silhouette
• Extra goodies (I filled mine with all natural treats, an antler chew, a doggie bow tie, a leather leash, and a flossing rope toy)


1. First things first: Stalk your friend on social media or go take pictures (in stealth mode!) of your friend’s pet. To make a silhouette, the photo should be side profile, shot in front of a white wall. But for the tote bag, anything goes!

2. Order a Completely Custom Pet Silhouette online (be sure to time it right so the gift arrives in time!).

3. Upload or scan the tote bag photo to a computer. Print the photo onto a sheet of iron-on transfer paper and cut out with a pair of scissors or craft knife. You may choose to cut out the entire photo or just the subject’s silhouette (which is what I did). Iron the image onto the tote bag according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

4. Fill it up and let the giving begin!

More Holiday Gift Ideas:
Turn Your Beloved Family Recipe Into an Art Print
• Free Printable: Modern Black-and-White Holiday Gift Tags
• Three of the Cutest Ways to Wrap Your Holiday Gifts
• How To: Tie the Perfect Bow

More From Minted:
• Completely Custom Pet Silhouette
• Gift Tags
Foil-Pressed Art Gifts

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Design to Dish: Sugared Pecans

With the holidays in full swing, you’re undoubtedly in need of lots of gifts. Besides the ones to go under the Christmas tree, there are gifts for neighbors, teachers, co-workers, party hosts and hostesses, and not to mention unexpected visitors who drop by! These sugared pecans are the perfect solution to all of those situations—they’re easy to make in bulk (each batch yields about four cups and takes about five minutes) and they last a loooooong time if stored in a sealed container. And, most importantly, they’re delicious—great on salads, cheese plates, ice cream, holiday desserts, and, let’s face it, straight off the pan. Package this sweet homemade gift in cellophane with a sprig of greenery and a cute holiday tag from Minted, like these “Holly Jolly” gift tags by Toast & Laurel.

Handmade Holiday Gift Idea: Sugared PecansSugared pecans (recipe below) | “Holly Jolly” gift tags by Toast & Laurel

Handmade Holiday Gift Idea: Sugar Pecans

Keep reading for this sweet and easy holiday gift recipe…


The EveryGirl leads Makers Night with Chicago artists

What do you get when you combine artists, bloggers, and a DIY project? Minted Makers Night, a celebration of Minted’s independent artist community, talented writers, and crafty cheer.

On December 2, Minted and The EveryGirl co-hosted the third Makers Night at Interior Define, a modern custom sofa company, in Chicago’s Lincoln Park neighborhood. While noshing on hors d’oeuvres and cocktails, everyone worked on the featured project: a wood serving tray covered with fabric designed by Chicago area Minted artists. Bloggers from The Golden Girl Blog, The Sweet Season, Michaela Noelle, and more participated as well.

Artist Angela Marzuki said the best part of the evening was catching up with other members of the Minted community. “There is so much time spent online critiquing each other’s work, cheering one another on, discussing common goals, and sharing both the successes and failures,” she said. “It really does feel like you already know one another, like getting together with a bunch of really great friends.”

Chicago Minted artist duo Baumbirdy designed the event invitation, “Floral Peace.”

Minted artists and Chicago bloggers connected over their shared interest in beautiful design.

This Minted table runner, “Simple Sprig,” was designed by Chicago artist Erin Deegan.


DIY: Scratch-Off Gift Tags

Gift-giving season is here and that means wrapping. Loads and loads of wrapping. Up your game this holiday season with these scratch-off joke gift tags—the recipient will get a kick out of scratching off the label to reveal the punch line. They’re like lotto tickets for children! Grab the free printable below.

gift tags printable

Click through for the free scratch-off gift tag printable


Free Printable: Handmade Holiday Gift Tags

Written by Sara Albers and Melissa Fenlon from  Alice & Lois

We love making handmade gifts for the holidays: baked goods, hot cocoa mix in a jar, hand-stamped dish towels, the list goes on. And if you’re into handmade presents like we are, then you’ll love this free gift tag printable—it’s the perfect way to top those gifts!

Handmade Holiday Gift Tags free printable | alice & lois for mintedHandmade Holiday Gift Tags free printable | alice & lois for minted

Printable gift tag #1
• Printable gift tag #2
• Printable gift tag (small)
• Card stock


1. Print the gift tags on card stock and cut out. You can punch a hole to tie onto present.

Handmade Holiday Gift Tags free printable | alice & lois for minted

Photos: Sara Albers

More Holiday Ideas:
• DIY: Gold Holiday Laurel Leaf Wreath
• DIY: Glowing Star Garland with LED Lights
• DIY: Retro Painted Ornaments
• How To: Tie the Perfect Bow