How To Display Your Holiday Cards: Fabric Cork Board

Chances are you’ve received lots of holiday cards from loved ones in the mail by now. Instead of letting them pile up on the kitchen counter, show ’em off by displaying them on this clever fabric-covered cork board. This easy DIY project was created for us by the lovely Melissa Fallon of the fabulous blog Design Eat Repeat; it’s designed to look like a cute envelope with its heart-shaped seal (which also makes it perfect for Valentine’s Day—just keep it up until February rolls around, then swap out the holiday cards for valentines!).

How To Display Holiday Cards: Fabric-Covered Cork Board

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How I Holiday: Handmade Gifts With Kids

Today we’re sharing a holiday-themed guest post from Minted artist Carolyn MacLaren, a graphic designer based in Encinitas, CA.

DIY Kids Pottery Painting

Name: Carolyn MacLaren
Where you’re based: Encinitas, CA
How long you’ve been with Minted: Since 2011

From Carolyn:  For the past three years, we’ve made it a tradition in our family to create handmade gifts for friends and family members. The first year, my daughter, who was two years old at the time, painted with watercolors; I chose a small section of the painting and framed it with a large matte. Framing a small portion of the painting made it feel more artistic, special, and versatile. The next year, we made handmade soaps and jams: We found an amazing soap recipe on Pinterest which included grapefruit, mint, poppy seeds, and shea butter—they turned out fantastic and were perfect for the kids. We gave everyone the soaps paired with homemade lemon curd and jams.

Kids Pottery Painting

This year, my daughter wanted to paint pottery, so we went to a nearby children’s pottery painting studio and spent an evening painting small bowls. I chose bowls because they’re easy for the kids to paint—they make great gifts that have so many uses (keys, jewelry, food, etc.). I limited our color palette to blues and greens to keep all of pieces unique yet cohesive; the kids could paint any design they wanted, and since it was in a single color palette, I knew it would look fresh, modern, and fun. I love how they turned out! The energy of the kids’ designs is so carefree and whimsical—something that as an adult is hard to do. We painted the pottery, left it at the studio to kiln fire, then picked it up a few days later. Ben and Reese are so proud of their gifts!

Thank you for sharing your family’s wonderful holiday tradition, Carolyn!


More Holiday Ideas:
DIY Holiday Luminarias
• 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:
• Shop Carolyn MacLaren’s Minted Store
• Gift Tags
Foil-Pressed Art Gifts

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DIY: Marbled-Clay Christmas Ornaments

Written by Sharon Garofalow of  Cupcakes and Cutlery

It’s prime Christmas tree-trimming time, which means it’s the perfect time to make these cute DIY marbled clay ornaments. Not only will they make a stylish statement on your Christmas tree, but they also make a great handmade gift idea, too!

How to make homemade clay Christmas tree ornaments.

The possibilities are endless with this marbled clay technique. All you need to do is find some great holiday cookie cutters and get to work!

Click through for instructions on how to make these homemade Christmas ornaments

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Printable Holiday Treat Labels

One of my favorite holiday traditions is delivering a little cheer with a festive treat. Whether homemade or store-bought, the best way to make it memorable (besides the taste!) is to package it nicely. Here’s a quick way to do that with colorful labels that can be added easily to a canister or box. Grab the free download below.

printable gift labels
printable gift labels

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Q&A: What’s Your Advice for Collaborating With Someone?

Ever thought about working in collaboration with another artist or designer? For some artists, working solo-style is best for them, while others choose to collaborate for short sprints or long-term projects. Many Minted artists also say they benefit from the collaborative nature of critiquing each other’s work during the Design Challenge process. For this edition of #ArtistAdvice, we asked full-time design duos Baumbirdy and Rose Lindo and her husband to share their best advice for creative collaboration.

Sarah Baumgardner and Carolyn Doogan
Baumbirdy

Chicago

Our best advice for working in a collaboration with someone is to have good communication from the very beginning. Honest communication is best. Sounds simple, but it can be really hard in the beginning not to take things personally, especially when dealing with something so personal as art.

It’s easy to say, “I like this color palette,” “That looks nice,” or “What do you want for lunch?,” but the true progress comes from “real” critiques. Being able to openly give and take advice and criticism is essential in creating trust and open-mindedness between one another. Being able to recognize and talk about one’s strengths and weaknesses are essential to creating an efficient design process.

Floral Peace” holiday card by Baumbirdy

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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

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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

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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

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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.

READ MORE #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.

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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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