4 Fun and Easy Kid-Friendly Halloween Party Ideas

There’s something about a Halloween bash that captivates kids of all ages. License to act goofy and partake in fun activities like getting messy with gourds and working hard to look ugly rather than pretty has broad appeal. So give in to the once-a-year fun that kicks off a season of more serious celebrating with a party that’s spooky or silly complete with ridiculous snacks and crazy costumes.

Haunted House
Whether you hang up a few ghosts, a cackling crow and a jumping spider or you go all out in the spirit of Claire Dunphy on Modern Family, it’s fun to host a Halloween party with a haunted house theme. Send out one of Mixbook’s great haunted-house themed party invitations, then enlist your kids to help decorate with everything from cobwebs and cauldrons to bats and rats. They’ll love coming up with ingenious ways to scare friends and family who arrive unsuspecting. Designate a single area as the scary spot, say the garage or the basement, so that younger kids and parents can retreat to non-spooky zones of the house. For snacks, set out crepe paper wrapped waters or juices to resemble mummies, and serve them alongside some of these amazing non-candy Halloween snacks.

Halloween Party Snacks

Halloween Party Invitations

Halloween Party Invites

Costume Party
Who doesn’t love a great costume party?! Host a party on or around Halloween so that kids and adults alike can embody an alternate persona for an afternoon or evening. Send out Mixbook’s Halloween Polka Dotted party invitation, indicating whether the dress-up code has a specific theme – like Pokemon, Superheroes or Teen Titans – or not. Plan to give out prizes in multiple categories, from ‘most creative’ to ‘most realistic’ to ‘hardest to recognize.’ Set up a photo booth to capture everyone’s alternate identities, then compile the photos from your party in a fun post-even party favor – a mini Halloween Mixbook photo book!

Halloween Party Invitations

Pumpkin-Carving Party
Invite friends and family over for an afternoon or evening of pumpkin carving a few days before Halloween. Send out one of Mixbook’s pumpkin-carving themed invitations, indicating whether it’s BYOG (bring-your-own-gourd) or not. Have newspaper-wrapped tables set up for the messy work of cleaning pumpkins, including scoops, bowls for seeds, pumpkin-carving tools, tea lights and matches. Designate one adult to help with each station, including one to wash, dry and roast pumpkin seeds. Have a big pot of mulled cider on the stove along with big mugs for addressing the new chill in the air. Keep it simple with seeds and cider for snacks or put out any one of the snacks listed in this great collection of non-sugar Halloween snacks.

Pumpkin Silhouettes
Halloween Party InvitationsPumpkin Carving Party
Halloween Party InvitationsCarving Party
Halloween Party Invites

Monster Bash
Host a Halloween party that celebrates the best monsters of all time, from Frankenstein to Scully. Send out Mixbook’s Frankenstein invitation, indicating that guests should come dressed as their favorite monster. Set the scene by decorating your entryway with a custom Monster Door and Monster Windows. Serve up Monster cookies, fruit bowls and monster mouths, then play a rollicking game of monster beanbag toss. For a fun kid-friendly craft, have kids make monster party hats. Remember to take lots of pictures and create a fun photo book after the event to remember your monstrously successful party!

Halloween Party Invitations

Halloween Party Ideas

Happy Mixbooking! Happy Halloween partying!

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Start Thinking About Your 2014 Holiday Card!

We are thrilled to announce that the Mixbook 2014 Holiday Card Collection is here! Time to start thinking about that one beautiful photo or group of photos you’ll make into a collage and send out to friends and family to encapsulate your year – and spread joy (or humor, or both) far and wide.

Holiday Photo Cards

MONOGRAM
Always classic, ever stylish, and universally appealing, a simple monogram in a pop of red is a striking counterpoint to a collage of black-and-white photos. By using all black-and-white photos (or converting color photos to b/w) you create an easy way to visually unify photos taken in different light conditions and at different times of the year. Mixbook’s Classic Collage Monogram card featuring a single typographic seal front and center is a sophisticated and fun choice for your yearly holiday greeting card.

Classic Holiday Cards

GLITTER & DOTS
Perky polka dots take a chic turn when covered in golden glitter. Mixbook’s Glitter and Dots card is ideal for a family greeting that’s fun enough for the kids and stylish enough for the grown-ups. Use the back to share a beautiful quote about wishes for the coming year, or add your own text or more photos.

Holiday Photo CardsHoliday Photo Cards

CHALKBOARD
There’s something about a series of snowy photos that looks amazing set off by a hand-doodled chalk background. The vibe is warm, homemade, artful and fun. Mixbook’s Chalkboard Holiday card lets you showcase several photos in hand-drawn chalkboard frames.

Holiday Photo Cards

KRAFT PAPER & WASHI TAPE
Warm and happy by nature, there’s nothing like the pairing of Kraft paper and washi tape to invoke crafty coziness and homespun fun. Mixbook’s Show Merry Mod card creates a balanced composition out of a fun and festive mix of design elements on a neutral background. A grid of photographs on both front and back lets you show off the many moments of fun shared with family this year.

