Thanksgiving Place Cards For Every Tablescaping Style

Thanksgiving Table Setting with Topiary Centerpieces and Pear Place Cards
Photo: Robbie Caponetto; Design: Mariée Ami; Styling: Kathleen Varner

Many things are on your to-do list if you're hosting a Thanksgiving celebration at your house this year. From cooking and tidying to greeting guests and ensuring everyone feels at home, you'll have your hands full. However, there are plenty of charming touches that you can prepare well in advance that will make Thanksgiving Day run as smoothly as possible. Enter these simple and stylish place card ideas.

Place cards are a lovely addition to your dinner table, and we have a few easy-prep ideas to get you in the Thanksgiving spirit. Greet your guests with these sweet, seasonal place cards, and they'll be utterly charmed. You'll love these place cards and can save them for next year (or make new ones since you had so much fun!).

Add some sophistication to your tablescape by learning to re-create beautiful calligraphy for your place cards.

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Fresh Pick

Pear with Leaf Name Tag Place Cards for Thanksgiving Tables
Robbie Caponetto; Design: Mariée Ami; Styling: Kathleen Varner

Anchor each setting with a pear. It's a nice way to introduce green, a color not generally associated with fall, to the palette. For those who prefer more traditional autumn hues, consider other seasonal produce. "If pears don't mesh with your decor or color scheme, try pumpkins, gourds, or pomegranates," says Mariée Ami owner and founder Neillie Butler. Plus, guests can take home their fruits or vegetables as favors.

To make these place cards, cut small leaf-shaped tags from card stock. Write names on the tags with a gold pen or marker, then attach them to the pears with T-pins. You can complete this look with clear stemmed glassware and tablecloth.

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Photo Finish

Thanksgiving Table Setting with Feathered Placemats, Monogrammed Napkins, and Photos as Place Cards
Robbie Caponetto; Design: Mariée Ami; Styling: Kathleen Varner

Skip the names, and place pictures of guests at their seats instead. "It makes for an extra-special conversation starter," says Mary Baugh, Mariée Ami's graphic designer, whose grandmother appears in the portrait above this place setting. We love the nostalgia of a black-and-white photo, but full-color family snapshots are equally memorable.

Set up small frames. A two-by-three-inch frame is best. This frame size won't take away valuable table space from the food. To complete this look, use coordinating dinner and salad plates, a napkin ring, and a feathered placemat.

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Natural Layers

Thanksgiving Table Setting with Leather Napkin Ring Place Card
Robbie Caponetto; Design: Mariée Ami; Styling: Kathleen Varner

Weave organic elements, like rosemary sprigs and improvised leather napkin rings, into the setting for a textured look. "We like to include something that's unexpected in a tablescape to keep people guessing," says Neillie Butler of Mariée Ami. Feel free to substitute whichever herbs or flowers are growing in your backyard for the rosemary.

To make this place card, use a fine-tip paint marker to write names on leather strips (you can find these at craft-supply stores). Then tuck the card in a sprig of rosemary. Complete this look with candles, thematic table runners, and napkins.

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Tiny Turkeys

Cork Turkey Place Card for Kids' Thanksgiving Table Setting
Robbie Caponetto; Design: Mariée Ami; Styling: Kathleen Varner

A quick, easy craft project elevates the playful tone of the kids' table place settings. "They're fun to create with children, whether you're hosting dinner or not," says Butler of the little gobblers. Melamine or paper plates and bamboo utensils help guarantee a worry-free time for everyone.

To make the place card, cut feathers from paper, and use a glue gun to attach them to a wine cork. Add black beads for eyes, along with a paper beak and wattle.

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Relaxed Classic

Blue and White Table Setting with Wax Seal Place Card
Photo: Hector Manuel Sanchez; Styling: Rachael Burrow

"There's nothing better than getting an invitation with a wax seal in the mail," says Senior Style Editor Rachael Burrow. She re-created that excitement on a table inspired by blue-and-white ginger jars.

