How To: Pack a Picnic Basket Like a Pro

Once upon a time we owned a pricey picnic basket, but after an evening of bocce (and vodka!) on the beach, it ended up either lost or stolen (we’re still not sure what happened). Now, I’m all about simplicity when it comes to picnics—an easy, affordable basket I can quickly fill with boxed sandwiches and some basic outdoor-eating staples. Want to make your own portable spread? Take a peek at my tips on packing the perfect basket for your alfresco meals this summer.

Keep reading for my best picnic-packing tips


Valentine’s Day Art Challenge: Special Prize Winners

For our Quickfire Valentine’s Day art challenge, we called on our artist community to create pieces that would make the perfect gift for a loved one. For this art challenge, we were particularly looking for the perfect Valentine’s Day gifts for men—whether for a husband, father, or brother. We loved seeing the graphic illustrations, unique customizable keepsakes, and modern typographical pieces that you designed. Congratulations to all winners!

Out of the (Candy) Box Award for the most creative and innovative take on a Valentine’s art print
Gold Standard” by Keen Peachy

Perfect Gift for Him Award for the most unique art gift for him
License Memories” by Johanna Phillips Huuva

All you need is Love Award  for the best typographical piece that showcases a quote, piece of poetry, or literature in the public domain
How do I Love Thee” by Fatfatin

Foil-Pressed Award for the best piece incorporating a foil-pressed element
Heart Stripe” by Cindy C Lackey

Click through to see more special prize winners from the Quickfire Valentine’s Day Art Challenge

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The Easiest Party Decorations, Ever

Here’s another favorite tip of mine for throwing a party on a budget: Use pom-pom fringe! It’s so fun and festive on its own, and best of all: no DIY-ing required. All you need are removable hooks, a few strands of pom-pom fringe, and about three minutes—it’s easier than blowing up balloons. And since pom-pom fringe usually goes for about $2.50 a yard, it’s super budget friendly, as well.

pom pom trim pom pom fringe

I bought my pom-pom fringe online in assorted colors from M&J Trimming. You local fabric store will also likely sell it by the yard; several colors are also available on Amazon, as well.

pom pom fringe pom pom party decorations

More Easy Party Ideas
How to Throw a Killer Party on a Budget
DIY Fruity Party Printables (so perfect for summer shindigs!)
DIY Alphabet Crayon Favors 

Design to Dish: Fresh Fruit Sugar Cookie Bars

red white and blue barsMelt” art print by Lindsay Megahed | Fresh Fruit Sugar Cookies Bars (recipe below)

The 4th of July is coming up this weekend, and we are knee-deep in cousins, BBQs, and family fun! My mom’s side of the family has a big get-together every year on Independence Day, so it was always a major holiday for us growing up, and is still one of my favorites as an adult. As a kid, the 4th of July meant swimming and eating popsicles all day, and sitting in lawn chairs (or more likely on the curb) to watch fireworks on the driveway. As an adult, it means getting to spend time catching up with family from far and near. And, of course, red, white, and blue!

I spotted this red, white, and blue art print from Minted (“Melt” by Lindsay Megahed) way back in March, and it has been on my mind ever since. It looks like bomb pops, one of my childhood 4th of July favorites! I wanted to make a sophisticated red, white, and blue dessert to go with it, and these fresh fruit-topped sugar cookie bars are easy, beautiful, and festive. And let’s not forget the most important thing: they’re delicious!

red white and blue 4th of july treats

Keep reading for this easy 4th of July dessert recipe…

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Congrats to the Grad! Challenge: Special Prize Winners

Spring arrives and families across the country look for the perfect graduation design to celebrate this milestone in their child’s life. Graduation is a large and growing category for Minted, and we were stunned by so many unique and original designs. Outstanding work everyone, and a huge congratulations to all the winners!

For the most out-of-the-box graduation design 
Highlighter”  by Lori Wemple

For the best traditional, sophisticated design 
Poetic”  by Fine and Dandy Paperie

For the best design incorporating a photo of the new grad
Caps Off”  by Stacey Meacham

For the best multi-photo design
Fresh Perspective”  by Keen Peachy

Click through to see more special prize winners from our invitation challenge

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“Let’s Summer!” Checklist (Free Printable!)

