Creative Fall Place Card Ideas

February 12th, 2013 posted by Susie Tilton


Holiday dinner. For many of us it starts at dawn and ends when the last of the dishes are washed and dried. For the kids it can be a day of boredom. All those people eating, cooking, watching football and who wants the kids to disappear to the gaming system? I’m sure you know everyone who is coming to dinner, but place cards for the tables have been a tradition in our family since I was a kid, and it is a great activity for kids of all ages– even Grandma can help. Traditional place cards are available everywhere, and having the kids fill them in with all the relatives’ names and seating all the cards at the tables is a good start. You can add stickers to make them more personal. But you can ramp up the creativity and make place cards that are edible, a keepsake or just thematic. 

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I will have done plenty of baking by Thanksgiving and one idea would be to make sugar cookies with everyone’s name on them. They really need to be iced a day ahead so they are good and dry, but the kids can bag and ribbon them. If you can find plain sugar cookies (or pre-make them) you can give the kids food safe markers found in the cake decorating store. They come in a rainbow of colors and are safe to eat. They can draw on the cookies and use them as place cards. Cut out paper names are easy, you can wedge them in a mini pumpkin as a decoration as well, or even tie them to an ear of Indian corn. These kinds of ideas help with the decor of the table, and I have even tied little labels to mini vases of flowers at each place setting.

If you plan ahead, you can find little velvet bags at the craft store. The kids can write names on the bags with permanent marker and put a small treat in each. Jokes, little puzzles, a mint for after dinner, maybe even a foil wrapped chocolate turkey would all be fun little additions. The heavy cardboard coaster that you see at many restaurants are great place cards and can save your table too. Simply flip them over and let the kids write and decorate them with markers. One of my favorite restaurants gave me a stack for free. Small paper bags, large leaves, pine cones with ribbons, they all make a place card, just add glue, markers, stickers, you’ll be amazed what the kids will find around the house. You can even plan ahead with mini stockings for Christmas, party hats for New Years, the possibilities are endless. But let’s not stop there.

Giving everyone a place to be seated is a great place to start, but this is a great time to teach kids how to set a table. Something we are often too busy to do on an average weeknight. I suggest putting your good china plates down yourself if they are fragile. Give the kids a diagram of where you want the flatware, the napkins, glasses and place cards. When dinner is over don’t be surprised if people want their place cards, we have stacks from many memorable holidays. And your kids just might want to set the table for dinner next Thursday as well.

Susie Tilton (17 Posts)

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Cindy Rowe (7 Posts)

Cindy Rowe is the owner/editor of Crazylou Creations blog. On the blog, you will find a little bit of crazy, and a whole lot of fun! As a FT working mother, she still finds time to create crafts, play around in the kitchen, plan parties and exercise. You'll find all of this and more on her blog!

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