These three-dimensional escort cards are as easy to make as they are refreshing to look at. At first glance, they appear to have been blown onto the table by a warm summer breeze. Following the instructions below, make them using a heart-shape craft punch, bright-white ink, scissors, glue, and paper in a range of hues that complements your palette.
A fresh lawn of wheatgrass makes a glorious field for butterflies to flutter about. Banners bearing guests' calligraphed names seem to billow in a gentle breeze. The butterfly wires are attached to skewers covered with floral tape. Feather butterflies, from BJ's Craft Supplies. Calligraphy, Deborah Delaney, 212-877-8773.
Play up a beach theme with these petite chaise lounges and parasols. Print guest names and table numbers onto decorative paper, and then cut out rectangles and curve them into lounge chairs (pull the paper back and forth along the edge of a table while holding it taut to achieve the wave). Then arrange them in a sand-filled tray, and adorn each seat with a bright umbrella. Paper umbrellas, Birthday Direct.
The rich colors of autumn are echoed in this forest set amid rolling hills of moss. Craft-punched bright paper leaves bearing guests' names transform bare branches into majestic trees; we cut slits into the branches with a craft knife and then slid in the leaves. Mega giant oak leaf, maple leaf, and birch leaf punches, by The Punch Bunch, from Scrappily Ever After, scrappilyeverafter.com.
These tiny chairs may be too small for sitting, but they are the perfect size for displaying guests' names and table numbers. The seats are made from heavyweight paper -- we used pale yellow for ladies and pale green for gents -- and can be calligraphed or run through a printer. Tidy rows, however, won't stay that way if a breeze blows by, so make this an indoor display.
Here, favor and seating card function as one. Place small favors, such as truffles or small soaps, in rectangular boxes, and wrap in colorful solid and patterned papers. Print guests' names and table numbers onto adhesive-backed paper, cut out, and affix to the top of each box.
Stamps can be used to create seating and table cards so guests can find their places. Instead of labeling each table with a number, give each a constellation (for instance, Orion). Stamp it on a card, and place in a holder. Then guide your guests to their tables by making them seating cards with their table's constellation inside. Stamp the card and fold it; on the bottom half of the outside, hand write the names, and stamp a few stars in silver ink.
These purses and briefcases may not hold guests' belongings, but they're a charming way to designate their seats (table numbers are written inside). To make, use 3 1/2-by-5-inch folded seating cards (we used pink for women, brown for men). Unfold cards. With a utility knife, cut 2 slits wide enough for ribbon in the fold, 1 inch from each edge. Insert ends of 3-inch-long ribbon into slits; it will stay in place without gluing or tying.
A mat, woven of 4-inch-wide grosgrain ribbons in lavender, yellow, cream, and mustard, creates a setting for seating cards. To make cards, have ivory card stock folded and calligraphed or handwritten with guests' names and table numbers. Cut two small slits in the paper, and then slide in a length of cotton seam binding, rubber stamped with the names of the bride and groom.
Why hire a calligrapher to tackle your seating cards when you can save money using simple handwritten ones and enjoy a fun afternoon with friends to boot? Enlist people whose penmanship you admire (the bigger the range of styles, the better) to join you to write the names of guests on blank cards. For a see-through look like ours, write with dark ink on a white card and slip it inside a light-colored translucent or glassine envelope (they come in many hues).
Here, marigold card stock offsets gray-on-white seating cards, which are adorned with whimsical line illustrations. Guests' names are printed on the tags, and the table numbers appear on the bright yellow paper they're pinned to. A pewter tablecloth further alludes to the wedding palette.
Just pair a tag and a bag (with whatever goodies you choose inside) for an easy and economical favor that also serves as a seating card. We used a rubber stamp to give muslin bags a dotty border, but you can add any motif that fits your theme. Tuck cardboard inside the bags as you stamp so the ink won't seep to the other side. Print tags with guests' names and table numbers on a computer, then cut out with an oval craft punch; the tiny flower is made with another stamp. Punch hole at top of tag and thread drawstrings through.
