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Entertaining: Simple place card holders

June 5, 2012 |  3:00 pm

There’s so much to do when a crowd comes to dinner that it helps to have already settled on the seating plan.

Il_570xN.226147724I don’t know why, but attractive place card holders seem hard to find. I’ve never found any that I really loved and so mostly have resorted to making my own. I have a stack of painted initials I made one day when I was playing around with my watercolors. I make them as I need them, or in a pinch, when I’ve run out of letters, use a guest’s last name initial instead of his or her first.

The other day I decided to look on Etsy. I searched for handmade place card holders and came up with an astonishing 2,772 entries. Some are plain silly (personalized wine corks or golf tee holders anyone?), others too gaudy. 

But there are some finds, such as sea urchin shells with a slit for the card, tree branch Il_570xN.284528909 slices (a lot of variations on this idea), gold scallop shells, Champagne corks (that’s one for a DIY project), and on and on.

In the end, after I’d looked through pages and pages of selections, there weren’t all that many ideas. Nothing seemed simple enough. I got tired of the sea urchin idea quickly, same for the tree branch slices. Those squiggly wire holders? No thanks.

Forget the formal gold-trimmed cards and make your own.

In the end, my favorites were a simple antique bronze swirl (above, 10 for $45) and a classic round antique gold metal holder (right, 12 for $30)


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