Tuesday, April 5, 2011

DIY Project : Shabby Chic Name Tags

I can't tell whether it's the recession or just the overpowering influence of Martha Stewart, but the DIY movement is in full swing and it's making party planning all the more interesting. People everywhere are getting creative and down-home with entertaining to save money and make events a bit more personal. I love to see crafty touches at showers, wedding or dinner parties and tried to incorporate a few homemade details into our wedding last year. DIY decorations are fun to do if, (BIG 'if') you have the time and enjoy doing crafty things. Weddings and parties are supposed to be fun -- so if you DON'T have the time and creating your own decorations sounds painful - don't do it! Party planning is hard enough so no need to make it unpleasant by adding work you don't want to do! But if you're like me and think getting crafty is fun then I have a great DIY project for your next event: shabby chic name tags or escort cards.

With the patient assistance of my husband, I made 150 of these tags for my wedding table place cards and I thought they were pretty darn cute. You could use them for a dinner party, a birthday picnic or even as cute gift tags for holiday or birthday presents.

Here's What you Need...

1. Buy these off-white tags or something similar from a stationary store. These are from Paper presentation in NY and are about $4.00 for a pack of 10.
2. Buy a gold or silver pen from any stationary store.
3. Buy a spool of cotton or jute twine from any craft store or the hardware store. At joann's fabric this one is $1.99 for a whole spool.
4. Buy a gold or silver ink pad like this one for $5.99
5. Buy a rubber stamp that fits the theme of your event. I used one of a knife and fork for my dinner table cards but you could use anyone you like to fit the event. I like this one for a bridal shower or this one for christmas present tags from Joann's.

Directions - Follow like an assembly line, doing steps 1-8 with all the cards first. Once that is done and cards are dyed you can do the other steps whenever!

1. Brew a large pot of tea - any breakfast tea will do. Steep until the water is medium dark but not too strong. (A weak cup of tea.)
2. When the tea has cooled pour a little bit onto a large plate or tray. Enough to cover the bottom of the plate but obviously not spilling over the sides.
3. Next to this plate lay out several stacks of paper towels - the cards will dry here.
4. Hold one of the paper tags with the tips of your fingers and gently put it in the tea on each side - not soaking for too long - just so the whole card has touched the tea.
5. Lay card gently on paper towel to dry.
6. Repeat steps 4 and 5 with however many cards you need plus a few extras for screw-ups.
7. Let cards dry for a few hours or until completely dry. Cover with another layer of paper towels.
8. Cover these with a books or other flat heavy objects so that the cards will dry straight and do not curl.
9. The next day - or month or whenever you get around to it, stamp your cards with your rubber stamp.
10. Then write the names on your cards neatly in the metallic ink.
11. Hole punch the tops of the cards and tie twine or ribbon loops.You can use the loops to tie the tags to gifts, loop them around a glass or a napkin.
12. Use and Enjoy!


  1. These are adorable! For Mariel's wedding, I bought apples,slit their tops and inserted name cards I had written out in calligraphy. They were very pretty and oh-so-inexpensive! Just love your posts. Always creative and fun to read! xo

  2. These are my favorite!!! I love, love, love them! Inspired by you, I did something similar for a bridal shower and baby shower, but used colored card stock to cut out shapes (a champagne bottle for one; baby rattle for the other) and thin grosgrain ribbon that corresponded with the overall color scheme. The options are endless!

  3. Ooooh cute ideas!!! Love the apples for a fall fete and how clever you are with your varied shapes Kate!

  4. Super cute! I really like these.