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How-to: Gilded leaf place card (& happy thanksgiving!)

Gilded Leaf Place Card 002 2a

Here at the Bardot household, Geoff and I spent a wonderful Thanksgiving with our family. We hosted dinner for 27 and had so much fun! In our family, everybody brings a dish so that the host is not burdened with cooking the ENTIRE meal and I think this is the best way to do it. Geoff brined and roasted the most delicious turkey, and made his homemade mac-and-cheese, peas with pancetta and shallots, cornbread casserole, peppered butternut squash, and a salted caramel apple tart. I cooked a few sweets and was in charge of decorations, logistics and being the overall hostess.

For this month’s how-to, I thought it would be fun to share how I made this year’s place cards. They were actually super easy, and kind of a last minute addition. (Procrastinate? Me? Never!) Everyone really liked them though! While we used these for Thanksgiving dinner, I could easily see these being used at a fall wedding, or even a woodsy, outdoor reception.

Tools

Gilded Leaf Place Card 001aStart by collecting some leaves from the yard, like I did. There are always lots this time of year! Be sure to clean them of any dirt or water. It’s also best to wait until they are mostly dry so that they don’t curl too much after you paint them. Put down a painter’s cloth to protect the ground and lay out your leaves.Gilded Leaf Place Card 003aSpray paint the tops only until you’ve got good coverage. You don’t need a ton of paint or multiple coats.Gilded Leaf Place Card 004Gilded Leaf Place Card 005Allow them to dry until they are no longer tacky. Mine only took a few minutes.Gilded Leaf Place Card 007a

By the way, through this project, I have discovered how awesome metallic spray paint is! I’m already devising other ways I can use it…Gilded Leaf Place Card 009

While your leaves are drying, you can get to work on the name tags. Get a sheet of card stock (an off-white color is nice) and cut it into strips about 3/4″ wide. Cut the strips into pieces about 1.75 inches long. They don’t need to be perfect! Then snip off two corners from one end to make the tag shape.
Gilded Leaf Place Card 010aPunch a hole on the end of each tag.Gilded Leaf Place Card 013

Using a fine tip marker or ink pen, write out each guest’s name on the tags. Be sure the tags are all facing the right direction. If you don’t have nice handwriting, you could print out the names from your computer before you cut up the paper.
Gilded Leaf Place Card 014Tie the twine to the tag using a square knot. (Right over left, left over right!) Then tie an open knot onto the end of the twine. Stick the leaf’s stem through the loop, making sure the name tag is right side up and facing the correct direction.Gilded Leaf Place Card 016a

Tighten your knot, snip off the ends, and you’re done! Easy and super inexpensive.Gilded Leaf Place Card 019a

Metallic little leaves, all in a row! Now we are ready to set the table!Gilded Leaf Place Card 020

Like I said, I had a blast with the metallic spray paint. This year’s decor theme was harvest + metallics. I spray painted some pumpkins and adorned the centerpiece with glitter floral stems from the craft store and mercury glass votives.Bardot Thanksgiving Decor 003

Some of the spray-painted pumpkins had a little flair. This chevron design was created using painter’s tape on a white pumpkin.Bardot Thanksgiving Decor 011aBardot Thanksgiving Decor 024The polka dot on the little pumpkins were made using circle labels I had in the office.Bardot Thanksgiving Decor 021aHere are is one of the gilded leaf place cards in action!Bardot Thanksgiving Decor 016Bardot Thanksgiving Decor 026aFrom our home to yours, we hope you had a very wonderful Thanksgiving with lots of quality time spent with the ones you love most!

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