A Last-Minute Place Card DIY for Any Fall Dinner Party

November  4, 2016

There's something so special about place settings, your name gracing your very own section of the dinner table, saying this seat is for you. Only you. When they're hand made, or even hand written—even better. Someone took the time to set the table for you. The good news is they need not be expensive or complicated to make.

Let's say you have __ days until Thanksgiving. If that number was 1, or even 0, you'd be able to check place cards off the daunting to-do list with this DIY. (And in the mean time, it's just as effective for a dinner party.)

Photo by James Ransom

Here's what you'll need:

Head outside (or send the kids: your own or other people's) to forage for leaves. You want flat, relatively moist leaves here... Skip over the torn or so-dry-their-crackling leaves that crunch to the touch. If you have an extra few hours before dinner is served, place leaves between two pieces of parchment or wax paper and slip all under a heavy book. If you don't have time to flatten leaves, just use what you've got and start sticking.

Some props from these pictures, available in the Food52 Shop.

You'll also need a few packs of adhesive letters. Michaels has the best selection, but I've also found that most local hardware stores tend to carry a few sticky letter options (the kind you add to the side of the mailbox).

And how to make them:

Time is the operative word with this how-to, as it requires very little.

Photo by James Ransom

Begin sticking adhesive letters onto a leaf in whatever format you wish: one letter per leaf (if you have the whole cascading leaf thing going on), full name on one pretty leaf, initials on one pretty leaf, etc. The options are endless here as are the variety of stickers Michaels is able to fit in one aisle of their store (sparkled! fuzzy! script-y and sans serif!).

I wanted the focus to be on the leaf, so I went with simple fonts. Fall foliage is fleeting.

Here's how to press and preserve fall leaves before they're gone. How do you craft with them?

Your Everything Guide to Thanksgiving
Check It Out
Your Everything Guide to Thanksgiving

Top-notch recipes, expert tips, and more—it's all right this way.

Check It Out

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

1 Comment

BerryBaby November 6, 2016
I use mini decorative pumpkins as place card holders. I print out the names on the computer, using colored card stock paper, many times add a graphic and cut them in rectangular size. I punch two holes in upper opposite corners and string jute string. Then, place them over the stem of the pumpkins, adorable!