Every Thanksgiving for the past 10 years, my children make the place cards. We don’t actually need place cards (small family), but it’s fun. Last year, I posted my Thanksgiving Place Card Album. This year, I’m posting photos of some of our favorite place cards – in case you’re looking for place cards for kids to make.
This was our first Thanksgiving place card; my children were 2 years old and 4 months old. It wasn’t very hands-on (get it?) since they were so young. All they had to do was be still long enough for me to trace their hands.
Beaded Indian Corn
This is basically putting beads on a chenille stem (a.k.a. pipe cleaner). I can’t remember exactly how I made them since it was 2004, but here is a good tutorial.
Styrofoam and Feather Turkeys
The styrofoam ball turkeys might be my favorite place card craft ever because the kids had so much fun making them. BUT feather fuzz gets everywhere, so I would recommend using stiff feathers instead of fluffy feathers. No one wants feather fuzz in their Thanksgiving meal.
To make them, I cut off part of the styrofoam balls with a serrated knife so they wouldn’t roll. Then the kids painted the balls with gold acrylic paint. (I don’t know why we picked gold instead of brown – it’s probably something I already had in my paint stash). After they were dry, the kids got to poke feathers in them. Feathers and fuzz were all over the place. For the turkey faces, my daughter drew faces on cardstock circles, then we glued them to the styrofoam balls. You could also use wiggly eyes or paint.
Also check out this cute idea using crayons instead of feathers.
Flowerpot Pilgrim Hats
Tiny flowerpots are available in craft stores in the floral section. Paint them black, then paint a white rim and gold buckle. We glued small cardstock circles to the tops for writing names.
We had a bag of walnuts and a nutcracker that year. We selected the best looking shells, then stuffed them with Crayola model magic (a lightweight air-dry clay). The kids wrote names on paper squares and put them on toothpicks to look like sails. Then we poked the toothpicks in the Model Magic. It took about a day for the clay to dry.
Drink Charms / Napkin Rings
No, my kids do not drink wine on Thanksgiving. They do, however, get to drink iced tea out of fancy little stemware. These drink charms make cute place cards and can be re-used each year. You could make napkin rings instead by using ribbon and beads with larger holes.
To make the drink charms, I found wire and beads in the jewelry section of Michael’s craft store. The wire came in a pack and already had a loop on the end. After putting beads on the wire, I simply bent the other end of the wire so that it hooked into the loop.
This one is a simple, traditional place card: folded paper. It’s a great way to display kids’ artwork. I asked my kids to draw turkeys, then I scanned them into Photoshop, added text, printed and trimmed. You could also print them in black and white and have the kids color with crayons.
Place Card Kits
A couple of times we’ve used a place card kit. The one pictured is from last year – it was by American Crafts and sold at Target in the scrapbook section.
Edited to add a photo of another place card kit from a few years ago:
This year, we’re planning to make pom-pom acorns.
Also, I have a Pinterest board where I’m pinning more place card ideas as I find them: my Thanksgiving Pinterest board.