Holiday Photo Card

ART DECO
Gatsby mania was so last year! We’re kidding, of course: Fitzgerald’s work is timeless and Art Deco style is for the ages. We love this modern, minimalist take on a highly ornate design trend that’s leaps and bounds beyond Baz. Mixbook’s Merry Deco card feels clean, fresh and unique.

Holiday Photo Cards

METALLICS
An enchanted mixture of gilded evergreen and other woodland treasures, Mixbook’s Gold Leaves is a fresh alternative to the overabundance of red and green. The scene invokes a Scandinavian winter wonderland filled with natural beauty and wholesome fun.

Holiday Photo Card

Once you’ve chosen a design, let your creative wheels start turning! Go back into the photos from your year and select images that would work well in one of Mixbook’s holiday card designs – you can create many iterations in many different templates till you find the perfect combination of your photography and Mixbook’s beautiful card designs. Mixbook will save all your projects online until you’re ready to order.

But remember, the earlier you order, the more relaxed you’ll be about getting your cards in the mail!

Happy Mixbooking!

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As hard as it can be to say goodbye to summer, it’s always a bit of a relief to be able to turn inward once the air turns crisp and the leaves go orange. Not only do I give myself permission to stay indoors for a change, I tend to have the sudden urge to make soup, bake bread, and pull my family a little closer.

Fall Photo Projects

It’s not by accident that the upcoming holidays are all about celebrating family. So channel the craving for connection with loved ones into creating a book that everyone will cherish. Mixbook has four new book themes that are perfect for capturing the beauty of autumn and beyond. A new photo book will reinforce those deep feelings of connection, filling kids with pride of family and making adults stop in awe to reflect on all they have. And making copies of your photo books for family members and close friends near and far is a heart-warming gift everyone will love – whether the occasion is Thanksgiving, Christmas or just because.

Have An Adventure
Choose Shades of Autumn, Natural Textures or Rustic Family Album to showcase all the fun you share over the next few weeks. You can even take a few planned adventures to maximize your enjoyment of fall. Head to a harvest festival or go pumpkin picking, and take a hike to view (and stomp on) beautiful leaves.

“Shades of Autumn”
Autumn Photo Books“Colored Canvases”
Fall Photo Books“Natural Textures”
Natural Textures Photo Book“Rustic Family Album”
Rustic Family Album

Dress the Part
Pull on boots, cozy sweaters, colorful hats and sip steaming hot mulled cider for a fun autumn photo shoot in a field of dried grasses or with a backdrop of vibrant trees. Shoot lots of photographs so you can play around with a series to evoke movement and energy in your photo book compositions.

fall photo idea

Fill Out the Year
If your autumnally inspired urge to gather photos compels you to go further with collecting pictures from the entire year – go with it! Mixbook’s Seasons of Love photo book provides a layout that’s perfect for including highlights from every season – including fall! You can create 90% of the book now, then go in and add photos of Halloween, Thanksgiving and early Christmas parties – ordering mid-December for the perfect holiday gift for every loved one.

Fall Family Photo Books

Get a Head Start on Holiday Cards
Fall also happens to be a perfectly picturesque time to have a photo session with a professional or amateur photographer. Autumn light is particularly flattering and natural settings have a way of lending themselves to cozy shots with family. Choose a rustic style to set off your holiday photo card and check that project off your list early! Some of our favorite designs that frame fall photographs beautifully are:

Whimsical Wood
Holiday Photo CardsMerry Blocks
2014 Holiday CardsGold and Silver Pinecones
Fall Photo CardsGold Leaves
Fall Photo Projects

Happy Mixbooking!

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4 Simple Tips for Creating Great Summer Photo Books

If there’s anything better than summer itself, it might just be that feeling you get when you complete your summer photo book. While it’s still warm out.

It’s far easier to sort and upload photos when they’re fresh, than six months later when you forget who took which photos – and you can hardly remember the names of all the places you went on vacation. When you approach your vacation and summer activities with the intention of making a photo book, you build in certain habits that make the whole process much simpler.

Summer Photo Book

 

#1: Use your camera like a notebook
I can’t remember the last time I had a pen and paper on me, but I am practically always have my iPhone in hand. Use your smart phone to snap pictures of place names, signs and other minutiae that will retroactively help you piece together the progression of events. It’s not that you’ll necessarily include the pictures in your albums, but you’ll have a built-in way of remembering what you did where so you can add captions that are robust with memories. The more details you include, the more easily you’ll be transported to the time and place once your photo book is complete.

Summer Photo Book Tips

#2: Take pictures like a photojournalist
While you don’t want to dwell in this state of mind every minute of your vacation (your family might want to leave you home next time), remember to take a few minutes each day to snap pictures of things other than people posing and pretty sunsets. Snap photos of a striking centerpiece at a new favorite restaurant, or take a picture of the texture of the sand beneath your feet, or the crisscrossed grasses on the hike up to your cabin. These photos aren’t the primary focus of your vacation, but they go a long way to create context and add dimension to the story you’re creating in your book.

