• Watercolor and Calligraphy Buffet Food Place Cards: A Simple DIY Project

    If you’re an adventurous cook who loves hosting gatherings, you’ll appreciate today’s buffet food place cards project. These charming tented cards provide guests with essential information about the food they’re about to enjoy and add an elegant touch to your table or buffet setup! In this tutorial, I’ll show you how to make your own…

    I am a creative cook who enjoys inviting friends and family to try new dishes! When I host, I always make food labels so my guests know what they’re eating. These watercolor and calligraphy buffet food place cards preemptively answer questions — freeing the host to attend to other matters — and add beauty to any table or buffet. Use them indoors or out! The triangular configuration of these buffet food place cards means that you can tuck a rock inside if you’re at an outdoor event with a bit of a breeze.

    1. Gather Your Supplies

    Before we begin, gather the following supplies:

    2. Prepare the Watercolor Paper

    Start by flipping your watercolor paper strip so that the smooth side faces up. Then, fold the paper toward you into three sections, each measuring 2.25″ (5.7 cm) wide. The remaining section should be about 0.75″ (19 mm) wide.

    This buffet food place card is designed to fold into a triangular shape.

    3. Make a Pencil Draft

    Now, make guidelines as shown on the card on the left in the photo below. I’ve included the measurements on that card for your reference; you shouldn’t draw measurement numbers on your own cards. Instead, you should draw faint pencil guidelines like those shown on the card on the right. Once you have your guidelines, write the dish’s name in Kaitlin Style calligraphy. Then, use Sans Serif lettering to write any pertinent information at the bottom (e.g. “VEGAN”, “GLUTEN-FREE”, “ORGANIC”).

    If your dish has a one-word name (e.g. “Hashbrowns”), write it in the middle guideline. For two-word names (e.g. “Chicken Soup”), write in the middle and bottom guidelines.

    4. Add Ink

    Once you feel satisfied with your pencil draft, go over it with waterproof ink. Since you don’t have a lot of room to write, it’s a good idea to use a medium-flex nib like the Nikko G, which will result in fairly narrow downstrokes. (We don’t have the space to make sumptuous, thick downstrokes on this project!)

    It’s really important to use waterproof ink — like Ziller Soot Black — for these place cards. Otherwise, your ink will run in the next step when we add watercolor.

    5. Apply a Pop of Color

    Now, carefully erase any visible pencil guidelines, ensuring that only the clean and crisp inked calligraphy remains. Then, moisten a tone of watercolor that corresponds with your dish. Use your large watercolor paintbrush (size 5-ish) to lightly add color to two corners and sides of the food label cards.

    I used “Green Earth” watercolor to achieve this matcha-esque tone. Feel free to use whatever brand of watercolors you have on hand; anything works!

    6. Fold and Secure Your Buffet Food Place Card

    Once the watercolor wash has dried, fold the food label card into a triangle shape. Then, use tape or glue to fasten the bottom flap (the smallest flap) to the top flap. This ensures that the cards stand upright and remain in place throughout your event.

    If your event is taking place outside, try finding a rock to weigh down the inside of the card. That way, a breeze won’t threaten your card’s placement!

    As a host, I love these watercolor and calligraphy buffet food label cards. I’ve noticed that since I’ve started using them, gatherings are a bit less harried. Guests with restrictions can eat with confidence, and the entire party knows exactly what they’re putting on their plate without me having to explain. These cards are so quick to make that I also whip them up for potlucks that I’m attending.

    This is color coordination at its finest!

    I hope that this simple tutorial empowers you to make buffet food place cards for your next event, whether you’re the host or a dish-bringing guest. They’re fun, easy, and oh-so-practical! If you have any questions about how to make them, please feel free to ask in the comments. Thanks so much for reading, and have a fabulous weekend!


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