We’re officially a week into summer, so how’s your popsicle consumption coming along? And how many water balloons have you thrown? If you’re answers are on the low side, then it might be a good idea to fill out this official summer to-do list so you don’t slack off for the rest of the season.

summer list

Click through for our “Let’s Summer!” printable checklist

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Currently Loving: Oversize Art

A simple way to make a huge design impact in your home? Oversize art. Large-format wall art is the latest home-decorating trend we’re loving—placing a super-size piece in just the right spot immediately injects some serious personality into your space. Ready to go big? Here are some of our favorite takes on this trend.

Home Decor Trend: Oversize Art

1. Above the Sofa
It’s one of the biggest design dilemmas: What do you hang in the space above your sofa? A single oversize piece is an easy solution. As a general rule of thumb, choose a horizontal or square piece that measures at least half the length of the sofa.

Photo: Minted
Shop: “Mornings Away” by Emily Jeffords

Trend Alert: Oversized Art

2. On Its Own
This contemporary living room designed by Pamplemousse Design is anchored by an oversize painting (Phoenicia VIII by Al Held). The crisp lines of the black-and-white piece nicely juxtapose against the curved sofa.

Photo: Via Pamplemousse Design
Shop similar:Untitled B+W #1 2012” by Jaime Derringer

3. Gallery Wall
Place a large, oversize piece adjacent to a gallery wall consisting of multiple smaller works to help provide balance.

Photo: Sean Fennessy
Shop similar: “Off the Coast on the Shore” by Christina Flowers

4. Picture Ledge
If you’re not ready to commit to a full-on gallery wall, then a picture ledge is the perfect in-between. Frame your favorite pieces (Tip: Choosing the same type of frame will help unite the different pieces together), then lean them on the ledge, starting with the largest print, first.

Photo: Minted
Shop: “Hexagon Cluster” by Yao Cheng (left);Desert Diptych” by Annie Clark (right)

Trend Alert: Oversize Art

5. Kid’s Bedroom
To make a small bedroom feel more spacious, choose an oversize print to help draw the eye upward, making the space seem more spacious. And opt for a bright pop of color along with matching accessories to tie everything together.

Photo: 6th Street Design School
Shop: “Hello Cocky!” by Catherine Culvenor


Recipe: Red, White, and Blueberry Pavlovas

Summer celebrations call for simple treats with minimal assembly. To make the most of berry season, I’m whipping up these red, white, and blueberry pavlovas—they’re miniature, light, and bite-sized. Bonus: They’re the perfect color scheme for celebrating the Fourth.

summer berry pavlova by kelli hall
summer berry pavlova by kelli hall

Click through for this easy summer recipe…

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Work of Art Challenge: Special Prize Winners

Over the past year, Minted’s art business has grown by leaps and bounds. We’ve added hundreds of works to our collection in a broad range of styles and formats from artists around the globe. We asked the Minted community to submit innovative works of art to continue to grow our assortment – we were so amazed by the breath and depth of submissions. Congratulations to all winners!

Curator’s Choice Award for the artwork that most captures the attention of the
Minted curatorial team
Orange Lake” by Stephanie Goss Johnson

Newbie Award for the best work of art by a first-time entrant
Dark and Stormy” by Blair Culwell Staky

Photography Award for the best photographic art print
Corner Bar in the Neighborhood, New Orleans” by Mary Ann Glynn-Tusa

Seasonal Award for the best piece of artwork inspired by the fall or winter months
Watercolor Abstract Flora Series: Fall 1” by V E R Y M A R T A

Click through to see more special prize winners from the Work of Art Challenge

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DIY: Brass Pinwheel Cake Toppers

By Jenny Batt of  Hank and Hunt

I have a fondness for pinwheels (doesn’t everybody?)—they’re fun and whimsical, and remind me of my childhood. But instead of plastic or paper pinwheels, I wanted to decorate with something a little more grown up. These brass pinwheels are fun and easy to make, and are the perfect way to dress up a frosted cake.

brass cake topper pinwheelbrass cake topper pinwheels

Click through for the step-by-step instructions

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