• Fresh (and Easy) Botanical Place Card Tutorial

    You can elevate an ordinary meal with friends or family into an elegant affair with the addition of place cards! Today’s tutorial will teach you how to create place cards that come together in a matter of minutes with a botanical flair.

    Fresh (and Easy) Botanical Place Card Tutorial

    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

    Watercolor cards cut to 3" x 3.5"
    Cut out one 3″ x 3.5″ (7.62 cm x 8.9 cm) flat watercolor card for each guest.

    You only need a few supplies for this tutorial:

    2. Make Pencil Guidelines

    Next, use a ruler and a pencil to make the following guidelines on one of your watercolor cards:

    Guidelines on a place card
    Slant lines are optional. The ones shown here are 55 degrees.

    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.)

    Name draft on botanical place card
    If you want the name to be perfectly centered, you can write out a pencil draft first.

    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.

    Cutting a Place Card
    Do not go past that 3/8″ mark, or else your card may tear apart.

    5. Erase Pencil Marks

    Once your ink has dried, use a high-quality eraser to get rid of all your pencil marks.

    Erasing Guidelines on a Place Card

    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.

    Greenery for Fresh Botanical Place Cards

    Grab a card and insert your index finger through the cuts you made in step 4.

    Preparing a place card for greenery

    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!

    Fresh (and Easy) Botanical Place Card Tutorial

    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.

    Fresh Botanical Place Cards

    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.

    Fresh (and Easy) Botanical Place Card Tutorial

    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!


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