Bridal Place Card Holder

As wedding season is upon us, I wanted to share with you the essentials of making a card holder to beautifully display table numbers at your reception. I highly recommend assigned seating so all of your guests have a place to go when the doors open. I have been to a few weddings where the only people I knew were the groom’s parents and without assigned seating you just sort of wander until someone looks welcoming. (Not all that different than the lunch room in junior high).

While looking for table card holders for my daughter’s wedding last year, I scoured the internet and searched the bridal magazines and never found anything unusual or that I had not seen a zillion times before. Creatively speaking, I wanted something pretty and useful and memorable. Inspiration hit me in
T.J. Maxx of all places. I saw resin figures designed to be necklace holders in the home décor section. I am sure you have seen these. They are female figures, dressed in elaborate molded gowns in different colors and designs. I knew my designer’s imagination could use these figures as a starting point. I purchased 20 figures, one for each table, but figured I would start with one and see how it went.

First, I bent the 2 “arms” to the front, almost like clasped hands. Then I bent the 2 back spokes upward and the 2 front spokes down, forming a perfect spot for a card.

To begin the craft portion I sanded each figure with a fine grain sandpaper. The figures had been painted with an enamel paint – I knew another paint would not go on easily without first sanding the surface. Carefully, I removed all the dusty particles and began to paint the figures white. I used
Delta Brand Ceramcoat, which is a water soluble acrylic paint (all that means is that it can be easily cleaned and mistakes have a better chance of being fixed). Using a decent small brush, the paint applied easily, except for the fact that I am a terrible detail painter and some of these figures had molded dresses that had one skinny strap and pearls around their necks or halter tops. I once had to pay a ceramic instructor to paint the eyes on a Thanksgiving figure I had made since I goofed it up so many times. She charged me $1.00 per eye (like I would only have her paint one eye).

Anyway, you will have to paint each figure twice or even three times if the gowns are dark in tone. Use a tiny brush for detail or even a toothpick. When they are completely dry, the real fun begins!! You get to decorate them and make them look like brides. Using tacky glue (the brand I like best is Aleene’s), pour some glue in a small bowl and pour water in another bowl. “Paint” the figures with a glue/water mix and do one side at a time. As you complete a side, quickly spread on white sparkly glitter. This is messy, so shake or pour on the glitter over a shoe box or it will still be on your kitchen floor at Christmas.

When the glitter is all on all the figures, decorate them with teensy white silk flowers. I bought these very cheaply at craft and dollar stores. You need flowers with flat backs and they need to be small. Using hot glue, attach the flowers wherever you want. Sometimes I had to glue them over painting mistakes but I am sure that won’t happen to you.

I glued a cluster of flowers to one of the “hands” to form a bridal bouquet and glued narrow white satin ribbon (NOW, you finally have a place to use that skinny, skinny ribbon that is 3 spools for $1.00 you never knew what to do with).

Let’s make the veil. I use the term lightly since this is a headless figure. The veil is actually a train off the back of the figure. I gathered up white tulle and tied it tightly about an inch down from the top with a satin skinny ribbon to form a pouf and left long streamers. I glued flowers to the streamers and glued it all to the back of the figure, about waist high. The final touch was to add pearl sprays on the dresses wherever it needed any extra touches. These were the prettiest table card holders ever.

The photo below, provided courtesy of Broadway Photography and Video is the final result. The bridal ladies were so pretty on the reception tables. Also, I ordered my table cards from a great company, Documents and Designs. They had a huge assortment to choose from and they were very easy to work with.

*Becky Knows Everything: A note about numbering - do not make your bridal table #1 in the reception area. Usually the bridal table is in the center and if you begin numbering from the center of the room your guests will be confused. For your own entertainment, you can watch them scurry around, but it really isn’t very nice. Table #1 should be the closest table to the entry doors.

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