Gift Tags (aka The Icing On the Cake)

Wrapping paper is awesome, ribbons and bows are grand, but for me the gift tag is where it’s really at. It’s the icing on the cake. That special, personalized touch that takes a gift above and beyond in my opinion. I used a variety of metallics, kraft paper, and label-shaped stickers this holiday and I find myself wishing I’d spied some of these sooner! (Psst… there are a few free download gems in there!)



ROW 1: Critter Gift Tag Set // Printable Accordion Gift Tags // Bubbly Cheers Gift Tags    ROW 2: Chalkboard Wreath Gift Tags // Cream and Gold Gift Tags // Deco Gold Foil Gift Tags    ROW 3: Floral Be Merry Tags // A Gift For You Letterpress Gift Tags // Holiday Tags




\ROW 1: Gold Foil Gift Tags // Gold Foil Holiday Gift Tags // Holiday Cheer Gift Tags    ROW 2: Merry Christmas Gift Tags // Holiday Wonderland Gift Labels // Letterpress Gift Tags    ROW 3: Letterpress Gift Tags // Merry Christmas Gift Tags // Mitten Gift Tags




ROW 1: Modern Pine Gift Tags // Plaid Holiday Printable Gift Tags // Red Bayberry Handmade Gift Tags    ROW 2: Printable Reindeer Express Gift Tags // Ornament Gift Tags // Seasonal Shimmer Gift Tags    ROW 3: Sled Gift Tags // Stripes Gift Tags // Wood Veneer Gift Tags


The Holidays at Design Crush HQ

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In a normal year my Christmas tree goes up the Saturday after Thanksgiving. This year it went up the Friday before, I had the itch to decorate and scratched. I blame it on the perfectly chilly day full of sleet that that Friday was, but think it had just as much to do with the abbreviated holiday season we’re experiencing in the U.S. this year.


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I love pulling out all of the ornaments I’ve collected over the past ten or so years. All pink, blue, silver, and white for the most part. For 2013 I changed things up a bit by adding silver garland to the mix, a first ever for any tree I’ve ever decorated. (If I’m too crazy for you, I totally understand.)


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When I decorate for the holidays I don’t like to disrupt everything, but rather add here and there to enhance. A few ceramic faux bois platters on the cocktail table, a bunch of eucalyptus in a hippo vase, and of course some seasonal candies. A metallic snowflake hanging from a lamp, a few pomanders, and a candle on the credenza… we’re getting there!


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The fireplace and mantel were strung with Edison bulbs and a banner begging for snow, as well as a few mercury glass and bottle brush trees. A set of silver finials and some woodland creatures help round it all out.


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A few bits on the kitchen cabinets and a bauble on the hall closet door, a favorite card over there in the guest bath, and some gold tinsel hanging around a frame. That’s how we do Christmas at Design Crush!


Holiday Cards – Part 4


1. You and You and You by People I’ve Loved    2. Cat Holiday Card by Hillary Bird    3. Half a Turkey by make-do    4. Christmas Vacation by Boxcar Press    5. Feliz Navidad Card by Rifle Paper Co.    6. Happy Holidays Printable Card by 10 ante meridiem    7. Holiday Cheer Letterpress Christmas Card by Rafftruck Designs    8. Fala Lala La by Whimsy Whimsical    9. Give Thanks Be Joyful Card by Sugar Paper, Los Angeles 10. Happiest of Holidays Cards by The Social Type


DIY Holiday Decor

Each December I make the effort to take on at least one holiday craft project. Because it’s true what they say – homemade/handmade really does mean more. I can look back at past projects and know just what was going on in my life the years that I made them, almost like a timeline. I haven’t decided on my project for 2013 just yet, but these 25 (yeah, that number is no coincidence) are for sure in the running!



















































Click on each image to go to the project.
All photos copyright of their respective sites unless otherwise noted.


