Reliving a Thanksgiving Tradition

  • Difficulty Rating: Beginner


Reliving a Thanksgiving Tradition

When I was growing up, my family hosted large Thanksgiving gatherings where everyone had their own place card, so you always knew where to sit.

Except when we kids switched the cards around, which I admit happened often, too. My mother made the paper place cards with traditional Puritan hats. They weren’t fancy, but they were an integral part of the table decorations each year.  When she passed away, the simple table cards remained in the dining room hutch for a long time, because no one could bear to throw them out.

This year, I decided to rekindle that family tradition and make my own Thanksgiving place cards, as well as a special menu card for the big occasion.  Now, I am by no means a professional crafter, but I wanted to test my hand at crafting, use a few Fiskars products, and create these mom-inspired decorations for our holiday table.  

cutting out fall pieces

Instructions for Menu:
1)    First, I wrote the menu and printed it on a plain sheet of 8 ½ x 11 paper so I could determine the right layout. I wanted to leave room for a tree at the top. When I got the type spaced the way I wanted, I printed the menu on a cream colored sheet of paper.

2)    I used the Rope Border Punch to create a decorative border on the menu, before attaching it to a brown 8 ½ x 11 sheet of paper.  This was glued carefully to the colorful oversized decorative paper.

completed menu

3)    On the menu itself, I used the Tree Level Punch (X Large) to punch a tree in matching brown paper, which I pasted to the top of the page in the center.

4)    Then I sprinkled leaves in different colors down the page, which I created with the Fiskars Lever Punch 3-Pack.

Voila! The menu was done. Next to the place cards...

Fiskars tools used

1)    Using the SureCut Deluxe Craft Paper Trimmer, I cut a border for the names in the same cream paper as the menu, so these colored pieces were approximately ½ inch wide. The paper trimmer made it easy to get clean, sharp edges, even for a beginner like me.

2)    I used the trimmer to cut a border about 1 ½ inch wide to surround the names, using the same decorative paper used for the menu.

3)    These pieces were glued to a brown sheet of paper, sized 3.5x5 inches, which was folded in half.

finished place cards

4)    The final touch was an autumn leaf created from the same Fiskars Lever Punch 3-Pack leaf used for the menu. I wasn’t sure at first where to put the leaf. But as I was deciding, the leaf fluttered from my hand and landed softly directly above the name. Whether it was divine intervention or old-fashioned luck, I decided to leave the leaf where it was in the design.

name tag on place setting

Here are the final results – simple but decorative and they match the china. Not only have I recreated a family tradition, but these items will make our Thanksgiving meal feel special this year – and everyone will feel included for the big event.

Somehow, I think my mom would approve.

finished menu and cards

Supply List

Different colored sheets in autumn colors like cream and brown, ranging in size from 8 ½ x 11 sheets to oversized 12x12 sheets with a leaf motif.