DIY: Personalized Flower Wrap (Perfect for Mother’s Day!)

If you’re giving your mama a bouquet of fresh-picked blooms this Mother’s Day, take your gift to the next level by ditching the generic packaging and presenting the flowers in a personalized flower wrap. In your best penmanship, hand-letter a meaningful quote, poem, song lyric, or compliment to express your gratitude and love.

Click through for the step-by-step instructions

MORE AFTER THE JUMP... Comments Off on DIY: Personalized Flower Wrap (Perfect for Mother’s Day!)

DIY: Gift-Card Envelope (Free Printable!)

By Sara Albers and Melissa Fenlon of Alice & Lois

Now that the end of the school year is in sight, it’s time to start thinking about ways to thank your children’s teachers. Last year, I asked my kid’s teachers what types of gifts they appreciate most and the answer was unanimous—gift cards (yep, no more mugs, notepads, and personalized desk accessories, please). I know, gift cards can be so impersonal. But we took care of that problem by designing this mod-inspired gift-card holder to add a personal touch to your thank you.

Keep reading for the free printable and tutorial


DIY: Screen-Printed Felt Flags

Written by Olivia Kanaley

These collegiate-inspired felt flags are a noteworthy way to celebrate your favorite graduate. And in the spirit of learning, I thought I’d explore a new-to-me printing technique and break it down into a handful of easy steps. This project is more involved than our usual DIYs but if you’ve every been curious about screen printing, this is the perfect introduction. Make several “Congrats” flags to wave at the commencement ceremony or DIY them for a festive wedding send-off.

Click through for the step-by-step instructions


Get to Know: Jill Means and Her Daughter Ali

Graphic designer Jill Means is a longtime member of our Minted community—she entered her first design challenge way back in 2010. She lives in Lodi, Calif., with her husband Scott and their five children—Sydney (18), Ali (16), Connor (15), Ryan (13), and Natalie (9)  [ see photo 1 below ]. Each of her kids has caught the design bug in their own way, including daughter Ali, who has submitted several of her own pieces to Minted’s challenges. To celebrate Mother’s Day, we chatted with this Minted mother-daughter duo to talk about balancing work and family, fostering creativity in your children, and what the Means kids are planning to do for Mom this Mother’s Day (so sweet!).

Jill Means and Ali Means

Jill, you’re a longtime Minted designer—how did you first hear about us?
Jill: I had been recommending Minted to people who approached me to do their wedding invitations and other stationery projects that I didn’t have time to take on. One day, I was browsing Minted’s website and thought, “Maybe I should submit something for a design challenge—just for fun!” Now more of my income comes from stationery design than my corporate design.

How do you balance work and family time? 
Jill: This is the question I get most often. It’s never perfect. Sometimes I’m scrambling to meet a deadline or working on a school project with the kids late into the night. My husband is very supportive and my kids have become very self-reliant in ways to allow me to work more. They also know that the extra income I make allows us take some fun family trips!

Right now I try to get most of my designing done from my home office while the kids are at school. After school, we have a lot of sports and activities happening (usually at the same time!); then, I sometimes do more work at night. I don’t work on Sundays, which gives me a day to breathe and plan for the week ahead. My family and faith always come first, but design is something I just can’t quit, no matter how busy my life gets. It’s a part of me, I’d do it even if I wasn’t paid for it.

Is your mother also design-oriented? Does it run in the family?
Jill: My mom isn’t a designer, but she is creative in different ways. She’s a retired teacher and has always encouraged me in every thing I do. I credit her as my first client. When I was very young, around five years old, she asked me to draw a banana tree for a project she was working on. I didn’t even know what a banana tree looked like—I think my drawing looked like an apple tree with bananas instead of apples. But when I handed her my illustration, she told me how wonderful it was and what an amazing artist I was becoming. I believed her and have had confidence in my artistic skills ever since.

It sounds like several of your children have inherited your design genes! Please tell us more.
Jill: Yes! I’m teaching Sydney a little bit of photography, Ali does hand lettering and painting, and Connor comes up with ideas for designs. He sketched out the concept for my Candy Cane Banner holiday-party invitation [ 2 ], I executed it in Illustrator, and it won second place in a Minted challenge! I shared the prize money and commission with him! My son Ryan is taking a graphic design class at school and Natalie does a lot of drawing (mostly of dolphins!), so they’ve all caught the design bug in some way.

Do you and Ali work on projects together?
Jill: Right now Ali is busy with school, sports, and activities so she isn’t doing a lot of her own work, but she paints a lot of the backgrounds and elements I’ve used in my designs [ 3 & 4 ]. Ali painted the background in my “School of Fish” classroom valentine [ 5 ] and right now she’s doing some lettering, watercolors, and paper marbling for some holiday designs I’m working on this month.

Get to Know: Minted Designer Jill Means and Her Daughter Ali

Ali, what grade are you in? And what’s your favorite subject?
Ali: I’m a junior at Tokay High School and my favorite subjects in high school have been AP Environmental Science, Ceramics, and French.

What careers are you considering once you’re done with school?
Ali: I would really like to follow my mom’s footsteps as a graphic designer. I’m so glad she started teaching and encouraging me early so I can feel more prepared and confident as I pursue design!