Summer Photo Book TipsSummer Photo Books

#3: Vary perspective
Say your child is going off to a summer of sports camp: you’re going to have a lot of pictures taken from the sidelines. Try to find creative ways to get new angles on the fun. Everything from mounting a GoPro camera to his head to using a zoom lens to simply perching from a different place in the stands each day can help create variation in the composition of your photographs. It’s important for your photo book’s pacing. Just as in writing an essay, you don’t want all your sentences to be structured exactly the same way, you want to make sure your photographs challenge the eye so that it actually “sees” what’s in front of it.

Tips for Summer Photo BooksIdeas for Summer Photo Books

#4: Think about “series” shots
You don’t always have to capture it all in a single shot. Keep in mind that it’s really nice – especially when documenting children – to show a progression of activity. For your visual layout, an odd-numbered group of photographs is likely to look best. So whether you’re showing three, five or seven photos of a single activity, you can capture the action in step-by-step sequence, which is a really nice way to transport yourself back to the action years down the road.

Great Summer Photo BooksSummer Photo Book Ideas

Mixbook has lots of great summer-friendly photo books to choose from. One of our favorite new designs is Colorful Collage, which is a modern, minimalist way to overlay the saturated colors of summer onto a strikingly simple backdrop. And the Summertime photo book design is perfect for chronicling a classic American kids’ summer – from pool outings to beach days and ice cream treats. Mixbook’s Soccer themed photo book is ideal for sharing all the fun from sports camps throughout the summer. And Mixbook’s Summer Days photo album is great for showing off a tropical holiday. When you’re ready to create your photo album, simply upload all your great photos and hit the Automix button. You can remix the order of your photos till you love the result – and, of course, you can always manually move things around.

 

Happy Mixbooking! Happy Summer!

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Fun-Loving Summertime Party Invitations

If you have a festive bone in your body (and we know you do!), chances are you crave a good gathering when the weather gets warm. There’s something about the easy nature of summer foods, the relaxed general atmosphere and the long days that makes entertaining extra appealing.

Here’s our advice: pick a weekend afternoon or evening a few weekends out, design your festive invitation and get it in the mail! Friends will love getting a printed invite for a summer party in their mailbox so they can put it up on the fridge and get excited for the fun.

Summer Party Invitations

Whether you’re celebrating a birthday or not, it’s fun to pick a theme and choose food and activities to build on it. Here are a few of our favorite summer party invitations, with menu and fun ideas to match:

Sips and Apps
Mixbook’s new Party Time Straws invitation sends a clear message that there’s going to be fun in the form of drinks! Whether they’re spiked, steeped or sugary, there’s nothing more old-school summer than sucking an ice-cold refreshment up through a paper straw. Consider serving a few special signature drinks – like hibiscus-infused tea, basil-infused lemonade or homemade sangria, then set up a bar with serve-yourself drink dispensers next to glassware and straws. Put out trays of other simple nibbles, crank up some festive music, have squirt guns on hand, and let the fun unfold before your eyes!

Summer Party Invitations

Hoedown Throw-Down
Here’s a card that’s perfect for hosting a BBQ birthday…or just for the heck of it! The design has a little banner that designates the event as one to honor a special person, but it’s a small detail that can be deleted easily using the Mixbook editor. Then again, you might just want to make up an honorary person, day or even just a silly reason to have a party. Whatever you’re celebrating, Mixbook’s new Chalked Gingham invitation – with its chalkboard backdrop and red-checked cloth – does conjure up small-batch craft cider, artisan pickles and grass-fed burgers. Or take it campy and make your event all about beer, brats and sauerkraut. Whatever the occasion, guests will arrive ready to take down some serious grub of the grilled variety.

Summer Party Invitation

Margarita Extravaganza
Mixbook’s new Colorful Banners card is another invitation that’s perfect for a birthday celebration or just any old festive gathering. With decorative papel picado banners, guests will come ready for margaritas, tacos, chips and guac. String up a piñata for the kids, decorate the tables with affordable carnations in bright colors and your party is practically throwing itself. For dessert, serve up dulce de leche cupcakes, margarita popsicles and churros with salted caramel dipping sauce.

Summer Party Invites

Al Fresco Movie Party
For your favorite movie nut, host a backyard screening party. Send out Mixbook’s new Ticket Invitation with all the details for the big night. To prep for the showing, set up a snack bar with all the classic movie candy, plus popcorn and fountain soda. Or make it a little more fancy (and a little less sugary) with Sodastream sodas or homemade lemonade. Set up a movie projector opposite a white sheet hung from the side of your home, then toss blankets and big pillows all over the ground. Then, let the feature film do all the entertaining.

Summer Party Invites

Happy Mixbooking! Happy Summer Partying!

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