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.
- 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: