Design to Dish: Mini S’mores Pies

Like most of America, we have family coming in from all over the country this week to celebrate Thanksgiving. My mom texted everyone to figure out the menu, so we have a magnificent feast to look forward to: smoked turkey, stuffing, fresh-baked rolls, corn, carrots, green beans, cheesy broccoli and cauliflower, pomegranate salad, candied yams plus mashed potatoes plus mashed sweet potatoes, and more types of pie than I can count on one hand. With the deliciousness bar set so high, I’ve been trying to figure out what I can contribute. What I’m making? These mini s’mores pies—not only are they perfect sweet treat to conclude Thanksgiving dinner, they just might steal the whole Turkey Day show!

Mini S'mores Pies from @luluthebaker for @minted“Autumn Leaves” Thanksgiving cards by Four Wet Feet Studio | Mini S’mores Pies (recipe below)

Mini S'mores Pies for your Thanksgiving table, by @luluthebaker for @minted

Keep reading for this amazing mini pie recipe…


A Moody Color Palette for Your Thanksgiving Table

Written by Lauren Saylor of A Fabulous Fete

I’ve never been into the traditional holiday color palettes, so when fall comes along, the first thing I do is brainstorm how I can avoid having anything orange in my house (even the pumpkins we buy are never the traditional types!). Well, how the heck do you decorate your Thanksgiving table then? My advice: Get moody. And by that I mean with your color scheme, not with your roommate or spouse. This unexpected palette of matte black, wood tones, grey, copper, and lots of green creates a fall vibe at the table without looking like you brought home all of the orange and brown decorations from the Thanksgiving aisle at the grocery store. Here are my tips to achieve this look.

Thanksgiving DecorTabletop Inspiration

Keep reading for Lauren’s advice on creative a moody Thanksgiving tablescape

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Q&A: How does food inspire your creativity?

At Minted, we believe inspiration is everywhere—you just have to look for it. With Thanksgiving a few days away, we’ve been thinking not only about challenging situations we’re thankful for but also, well, food.

For this edition of #WhatInspiresMe, artists Rebecca Bowen, Ariel Rutland, and Ann Gardner share stories of how the simple act of enjoying food inspires them.

Rebecca Bowen
Dallas, Texas

I have a strong affinity for food. I mean, I really love food.

Food has shaped all of my favorite vacations, childhood memories, holidays, family meals, and every party I’ve ever hosted or attended. The Food Channel is always on in my house, and my children and I are glued to it.

I’m never without a snack and a tasty beverage at arm’s reach. I cannot say that I am great at cooking, but I do love dreaming up my own creations. My mother just so happens to be the best cook on earth, meshing together her Italian heritage and my father’s Arabic side—we never had a bad meal.

My favorite pastime, aside from designing, is seeking out new restaurants. The whole experience of eating is exciting to me. It’s about eclectic atmospheres and well designed menus, colorful cocktails, and a wonderful aroma in the air. I especially love places that put a lot of creativity into their menu. Pairing unusual food groups in unique ways. I love spicy cocktails, and bacon hidden in my desserts.

Glamour” notebook by Rebecca Bowen

I tend to approach food as I do designs—there must always be something different or unusual thrown in. It must be true to itself yet somehow be set apart from the rest and it does not need to be clouded up with unnecessary ingredients. And like design, the food must be visually interesting. It must be beautiful enough to take a photo of and share it with the world.

Wine-Thirty” Cocktail Party Online Invitation by Rebecca Bowen

All About That Joy” holiday photo card by Rebecca Bowen

Ariel Rutland
Princeton, New Jersey

During the holiday season, I love to make lemon yogurt cake. It’s an old standby that gets me into the wintry spiritespecially when it’s time to dust the top with snowy powdered sugar, which is the perfect opportunity to turn out a festive sugary design.

For this powdered-sugar design, I took the wreath illustration I created for “Winter Joy Wreath” in Illustrator and printed it large on a standard printer paper. Then I painstakingly cut it out with an Exacto knife, and voila! It became a stencil. I laid the stencil over the cake and dusted the sugar on top then lifted off the stencil to reveal the design.

