Last year, I read The Little Book of Hygge, which focuses on Scandinavian techniques to add coziness to a space — particularly in chilly months. The book mentioned the concept of bringing outdoor elements inside: a twig here, a rock there. Today’s easy botanical place card tutorial embraces that idea! In this project, pretty, clean calligraphy services to complement a sprig of whatever is in season. Each place card comes together in just a couple of minutes, and your guests will be utterly charmed!
1. Gather Your Supplies
You only need a few supplies for this tutorial:
- Flat watercolor cards cut to 3″ x 3.5″ (cut out as many cards as you have guests)
- Pencil + good-quality eraser
- Iron gall ink
- X-Acto knife
2. Make Pencil Guidelines
Next, use a ruler and a pencil to make the following guidelines on one of your watercolor cards:
3. Add Calligraphy
Now, use Janet Style calligraphy to write your guest’s name on the place card. It’s best to use a thin ink for this step — such as iron gall — because the lettering is so small. (Thin ink = thin upstrokes.)
4. Make Cuts In the Card
Now, use an X-Acto knife to cut between the 3/8″ marks on the top and the bottom guidelines.
5. Erase Pencil Marks
Once your ink has dried, use a high-quality eraser to get rid of all your pencil marks.
Repeat this step as needed until you have calligraphed and cut all of your place cards.
6. Insert Greenery
When all of your place cards are ready, go outside and cut some greenery. Whatever is in season and has a thin stem is great. In spring and summer, think small flowers (e.g. lavender). In fall/winter, evergreens are great. For this tutorial, I cut three evergreen sprigs.
Grab a card and insert your index finger through the cuts you made in step 4.
Then, insert the greenery under the calligraphed name strip, ensuring that the greenery stays in front of the rest of the card. And that’s it — you’re done!
Botanical Place Card Uplevels and Modifications
I’m in love with this tutorial because it’s classy and beautiful, but it doesn’t require a big time investment. As the mother of two young kids, projects like this one are a godsend! I can realistically make these place cards for our upcoming holiday celebrations because the project isn’t complicated or fussy.
If you do have a bit more time on your hands, though, consider the following “uplevels”:
- Add a design to the background of the cards; you could trace a couple of vintage roses, for example.
- Add lots of flourishes and embellishments to the calligraphed names (find a helpful worksheet here).
- Make the cards out of black cardstock and write the names in white ink.
- Add ink spatters (either iron gall or gold) to the cards for an artistic look.
I hope that you enjoy this quick project, which originally appeared in Calligraphy Crush Magazine (Issue 16). Check out that issue for a free place card template, which you can pair with a light box to make this project even quicker! Thanks for reading, and happy almost-holidaze!