When it comes to the United States of America, few holidays are as important as Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving dinner is probably the one day of the year when the entire family is expected to reunite, but with a big family comes the need for Thanksgiving place cards. The way you place them can mean the difference between a peaceful supper and an all-out food fight.
Of course, presuming that you made the seatings perfectly, there’s still the matter of how the place cards are designed since these are just as important as an invitation to a party,
Unfortunately, despite the fact that table place cards are basically a piece of cardboard with a name written on them, they can get pretty expensive, especially if you buy them from a dedicated store.
That being said, those of you that want to save some money, as well as those that aren’t satisfied with how the professional-looking place cards look like can go ahead and try making their own, and we will be showcasing some of the best DIY Thanksgiving place cards that you should try.
Which Are the Best Thanksgiving Place Cards to Try in 2021?
Trends come and go, and after extensive research over several platforms, we studied what designs people were most interested in so that we could present to you the trendiest DIY Thanksgiving place cards of 2021.
However, we didn’t focus just on place card design popularity, since we also looked for designs that looked easy to make with as few materials as possible and those that didn’t require too much time to be invested, especially since you can’t waste too much time on a single place card when there are about 30 that need to be made.
However, keep in mind that this entire article is merely a list of ideas and not a ranking, so this doesn’t mean that certain designs may be better than others, especially since it’s all a manner of personal taste.
1. Table Card Holders – Mini DIY Pumpkin Thanksgiving Place Cards
The pumpkin is the symbol of autumn (and thus Halloween and Thanksgiving as well) just like how a coniferous tree is the symbol of Christmas, so pumpkin-themed table card holders were bound to appear on this list as well.
Just take a look at the mini DIY pumpkin Thanksgiving place cards in the picture above, and notice how well they blend in with the white tablecloth, and how the pumpkin’s leaf acts as a table card in a way that is both elegant and creative.
In order to create your very own, you’ll need some small white pumpkins (if you don’t have any naturally white ones, you can paint regular ones instead), some gold metal floral, wire, some patterned scrapbook paper, some white cardstock, some pliers, glue, and a hole puncher.
As you can see, all you really have to do is cut out the cardstock into the shape of a leaf, and then use the rest of the supplies to attach it to the pumpkin in a way that makes it look very natural.
From a DIY standpoint, this particular table card holder is pretty easy to create, just like the pine cone one, and the only real challenge will be finding enough mini pumpkins to fill out the entire table since you’ll probably be looking at 10+ guests.
From a creativity point of view, you can also play with your supplies in order to come up with your own versions of a pumpkin card holder, such as painting the pumpkins in a different color other than white or writing each guest’s name on the pumpkin itself rather than a cardboard tag.
Not only that, but you can replace the mini pumpkins with ones that are entirely papercraft, and these will save you the hassle of having to go grocery shopping for natural mini pumpkins that are approximately the same size.
2. Place Cards – Elegant Place Cards
When it comes to table place cards, especially when the meal is something as important as Thanksgiving dinner, sometimes is best to stick to the basics and just go for elegance instead.
For example, the place cards showcased above look like regular black and white place cards with simple monochromatic decorations, and while the writing itself may be hard to pull off, those of you that manage to get help from someone with advanced calligraphy skills will surely impress the guests.
However, if you do want to bring some extra fun into the mix, you can make your own DIY pinecone turkey like the one you see above, although you’ll need to forage for some pinecones, some feathers, and buy some googly eyes from a costume store.
Both approaches are pretty solid, and while the adults will definitely appreciate the place cards’ style, the kids will fall in love with the DIY toy turkeys.
All in all, these place cards are pretty easy to make, with or without the turkey, and while it may look best with some elegant calligraphy, you can go ahead and write the names however you see fit since the table’s placement is what matters most, and not the font used.
