'Tis the season for getting your fancy on: setting the dining room table, pulling out the real napkins and the good wine glasses, creating a centerpiece. For a final touch of elegance, try place cards. These are from Anna Bondoc's new book, Simply Paper Cutting. We love their delicate, handmade quality and have included templates for the steaming bowl and the rose design (which may be a little easier for beginners). You'll need:
- Craft knife, such as an X-ACTO knife, and blades
- Adhesive pick-up square
- 3 1/2" x 3 1/2" (90 x 90mm) light color cardstock for the master stencil templates
- 4" x 5" (100 x 130 mm) Butter yellow (or color of your choosing) cardstock for the bases
- 3 1/2" x 3 1/2" (90 x 90mm) Crimson red (or any color of your chosing) cardstock, for the roses; Brown for the steaming bowls
Cut both layers of each stencil. The photos show the steaming bowl motif; I've also included the rose motif, which may be easier to tackle if this is your first time attempting this technique. For each design there are two stencils. One is for the interior shapes, the other for the exterior silhouette. (Cutting the interior shapes first means you'll have a sturdy border to hold the card stock steady while you make the delicate cuts using your craft knife.) Print and transfer each design to light-colored cardstock. To avoid tearing, cut from the center toward the outer edges. Pop out the entire shape.
Cut out motifs. Using the master stencils you created in step 1 above, cut your motif, cutting the interior shapes first and then the exterior border.
Score and fold the place cards. Lightly score a line halfway across your place card rectangle (so at the 2 1/2" mark of the 5" wide card). Fold in half to form a table tent. You can use a corner punch to round the corners of each card.
Adhere motifs to place cards. Position the design at the right corner of each card. Lightly trace around the design to mark its position. Then, using a toothpick, lightly apply glue in dotted lines to the back of the portion of the cutout that will rest atop the card. Press it into the position you've marked.
Clean up the artwork. Once dry, use an adhesive pick-up square to remove pencil marks and any stray dried glue.
In addition to decorating place cards, you can use the motifs to decorate holiday cards, or try attaching them to a gift ribbon in place of a bow.
(Photos: Lisa Franchot from Simply Paper Cutting, used with the permission of Fox Chapel Publishing)