All posts tagged holiday

Valentine’s Day Projects We Love

by Caroline Mercurio on January 26, 2016 No comments

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, and we’ve got heart-shaped boxes full of inspiration. From DIY wrapping paper to personalized chocolates, here are five creative ways to show your love.

To help you get started, we’ve also collected some of our most popular Valentine’s Day graphics for use with each of these projects.

Printable Valentine’s Tags and Envelopes

Valentine’s Day Projects We Love

Printable treat bags, envelopes, and tags are the perfect way to send Valentines or tasty sweets to your friends and loved ones with a unique, handmade touch. Blogger Ella Claire used our stock patterns and backgrounds to create her samples, and includes the downloadable templates in her project post—or personalize your printables with any of the prints and patterns in our GraphicStock library.

DIY Cupcake Wrappers


Cupcake wrappers are an elegant way to transform everyday desserts into treats that are every bit as cute as they are delicious. They’re quick and easy to create and will instantly make your cupcakes look Pinterest-perfect. This tutorial from 52 Kitchen Adventures uses patterned scrapbooking paper as the source, but can also use stock graphics to create printables of your own design.

Printed Chocolates


Chocolatier Kimberly Plank takes our stock Valentine’s Day graphics and makes them into beautiful edible art through her Etsy shop, Sweeties by Kim. Her original GraphicStock creations are available for purchase year-round, and her custom creations have been featured by Martha Stewart Weddings, Better Homes and Gardens, and Bravo TV.

*Kimberly is offering an exclusive buy one, get one free special on designer Oreos and chocolate pops, exclusively for our members using the promo code “GRAPHICSTOCK50”

DIY Wrapping Paper


Add a personal touch to your Valentine’s Day gifts by creating your own personalized wrapping paper. Ella Claire has a simple recipe for turning our stock graphics into handcrafted tags and wrapping papers for any season.

Custom Temporary Tattoos


Want to wear your heart on your sleeve this Valentine’s Day? Temporary tattoos are not only trendy, but have evolved in quality far beyond the vending machine variety most of us are accustomed to. Show the world how you really feel by committing to a custom two-day tattoo from Momentary Ink.

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Caroline MercurioValentine’s Day Projects We Love

Holiday Gift Guide for Designers and Illustrators

by Caroline Mercurio on December 10, 2015 1 comment

Not sure what to get your designer friends—or yourself—for the holidays? We’ve curated a list of our favorite tools and toys for artists of all levels. Bonus: ounce per ounce, they’re all less expensive than printer ink.

Screen Printing KitScreen Printing Kit

DIYPrintShop Table-Top Kit

With everything you need to make a mess—and make screen prints—the “classic” do-it-yourself kit includes an instructional DVD, eco-friendly ink, cleaners, squeegee, and a professional screen, plus other tools. It’s a great kit for making custom t-shirts and posters, and the company’s how-to customer support is renowned.

$129.99 from DIY Print Shop


Intuos Art Drawing TabletDrawing Tablet

Intuos Art, Small

Drawing tablets are must-have tools for digital artists and designers, enabling far more precision than mouse or track pad movements. Think signing your name with a pen versus a mouse—or, better yet, a pressure-sensitive digital paintbrush. Not sure if drawing tablets are right for you? Read our quick start guide to drawing tablets.

$99 from Wacom

scrabble-minScrabble for Typography Lovers

Scrabble Typography, 3rd Edition

Redesigned by Andrew Capener, America’s favorite word game has never looked better. The special edition board game features twelve designer fonts and a gorgeous board that, together, make the prospect of getting all vowels easier to cope with.

$49.99 from Winning Solutions


photo-minPersonalized Wood Print

Wood Prints from WoodSnap

Paper has new competition when it comes to printing art and photographs: wood. Natural grain and handcrafted wooden canvases give these prints a natural and artisanal feel—no frames necessary.

$16 and up from WoodSnap



colored-pencils-minColored Pencils

Prismacolor Premier Soft Core Pencils

These are not the colored pencils you grew up with, unless you grew up coloring with professional art sets. While there are many good brands of premium colored pencils, Prismacolors have developed a devoted fan base thanks to their balance of relative affordability, superior coverage, and smooth blending abilities—making them ideal for coloring both inside and outside the lines.

