Make Your Own Wedding Place Cards

This is a guest post from my daughter who trades as The Merry Giraffe selling cards and stationery. Her Etsy shop is here raising funds for the Oxford Heart Centre and the Royal Berks Cardiac Unit. This post describes how to make your own place cards for weddings, parties, etc. If you would prefer to buy ready-made then pop over to the Etsy shop. Now, over to The Merry Giraffe...

How to Make Your Own Place Cards for Your Wedding or Party!

In its simplest terms, a place card tells your guest where to sit. However, it can also double up as a fun bit of table decor, tying in with your theme and, also, as a keepsake for your guest to take away. They are commonly used at weddings and other formal events but can also be a lovely touch on a family dinner or party you are throwing (not least to make sure you don’t end up sitting next to someone boring!). 

Whether you are working to a budget or you just enjoy making things, making your own place cards is a great thing to do and means you can match your chosen theme perfectly and add that personal touch that your guests will really appreciate.

If you google "Place Cards" you will see that pretty much anything can be used as a place holder. Take almost any object, find a way to put someone's name on it and voila! I have seen leaves, stones and plant pots turned into place labels - your imagination is the limit!

For this post, however, we will be focusing on folded tent place cards as they are simple, blanks are widely available and it makes a great beginner's project.

You can make your own blank place cards by cutting squares of card measuring 8.5cm x 8.5cm and scoring down the middle. When folded, this will create the tent shape which allows them to stand up. Of course, you can change the size as needed depending on the look you are going for and the space available on your table!
If you prefer, you can buy packs of ready cut and scored place cards. Amazon, eBay and many other places sell them, and there is often a choice of colour and finish (i.e. smooth, hammered, linen effect). At the time of writing, you can pick up a pack of 100 blank white smooth place cards on eBay for just over £4 which I think is very reasonable!

So - let’s get making! I have created a few different designs to walk you through. For some of these, you may have everything you need already at home. I love crafts and have a short attention span so I am fortunate enough to have boxes and boxes of bits lying around waiting to be used! Feel free to adapt these ideas to work with what you have available and I’d love to hear about your creations!

For all crafting activities, I recommend working on a solid surface with good light with something on top of the surface to protect it. I use an old wooden backing from a photo frame that is a good size but newspaper does an equally good job!

Place Card Design 1 - Felt Flower Place Card

I love this design, and it is one I will definitely be using for the next dinner party we have! It is simple to make but very effective!


You will need:
Felt in the colour of your choosing - ideally 2 different colours, one for the flower and one for the leaves. 
Hot glue gun 
Scissors - good sharp fabric ones will make your life easier!
Place Cards


Step 1 - Take the felt you would like for the leaves, cut out two leaf shapes approximately 2 - 2.5cm (1 inch), I cut mine free hand - just an oval shape with pointy ends. If you aren’t confident enough to do this then sketch a leaf the right size and shape on a scrap bit of paper and cut it out. Place the paper leaf over the felt and cut round it. 

Step 2 - Take the felt you would like to use for the flower. Cut a circle approximately 5cm in diameter (don’t worry - it doesn’t need to be perfect) and then starting at one edge cut in a spiral shape towards the centre of the circle so you end up with something like the picture below. 

Step 3 - Starting at the outer part of the spiral, roll the felt (relatively tightly) and keep rolling until you have used up all the spiral and the ball shape that was in the middle of the spiral is left. Apply glue to the base of the rolled flower and then fold the ball shape end over the bottom of the flower, covering the glue you have just applied. Glue one leaf on the bottom, and then the other. This is your felt flower!

Step 4 - Use your glue gun to attach the flower to the place card - and you’re done! Repeat for as many place cards as needed and then add your names!

Place Card Design 2 - Place card with Ribbon

The easiest way to jazz up a place card, simply glue a strip of ribbon or similar to the place card!


You will need:
Place Cards
Hot Glue Gun
Trim in the design of your choosing - I had some pompom trim and velvet ribbon I decided to use but you could use anything here - lace, hessian, ribbon etc


Step 1 - Put your place card flat on the surface you are working on. Take your trim and place it over your place card allowing a centimetre each side to fold round the back and cut to size. Move the trim out the way and apply glue to where you want it to go. Quickly, before the glue dries, place the trim in position and hold down until dry.