Winter Joy Wreath” self-launch A2 card by Ariel Rutland

Clockwise from top: “Merrily Christmas mini card” gift tag; “Winter Merry Bright” self-launch A2 card; “Geo New Year” self-launch A2 card; “Hanukkah paper cutout card

Ann Gardner
Irving, Texas

When I was young, the aroma of fresh-baked bread filled the house around the holidays. It was a signal that it was officially the holiday season. The time I spent with my mom in the kitchen brought out a love of creating from scratch. From homemade bread and cinnamon rolls to decorating holiday cookies, making things with my hands inspired me to create—and of course, enjoy the fruits of my labor.

A must-have baked good with my family during the holidays is fruitcake. I know what you’re thinking…fruitcake? But my mom’s is so good, chock-full of fruit and just enough batter to hold everything together. And so fresh and moist. Not your typical store-bought fruitcake. As I was working on holiday designs this year, her fruitcake popped into my head, and I saw that great photo of two kids making faces. It seemed like a perfect combination for a fun holiday design.

Holiday Fruitcakes” Christmas photo card by Ann Gardner

The Night Before” holiday photo cards by Ann Gardner

How does food, drink, or a particular meal inspire your creativity? Share your answer in Comments below and on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter with the hashtag #WhatInspiresMe. We feature some of our favorite social shares in our Minted Fine Arts newsletter.

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

Published November 23, 2015 • Learn how to become a Minted artist here.


Contest: Minted Holiday “Pin Your Gift List” ($1,000 Prize)

12/11/15 UPDATE: Congratulations to Amber Barkley, the winner of Minted’s Gift List giveaway!


The holidays are Minted’s favorite time of year, so let us help you celebrate the season and make your holiday shopping a little easier with a $1,000 Minted gift card. To enter our giveaway, all you need to do is recreate your #MintedHoliday Gift List on Pinterest.

How to Enter:

1. Follow @Minted on Pinterest for lots of creative holiday gift ideas and inspiration.

2. Create your own Pinterest board titled “My Minted Holiday Gift List.”

3. Pin at least 10 Minted items you’d love to give your loved ones (or yourself!), including the official Minted Holiday Gift List pin.

4. Confirm your entry by emailing with a link to your board.

This contest ends on Sunday, December 6, 2015. We’ll announce the winner with a special pin on the “Minted Holiday Gift List” Pinterest board by December 9. Official contest rules are hereMerry Pinning!


5, 4, 3, 2, 1…Happy New Year’s Challenge: Special Prize Winners

5, 4, 3, 2, 1…let’s get ready to toast to 2016! Each year we see New Year’s cards become a bigger trend among customers who are too busy having fun over the holidays. We asked you, our talented Minted community, to really wow the world with original designs that ring in 2016 with a bang! We’re raising our glasses to all the winners and runners-up – congratulations everyone!

For the most unconventional, unique design 
that you wouldn’t find on any other site

Diamond New Year” by Chica Design

For the best way of displaying the numbers “2016 
2016” by Cass Loh

Runners-Up: Bubbly” by Leah Bisch | “Glass of Bubbly” by GeekInk Design
Mid Century New Year” by Pistols

For the best clever, witty or funny card 
Bubbly Birth” by Lori Wemple

Runner-Up: So Last Year” by Carolyn MacLaren

For the card that uses clever wording to 
reinvent the typical new year’s greeting 
Countdown to 2016!” by Lily Metcalf

 For the most elegant, timeless new year’s design  
New Year Wishes” by Erica Krystek

Runners-Up: Deco” by Fine and Dandy Paperie | “Classic Type” by Kelly Schmidt

For the best design that celebrates what’s
 new and exciting in someone’s life  
New Year, New View” by Bethany Anderson

Runners-Up: From the Crib, No.9” by Frooted Design | “New Story” by GeekInk Design
Ringing” by Lauren Chism

For the best design that showcases multiple photos  
Intertwined” by Ann Gardner

Runners-Up: Engraved Numerals” by Jennifer Wick | “Thatched” by Fig and Cotton Paperie

For the best full-bleed photo card 
Confetti Toss” by Lehan Veenker

Runner-Up: Festive Flourish” by Kristie Kern

For the best design with elements
that would truly shine in foil
Gold Etched” by Erica Krystek

Runners-Up: Gilded Pointillism” by Aspacia Kusulas | Jewel Frame” by Ana Sharpe
a-MAZE-ing” by Kissyfish

For the best design that puts personalizable details on a curvilinear path 
2016 New Year Swash” by fatfatin

Runners-Up: Golden Cheers 2016” by Helen H Wu | Party Hats” by Hanna McShan

For the best design from a first-time entrant  
MMXVI” by Tina Kuczaj

Images created by Leah Conroy

Celebrate Innovation Award – will be announced at a later date

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Q&A: What advice was hard to stomach but you now appreciate?

