Archive for the ‘design’ Category

How to Make A Stamp With Silhouette Mint


CHECK OUT my instagram for details on how to win your very own Mint™ machine!

I’ve had my Silhouette Mint for a little bit now and I’m crazy in love with how quickly and accurately I can make a stamp. The below stamp design took under 20 minutes from design to stamp. The bulk of the time was spent waiting for the ink to dry so I could scan it in.


This new-fangled miracle-worker should be on every calligrapher/designer’s list this year. It’s not terribly expensive and it cuts a lot of time out of the stamp-making process.

The stamp itself is a different technology than traditional rubber stamps. It creates a recessed area where the ink holds. Because of this, you can create super-fine hairlines and still get a great impression! You’re “limited” to 7 standard sheet sizes with the stamps, but they cover just about every range, it doesn’t feel like a limitation at all.


See below for a step-by-step video on how to make your custom design into a stamp.

Use code: MELISSA for an exclusive discount on the Silhouette Mint for amazing Black Friday deals. I get an affiliate fee on each purchase made with the discount at It helps fuel the content over here. I honestly wouldn’t be hocking Silhouette’s products if I wasn’t absolutely obsessed. I hope you like this fancy gadget as much as I do! Deals start at 12:01am MST on Thursday, November 26!

  • Free Shipping on orders over $50.00*
  • 40% off almost everything in the Silhouette America store
  • 20% off Silhouette Design Store Subscriptions*
  • Silhouette Mint $99.99
  • Portrait & Mint $189.99
  • CAMEO $199.99
  • CAMEO & Portrait $289.99

*Deals end December 4th. Free Shipping applies to Contiguous United States. For 20% off subscriptions, use code BLACK.


Right-click on the image above to download for your own Mint making!


By downloading the above material, you agree to terms of use: This tutorial/freebie is free for personal use and should not be distributed/republished without my consent. Altering any files is NOT ALLOWED. If you would like to use this freebie for commercial purposes, please email me. Thanks!

Printable: 2015 Thank You Cards


I’m so excited about this year’s Thank You Printable. Or should I say PrintableS, because I’ve teamed up with the fabulous Natalie Malan. We were in the same vender area at Pinners Conference two weeks ago when we came across this great idea. She’s amazing at watercolor florals and I can do some calligraphy, so we put our creative minds together and here we are!


The first design is a simple wreath with warmer colors. I played around with various banner ideas, but ultimately I liked the simpler text.

Each card can be printed as a postcard, double-sided (like above) or single-sided for a flat card to be mailed in an envelope.


Seriously, aren’t these florals beautiful!? Natalie sells prints in her shop and on You can also find a sweet watercolor kit (hello Christmas!) available in her shop.


The second one was screaming for an organic brush script so I played around with different styles. I chose this version of the text for the way the ascenders, descenders and flourishes play with the floral border. I like how the organic lines of the letters compliment the flourishes.


You can download one below and the other on Natalie’s Blog.


*By downloading the above material, you agree to terms of use: This tutorial/freebie is free for personal use and should not be distributed/republished without my consent. Altering any files is NOT ALLOWED. If you would like to use this freebie for commercial purposes, please email me. Thanks!

Check out past designs here:

Designed: Gold and Silver Foil Bee Tattoos



This post is sponsored by Fashion Tats. Shop, wholesale or create your own gold and silver foil temporary tattoos.

The dreamcatcher and the roses are my favorite. What are yours?

I’ve been aching to design foil temporary tattoos for a while, but I just couldn’t think of a design! Designer’s block got the best of me for a good portion of a year.


Image c/o Alix Adams (via IG) – I love that she put it on her cheek.

I was writing a gift card for a Melissa when I thought I should add a honeybee flourish, since our name means “honeybee”. I couldn’t find any exemplars to go from, so I designed my own. It dawned on me that was what I needed for my foil tattoo design.


At Alt Summit this last June, I handed out my business cards (above) with silver and gold bees. Since my name is Melissa and I hail from the beehive state, it only seemed fitting.