Step 2 - Flip over the place card and glue the ends down to hide them. Repeat for as many place cards as you need!

Place Card Design 3 -  Glitter Place Card

Add bit of glam to your party! You can get glitter in all sorts of beautiful colours, I raided my daughters craft box and found a lovely gold!


You will need:
Place card
Mod Podge/PVA glue
Piece of A4 paper folded in half and then opened back up


Step 1
- Put your place card flat on the surface you are working on. Take the paintbrush and dip in the glue, paint the glue on the place card wherever you want there to be glitter, I did a wavy section at the base of the place card but you could do a stripe, a heart shape or dots, just be sure to leave room for where you are going to write the name. Try to be neat around the edges because at some point you will need to put the place card down to dry and you don’t want it to stick to whatever you put it on.

Step 2 - Holding the place carry over the piece of A4 paper, sprinkle the glitter over the card, fully covering all the areas covered in glue. The glitter will stick very quickly so just wait a few seconds and then you can gently shake off the excess glitter. Put the glittered place card to one side. Lift up the A4 paper at each end so that all the excess glitter collects in the crease, and pour back into the glitter pot to be used next time. 

Step 3 - If there are any areas that need more glitter then you can reapply some glue to those spots and add more glitter - TOP TIP - only do this once the first layer is completely dry! Repeat on other place cards until you have the number that you need.

If you want to use multiple glitter colours on the same place card then follow the same process but ensure the glitter from one colour is dry before you apply glue for the next colour.

Place Card Design 4 - Beach Place Card

This is the most complicated design but well worth the effort, I think this is so pretty and effective for a beach theme wedding!


You will need:
Place Card
Mod Podge/PVA glue
Sand (yes real sand, I nicked some from my daughters sandpit). If you can’t get hold of sand in the small quantities needed, you could use a pale yellow glitter, or even golden granulated sugar!
Acrylic Paint in blue, green and white, I also had a lovely pearlescent white which I used for a bit of extra shine
A4 paper, folded in half and then flattened back out.


Step 1 - Using your paintbrush and glue, paint a wavy line from the middle left of the flattened place card down to the bottom of the place card, just over 50% of the way along. You want the line to be approx half a centimetre wide but it will look better if the width varies slightly.  Holding the place card over the A4 paper,  sprinkle sand over the glue, and after a minute you can gently shake off any excess. Pop it down to dry for a few minutes. You can lift the A4 paper with the excess sand and it will collect in the fold, pour it back into your pot of sand to use next time. Clean off your paintbrush.

Step 2 - You don’t need your sand to be completely dried on to move onto the next step but you want to be careful not to touch it too much or you will move it out of position. Using your paintbrush, apply the blue paint in a dabbing motion to the corner of the place card and up to but not quite touching the sand. Depending on the thickness of the paint, you may need to do more than one layer. Multiple, thin layers will dry quicker than one thick layer and also prevent the paint cracking when dry. 

Step 3 - Dip your paintbrush in the green and apply in a dabbing motion in the corner, blending out into the blue. Clean off your paintbrush and then dip into the white and apply in a dabbing motion along the sand line at the edge of the sea, blend into the blue. 

Step 4 - Keep reapplying blue, green and white to achieve the look you are going for. The green gives the impression of deeper sea and the white is the foam tops of wave.  Keep dabbing and blending until you are happy. 

Step 5 - Once the first layer of sand is completely dried, add another layer of glue and sprinkle on more sand. To soften the edge of the sand next to the blank place card dab some bits of glue randomly along the edge and sprinkle on sand. Shake off any excess sand and leave to dry, try to avoid touching any of the painted or sand areas until completely dry to avoid ruining your masterpiece!

Once you have finished your place cards, in whichever design you did, it is time to add the names. I am a little obsessed with calligraphy and used my beautiful oblique calligraphy pen from Toms Studio and gold and black ink to add in the names. You can use any pen you want but be sure to test it first on a spare place card to ensure the ink doesn’t bleed and writes nicely and shows up well depending on the finish and colour of your place card. 

Good luck with your crafting and let me know how you get on!

Rosie x

Rosie is the owner of The Merry Giraffe, a greeting cards, invitations and bunting company that sells on Etsy and Thortful and raises money for Oxford Heart Centre and Royal Berkshire Cardiac Unit. Here are some of the designs she sells - check out for the full range!


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