$59 for set of 72 from Amazon


coloring-book-minAdult Coloring Books

Secret Garden: An Inky Treasure Hunt and Coloring Book

One of the biggest trends in art and illustration is the rise of adult coloring. At one point this year, the two bestselling books on Amazon were adult coloring books, and “Secret Garden” continues to hold the top spot with more than two million copies in print worldwide.

$15.95 from Amazon


Untitled-2-minUnlimited Downloads of Stock Graphics


Want to give a gift that can be used forever? A GraphicStock subscription comes with unlimited downloads of royalty-free photos, vectors, and illustrations that are yours to use and keep once downloaded—with no expiration dates.




Check out this DIY wrapping paper tutorial to see these designs turned into handcrafted wrapping paper that looks too good to tear.

$99 for one year of unlimited downloads from GraphicStock►
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Caroline MercurioHoliday Gift Guide for Designers and Illustrators

Create Your Own Ugly (But Awesome) Christmas Sweaters With Stock Graphics

by Melissa on December 8, 2015 No comments

Awesome is the new ugly. Whether you’re looking to shine at the office holiday party or make an unforgettable family card, it’s best to create your own Christmas sweaters using dye-sublimation and stock images instead of shopping the same selections as everyone else.

Sublimation printing uses heat to transfer ink onto fabric, allowing for an all-over graphic effect. You can take any high-resolution image and transform it into clothing with this process—perfect for the many unique holiday visuals in the GraphicStock library.

We picked 12 of our favorites (including two HD video snapshots from our sister site, VideoBlocks) and collaborated with a dye-sublimation clothing shop on Etsy, to produce truly bizarre and beautiful sweaters. You can see the final products below, as modeled by our sprightly coworker, Rick.




Here’s how we did it:



  • 2) Contact the dye-sublimation printing company of your choice and request a custom order. We used i3am, which worked out perfectly.



  • 3) Create a mockup and send it to the printer or ask them to make one for you.



  • 4) Once the design is approved and submitted, just sit back and relax! Your sweater should arrive in 2-3 weeks. (Sorry ladies—no Rick included.)



Get Started on Your Sweater Design►


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MelissaCreate Your Own Ugly (But Awesome) Christmas Sweaters With Stock Graphics

Feast Your Eyes on These Thanksgiving Stock Graphics

by Caroline Mercurio on November 11, 2015 No comments

Thanksgiving is the perfect time to give thanks to the festive photos, graphics, and backgrounds that preserve our holiday memories forever—and since these images satisfy your eyes rather than your stomach, you can download all you want, guilt-free.

Stock Photos of Thanksgiving Food and Table Settings

Nothing says Thanksgiving like the eating—or overeating—of foods like turkey, stuffing, and pumpkin pie. Enjoy the virtual smells and beauty of the season with images of food too good to eat.

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See More Photos of Thanksgiving Food and Table Settings►


A Time to Give Back(grounds)

Whether you’re sending invites or putting together a project of children’s crafts, these festive backgrounds are perfect!

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See More Thanksgiving Backgrounds►


Family Stock Photos

As much as it is known for food, Thanksgiving is also known for spending time with family and friends. We put together an album of family-oriented photos you can use in your creative projects so you can enjoy your Thanksgiving dinner rather than turn it into a photo shoot.

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See More Family Stock Photos►


Thanksgiving Vector Graphics

These vector graphics of Thanksgiving, like pilgrim hats, pumpkins, and food baskets, are perfect for decorations around the house to bring in the festive charm.

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See More Thanksgiving Vector Graphics►


Truly the gift that keeps on giving—unlimited downloads are just $99 a year.

Start Downloading Now►
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Caroline MercurioFeast Your Eyes on These Thanksgiving Stock Graphics

Stock Graphics + Office Supplies = Printable Halloween Masks

by Caroline Mercurio on October 26, 2015 No comments

Having a slow workday? These print-ready Halloween masks made from our own stock images might remedy that.

Hit the gallery below to download your favorite—or make your own in three easy steps:

Step 1: Choose Your Image

Any image with a face will do, but you can narrow your results by searching specific categories like “animal faces” or “monster faces.”