Holiday Cards – Part 3


1. Triangle Tree – Honey & Bloom    2. Tis the Season to be Jolly Letterpress Greeting Card – Wiley Valentine    3. Have a Merry Little Christmas Letterpress Card – Sparkvites    4. Happiest of Holidays To You Christmas Card – jolie made    5. All Is Calm Illustrated Card – 1canoe2    6. The Most Wonderful Time Holiday Neon Letterpress Cards – Paper Lovely    7. Happy Christmas Cards – Beau Ideal Editions    8. Merry & Bright – Lindsay Letters    9. Gold Foil Calligraphy Card Set – Julie Song Ink    10. Comfort and Joy Holiday Cards – Alethea and Ruth


24 Merry Days

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Do you remember 24 Merry Days last December? Well, this year it’s back and about a million times better than ever. In case you’re not familiar, 24 Merry Days is an advent calendar of giveaways – one a day from December 1st through the 24th featuring 24 bloggers. Audrey of A Little Street has completely outdone herself pulling the entire project together with gifts from Public Bikes to Max Wanger to Mud Australia – times 24. (I can hear your jaw dropping over here. It’s okay.)

I’m not allowed to spill who’s giving away what when, but I can tell you that it’s going to be amazing. And that you can check in on the 24 Merry Days site each day starting December 1st to find out where to go to enter that day’s giveaway. You can also follow me on Twitter at @designcrush where I’ll be sharing the same info each day. Get ready to click guys, cause it’s gonna be AWESOME.


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Holiday Cards – Part 2


1. Screenprinted Holiday Cards by Allison Cole    2. 2013 Holiday Cards by Fair Morning Blue    3. Ornaments by Red Cap Cards    4. Rainbow Santa Cards by Love Love Me Do    5. Comfort and Joy by Maple and Belmont    6. Christmas Cards by Zoe Tilley Poster    7. Merry Everything & Happy Always by Smock    8. Merry Christmas Letterpress by Foglio Press    9. Tree Cards by 10 ante meridiem    10. Merry Christmas by Michele Maule


Holiday Cards – Part 1

Because Thanksgiving is falling so close to the end of November this year, it really feels (to me) like I’m rolling out holiday coverage early. I’m so thrown off, it seems like we’re going to carve the turkey and Christmas is going to be the very next week! Which is also why I wrote out my holiday cards last week. There are so many incredibly designed/illustrated/written creations that I thought it was high time to start passing them your way.


1. Holiday Paint Card Set – Yellow Owl Workshop  2. Joy to the World – Sycamore Street Press  3. Season’s Greetings Dots – Happy Cactus Designs  4. A Very Merry Christmas – 1canoe2  5. Set of 14 Christmas Cards – House That Lars Built  6. Mid-Century Holiday Ornaments – Moxie House Paper Goods  7. Pop, Fizz, Clink – Kate Spade New York  8. Mulled Wine – memo  9. All is Calm. All is Bright. – Prickle Press  10. Jubilee Christmas Collection – Darling Clementine


The Search for the Perfect Christmas Cookies

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I was really excited when Bing asked me to partner with them to share the new Smart Search for Windows 8.1. I’ve always been a really visual person, which probably helps to explain why I’ve always worked in creative fields among other (more nerdy) things. It’s also why I love my job as an art and design blogger, but sometimes the internet doesn’t translate well for my type of folk.  Smart Search is an entirely visual search that shows you a clean, graphic view of  information from across the web – right up my alley. You can use it to check out the weather, get directions, or like me… find the perfect Christmas cookies!


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One of my pet peeves about recipes in general is when no photo is attached. How do I know what the end result is supposed to look like?! Is this chocolatey blob accurate? Well, Smart Search eliminates that problem completely. I can now find the cookies that I’ll make to take home with me to my Grandma’s for the holidays by what looks most delicious. (All of them, obviously.)


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It was no easy task, but after a major search I narrowed down the results to these eight. And I still need to take that down further, because my 89-year-old Grandma and I have an agreement that we’ll each make two kinds. (Though she’s such a cheater.) Which two get your votes?

Clockwise from top: Almond Chocolate Thumbprint Cookies by Running to the Kitchen // Amaretti by gnom gnom // Caramel Apple Cookies by Bakers Royale // Lemon Sugar Cookie Sandwiches by I Am Baker // Meringues with Rhubarb Curd and Rosehip by The Vanilla Bean Blog // Orange and Ricotta Crackle Cookies by Cook Republic // Pumpkin Shortbread by Cookies & Cups // Sweet Potato Ginger Cookies by Quick & Easy Recipes

This post was created in partnership with Bing. With a type or a swipe you can search the web, the cloud, apps, and your PC or tablet, all in one place using Bing Smart Search on Windows 8.1.

Thank you for supporting the brands that keep Design Crush going!


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Click on each image to go to the project.
All photos copyright of their respective sites unless otherwise noted.