How To Make Table Cards
First things first, table cards or escort cards are different from place cards, and for events like weddings you may need both.
Table Cards (Escort Cards) - These cards can come in many forms - flat cards, folded tent cards, and can even be made from unusual and creative materials such as shells for a beach wedding. These cards include each guest's name and his or her table assignment. They are usually displayed right outside of the area where your guests will be seated. Many people use escort cards as an opportunity to create an impressive display - they can be hung from a tree, pinned onto a decorative board, or fanned out across a table.
Place Cards - Usually a small folded tent card used at each table setting to let guests know where to sit. If you don't have assigned seating at each table, you may not need place cards.
Making your own table cards involves just printing, cutting and assembling, and allows you to use specific color and patterns to match your event theme. The table cards we have created here use three layers of paper - the top layer is printable text weight paper, the middle layer is a decorative paper, and the bottom layer a sturdy cover weight paper.
- Figure out the desired size of your finished table card and identify your dimensions for each of the three layers. Starting from the bottom layer and working up, a good rule of thumb is to cut each layer 1/8" to 1/4" smaller on all sides than the previous layer. This creates a nice even border.
- Create your top layer by printing your information onto 8 1/2" x 11" text weight paper. In a word processing program, enter each guest's name and table assignment using the guides on your document to stay within the dimensions you've determined (you will be able to type information for several guests onto one 8 1/2" x 11" sheet). Play around with fonts, sizes, and spacing until you have a style that complements the rest of your event. Set up cutting guidelines in your document if you find them helpful.
- Print a few tests onto scrap paper and practice cutting your layers to make sure everything looks just right. When you are ready, print on your chosen text weight paper and cut each to size.
- For the two remaining layers, select a cover weight paper and decorative paper. Cut the papers to size using a paper cutter or xacto knife.
- To assemble your table cards, center the top layer onto the middle layer and adhere using a Xyron Machine or tape. Then center and adhere the combined middle and top layer to the bottom layer.
- To finish, you can add an embellishment like a flower or ribbon. To attach a table card to a flower, use an xacto knife to cut two small horizontal slits where your paper layers meet and weave the flower stem through the slits. Or use a 1/8" hole punch and cut ribbon (length can vary) to tie your card to the flower stem.
See our How-to Video for more place card & escort card ideas.