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.

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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

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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

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

Steps:

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

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DIY: Fabric-Covered Christmas Tree Box

Written by Sara Albers and Melissa Fenlon of  Alice & Lois

I love creating holiday decorations that can also be used long after Christmas is over, which is exactly the case with this DIY project. During the holidays, display festive tabletop Christmas trees in these patterned-fabric boxes, then re-purpose them later as storage containers for all your random odds and ends.

DIY Fabric Christmas Tree Box
DIY Fabric Christmas Tree Box Tutorial

Click through for the step-by-step instructions

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Meet a Minted Artist: Lori Wemple

Lori Wemple has had quite a year. When we asked her to name the highlight of 2015, she said, “I can’t name just one!” Among just a few of her high points, the work-from-home illustrator listed spending time with her kids in the summer, a cruise with her husband, and lettering the Minted booth at the National Stationery Show in New York. Here, the North Carolina artist-designer talks about balancing her career with family, everyday inspirations, and how Minted changed her life.

How did you end up doing what you’re doing now?
I’ve worked a variety of design jobs, including prepress for a printer, newspaper art director, grocery chain designer, and museum designer, and each one taught me different aspects of design. I feel like all of those things have come together to help me work independently.

What’s a typical day for you?
Each day is a little different. My daughter is home with me most days, and I like to really enjoy our time together. We go to the park, play with friends, or visit the library and then pick up my son from school. Then the three of us do something together before dinner (including swimming and art classes), then homework and reading stories. I often have to catch up on work at night after they are in bed.

How did you first hear about Minted?
I saw an ad for Minted while flipping through a magazine during my maternity leave with my daughter, Elle, in 2011. I loved my full-time job, but I really wanted to find a way to work and be home with my kids with a more flexible schedule. I am ever-grateful for that fortunate moment because it literally changed my life.

What do you enjoy most about the Minted community?
I’ve made so many friends through the community and found people who share the same joy for design, and struggle with the same challenges of balancing work and raising a family. The community is so enthusiastic and supportive, and I am so happy to be a part of it and give back the support that I have received.

What have you learned from being part of the Minted community?
Design is a process, a struggle, a challenge that you put your whole self into, and it feels personal and emotional. It feels this way for all those who create, and accepting those challenges and staying positive are so important. Realizing that we all feel this way, and being there to support each other and cheer each other on makes us better designers and better individuals.

In the Flowers” by Lori Wemple

Your Minted work spans a variety of categories, from Stationery to Home Decor. Which category do you enjoy most?
I truly love them all. I enjoy trying different mediums and being able to experiment and step outside of my comfort zone. Each category has its own challenges and advantages. I’m recently exploring soft toys; it’s so fun to see a two-dimensional piece of art come to life.

Lori Wemple’s son Connor and daughter Elle. All portraits by Candy Howard Photography

What’s your family like?
I have a wonderful husband, Brian, who is devoted to family and passionate about his work. I have such admiration and respect for his passion. I have a 6-year-old son named Connor, who’s so smart and creative. He has an engineering mind but loves to paint as well, and I must admit that I often borrow from his palette choices. My daughter Elle is 4 and the happiest, most enthusiastic soul I’ve ever known. She loves to dance and sing and just lights up any room she’s in.

How did you meet your husband?
We went to separate all-girl and all-guy high schools in Tampa. These two schools had extracurricular events together, and we met our senior year in Masque Club—he was the whiz technical guy, and I was an actor. We were fast friends but didn’t start dating until our freshman year, when we decided to take a spontaneous trip and meet in New York, because we attended different colleges at the time. New York City is a special place for us now, because we had our first kiss in front of Radio City Music Hall, and my husband proposed to me a few years later in the same spot.