Jill, how do you encourage creativity in your own children?
Jill: I try to teach them that creativity is not something you have or you don’t, it’s a skill you learn and develop your whole life. Creativity is more than just art, it’s a way of thinking, whether it’s approaching a challenge, staying on a budget, or packing a suitcase. We also try to do new things and go new places to give them lots of experiences to fill their “creativity bucket.”

Ali, how does your mom inspire you?
Ali: She is always striving to help and make time for me and my four other siblings. Her love and dedication is something I really try to emulate. She’s understanding, funny, beautiful, and my best friend. I love her designs and she has really helped me to appreciate simplicity and balance in art.

What are you and your siblings doing for your mom for Mother’s Day?
Ali: On Mother’s Day, me and my siblings wake up early to prepare a yummy breakfast with my dad that we enjoy as a family. Everyone makes cards and little gifts to make her feel special and appreciated.

Most important thing/best advice you learned from your mom?
Ali: One of the most important things my mom has taught me is to set goals and focus on priorities. She works hard and makes sure to spend her time meaningfully with our family. She carefully plans her projects and work hours in a way that suits her and our family. Some of that time is also spent teaching and helping me to become a better designer—it’s a time I cherish and will remember.

More from Jill Means:
Jill’s Minted Store
Crash Course Creative (Jill’s blog)
“Candy Cane Banner” holiday-party invitation  [ 2 ]
• “School of Fish” classroom valentine  [ 5 ]

Photos: All courtesy of Jill Means and Minted


DIY: Mother’s Day Candy Boxes

These small divided boxes (I found ’em in the dollar section at Target!) are the perfect containers to fill with your mom’s favorite candy this Mother’s Day. Top them off with our free printable Mother’s Day labels and you’ve got yourself the perfect little gift for the sweetest mama around.

mother's day handmade gift
mother's day candy boxes

Click through for the printable Mother’s Day labels


DIY: Print out this Bouquet of Flowers for Mother’s Day!

Show Mom you care this Mother’s Day with a bouquet of pretty flowers (Bonus: These blooms won’t wither and die after a just week!). Best of all, you can print out these paper flowers and fashion a recycled vase in no time—the perfect craft for kids of all ages!

Click through for the step-by-step instructions


DIY: Printable Mother’s Day Stickers

With Mother’s Day just around the corner, it’s time to start thinking of ways to show your mama how much you appreciate her. A brilliant idea: A custom treat box filled with her favorite things. Brainstorm a list of her must-have treats, prettily package them in a box, and decorate the gift with our free printable stickers!

DIY: Printable Mother's Day Stickers

Click through for the free stickers download…

MORE AFTER THE JUMP... Comments Off on DIY: Printable Mother’s Day Stickers

Dove-Themed Baptism Party

Celebrate your little one’s baptism or christening with a dove-themed party complete with matching aviary details and accessories.

Baby Christening Ideas: Dove

1. SEND // this invite
Invite guests to the baptism and any following festivities with this elegant-yet-sweet invitation (“Little Dove” by Susan Asbill).

2. DIY // these decorations
Hang a flock of cut-paper doves to enliven the party space. (Learn how to make the paper-dove garland here.)

3. DISPLAY // these place cards
If you’re hosting a post-baptism luncheon, designate guests’ seats by embellishing their glasses with a paper-dove place card.

4. GIVE // these favors
Thank everyone for coming by sending guests home with pretty dove-shaped sugar cookies.

5. WEAR // these moccasins
Outfit your little one in these darling (and adorably tiny!) leather moccasins.

Photos: 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5

More Baby Party Ideas
• DIY Baby Shower Favor: Fabric-Wrapped Votive
• Baby Memory Box and Printable Keepsake Tags
• Moon-and-Stars Baby Shower


Design to Dish: Lemon Cream-Cheese Pie

lemon cream cheese pie recipeNew Waves” fabric by Jennifer Morehead; Lemon Cream-Cheese Pie (recipe below)

My husband’s favorite pie is a lovely little concoction with a graham-cracker crust and a layer of sweet cream-cheese topped with luscious, sunshine-yellow lemon curd. Every bite tastes like summer! Sadly, the pie shop we used to buy it from went out of business last year, so I’ve been spending some time concocting my own version. And guess what? It’s pretty easy to make! Despite its many layers, it’s a simple recipe: you basically mix, pour, bake, and repeat. Sunny days are here again!

And, speaking of sunny days, I came across this darling, lemon-yellow patterned fabric from Minted: “New Waves” by Jennifer Morehead. It’s such a fun print and practically begs to be turned into pillows, curtains, or even table runner (for displaying with this lemon cream-cheese pie!). It’s sweet and sunny, just like my pie.

lemon cream cheese pie recipe

Keep reading for this tart and tangy pie recipe…


DIY: Alphabet Crayon Favors

My son has a slight obsession with alphabet letters so for his birthday, I decided to make letter-shaped crayons as party favors. They were surprisingly simple to make and a big hit! If you don’t mind getting a little wax beneath your fingernails, here’s how to make your own…

how to make letter crayons

Click through for the step-by-step instructions