3. Table Name Cards – Tag on Fruit
Thanksgiving is a notorious part of the year, especially for those that are pretty conscious about their waistline since it’s the one time of the year when pretty much everyone can gorge on turkey and sweet potatoes without feeling too guilty.
Well, since Thanksgiving is all about being thankful for what the fall has brought to the table, a very poetic design for table name cards would be to make them as tags that are attached to fruits,
For example, if you go ahead and look at the picture above, you’ll notice how the name of the person is written on a simple cardboard tag that’s attached to the stem of a pear.
Well, you can go ahead and do the same, since the name card itself is easy to make, and you can go ahead and switch the fruit for something else, like an apple, or a small pumpkin.
If you want to make an even blogger visual impact, you should try spray painting the fruit with food dye just like how they painted the pears with gold in the example above.
For those that like making the entire Thanksgiving dinner by following a specific theme, you can go ahead and use this name card idea together with other harvest-themed table decorations, like a fruit basket table centerpiece, or even a cornucopia table decoration.
One last advantage to this particular decorative idea is that the fruits themselves are edible, and the guests can leave them as a form of healthy dessert.
4. Table Card Holders – Pinecone Card
When it comes to crafting things at home, many of us live under the impression that we’ll need to become masters of papercraft if we want to make a good impression with our decorations, table card holders included, but that’s not always the case.
For example, if you want your Thanksgiving dinner to showcase the essence of the fall, you can easily do so via supplies found in nature, such as the typical pine cone, just like in the example above.
The best part is that pine cones are naturally beautiful, they’re easy to find, and they come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes, so if you want to make personalized table card holders for each of your guests, you can do so pretty easily.
Not only that, but the card that accompanies this pine cone cardholder doesn’t have to be all that complicated either, especially if you want the two elements to have somewhat of a matching theme.
More so, this cardholder is completely biodegradable, so you don’t have to worry about having to throw away any extra waste just for the sake of making your Thanksgiving table a bit more appealing.
In fact, spreading the pine cones can even help you plant trees unknowingly, and there’s no better way to showcase how thankful you are for Thanksgiving than by giving a little back to Mother Nature.
As an added bonus, certain pine cones even have a nice scent to them, so besides looking great, they’ll act like mini air fresheners for the dining room.
Note: Most pine cone species are naturally covered in sticky sap, so we recommend that you clean them up before using them for table decorations.
5. DIY Thanksgiving Cards – Autumn Leaf Card
While the calendar says that autumn starts on September 1st, everyone knows that autumn actually starts when the leaves start changing colors and falling to the ground, and this scene is as iconic as the first snow of winter.
Well, when it comes to DIY Thanksgiving cards, there are ways that you can incorporate autumn leaves into the design, such as making the cards themselves shaped like actual leaves.
This idea is pretty straightforward since all you really need is some colored cardboard (red, orange, yellow, green, and brown), a pair of scissors, and enough dexterity to cut the cardboard into shapes that resemble that of leaves.
In an ideal situation, we’d actually advise you to do something similar to our previous entry and use actual leaves, but these are far too brittle and you’ll only be making a mess of things when you try writing on them, so cardboard is the better alternative.
The great thing about this idea is that you have plenty of creative freedom when it comes to the card designs, since you can try all kinds of shapes and colors in combination with each other, and you can even make a unique card design for each guest.
For best results, we recommend that you first use a pencil to draw the outline of the leaf before you proceed to cut out the shape with your scissors and that you first write down the person’s name first and do the cutout later, so that you will avoid situations where the name won’t fit inside the leaf.
6. Thanksgiving Name Cards – Napkin Collar
Thinking outside the box is the best way to make really original Thanksgiving name cards, the best example is how your table place cards don’t have to be actual table place cards.
Thus, you may have noticed whenever you go to a fancy restaurant that they decorate the plate with your napkin in a wide variety of shapes, and how the napkin is sometimes held together with a pin or a decorative collar.