Why is it that you don’t recognize a “blessing in disguise” until you’ve had some distance from it?

We’ve been thinking about taking a step back to reflect on challenging situations that, while bittersweet in the moment, we’re thankful for in the long run. And that’s the impetus for the second edition of #ArtistAdvice. Here, Minted artists Kelly Ventura and Olivia Raufman answer the question What advice was hard to stomach at first but now you’re thankful for?

Kelly Ventura
Milford, Michigan
Kelly’s Minted Artist Store • • Instagram @KellyVenturaDesign

Learn to accept hearing no and saying no.

When I was laid off from my full-time job in 2011, it was a blessing in disguise, though it stung to the core. I was seven-plus months pregnant with my second child and wondering what would come next. Once the baby was born, I split my time enjoying those first few months in newborn bliss and slowly building my freelance business.

I submitted my portfolio to several dream companies in hopes of a collaboration and repeatedly heard the word, “No.” Rather than wallow in the rejection, I pushed forward and worked hard to develop my style. I knew that’s what was missing in my submission—my voice, style, a certain unique perspective that those retailers were craving. A year later, after painting and patterning my heart out, I showed at Surtex, landed several of those dream clients that rejected me previously, and now feel more confident about my place in this big sea of artists.

I have also found it immensely helpful to make sure that projects and collaborations line up with my vision as an artist-designer. At one time, I was saying yes to everything that came my way, and I noticed a decline in my happiness and quality of work. Now that I have a more defined style and brand identity, it’s easier for me to say no to the projects that don’t strengthen my brand and say yes to the right ones.

Hushed” limited-edition print by Kelly Ventura

Soma” limited-edition print by Kelly Ventura

Click through to read Minted artist Olivia Raufman’s response to the question


“Gift of Art” Challenge: Special Prize Winners

We have found that Minted customers love to give the gift of art! In this challenge we looked to you, our talented Minted artists, to create the most original and unique artwork that would make the perfect gift. Thanks to all of you, the Minted site is now filled with beautiful custom artwork you can’t find anywhere else . Congratulations to all the winners!

Out of the Box Award
For the most creative giftable piece
Botanical Letter Series J” by Grace Kreinbrink

Custom Photo Award: For the most artistic custom
photo piece that displays one photo
Metallic Dash” by Makewells

Series Award
For the most unique idea for a series of art pieces
“Inked Typography – Mount Ranier” by Linda Misiura

Cartography Award
For the most creative take on a map
Golden Cities 3” by Amy Payne

Click through to see more special prize-winning gifts to give this holiday season


DIY: Fabric Coasters

Get creative this holiday season and pair your holiday cocktails with these simple no-sew fabric coasters. They’re a festive and budget-friendly way to add some personality to your party (they make great hostess gifts and stocking stuffers, too). Choose your favorite pattern from Minted’s collection of fabrics and then whip up these fun coasters in 10 minutes, flat (I promise!).

Click through for the step-by-step instructions

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Throw a Hot Cocoa-Themed Party this Holiday Season

Whether you’re planning to host a holiday tree-trimming party, kid’s birthday celebration, or even a wintry-themed bridal or baby shower, we love the idea of a cozy hot cocoa theme. The party-throwing geniuses over at Happy Wish Company were so inspired by Minted’s “Hot Cocoa Bar” holiday invitation that they created this very merry hot chocolate party. Keep reading for their tips on how to recreate it at home.

Holiday Party Idea: Hot Cocoa


DIY: Thanksgiving Pie Topper

Written by Kathleen Ballos of  Snowdrop & Co

Whenever I bake a cake or pie, I can’t help but want to top it with some cute decorations. Since Thanksgiving dinner is all about the pie (well, for me it is!) I thought this simple laurel-wreath topper would be just perfect. Use whatever color crepe paper you like, or use neutrals to keep the look simple and modern.

Thanksgiving Pie Topper

Click through for the step-by-step instructions …