As a host or even a co-host, I try to plan as much as possible to take any anxiety away from last minute decisions. When guests are about to sit at the table for dinner or even sometimes when they arrive they usually ask where they should sit. To make things easy for guests and myself I use place cards that I arrange prior to guests arriving. I am a big fan of place cards, which allow you to strategically place folks in the groups that they thrive in and separate those who may not get along. Every holiday I like to create unique place cards to label people’s seats – I like to do things that are fun and act as a conversation starter.
If you are not crafty there are many templates online that you can print out for the place cards. You can also go to your local stationary or craft store to get plain pre-cut place cards that can be decorated with stickers, glitter, beads, or ribbon. The key is to have fun with it and use supplies that you have around the house so it is not an extra expense. This year I decided to make turkeys for my place cards. I have made turkeys in the past and used Martha Stewart’s colorful turkey template to make the place card, but this year I wanted to do something a little more whimsical so I used craft paper and tissue paper to create these fun turkey place cards.
Craft Paper, Construction Paper, and Card Stock
Red Curling Ribbon
Cut strips of brown paper in 2” x 6” pieces – or I used the block of scrap paper that some craft stores sell, which includes pre-cut strips in all different colors. Before you turn the strips into the loops it may be best to write the person’s name of the paper in the bottom center of the strip . It is easier to write the name on the flat surface before you make it into a loop.
Next, smear glue one side of each end of the paper strip with a glue stick. Rub glue on the top of one side and bottom of another. Gluing each side will help it stick better. Connect the two ends together to make the strip into a loop.
After you have all the loops you can start gluing on the eyes and the beak. For the beak, fold a small piece of orange or yellow card stock in half, cut out small triangles making sure to cut right through both layers of paper, the folded part will be the bottom of the triangle. Glue the bottom of the beak on the loop in the center above the name. Next glue the eyes on above the beak.
Cut the tissue paper into 4 ½” x 3” pieces for the tail. I used about six different colors, but you can use less colors and either alternate the colors or put two of the same colors next to each outer. Stagger the paper so that you can see every color and then start folding the tissue in an accordion style fold.
Once the paper is folded staple the bottom part, ensuring you staple is high enough to attach all the tissue paper. Next fluff out the tissue paper and attach with glue to the back of the turkey.
Finally, cut small pieces of red curling ribbon and curl it with scissors. Then tear the ribbon into smaller pieces, and cut it into about 1” pieces. Tie the ribbon in a small not and use glue to affix it to the turkey near the beak.
Again, the most important thing is to have fun when making these. If you want to try something that is less elaborate than the turkeys, try making Native American feather hats or pilgrim hats. Anything you do will add a special touch to your table and get your guests in the Thanksgiving mood.