How-to Make Inexpensive Place Card Holders and Napkin Rings

by Diane Henkler on 03/04/2010

Recently, when I was cleaning out the mess in my basement junk area, I came across a box of drapery pleater hooks.  The kind with 4 prongs that are used with traverse rods.  They immediately reminded me of a craft that my mom used to make when I was a kid.  She was into re-purposing, not to recycle as the “green” thing to do, but strictly to save money.  She used these hooks  to make  small easels to hold signs for her craft table at our church’s holiday bazaar.  She simply bent the prongs to resemble an easel. 

All the materials used in the above table setting were handmade,  from the Dollar Store, and Walmart.  The teacup and napkin are hand-me-downs. 

These little easels as I call them - can not only hold a sign or  become  place card holders, but:

Kelly-and-Mandy a favorite photo



 miniature art that you can cut out from the preview pictures on the back of yearly calenders


Drapery Hook made into a place card holder for a table setting

 in this case I am using them as place-card holders


Drapery hook to use to make a table setting place card
  I checked to see if this type of hook was still available and I found a package of 10 at WalMart.  They are called Wrights Wall Pleater Hooks.


To make the Little Easels


4-Prong Drapery Wall Pleater hook 
Wire Cutters 
1 Flat Sided Bead 
1 Round Bead 
Hot Glue & Gun


1.  Using pliers bend the center hooked section of pleater hook to straighten.  Bend backwards to create the back leg for easel.

2.  Pull the two left prongs to the left slightly. 

3.  Pull the two right prongs to the right slightly.

4.  Using pliers angle the two inner prongs 1/2″ from end into a 90 degree angle to create the shelf.

5.  Glue flat sided bead over metal tip on top.  Once dry, glue the round bead on top of that flat one.


For my place-card above, I cut a piece of card-stock and added a border and name with magic marker.  You can also use a slide-mount as a frame for your place-card.

How to make a place card using recycled items

Camera stores sell them or you may have some around your house.  If the camera store’s name is printed on it you can easily erase it with an artists eraser.

How to make a place card out of paper

Carefully open back and remove film.  Add decorative paper and close.  I used a brown paper bag, but was trying to find a scrap of scrap-booking paper to use.

Place card ideas to make

It was getting dark, I had to use the flash, but you can get the general idea from this photo.

I also made a simple napkin ring for the table setting:

Button and ribbon napkin ring to make  Ribbon and two buttons.

Button and ribbon napkin rings to make for a table setting

How to drill a hole in a button to make it into a napkin ring
Drill a center hole in the button with a Dremel drill.  Thread ribbon ends through the hole.  Place a napkin in loop and tighten.  Tie ribbon in knot on top.  Cut off excess.



{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Amanda March 5, 2010 at 12:29 am

That’s such a clever use of those drapery hooks! And your table setting is really cute!


2 Heidi March 5, 2010 at 1:02 am

This is so adorable! I LOVE your place setting, and the colors are so cute! Thanks for the great tutorial!


3 Dawn March 5, 2010 at 6:53 am

Hats off to both you and your Mom, thats a great idea!


4 Diane @ InMyOwnStyle March 5, 2010 at 9:04 am

My mom was a very crafty mom. She was always coming up with great ideas. My siblings and I always had the best school projects and won anything we entered that she inspired us to do. I think I got my creative genes from her.

Thanks for commenting, I love hearing from you and look forward to paying everyone a visit.
My best- Diane


5 LoveFeast Table March 5, 2010 at 10:39 am

Love the little easels and happy to have found your site! We featured tables today and are in love with innovative tablescaping ideas!
oh, and I look forward to meeting you at Bloggy Bootcamp!


6 Becky March 5, 2010 at 12:24 pm

Thanks so much for linking up–I absolutely love these little easels!


7 Merri Cvetan, The Design Coach March 5, 2010 at 2:33 pm

Very charming. I love polka dots and lime green! Drapery hook easels, what a clever idea. Love it.


8 chie March 6, 2010 at 3:42 am

Thanks for the tips, Smarty girls!

Happy w/end.


9 GrannySue March 6, 2010 at 2:10 pm

I forgot all about using those hooks. Thanks for a walk down memory lane.


10 l March 9, 2010 at 7:37 pm

I love the hand-me-downs.
I’m visiting from Tip Junkie!


11 TammyM March 10, 2010 at 6:44 am

Love the napkin ring idea. Very pretty!


12 Amanda March 10, 2010 at 8:08 am

How clever! they really look wonderful!


13 busy z Olsztyna do Holandii June 25, 2010 at 8:45 am

This is the best website i’ve ever seen, bookmarked


14 donna November 7, 2010 at 8:43 am

Thanks Lisa! I was needing small signage for my jewelry business and found this post. You are quite clever and a terrific designer. I appreciate you sharing your talents with the www.


15 donna November 7, 2010 at 8:46 am

Whoops – wrong name! Apologies Diane. Best!


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