Set on pieces of card stock, these rough-cut slabs serve as pretty paperweights and parting favors. And at just $6.50 per pound (about 20 assorted pieces), the price tag is equally attractive. The minerals -- including the green calcite, clear quartz crystal, rose quartz, and lilac quartz shown here -- come in a range of pastel hues from Gems by Mail.
Who needs GPS? A destination-themed display directs guests to their places with ease. To make it, affix a map of your choice to foam board using spray adhesive. Then, anchor name cards to it with Latitudes Map and Travel Store numbered push pins, with digits corresponding to each person’s seating assignment ($7 for 25). The nifty tacks come in a slew of colors and range from 1 to 500—more than enough to cover all of your reception tables.
With these branches, guests won't need a merit badge to scout out their seats. To craft them, start with Jamali Floral & Garden Supplies' rattan sticks. Locate the "bottom" of each by rolling it across a flat surface until it naturally comes to a stop. Then use a handsaw to make evenly spaced slits on the top, wiggling it slightly to ensure grooves are wide enough for escort cards to slide out smoothly. (Tool-phobic? Have your friends at the hardware store do the dirty work.) Brush on colorful bands in varying widths using Liquitex Basics acrylic paint, let dry, and insert cards (names on the front, table numbers on the back).
Show friends and family they’re in your heart with this display "pierced" by escort-card arrows that point them to their tables. To create it, fold a big sheet of paper in two, draw half a heart against the crease, and cut it out. Trace it on a piece of lauan wood board, tap in nails, and then loop nylon cord around them any which way. Place arrows (made from card stock) alphabetically in rows for quick spotting.
And remember: The bigger your guest list, the bigger your heart needs to be. This one holds 70 tags.
Here's a winning look: Deal out seating cards disguised as the playing variety to guide guests to their tables. (Manifesto Letterpress created ours.) If you like, have extras printed without names, and use them to number the tables. Place them in stands on tables, and you've got style in spades. Calligraphy by Deborah Delaney.
These buttons-cum-seating cards can also serve to introduce guests to one another. Calligraph names on paper, then follow directions included with a button-making machine. Pin buttons to 2-by-3-inch card stock with numbers written on the bottom.
Calligraphy by Maybelle Imasa-Stukuls.
Help guests find their seats by offering personalized luggage tags that make a functional keepsake. Print labels with lines for name, address, and phone number onto card stock (use the insert that comes with the tags as a template). Calligraph guests' names. Slip tag and decorative paper backing into the plastic cover. Loop cording through hole at top, and hang on chairs.
Calligraphy by Nancy Howell.
It takes only three supplies -- vintage fabric flowers, map pins, and glue -- to bring your seating assignments into bloom. Just add a drop of glue to the back of a pinhead, pierce the center of each blossom, then spear the cards to a foam board covered in fabric.
Balmy, breezy weather is the hope of every bride planning an outdoor wedding. But breezes can be the bane of feather-light 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.
Lay 1 1/2-inch-wide organdy ribbon vertically across the tablecloth. Pull it taut, pin in place, and sew the ribbon to the tablecloth at the points where the cloth meets the front and back edges of the tabletop. Let the remainder of the ribbon flow almost to the floor on both sides in the back and the front; repeat until you have created the number of rows you will need for all the cards. Slip the escort cards alphabetically between the ribbon and the tablecloth.
Put your favors to work and have them moonlight as escort cards. Wrap matchboxes or votives with pretty paper and handwrite your guests' names on them. The pattern or color of the paper dictates which table they're assigned to. It's an easy-to-execute detail that's perfect for a casual wedding.
Show your ingrained sense of style with seating cards crafted from paper-thin wood veneer. These inexpensive sheets are pliable enough to fold and cut easily into delicate shapes; the elegant graining makes a distinctive canvas for calligraphy. We used craft punches to create maple and birch leaves.
You'll be too busy at your reception to introduce everyone yourself. Help tablemates make one another's acquaintance with place cards that display guests' names on both sides. The tented cards can be calligraphed or printed from a computer onto perforated full-size sheets. Customize them however you wish, perhaps with a border to coordinate with your color scheme.
At a bridesmaid luncheon or rehearsal dinner, set one of these bundled herb place cards on each plate. Gather handfuls of herbs such as lavender, rosemary, thyme, and chives into small bouquets, and tie them together with twine. The place cards are made from card stock folded in half; punch a hole in each card, and attach to a bouquet with twine. Inside the card, provide a recipe that includes the herbs.
These cheerfully colored umbrellas sporting seating assignments dot miniature sand dunes at the entrance to a summer reception.
You'll need a 1-inch-deep tray, a sheet of 1/4-inch foam board cut to fit into the bottom of the tray, and some sand. Lay the foam board in the tray, and cover with sand. Drizzle sand unevenly, sifting a bit more here and there to form dunes. Print your seating assignments onto colored paper, and cut them into strips; glue strips to the shafts of the umbrellas. Poke the umbrellas through the sand into the foam board at an angle so guests can easily find their names.
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).
A display like this is sure to capture your guests' attention. Use heavyweight patterned papers in coordinating designs and colors. We combined flower and vine motifs, but you can use dots, stripes, or another pattern. Look for papers at a good stationery or craft store, design them yourself on a computer, or work with a print shop to create them (these were made by letterpress). Cut into 2 1/2-by-3 3/4-inch rectangles, and glue on 3/4-by-2 1/2-inch solid paper strips for the names.
To create these classic table numbers, print the numbers you need onto heavy card stock. You have a choice of two border styles -- one with a regular looping scallop, and one with more free-form loops. For each design, we have also included one template with no number, in case you need to add your own number or other text.
Help guests find their seats with whimsical tented cards featuring photos of the bride and groom.
Take photographs of the two of you holding signs with table numbers; you can use different poses for each number. Have them made into 4-by-6-inch matte prints (we used black-and-white film so the photos wouldn't clash with the flowers or table setting). Glue each photo onto 4 1/8-by-6 1/8-inch paper. To make the "tent," start with a piece of 11-by-17-inch card stock and cut a strip that is 17 by 4 3/8 inches (each piece of card stock can make two); fold strip in half widthwise. Score, and make a fold 2 1/8 inches from each end to form flaps for base. Glue photograph to one panel of the tent. Overlap base flaps by about 1 inch; use double-sided tape to secure.
Like a beacon, this table number declares its location in all directions. To make it, use a computer to print numbers onto pieces of colored cover stock (or have numbers calligraphed). Trim the papers to 6 by 7 1/2 inches. For the feet, cut 1/2-inch squares from both corners on bottom edge. Measure over 1 inch for each foot, and mark. Cut out a 3-by-1/2-inch strip between marks. Crease each sheet down the middle, and join the 3 pieces with rubber cement.
Searching for the perfect table numbers? Look no further than your front door -- and those of your neighbors. Snap digital photos of house numbers, as well as those on awnings and signs.
Upload photos to a computer; crop so number fills the frame. For double-sided displays, print two of each digit onto photo paper. To make tented stand, cut two pieces of mat board (ours are 5 3/4 by 3 1/4 inches). Trim photos to be slightly smaller than the boards; center and affix with double-sided tape. Lay facedown with tops of numbers touching; place clear tape along edge where they meet. Fold so numbers face out.