Lori and her husband Brian

Click through to read more from Minted artist Lori Wemple

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Mariam’s Family Heirloom, Turned into a Custom Art Print

My family loves to cook—we’re definitely in the “live to eat” rather than “eat to live” category. My grandmother, Sophie Sun, was a great cook and loved making food for me. She was born in Shanghai in 1918, moved to Hong Kong in the early 1950s, and then to California in the 1970s; she passed away in 2004, during a trip back to Shanghai. I was lucky enough to spend time with her as an adult and wrote down some of her recipes as she gave me cooking lessons. Recently, I was going through some old papers and found Sophie’s “Chicken Plus Soup” recipe, which she had written for me in a lined notebook. It’s a great winter recipe that includes traditional Chinese ingredients like dried scallops, ginseng, and ginger, and my grandmother swore it was a restorer of health. She encouraged me to have this soup often when I was pregnant with my first child.  (For those of you trying to read the recipe, there is a good interpretation of the same recipe here.)

This year, I realized I could take advantage of Minted’s new Completely Custom Art service and turn my grandmother’s handwritten recipe into a framed, foil-pressed art print, which I’ll be giving to my mom, aunts, uncle, and cousins as a gift this Christmas. (Our talented design associates are able to turn pretty much anything into a beautiful foil-pressed keepsake—kid’s drawings, your pet’s silhouette, you name it!) Check out how it turned out, below. And, of course, I ordered one for myself, too—I’m planning to hang it in my kitchen in honor of Sophie.

—Mariam Naficy, Founder & CEO of Minted

Holiday Gift Idea: Family Recipe Keepsake Art Print

 

 

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DIY: New York City Advent Calendar

We’ve got advent calendars on the brain today and here’s one you can quickly put together today just in time to crack open the first box tomorrow. All you need are matchboxes and our free New York City-themed printables. Let the holiday countdown begin!

homemade advent calendar

Click through to download our free advent calendar printable

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DIY: Modern Christmas Ornament Advent Calendar

Written by Olivia Kanaley

For the young and the young-at-heart, nothing quite tops the anticipation of Christmas morning. What’s more fun than counting down the days with an advent calendar? This one is easy to make and you can reuse it year after year.

Supplies:
• 1″ glass ball ornaments (24)
• 1/2″ brass cup hooks (24)
• 16″ x 20″ or larger piece of wood (we used a wood painting panel)
• Paint
• 1/4″ vinyl number stickers
• Foam brush
• Drill and 1/16″ drill bit
• Pencil
• Scissors
• Printed template (print on letter paper and tape together)

Steps:

1. Print template on four sheets of letter paper, tape the edges together, and cut out. Center the template on top of the wood and tape in place. Using a pencil, mark the three corners of the triangle on the wood board.

2. Using the black dots on the template as a guide, pre-drill holes for the cup hooks (drill right through the paper template).

3. Remove template and use pencil dots as a guide to tape off the three sides of the tree.

4. Add number stickers 1-24 securely about 1/2″ below each of the pre-drilled holes. You can go in numerical order or randomly apply them.

5. Apply paint to taped off area and let dry completely.

6. Carefully remove the tape and vinyl numbers. Screw in cup hooks. Now you’re ready to add one ornament to your tree on each day of December to count down to Christmas.

 

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DIY: Fabric-Covered Christmas Tree Ornaments

Written by Sara Albers and Melissa Fenlon of  Alice & Lois

This year, trim your tree with these easy-to-make handmade ornaments. I picked up these tree-shaped cardboard ornaments at my local craft store—they were plain and simple, and ready to be turned into something beautiful! All it took was some glue and pieces of fabric (I chose designs from Minted’s line of fabrics) to turn the plain ornaments into ones with personality! These would look beautiful on your tree, of course, but would also make a sweet gift topper. Keep reading for the easy step-by-step instructions.

Click through for the DIY instructions…

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DIY: Last-Minute Thanksgiving Decoration Idea

Written by Sara Albers and Melissa Fenlon of  Alice & Lois

Need a super fast and crazy simple Thanksgiving decor idea, pronto? We’ve got the perfect idea and all you need are foraged leaves and a paint pen, that’s it! Gather leaves and write down things you’re grateful for, then display them on your Thanksgiving table with some candles for a simple-yet-totally-personal centerpiece. You could even invite guests to write what they’re thankful for on the leaves, and the project takes mere minutes to make. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!

DIY Quick Thanksgiving Decor Idea by alice & lois for JulepDIY Quick Thanksgiving Decor Idea by alice & lois for Julep

Click through for the step-by-step instructions…

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