Place Cards 101

Place Cards 101

Create special place cards with materials you already have on hand.



Add the finishing touch to your table with pretty place cards that organize the evening and delight your family and guests. Learn the basics for when, where and how to use place cards, and then use these ideas for simple, low-cost and special handmade cards for your next gathering.

Place Card Etiquette
Place cards are the perfect way to organize your seating arrangement, help create harmony and stimulate conversation among guests during get-togethers.

  • Use place cards to signal a formal dinner with eight or more guests
  • Show off the theme of your party or set the tone for festivities with place cards that match the atmosphere

Seating 101
The key to a good seating arrangement is knowing your guests and finding a fellow diner who will bring out the best in their personalities. Try these seating tips:

  • Seat the host and hostess on opposite ends of the table to help facilitate serving
  • Seat couples across from one another rather than next to each other to encourage conversation and interaction with other guests
  • Pair a shy guests with lively ones who will initiate chatting and keep things upbeat

Card Placement
Finding the right home for place cards on the table can add to their decorative appeal. Cards can be placed most anywhere for different results each time:

  • In the center of the plate on top of a folded napkin
  • On the table, above the forks or in between the tines of a fork
  • Inside or resting against a bowl or glass
  • Tied onto the backs of chairs
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Place Card Projects
Amp up the traditional tent-style place cards or cardstock tags with these easy projects:

Creative Corks
Create cute place card holders using old corks or ones purchased at a craft store. With a sharp craft knife, cut a slit along the horizontal length of the cork and slide a piece of decorative cardstock inside.

Meaningful Memories
Set the tone for the party by writing an inspirational quote, meaningful definition of a word or the theme of the party on one side of cardstock paper and guests’ names on the other side. For a more customized touch, write a personalized message for each of your guests on the back of their place card.

Perfect Pear
Place an elegantly shaped Bosc pear on a decorative dish at each place setting with a small card tied to the stem with string or ribbon.

Takeout Containers
Write names on the outside of cute, colorful takeout containers that guests can use to take home food or dessert. Decorative containers can be found at craft or party stores. Choose single-colored boxes that will accentuate or complement the table design.

Potted Pleasures
Give guests a seasonal treat by filling a miniature pot with a mix of nuts and dried berries, candies or after dinner mints. Apply chalkboard paint on the outside of the pot and write the guest’s name in chalk or paint.

Tip: Have guests take their place cards home as cute party favors from the night!

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