Tented seating cards are elevated to new heights atop a pillow of carnations. Cut several standard bricks of floral foam in half horizontally, soak in water, and place in shallow plastic flower-box trays. Snip off the carnation heads, leaving a little bit of stem on each, and insert into the foam; each half-brick should hold about two dozen carnations and four seating cards.
Before the meal, guide guests to their seats with the help of a beribboned bulletin board. Wrap the perimeter of a piece of plywood in paper tape to cover its rough edges. Then, using ribbons and fabric strips in assorted colors and patterns, cut pieces long enough to stretch across the board and around to the back. Stretch each ribbon across the surface, stapling both ends to back of board.
For an all-frills setup with little fuss, slip seating cards in between rows of ribbons. Cover foam boards (ours are 20 by 30 inches) with satin and grosgrain ribbons; randomly layer narrow ribbons over wide ones. Pin the ribbon ends to backs of boards, inserting straight pins at an angle to secure. Slip in envelopes by their flaps or bottoms.
This pretty display keeps seating cards from being blown away by a breeze. To make it, cut a sheet of decorative paper to fit a tabletop. Use a T square and pencil to lightly draw two parallel lines a quarter inch apart for each card. With a utility knife, cut slits a bit longer than the card's height; slide cards into place. Attach paper to tabletop with double-sided tape.
Greet your guests with an inviting display. Single silk cosmos in juice glasses bear tags with each guest's name and table number. Print the tags from a computer in color onto card stock. Cut cards to size, and trim with scallop shears. Punch a hole in each; tie to a flower with waxed twine.
Here, favor and seating card function as one. Place small favors, such as truffles or small soaps, in rectangular boxes, and wrap in colorful solid and patterned papers. Print guests' names and table numbers onto adhesive-backed paper, cut out, and affix to the top of each box. We arranged these favor boxes in porcelain trays, elevating some on painted wooden boxes (above) and securing them with floral putty to add visual interest.
Balmy, breezy weather is the hope of every bride planning an outdoor wedding. But breezes can be the bane of featherlight escort cards lined up unprotected on a table. To make sure the winds don't get the best of them, secure the cards with lengths of decorative ribbon.
In lieu of an escort table, tuck leaves into slits in branches -- guests will see the arrangement as a piece of modern art. It makes an understated impression but can be tailored to fit a more formal affair. Some ideas: Uplight the branches in a dramatic hue, or paint them white. Punch used: No. 12. Punches by Martha Stewart Crafts.
What appears to be colorful confetti at first glance is actually a jaunty take on place cards. Tossed out on a table, a smattering of color-coordinated circles announces guests' names and table numbers with flair. To ensure that your palette is as elegant as it is effervescent, make sure to mix in muted shades with neon brights. Or just follow our lead and temper tangerine and shocking pink with moody midnight blue, gold, and bright white.
Infuse your special day with the elegant color combination of pink and navy. To incorporate this palette into your dinner decor, opt for escort cards with a design as crisp as navy itself -- like these at left. 50-millimeter moire satin ribbon, Mokuba New York, 212-869-8900.
Create this slick display by affixing vinyl Helvetica number stickers to calligraphed ivory escort cards, and add a strip of metallic tape to the sides, top, or both. Secure the cards (in alphabetical order) to a piece of heavyweight silver-colored poster board with tape set on the diagonal. For an artistic touch, tuck the corners of some cards into the board (use a craft knife to create slits). Display the sign during the cocktail hour; cards slide out easily so guests can take them along. You'll need: Chartpak 1-inch vinyl numbers, duall.com. Crane & Co. escort cards, V841301A. Nasco metallic Mylar craft tape pack. ArtEmboss copper foil tape, robertscrafts.com. Canford card stock in metallic silver, NY Central Art Supply, 800-950-6111.
Like this calligraphy? It was created by Diva Pyari of Linea Carta. For more information, log onto linea-carta.com.