You can tell a story or set a mood with the way you set your table. One of the elements of a table setting that I find to be very open to this kind of creativity is a place card. Now place cards are great for home entertaining, but they can also be a fun way to present your table in more intimate settings. They are little creations of art and signature pieces that introduce your guests to the table.
I was recently inspired by a theme I like to called swan lake. I find swans to be so elegant and graceful. In this tutorial you’ll find a template (at the end) which you can print off to create your own swan place cards. Ok, let’s get started…
First and foremost, you’ll need a nice bright white stock. I used an 80lb text stock which will add the thickness yet pliability we need to make this name card sturdy and easy to handle. You don’t want to work with a card stock, because it’ll make it more difficult to arrange and cut through detail. Once you have chosen your stock, you’ll want to print out the template, which I have provided at the end of this DIY. After you have printed out the template, carefully use an exact-o knife to slice out the details in the wings and slits identified by the lines. It’s important to cut out the details first, because once you cut out each shape you won’t have much to hold on to to cut the details and it can cause you to tear the shapes.
Next, you’ll want to cut out each shape. Notice your wings will require some scoring. I like to use my letter opener to score. It’s dull enough so it won’t create an incision, but sharp enough to create a clean break which you can then easily fold. You’ll also notice, once your wings are scored, they should easily balance out on the small stand.
We are almost there… Now that you have your wings prepped, you can lightly coat the inside of the wings with glue and then place the swan body down. The feathers of the wings should be facing back. When you have the slits of the swan and wings aligned, press the wings together to enclose the swan.
One last step before we are completely done. This is the part where you’ll be happy you used a heavier text stock instead of a card stock. Gently bend the wings down, and bring them back up so they are fluffed out. What’s wonderful about this swan place card is that you can place it on the table or plate with its mini paper stand. Also when facing forward, it mimics the appearance of leaf, and from the side it embodies the grace of a swan.
Another fun way to display your swan place cards is to remove the stand, and hook it to the rim of your stemware. In my case, I enjoy black and white themes, so I attached the swan place card to the rim of my favorite black glass champagne flute. The contrast of the two is striking and clean.
A couple of things to remember when prepping your template. Make sure to cut out all details first and then cut out the shapes using a pair of scissors. Also, as far as the name tag you may choose to hand write the names, in which case feel free to use the one in the template. However, if you wish to print your own, the name tag should measure about a 1 1/2″ in width and a half an inch in height so it best fits the wings of the swan.