To make the place card, start with rectangular light blue card stock and a monogrammed wax seal. (Try for personalized seals.) Next, place a piece of ribbon at the top center of the card. Squeeze a quarter-size amount of wax on the bottom of the ribbon, and stamp with the seal.

Let the wax dry. Write the name under the seal and snip a triangle from the bottom of the card to finish.

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Nature Inspired

Green Place Card Idea
Photo: Hector Manuel Sanchez; Styling: Rachael Burrow

"This is the perfect setting to complement a bright and crisp November day," says Rachael, who stuck to an all-natural display by choosing an earthy green-and-brown palette. She layered the pieces to create a warm, textured look.

To make the place card, begin with an ordinary gift tag and two pieces of solid ribbon. Wrap each piece of ribbon around the base of the label and secure it to the back with white glue.

Once it's dry, write the name on the front of the tag, and insert a fresh sprig of greenery through the ribbons at the bottom. Finish by tying a loop of ribbon through the top of the label.

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Bright Spot

Kids Table Place Setting with Place Card
Photo: Hector Manuel Sanchez; Styling: Rachael Burrow

"The kids' setting needed to be easy, fun, and unbreakable," says Rachael, who covered the table in white paper (she drew the "placemats" and "place cards" directly on that) and added an orange paper runner. Yellow plates brighten the holiday's usual color scheme. "Dark shades would have taken away from the playfulness," she adds.

To make the place card, mark the place mat's lines using a ruler and a pencil. Then trace over the outline with a paint marker. Write the guest's name at the top of the placemat, and let it dry for an hour before using.

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Shades of the Season

Yarrow Place Card
Photo: Laurey W. Glenn; Styling: Buffy Hargett Miller

A cluster of dried yarrow brings color and texture to this pretty place card. You can find dried yarrow at your local florist or any crafts store.

Cut pieces of scrapbook paper into squares, and fold them in half. On the front of the card, write your guest's name in calligraphy, and paste the cluster of yarrow next to it. Voila!

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Sweet Pears

Sweet Pears
Photo: Laurey W. Glenn; Styling: Buffy Hargett Miller

These pear place cards are simple, seasonal, and perfect for a Thanksgiving table setting. You can use either artificial or fresh pears to re-create this look.

Cut a thin slice in the top of your pear with a knife, and slide in a place card with the guest's name. Repeat until each guest has a pear for their plate.

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Apple Accents

Apple Accents
Photo: Laurey W. Glenn; Styling: Buffy Hargett Miller

Bookend your Thanksgiving meal with apples. Similarly to pear, you can add apple place cards to welcome guests and top off the meal with a warm apple pie.

These sweet, seasonal touches will make guests feel at home. Use artificial or natural apples and make a thin slice on the top. (Slice near the stem downward towards the highest point of the curve.) Write your guest's name on a piece of pretty scrapbook paper, and slide the scrapbook paper into the slice you made in the apple.

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Fall Foliage

Fall Foliage
Photo: Laurey W. Glenn; Styling: Buffy Hargett Miller

The first step of this place card how-to involves gathering fallen magnolia leaves from your yard. Gather and dry the leaves, and write your guests' names using a permanent marker.

If you don't have magnolia leaves readily available, find artificial stems at a craft store. Tie twine around the branches of the leaves for a crafty touch, and place them on your table to invite your guests to take their seats.

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Unconventional Materials

Unconventional Materials
Photo: Laurey W. Glenn; Styling: Buffy Hargett Miller

Choose pieces of scrapbooking paper in seasonal patterns, and write your guests' names on the squares in permanent marker.

Paste a small stem of dried wheat, which you can find at crafts stores, to the paper. Fold the paper in half and set it on your table to charm your guests with its Thanksgiving colors and textures.

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Natural Textures

Natural Textures
Photo: Laurey W. Glenn; Styling: Buffy Hargett Miller

This place card features a floaty feather, a pretty touch you can find at your local crafts store. Paste a small feather on a square of folded grasscloth, and write your guest's name on it with a permanent marker.

You can source pieces of grasscloth from wallpaper retailers but use any textural material sturdy enough to fold in half and stand on its own.

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