We chose images with white backgrounds for clean examples; however, the background will make little difference once you take your scissors to it, so don’t feel obligated to start masking any layers. As long as the face itself is clean, that’s all you really need.

Step 2: Resize to Fit Your Paper

To make your mask print-ready, you first need to scale it to fit your printer paper. In most programs, the easiest way to do this is to just paste it over an 8.5” x 11” canvas for US letter paper (or 210mm x 297mm for A4) and resize it to fit just within the borders.

Step 3: Add Your Own Twist(s)

Now is your chance to get creative. Maybe you want to change the colors or add some blood stains? Maybe you’d like to add a snake texture or lengthen the teeth?

We whitened the eyes to show which areas to cut, but that’s an optional step—as you’re going to remove those areas for eyeholes anyway.

After that, your mask is ready to print and cut. Just staple string or a rubber band to the sides for a makeshift strap (or tape your mask to a stick), and you’re ready for office shenanigans.

tiger Skeleton
Two Face Beard
Zombie Mask
Jason Baby


Get all your spooky . . . for $99/year . . .►
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Caroline MercurioStock Graphics + Office Supplies = Printable Halloween Masks

Red, White, and Blue Gallery

by Maddie Stearn on June 25, 2015 No comments

“The colors of our flag signify the qualities of the human spirit we Americans cherish: red for courage and readiness to sacrifice; white for pure intentions and high ideals; and blue for vigilance and justice.”

—President Ronald Reagan (1986)

And we’re not alone in our regard for these colors. In fact, red, white, and blue are used to represent the patriotism of many nations, as seen on the flags of the United Kingdom, Luxembourg, Croatia, and Thailand, just to name a few.

Inspired by the celebration of these symbolic colors this Independence Day, we’ve put together a hand-selected gallery of red, white, and blue photographs to use and enjoy.

Have a happy and healthy 4th of July holiday.

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Get the full Lightbox here

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Maddie StearnRed, White, and Blue Gallery

Father’s Day in Stock Images

by Caroline Mercurio on June 15, 2015 No comments

If you didn’t already hold Father’s Day in high regard, consider the fact that it’s the only holiday represented by neckties, facial hair, and joint bike rides.

Of course, as with every other holiday, our library of 250,000+ royalty-free stock images has got you covered.

Before you join dad at the barbeque this Father’s Day, consider spending some quality time with our Father’s Day graphics by making him a heartfelt card or photo collage.

Happy Father’s day to all the dads out there!

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happy-fathers-day-greeting-card-or-background_fJIUPtvO happy-fathers-day-greeting-card-or-background_M1vtvFvO
happy-fathers-day-greeting-card-or-background_GyuhDYw_ happy-fathers-day-greeting-card-or-background_MJsfwKwd
happy-fathers-day-greeting-card-or-background_GJJ3IFDO happy-fathers-day-background_MyZ_tTuO
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Caroline MercurioFather’s Day in Stock Images

Free Stock Graphics for Mother’s Day

by Caroline Mercurio on May 5, 2015 No comments

Mother’s Day is a time to not only show moms we care, but to show our appreciation for the times their patience might have worn a bit thin: the broken vases, that times we stayed out too late, the many crayon and marker incidents, etc.

To help show our thanks for the important women in our lives, we’ve put together a gallery of royalty-free Mother’s Day images ideal for making prints, cards, and DIY projects.

As always, existing members can download these images for free as part of our unlimited downloads subscription—and those new to GraphicStock can download them (and more) as part of our 7 Days of Free Downloads offer.

Happy Mother’s Day from GraphicStock!

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happy-mothers-day-celebrations-greeting-card-design_QJRgxN mothers-day-card-cute-vintage-frames-with-ladies-silhouettes_fygDZcdu-(1)
floral-greeting-card_zJbmHtd_ happy-mothers-day-celebrations-greeting-card-design_fkkNd3ad
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Caroline MercurioFree Stock Graphics for Mother’s Day

GraphicStock Gallery: Father’s Day

by Caroline Mercurio on June 12, 2014 No comments

GraphicStock Gallery: Father’s Day

Happy Father’s Day to all the dads out there! Check out this gallery of Father’s Day images from Don’t just get your dad a tie or a sports coat this year, personalize your message with these vector images. All of these and way more are available for royalty-free download, allowing you to use them forever! Pick one up for yourself and show Dad just how much you care!

