It’s a detail that usually falls by the wayside in the chaos of getting Thanksgiving dinner prepped, the house ready for guests, decorations up ...
Really, who thinks of place cards outside of weddings anymore?
But why not? They can be cool, or elegant, or quirky, or fun -- whatever you want them to be. And they are a fantastic way to personalize the table (and the whole experience) for your guests.
Some of them can even double as favors for the occasion or, in the case of kids, entertainment for when the fascination with turkey grows cold.
And the best part is, the simplest thing can turn a boring piece of paper into a festive place card.
Here are just a few ideas.
Leaves -- Totally organic, eco-friendly, beautiful -- and free. The day of the meal, simply gather a few leaves from the yard (or collect some now and press them for use on the big day).
Use a paint pen or a Sharpie if your leaves are light enough, and in a simple script or neat print, write each guest’s name across the leaf. If you want, you can embellish the leaves with glitter or embossing powder. You can also glue a small acorn to the stem for extra embellishment.
Mini Pumpkins -- You may have some of the orange ones left over from Halloween, which is perfect. Otherwise, head out and find these pretty white pumpkins, or even a tiny gourd. Then just cut out a leaf shape, add the name, and attach to the stem using floral wire. Here again, your embellishment options are wide open. If you have the orange pumpkins, you might want to paint or gild them. Layer your papers for a unique look to the name tag. And did you know you can use embossing powder on a pumpkin? Give it a try -- it’s fun!
Framed Names -- This is a cool way to dress up a plain place card and it gives your guests something to take home with them at the end of the night. You don’t have to spend a lot of money; even frames from the dollar store will work. Collect acorns -- I suggest gluing the caps on -- and adhere them to the frame. Then just write out names on cardstock and insert them into the frame.
One variation: instead of names, use photos of each of your guests. If you want to get your kids involved, have them draw portraits of each guest, or buy acrylic frames that they can decorate.
Pine Cones -- There are a million ways you could use pine cones as place cards, simply because no matter how you position them, their scales will hold onto the card. Spray paint the whole cone a metallic color or simply outline part of each scale with a metallic paint pen. Glitter can be fun as well as a smattering of gold leaf.
Or go super mod and spray paint them all with a high gloss white paint, leaving them looking almost like ceramic cones.
Fall Fields -- If you don’t have natural fields where you live, take a trip to the craft store and explore the gorgeous dried grasses and flowers they have -- and don’t forget about items like dried lotus pods. They can add a dash of drama to your arrangement. Once you’ve gathered your grasses, simply place them into a copper pipe fitting of the proper size. Copper fittings are available at just about any hardware store. Feel free to play around with this -- a dramatic pheasant feather in each arrangement would be lovely. Add some whimsy by using copper wire to create spirals and swirls inside the arrangement and around the pipe.