Well, in the picture above you’ll notice how the designer combined a folded napkin decoration, with a table place card on the collar, resulting in a name card that looks elegant all thangs to its subtility.
Not only that but by combining the right card collar and napkins you can create a table place card that looks like it was part of a bigger set like it came together with the rest of the dinnerware.
The cards look nice, and the only real drawback, if you want to adopt a design that’s very similar to the one above, is that it will be difficult to pull off if you have guests with particularly long names, although you could solve that by either making the cards bigger or by using just the surname or initials.
All in all, this is an excellent idea for those of you that like to keep things simple and elegant, and it’s something that you can use at other large gatherings as well, not just for Thanksgiving dinner.
More Thanksgiving Place Cards
So far we’ve listed the most popular Thanksgiving place cards that you can make if you want to be trendy in 2021, but if that’s not something that you really care about, you could also consider the following 15 entries, as these were the most popular in past years.
They’re just as amazing as the first entries, they’re also easy to make, and chances are that your guests will like them just as much (or even more) as the previous 5 entries.
7. DIY Thanksgiving Turkey Place Cards
If you’ve got some differently sized wooden beads lying around in your crafting room like we always seem to then you’ve actually already got almost everything you need to make these adorable turkey place cards outlined step by step on Average Inspired! Grab some brown paper and maybe a few crafting feathers and get the scissors and glue, because this tutorial is both easy and adorable.
8. Thanksgiving Place Cards – Cute Clothespin Leaf Place Cards
Are you the kind of person who would rather go for seasonal aesthetics than outright themes or characters whenever even the smallest element of your home decor is concerned, basically no matter the context? Then we have a feeling you’ll really enjoy the way Organize & Decorate Everything made these minimalist looking clothespin and leaf place cards that feature both the guest’s name and a little hand-stamped thankfulness reminder.
9. DIY 3D Apple Thanksgiving Place Cards
Would you actually much prefer to make a kind of place card that your kids can get in on the process of creating but they’re still quite young and mostly experienced in cut and paste paper crafts? In that case, we’d definitely suggest taking a look at something like this simple 3D standing paper apple tutorial outlined step by step on Studio DIY! Write each guest’s name on and voila! You now have an apple shaped place card.
10. Paper Crafted Turkeys – Thanksgiving Place Cards
Did we actually really catch your attention when we started talking about the idea of making paper crafted place cards because you enjoy working with paper just as much as your kids do but you’d still like to try your hand at something at least slightly more challenging than the apples we showed you? In that case, we’d definitely suggest taking a look at how Doodlebug Design Inc. made these adorable fan-tailed turkey place cards instead!
11. DIY Burlap and Chalk Thanksgiving Name Cards
Are you feeling pretty set on having the place cards done in advance but you’re not actually entirely sure who’s coming just yet? Well, that doesn’t have to mean that you must wait until the last minute to make them! Instead, check out how The Country Chic Cottage made these adorable burlap and mini chalkboard place cards, each with its own leaf. Using chalk for the name lest you use, label, clean off, reuse, and adjust them however and whenever you please.
12. Paper Leaves Thanksgiving Place Cards
If you’re gong to make some kind of adorable paper-based place card, would you actually much rather do something a little more unique with that basic concept? In that case, we have a feeling you just might be the perfect person to give these sewn paper leaves a try! Little Birdie Secrets shows you how to cut them, add the embroidery line down the middle, create a wreath shape, and affix them to a simple folded place card.
13. Tiny Wire Pumpkin Thanksgiving Place Cards
If you’re going to put in all the time and effort it takes to make an awesome DIY place card from scratch, would you rather make something a little more unique and unconventional, or something you have to construct the shape of entirely? Well, if you’ve never worked with malleable jewelry wire before then maybe it’s time to start! Take a look at how These Little Loves used orange painted wire and a spiraling technique
14. Colourful Handprint Thanksgiving Place Cards
Did we really catch your attention when we started talking about the idea of getting your kids in on the crafting process when it comes to making your own place cards but you just haven’t quite seen the idea that appeals to them most? Well, our own kids simply adore any project that involves tracing their own hand or turning it into something; we’d definitely suggest giving this funny cardboard tube and handprint turkey place cards featured in detail on Think Crafts a try!
