The essence of hosting is creating a space where people feel warm, welcomed, and invited. Setting a table with place cards is one small way to convey the message: “I saved a place for you.” If making creative place cards feels intimidating to you, good news — they don’t have to break the budget or be time intensive to be beautiful. Here are three easy ways to elevate any table this holiday season.
1. Incorporate Seasonal Fruits and Vegetables
Things that are naturally in season at your local farmers market also make fitting and timely decor. Think apples, persimmons, mini pumpkins, or squash. Write your guest’s name on a small piece of card stock, punch a small hole in one side of the card, and tie the place card to the stem with bakers twine. Another idea is to simply lean the card against the fruit or vegetable for a delicious and seasonally appropriate addition to your table.
2. Go Green
Greenery instantly elevates a tablescape and often adds a fresh fragrance too. Think sturdy herbs, like rosemary or thyme, and pine needles. These can be made in a variety of ways: by attaching the herb directly to the card with a small amount of hot glue or by poking the herb through two holes made with a hole puncher.
You can also simply place a sprig of fresh herbs into a napkin ring with the place card balanced on top to add a simple and fragrant detail to any place setting.
3. Choose Leaves Over Paper
Don’t have any extra paper around for the place cards? No problem, just use what you have in your backyard. Gather the brightest leaves you can find, bring them inside, and let them dry out for a day or so. If needed, you can place the leaves between two books overnight to help flatten them and create an easier space to write on. Letter directly over the leaf with a chalkboard pen or gold sharpie (both can be found at craft stores). There’s no need to try to find leaves that match — a variety of colors, shapes, and sizes adds interest while still looking cohesive. This is an unexpected, eco-friendly, and resourceful alternative to traditional place cards.
Calligraphy Tip: These were created with a dipped inkwell and a traditional calligraphy nib. To create “faux-calligraphy” with a regular pen, the trick is to create variation by darkening the downstrokes and leaving thin upstrokes.
Season’s Greetings! No matter how you decorate, enjoy the holidays with the ones you love around your table.