Thanks to my awesomely tan neighbor for modeling these for me. I noticed that foil tattoos don’t photograph particularly well on my pasty white skin. Perhaps I need to get out of the house more?

Now that I’ve done one design, I’m ready to do more. I’ve got a few ideas. Mostly words that I want to design. What word(s) should I do next?

Freebie: Inspirational Quotes


Back in January, I had the joy to design a little print series for Bing for their lounge at Alt Summit. They wanted inspirational quotes to support the concept of their cloud-based services. I made a series of 4 prints that could be tiled together to create an abstract cloud, or they could stand alone.


I’m happy with how they turned out, despite my limitations with the design and time.

Screen Shot 2015-04-27 at 7.30.35 AM

See above how I tiled them.


I was very limited on the design as I didn’t have much time to execute. I was given the official ‘go ahead’ while I was flat on my back with strep throat. The next day I created the designs. By the time I had work ready to print we were less than a week away from the deadline. Obviously no time for fun stuff like letterpress, gold foil, laser-cutting, etc.



Of the local digital print services I tried, no one wanted to touch this job. We needed 500 of each design (2000 cards total). I sent it off to overnight prints and they pulled through for me (granted, it required a substantial rush fee).


I would love to re-work these prints and get them completed with off-set and silver foil printing. I just don’t see that happening though.

As far as the design process goes, I painted the starry scene on watercolor paper with dry gouache. Added gold and glitter touches then scanned in. I lettered the quotes separately and placed them over the background.


Click the image above to download the free desktop background quote “Dreams don’t work unless you do.” By downloading you agree to the Terms of Use below. Stay tuned for more fun stuff with the other three quotes!

Are you new here? Check out the “printables” tab at the top of the page for more freebies! Interested in learning calligraphy? Let me teach you how! Click the image below for more information.

learn calligraphy online with melissa esplin

*This tutorial/freebie is free for personal use and should not be distributed/republished without my consent. Altering any files is NOT ALLOWED. If you would like to use this freebie for commercial purposes, please email me. Thanks!

We Bought A Photobooth


It’s like one of those things that you say that elicits a cocked head and a, “What?”. Like we bought a zoo or something. Except infinitely sillier and minus the animal poop.



In October of this year Alix and I (along with our men) bought an open-concept photobooth. Alix is heavily involved in the event planning scene in the Utah and Salt Lake valleys. Both of us have been sorely disappointed in poor branding, terrible exposures and bulky equipment. Especially when it came down to the Secret Garden event back in January.

If you want something done right, you better do it yourself! So SaltyBooth was born: A utah-based photo booth business run by event experts. 


Since getting our photobooth, we’ve had a ton of fun. Lots of late night photo sessions sorting out branding and layouts. It’s resulted in lots of family photos. An excellent perk of the new job, I might add.


We set up the booth for our Christmas cards (which are turning out to be more like New Year’s cards – EEP!). The image quality  was nice enough for us to get a 11×14 canvas of the above amazingness. I can’t tell you how thrilled that makes me!


For Halloween we started a new tradition: Pic or Treat. Take a pic or grab a treat. It was a huge hit! Parents could get a great photo of their kids in costume and teens. . . teens squeal over any opportunity for a good selfie!


We had our first event last month with a handful of bloggers. The reception was more than we could have hoped for. Since then we’ve had our second event and booked several more. Get in touch if you’re looking for a photo booth rental for your next event! Here’s why what we offer is better than anything you’ll see locally:

  • We understand events and the blogging industry (amazing images are everything)
  • If you hire us, you get a calligrapher/designer and an event planner to make your booth awesomesauce
  • Users won’t be able to resist sharing their images across social platforms (Integrated Twitter, Facebook and Twitter, SMS and email sharing)
  • Instant gratification with a ridiculously amazing photo printer (we only use the best)
  • Our rockin’ lighting system allows you to get fabulous photos every time, even if the lighting at your event sucks
  • Our open-concept booth takes up very little space and it’s all-in-0ne so no bulky equipment to trip over
  • We’re really fun!


image by Alix | business cards by engrave jet

Email us at infoATsaltyboothDOTcom to book us for your next event.

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