While browsing Pinterest the other night, I came across this lovely black-and-gold table scheme, which got me thinking about my own holiday dining-table decor. Specifically, place-card holders. More specifically, how I don’t have any. Fortunately we live in an age in which you can wear necklaces as belts and call yourself a tastemaker, which means that haute hostesses needn’t rely on place-card holders to hold their place cards anymore. My inspiration above used gold-painted pine cones to hold her feather-shaped place cards, so I got to thinking about more cute and functional alternatives that could be incorporated into any tablescape. Jump for five ideas on how to make assigned seating fun (or at least pretty).
Just because these adorable squirrels from Jonathan Adler are meant to be candle holders doesn’t limit them from carrying something else in their little
acorn. Try sticking a cork in the candle recess, trimming it with a knife if need be, then piercing the cork with wire and creating a slot for a card by twisting the wire into two loops.
For a rustic look, you can use these small burlap sacks from Paper Source in any number of ways. Fill them with a favor of some sort—candy, potpourri, toys, or even silverware—then decorate the outside using paint, ribbon, fabric, or paper cut-outs. Or go for the less-is-more approach and leave it plain, tying it closed with a pretty ribbon bearing your guests’ names and lying it flat on a charger.
Any decorator knows that the key to setting an eye-catching table is playing with levels. So with that in mind, prop up your place cards on these lovely gold-rimmed cupcake plates. You can simply set the tent card on top, or if you’re like me and prefer to eat dessert first, spell your guests’ names in icing on a cupcake or petit four. I can’t think of a more delicious way to welcome your loved ones to the table.
Who even needs place cards when you could use these jars with scalloped chalkboard labels instead? Just write diners’ names on each in chalk and you’re done! But it’s what you put inside that will really up the ante. You could fill each jar with the dry ingredients for a baked treat that guests can make that night when they wake up hungry from their post-turkey nap. Or have scraps of paper and pens handy, then have each guest write down one thing that they’d like to thank the others for and deposit it in that person’s jar. Or it could serve as a doggy bag for guests to tote their favorite leftovers home.
Encourage your guests to be thankful all year long with a gratitude journal. Buy a pretty monogrammed bookmark (or make one yourself using paper or ribbon) and leave the name peeking out to mark guests’ spots at the table. Or if your friends and family aren’t really the writing types, make them giggle with Jimmy Fallon’s Thank You Notes collection instead.
Got any other ideas? Leave them in the comments!