[portfolio_slideshow id=1328]

Want to get these images for free? Go to and sign up for a free 7 day trial! Happy downloading!
GraphicStock Gallery: Father’s Day

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Caroline MercurioGraphicStock Gallery: Father’s Day

15 Minutes to a Custom Holiday Card

by TJ Leonard on December 19, 2013 No comments

In some cases, starting from scratch is justifiable (see: freshly ground coffee). But in a lot of cases it’s wholly unnecessary—even if your aim is to create something original.

If you’re getting paid by the hour to design a customized holiday card with no cap on your budget, then by all means take your time and reach for your set of watercolors. But if you’re like most of us and often find yourself forgetting to breathe between mid-November and the first of January, you should probably save yourself the time (and money) this season by reading on . . .

Below is a completed design I started and finished this morning over half a cup of coffee by utilizing stock elements:

Final (1)

Designing a card like this from the ground up can take the better part of a day—or it can take a few minutes, depending on your resourcefulness. And in both cases you can still walk away with something supremely individualized and organic if you leverage a few easy tips for repurposing royalty-free content:


Tip #1: Sharpen Your Search Terms

The first key to any composite project is to start with the right images—and to do this, you first need to find these images (ideally,

with some efficiency). Before you start searching through vast libraries, take a moment to consider your search terms. For general holiday cards, terms like “Christmas” are too restrictive and leave room for a lot of great content to fall through the cracks.

I knew I wanted to start with something wintry for this card, so I simply searched for “winter” and found these fantastic snowflakes on the very first results page:


The same image is also cross-indexed under “Christmas,” mind you, but I would’ve had to search through pages of elves and reindeer to find it, so try general terms first and then narrow from there.

Oftentimes, I’ll start with even wider search terms like “icons” or “seasonal” to find matching content in bulk. I didn’t end up using the image below this project (as I later stumbled upon something I liked even better, which I’ll get to . . . ), but it was a great thematic find that came up on the first page of my “icons” search—and I’m going to keep it in my library for future projects.

*Stringing terms together like “winter icons” or “seasonal icons” is another great way to narrow your results.



Tip #2: Select and Modify

I loved the snowflakes in my wintry background find, but I didn’t want the deep blue or the vertical layout; instead, I downloaded the vector file (.eps) and grabbed the white layer only—then pasted this onto a horizontal layout, added softer colors, and stacked the snow for added depth. (Using .eps files makes it easier to grab individual elements, but you can also use .pdf, .png, or .jpg files and employ your favorite selection tool to grab an element.) By stacking the layer twice, I was also able to feature only the more interesting part of the snow—just the accumulating flakes without the solid border of white—and add more depth.

Remember that you don’t ever have to yield to the boundaries of an available download (color, size, orientation, etc.); just take what you want and leave the rest.


Tip #3: Look for Pre-Styled Text Too

Career designers amass libraries spanning thousands of fonts (most of which they’ve had to either purchase or create themselves)—and, consequently, they have years of experience and education in selecting these fonts. That doesn’t mean, however, that you have to settle for Times New Roman, Comic Sans, or whichever stock fonts you have available; oftentimes you can find the text you need pre-styled.

I searched “Happy Holidays,” for example, and immediately found these banners—and, as a bonus, decided to use the snowcapped tree branches instead of the icons I found and referenced earlier.


After grabbing the branch layer, I grabbed the text as well and turned it red to accent the birds—and then, once again, I stacked the image and turned the second layer white to create a quick “snowcap” effect.

It’s really that simple. Fifteen minutes of playing around + one background + one banner = a whimsical customization I’m really quite happy with.

If you’re already a member of Graphic Stock, this content is already yours for the taking—along with 150,000+ alternate images. And if you’re not yet a member, take advantage of their 7  Days of Free Downloads . . . with up to 140 downloads during the trial by my calculation that is enough to create about 47 of these cards, given you don’t sleep much . . .


About the Author

Andy DiGuiseppi is the creative consultant behind DiGuiseppi Studios, where he specializes in branding, graphics, and all things design. Connect with him at



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TJ Leonard15 Minutes to a Custom Holiday Card