I’ve always made it a point to decorate the dinner table a bit on holidays, even when my only “guests” are Dave and the kids. Even adding one or two decorative elements can make your holiday meal feel extra special! Place cards are one of my go-to decor choices for a holiday table, for a few reasons. First, because having an assigned seat at the table immediately sets the meal apart as a special occasion. Second, having a place card for each of your guests lets them know they are wanted and included at your table. It’s a small gesture that says, “I care about you!” And finally, even the most hastily made place cards can look great, and make your table look great, too.
There’s still plenty of time left to put together some great place cards for your Thanksgiving festivities. Today I’m sharing 8 different place cards that we put together, with instructions on how to make them and tips on where to buy your supplies. Hopefully you find something you like, or at least inspired to create some unique place cards of your own!
8 DIY Thanksgiving Place Cards
1. Kraft Paper
Kraft paper is like the “little black dress” of the crafting world – it’s so versatile! You can dress it up or down to fit almost any decor theme. Kraft paper has a rustic charm to it, which makes it an excellent addition to the naturalistic decor typically found on Thanksgiving tables.
I used the Silhouette Studio software to design these scalloped place cards with my family’s names on them, and used my Silhouette CAMEO to cut them out. The Silhouette Design Store has an impressive amount of border designs to choose from, so you’re sure to find something that speaks to you. :-)
2. Old Pictures
If you’re feeling sentimental this Thanksgiving season, make your place cards extra special by incorporating old photos. You could do something as simple as placing a photograph of each guest on a nicely folded napkin.
I love the classic look of black-and-white photos, so I used a photo editing program to remove the color from these photos of my parents. I also resized them so they’d be the same size (about 3.5″ square), and then printed them out on a nice cardstock. These place cards look great, and they’re also sure to be a conversation starter at the table.
3. Gratitude Tree
I love this idea because the place cards also double as an exercise in gratitude. I always like to set aside some time for everyone to express what they are thankful for, as a way to remember the meaning of the holiday. This “gratitude tree” is an easy way to do that, plus it look great with your overall decor.
I found this Thankful Tree at Target, which included the tree itself and the leaf tags. Write each of your guests names on a leaf tag, and attach the tags to your dinner napkins. Then during or after dinner, your guests can write something they are grateful for on the back of the tag and hang it up on the tree. You can then leave it out for people to look at, or read each tag out loud to your guests.
If you’re looking for more of a “wow”-factor, the “Drawn Together” Thankful Tree from Caravan Shoppe is a wall-sized version of the same idea. Print the tree out at your local print shop, then let your guests tape their leaves to the tree throughout dinner. This will definitely make a visual impact, and kids will love it!
Little pumpkins are a great visual representation of the harvest season! They’re available at many grocery stores, or you can find faux-pumpkins at craft stores. I found some cute paper flags at Michael’s, and placed one in each pumpkin to make some simple and seasonal place cards.
Clip a large clothespin to the bottom of each of your place cards.It really doesn’t get any easier than this! If you want, you can spray paint the clothespins for an extra special touch. (Totally optional, but we just can’t seem to resist and opportunity to use metallic gold spray paint.) ;-)
I found these large clothespins at Michael’s, but I’ve seen similar ones at other craft stores, too.
6. Letter Ornaments
Use a letter ornament representing your guest’s initials as your place cards. This idea is another two-for-one, because these place cards are also thoughtful take-home favors for your guests!
I bought the letter ornaments shown here at JCPenney a year or two ago for a blog post, but those ones appear to be sold out online. But I know that Target has a large selection of letter ornaments as well!
Read More: Creating My First Thanksgiving Tablescape
Use mini pinecones to hold your place cards for a festive, seasonal touch. For the actual card, I used some orange tags I had on hand. I like incorporating a few winter-y touches into my Thanksgiving decor, because here in Utah we’re usually under at least a few inches of snow at Thanksgiving. Gotta keep things realistic! ;-)
I scored a bag of these adorable mini pinecones at Michael’s for 80% off. You can find similar ones pretty much anywhere that sells Christmas decorations, or online.
8. Wheat Stalks
Tie your place cards to decorative wheat stalks for an easy and elegant addition to your Thanksgiving table. This idea is perfect if you prefer more traditional harvest-themed decorations. You can often find wheat stalks in the floral section of craft stores.
I put three wheat stalks into a little “bouquet” and tied it off with some twine. I wrote my guests’ names on some gift tags I had lying around and tied them to the stalks. It took about a minute, and I love how they turned out!