Christmas Tips & Fun

Learn interesting, unusual, unique and useful facts and tips about Christmas and the winter holiday season, in America and around the world.


Variations on Hand-Made Place Cards


ure, they may seem formal but they do answer the age-old question: "Where do you want me to sit?" You just tell your family and guests to use their eyes and look for their place card. This works, even if there are just four or five of you.

You can always buy blank ones and fill in the names but it’s much more fun to do them yourself – or enlist the help of a younger (or older) assistant. The simplest way?

   Take a 3”x5” plain white index card and fold it in half to form a tent. Write the person’s name on the card. Put it in place.

There are several variants to this approach:

   Cut the index card in half, write the name, and then make a slot in a marshmallow to use as a holder. You can tie a green or red Life Saver on the marshmallow to act as a counterweight for the card and to make the marshmallow look a little like a candlestick holder..

   Cut the index card in half and then go to your computer. If you have some sheets of address labels around, that’s great. If not, you can get a small package at a big box or even a local stationery store (if you’re lucky enough to still have one). Enter the product number or the size of your labels in your word processing program and a template will come up showing you how much room you have to work with for each label. Then, go wild. Choose different fonts, make them different sizes, make them different colors if you’re using an ink jet printer. When you’re through, peel off the labels and stick them to your index card halves. Place the addressed card half in a holder (that’s almost next.)

   First, however, is a variant of the computer place card names. Use clear labels and the cool fonts and color or not. Make the names bold because you’re going to stick the labels to patterned paper instead of white index cards. The patterned paper – which could be scraps of wrapping paper or whatever is lying around – gets glued to the index card… both sides since the backs will be visible from across the table… and then the address label goes on.

Now for some holder possibilities:

   Have some LEGO bricks around the house? Make a holder of three of them – one for the base and two for the sides – to form a U-shaped holder. Ideally the bricks should be red and green but whatever looks good… . Oh, and you can use Duplo bricks for the little kids’ place cards.

   Most craft stores have a very small saw by X-Acto that cuts a slot that’s pretty much right on the money for an index card. You could make a slot in single muffin tins from a yard sale or old Monopoly game pieces – like the shoe (you might have to glue those little guys to a larger base for stability.) You could consider using walnuts or similar nuts (still in their shells) as place card holders. You could leave them plain or even spray paint them gold or silver.

   You could also bake Christmas cookies and use a frosting tube to write the names on them – or make a slice in the cookies for the index card solution.

Place cards are fun and make people feel a little special – and that’s a Good Thing at Christmas.

Written by Dianne Weller
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