DIY Table Place Cards With Pretty Handwriting
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I love handwriting, script, calligraphy, and fonts. I have shared many of my favorite free fonts. I also love making DIY table place cards for my holiday table settings.
I use to have better handwriting than I do now. I noticed as I am getting older that my handwriting is starting to look like chicken scratch, I don’t recognize it anymore.
I am not sure if my brain-to-hand timing is off, but more and more I am heading to my computer when I want to create something using pretty handwriting instead of relying on my own.
When I was creating my Thanksgiving table setting, that is what I did… went to my computer to type in all the names that I needed to make DIY table place cards in my word processing program.
I use a Mac so I used Pages, but you can do this on a PC in Word, too and of course Photoshop. Typing the names into your word processor is just like typing a document, except you will make the font size much bigger than the usual 10 – 14 pt. letter writing size.
I have quite a few free fonts loaded on my computer and have even purchased a few. The one I used for my Thanksgiving table is from The Creative Market. It is called, The Carbella and cost around $15.
If you don’t want to purchase a font. I have included some of my favorite free pretty script fonts at the end of this post.
How to Make Pretty Script DIY Table Place Cards
- Computer with font files installed and printer
- Gift tags – I found the brown Kraft paper style tags at Walmart in the bridal crafts aisle
- Waverly Inspirations chalk paint in the color, Truffle. Sold at Walmart.
- Small tipped paint brush
- Chalk or transfer paper
- In your word processing program, open up a new blank file and type in the names you to make the place cards just as if you were typing a document. Then highlight the names and choose the font you want to use, the color of the ink and the size. For the tags I used the type point size of 125, but every font is sized differently so you might have to play around with the size until you get one that fits the way you envision.
- I made the font slightly oversized for these tags so the names would fill the entire tag.
3. To transfer the name to the tag you can use either a piece of chalk, like I did for this Framed Chalkboard or transfer paper that is sold in the craft paint aisle at the craft store.
4. Cut a piece of transfer paper the size of the tag. it does not have to be exact, just big enough to cover the tag. Cut your names out of the computer paper and then figure out how you want to place it on the place card. I chose an upward angle.
5. Layer the printed name on top of the transfer paper, then the tag. Using a pencil, trace over the name using steady pressure as you write.
6. Remove the paper and this is what you will see.
7. Use paint and a fine-tipped paint brush to fill in the letters. Let dry. I like using matte chalk paint since it absorbs into the paper and looks like ink when dried.
I tied a ribbon onto the tags and placed one at each place setting on top of a pine cone or grapevine pumpkin. You can see the complete table setting in my last post: How to Make a Round Thanksgiving Tablecloth
Optional Way To Make The Table Place Cards
Before printing, if desired, change the color of the names in your word processor from black and then print out all your names on card stock. Use a gift tag of any shape to make a template and center over each name.
Using a piece of clear acetate for the template shape makes centering very easy.
- You can see how I used the method in this post: Trash to Treasure Furniture Makeover.
I save pieces of acetate from packaging. For example, it is the clear covering that comes on boxes of Christmas cards, but you can buy a sheet at the printing desk at the office supply store for around 50 cents.
Trace around the acetate template you make and then cut out along the lines. Punch a hole in the card stock and you have a printed tag, place card or label…no tracing or painting needed.
Variation: You can also cut out the printed names from the card stock free-form like I did with these: Jingle Bell Place Cards
I use my computer and fonts to make many things. After you use one of these methods to make a tag and see just how easy it is… you may be using the method to make more than just DIY table place cards and tags.
Free Pretty Handwriting Script Fonts
- Remember when using free fonts that most of them are for personal use only.
Ballerina Script | Magnolia Sky | Paduka | Sweet Pea | Nella Sue | Notera
- If you have never downloaded a free font, you can read how to do it in this post: My Favorite Free Fonts
- Looking for more DIY table place cards and ideas? Check them out here in my Table Setting Project Gallery
Pretty Ways to Use Fancy Script Paper:
none of your site works any longer. It all doesn’t make sense. Images are not showing ,it so disappointing.
Hi Jennifer – Are you using the Chrome Browser? I don’t think it is my site. I think there is a problem online as the same thing happened to me about an hour ago on another blog. Please let me know so that if it isn’t a browser issue I can look into why my site didn’t load properly.
Wow, this idea looks really creative! I’m sure a lot of people will like this idea, even those who don’t like handwriting. I used about the same technique when I was at University when I had to write a huge synopsis of the material I had read. I just copied the text from the book, in the file “Word” picked up the font style that is very similar to the handwriting, and printed on paper all I need. The teacher thought that all this was written by me :)
Thank you for sharing such interesting, positive and creative ideas!
Very pretty! I’m learning how to do this type of thick handwriting with markers. When it works, it looks pretty good, lol! Visiting from Tip Me Tuesday party.
Happy New Year to you and your family! Hope it is blessed and healthy ? I love your white quilt on your master bed. I am a fan of quilts also, Since one of our dogs sleeps with us, it’s so nice to be able to pop it in the washer! Can you tell me where you got it? I need a Calif King and yours looks very nice.
Thanks so much
Hi Finny – I bought the white quilt at HomeGoods and have seen it at TJMAxx and Marshalls, too. It is made by Tommy Bahama.
Such a cute idea! Thanks for sharing the tutorials.
I could have written the post myself! Always have loved font, typography and pretty writing! My 60 year old brain wants my penmanship to look a certain way;unfortunately my 60 year old hand/eye coordination is something else! I would urge all your design wannabe followers to take a look at Creative Market for lots of free downloadable free fonts too! I have quite a collection on my laptop and I’m certain I can find something to use for this great idea. DaFont is another good source too. Thanks for this great tip for combining pretty penmanship with being crafty- it is a very doable craft for everyone! As always, I love your no nonsense projects!
Diane, those name tags are adorable and I love the small organic wreaths. Its a great table setting, have a great Thanksgiving…Millie http://frugaliciouschick.blogspot.com
I went back to your post about how to install free fonts, and it worked! I feel like I can do this now! I’ve always wanted to be able to use some of the free fonts out there, and now I can! Thank you so much! These are just gorgeous!
Hi Linda – I am so glad I linked up to the font post. Now that you have had success, you will want to downloaded tons of fonts. It becomes an obsession. :-)
My writing isn’t as good as it used to be either. When I tried to freehand words recently, I wasn’t satisfied with how my tags looked. So here is my suggestion for those who don’t want to trace and paint. Print names on card stock with space enough around them to just cut out the tags (using pattern you trace around). Paper punch a hole and you are done. This worked great for me recently when I wanted to tag food items on a buffet table. It’s nice to have different paths to the same result. Love that you attached the tags to pine cones. Will definitely use that idea.
Hi Patty – Thanks for sharing your idea. I do this too when I don’t have a specific paper or in this instance, tag I want to use. I love hearing how others use their own style to create. :-) It is so inspiring. I linked to two other place cards in my post that I did just that…printed them and just cut around them.