15. DIY Thanksgiving Place Cards – Foam Turkeys
Just in case you’re still scrolling through our list and thinking about how much you love the idea of making a turkey-themed place card, but you’re not feeling convinced by any of the designs you’ve seen so far, here’s another tutorial for your consideration! We’re completely in love with the way Evite made these funny little name sign-holding turkeys from a pair of foam balls that are glued together, painted, and embellished with layered paper tails.
16. Mayflower Thanksgiving Treat Place Cards
Are you actually the kind of sewing enthusiast parent who’s always on the lookout for very simple stitching crafts that you can use to introduce your little ones to the basic techniques of your favorite DIY skill? Well, believe it or not, your place cards can be an opportunity to do just that! Check out how Sheek Shindigs made this miniature mayflower from felt and embroidery thread, with a sale of paper and a barbecue skewer. Fill the boat with treats, put a guest’s name on the sail, and you’re all done! The trickiest part is waiting until after dinner to tuck into the sweets inside.
17. Watercolour DIY Thanksgiving Cards
Maybe you really enjoy the concept of introducing your kids to the basics of your favorite DIY techniques as a learning process, but sewing isn’t actually your skill of choice? Well, if you’ve ever been the kind of hand painter who likes to work with watercolor paints then you just might be the perfect person to help your kids out with something like these cute Thanksgiving-themed watercolor painting place cards outlined in full detail thanks to Makes and Takes!
18. Cork and Feather DIY Thanksgiving Name Cards
Are you still kind of amused by the idea of making a DIY place card that clearly emulates a turkey, but you’d rather it be kind of artsy and abstract instead of a literal crafted mini statue of an actual turkey? In that case, we have a feeling this feather, wire, and wine cork place card holder from That’s What Che Said might be right up your alley! We love that the spiraled wire in which you put the name cards makes the design reusable for next year.
19. Meaningful Note Thanksgiving Place Cards
In addition to being crafter, are you also totally sentimental? Then we’re pretty convinced that you just might be the perfect person to give this meaningful place card idea outlined nice and clearly on Jen Gallacher a try. You see, rather than just making little decorative cards featuring each guest’s name, they suggest actually writing them a note of gratitude to make them feel a little extra appreciated this Thanksgiving.
20. Paper Bag Leaf Thanksgiving Place Cards
Have you ever looked at a craft and though to yourself how fancy and well done it looks compared to what it’s actually made of? Well, that’s precisely the kind of thought process we had when we saw this shockingly simple metallic leaf place card idea outlined in detail on In My Own Style! Without actually seeing the tutorial or touching the leaves in real life, we might never have guessed that they’re actually made from simply cut pieces of brown paper bags like the kind you might carry your lunch to work in.
Best Thanksgiving Place Cards: Closing Thoughts
This concludes our article of best Thanksgiving place cards that you can make at home, and we hope that we\ve provided you with enough inspiration to make something that’s just as good-looking, or maybe even something completely new and original.
All in all, don’t forget that Thanksgiving is all about being thankful for what you have and having loved ones at the same table as you, so it doesn’t matter whether your place cards look like a wacky turkey or like a Hallmark card from a fancy restaurant, what matters most is that everyone’s there.
We here at DIYS.com love Thanksgiving just as much as you, and we\ve written plenty of articles where we showcased how you can make your Thanksgiving dinner all the more enjoyable, either via delicious food recipes, or fantastic-looking home decorations, so go ahead and look at those as well.
More so, if there’s anything Thanksgiving-related that you’d like to read about, just leave us a memo in the comments section below with your suggestions, and we’ll write an article about it as soon as possible.