DIY Place-Card Holders

My husband and I are catering a larger party next weekend, so I’ve been slowly taking inventory of what we have and what we need, and putting things aside. Plates, bowls, serving utensils, decorative items, things needed for food prep – anything needed to make the event run smoothly.

One of the things that we need are place-card holders. We are going to have a huge charcuterie table along with dips and spreads and lots of other delicious choices. So it makes it easier for the guests if they know what everything is and don’t have to ask or guess. So we put out labels on just about everything.

The last event we did was just after Christmas, and we used some silver card holders then. Unfortunately, I have no idea where we put them when we unpacked everything. I have searched my entire house several times over, and STILL cannot find those card holders. I can normally put my hands on what I’m looking for pretty easily, but my magic seems to have run out.

So of course I went straight to Amazon. I found some really good choices that would work great, but as I was scrolling through all of the options, I had a thought: “Why don’t you just make some?”

So why don’t I just make some?? That jogged a memory for me. A few months back I had seen a YouTube video where a guy had taken wine corks and made simple note-card holders out of them. They turned out really nice looking, and they looked super easy to make. And since I have thousands of wine corks from my time as a bartender, this was perfect!

I knew exactly where the corks were, so I grabbed a few handfuls and headed outside. The first thing you have to do is get a nice flat spot on them so they don’t roll around. If you use a knife or box blade to slice off part of the cork to do this, you may or may not slice an even amount across the length of the cork. I really didn’t want them to be uneven, so I wanted another option. I figured that the easiest and fastest way achieve an even, flat surface would be to rub them on something rough. Sandpaper would work, but the grits I had on hand were pretty fine and would take forever. So I sat down on the carport and used the cement. This worked so well! In no time at all I had 30 corks with flattened bottoms that sat perfectly.

The next thing I did was wash them all. After having them on the ground, they needed a serious cleaning to be allowed anywhere near food! I set them on a towel to dry and came back later to finish up.

The only thing left to do was to make the place for the note cards. I chose to use a box blade for this because I felt like I would have more control with it over using a knife. I scored each cork repeatedly until I had a slit about halfway through the cork. I used a scratch piece of paper to test out how easy it was to fit the card and to see how it looked. The slit was pretty tight, so I took the box blade and wiggled it in the sliced area to open it up a bit so that the cards would slide in easier.

I’m pretty happy with the end result. These card-holders were super easy to make, didn’t cost me anything but a little time, and I think they are going to look great on the food tables next weekend!

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