Easy Stamped Easel Place Cards
Stamping skills can be used for more than just greeting cards! How about using your stamps to create Christmas table place cards? In past years, I have just stamped a small holiday image of some kind on a little rectangle of decorative cardstock, written or typed the name of the dish on the card and laid it on the Christmas Eve buffet table near each food dish. It’s simple, quick to do and uses small bits of cardstock that would otherwise go to waste. This year, I have decided to refine things just a bit by creating little Mini Easel Place Cards for each food on the buffet table. With a table full of food, this might sound like a lot of work, but easel cards are surprisingly quick and easy to create. The only trick is figuring out the measurements for a smaller version. (And I’ll tell you a secret: that’s easy too!)
If you are a fan of my VSN eArticles, you have probably read “Specialty Card Folds: Cards With More Than One Fold.” My approach in the eArticle is to dig into how various cards are created so that you can take that knowledge and customize them to whatever size you like. In the eArticle, I also include charts with some example sizes to get you started. For example, the Easel Card chart in the eArticle provides measurements for 4” x 4”, 4 1/4” x 5 1/2”, 4 1/2” x 4 1/4”, 5” x 5” and 6” x 4” cards.
For my mini easel place cards, I decided on a finished size of 2 ¾” wide x 2 ¼” high. I wanted something big enough to allow at least one stamped image and the dish name, but I didn’t want something big that would take up a lot of space on an already full table. So I came up with the following cutting and folding measurements for the base of the card:
2 ¾” wide x 2 ¼” high Easel Card: Cut card base to 2 ¾” x 4 ½”. Valley fold at 1 1/8” and 2 ¼”. (More detailed directions can be found below.)
Note: If you want your easel place cards sized smaller or larger, you’ll find instructions for how to do that in the eArticle. Obviously, you could alternatively use this idea with the names of your guests if you are sitting down to eat and want a name place card at each table setting. Depending on what you stamped on them, your guests might even take their own place card home as a small holiday card.
Mini Easel Place Card Directions:
Supplies to create six card bases and twelve card fronts:
- Two pieces of 8 1/2” x 11” cardstock
- Stamps, inks and coloring supplies of your choice
- Brad (metal paper fastener)
- Double-sided tape
- Paper Cutter
- Paper Scorer
The 2 ¾” wide x 2 ¼” high size works out to six easel bases from an 8 ½” x 11” piece of cardstock. A second piece of cardstock of the same size can be cut to create as many as twelve 2 ¾” wide x 2 ¼” high card fronts to go on them. For each mini easel place card:
1) Create a card front on a 2 ¾” wide x 2 ¼” high piece of cardstock. (Note: You can layer a slightly smaller piece of cardstock of a different color on it to create a “frame” for your artwork panel. I chose to create the easel base and frame panel using colored cardstock to match my tablecloth and stamped a slightly smaller 1 ¾” x 2 ½” piece of white cardstock to layer on top of the card front frame panel. )
Use stamps, hand drawings or photos and whatever embellishments you like. The text can be hand written or printed using a computer printer. (If you want to use a computer printer, you might layout the text to repeat in the correct spacing, printing the cardstock first, but figuring the spacing out takes more time than I like during the busy holidays. So I would alternatively suggest printing the text on a separate matching layer and then use paper adhesive to place it on the card front. Or simply write it neatly by hand.)
Because I will be making quite a few of these, I intentionally kept my artwork simple, using a basic stamped pine tree image (from Impression Obsession) embellished with little dots of Ranger’s Liquid Pearls to create “ornaments” on the tree. I stamped the tree in green and then colored the truck brown on top of the green using a colored pencil.
2) Trim 1/4” off the long edge of an 8 1/2” x 11” piece of cardstock, leaving an 8 1/4” x 11” piece.
3) Trim 2” off the short edge of this piece to create a 8 1/4” x 9” piece.
4) Slice the remaining 8 1/14” width of the cardstock into three 2 3/4” wide x 9” long strips. (So cut at 2 3/4” and 5 1/2” width marks down the length of the card.
5) Cut each strip in half at the 4 1/2” mark to form six 2 3/4” x 4 1/2” pieces. These are your easel bases.
6) Valley fold each base in half at the 2 1/4” mark.
7) Valley fold one section of each base in half again at the 1 1/8” mark.
8) Optional: With cards this small, I sometimes find that the front panel is a little too light-weight to stay in place behind the brad. So in this case, I’ll do one more fold, this time a mountain fold right at the very end of the smallest section, maybe 1/16” in from the short edge. This creates just the tiniest lip that can be tucked underneath the brad to hold it in place just a little better. Experiment with this on a sample of your place card to see if you find it helpful.
9) Attach prepared card front to the base’s end quarter section using permanent paper adhesive. (If you created the optional lip described in the last step, align the bottom edge of the card front with the lip fold instead of with the panel edge.)
10) Place a brad on the card base to hold the card front section in place while standing.
Optional: To allow the easel portion to be re-used with different card fronts in the future, attach the fronts with double-sided removable tape instead of a permanent version. Or, alternatively, you might permanently attach the fronts, but use removable tape to attach a separate text layer, allowing you to re-use the decorated place cards with different text next year. Because the easels fold flat, you can very easily store them for future use.
Try this and see what you think. I’d love to hear about how you use this idea, so please do leave a comment.