How to Make Escort Cards for a Thanksgiving Party

Orange and yellow maple leaf place cards

Taking the DIY route for your Thanksgiving wedding table decorations? That can be truly fun and fulfilling. It allows you to express your personal style as a couple and, at the same time, impress your guests! In some cases, it can even help you cut down on decorating costs. Looking for something that does all three? Then, check out our tutorial for making your own chic place cards. We also show you how to create a unique accent for your place settings by including a simple napkin ring!

Step 1: Prepare your materials.

Project materials: raffia, paper, scissors

Aside from the table napkins that you’ll already be preparing for your reception, the only other materials needed are:

  1. raffia fiber, but you can also use twine or ribbons
  2. autumn-colored card stock cutouts in the shape of maple and/or other leaves; be sure to write guest’s names on the place cards after they have sent in their RSVPs and your seating plan is completed
  3. a pair of scissors

Tip: To make the leaf-shaped place cards, you can either use actual leaves as your template to trace onto the card stock, or you could download a template from the web. You could also opt to use just one leaf shape or combine different ones.

Step 2: Form the raffia twine into a ring and slip this over the rolled napkin.

Forming the raffia twine into a ring

  1. Take lengths of the raffia, about 4 or 5 strands thick, and form these into a ring shape.
  2. Leave excess raffia extending beyond the ring itself, to be used in Step 3.
  3. Slip the ring over a pre-rolled napkin and position it as you wish, either at mid-point of the napkin or somewhere off center.

Step 3: Secure the raffia like a bow and add a leaf-shaped cutout.

Creating  a pretty bow around the napkin ring

  1. Take the excess raffia and create a rough and rustic-looking bow, knotted loosely.
  2. Allow loose ends and stray fibers to remain, in keeping with that look.
  3. Finally, insert the escort cards with the guests’ names—it’s that easy!

Step 4: Position the finished escort cards with napkins on the place settings!

Decorate the Thanksgiving  place settings

  1. As the reception tables are set, position the finished pieces atop each place setting.
  2. Alternate the leaf colors on each plate, if you wish, or combine two leaf colors in one napkin ring.
  3. You may want to include an edible favor such as a sachet of chocolates with each place setting.

Looking for more Thanksgiving inspiration from decorating your tables to making centerpieces to finding favors? We’ve got other ideas for you below:

Fall centerpieces with a rustic charmFall favor with corn husk tags
Vegetable centerpiecesSquash table decorations for fall


  1. Beautiful!! I love the step-by-step instructions. Thank you so much for linking this up at the Thanksgiving Linky Party!

  2. Thanks for linking up at tessacotton! I’d love it if you’d join with all your winter/holiday crafts and recipes at our new Christmas linky party!

  3. Hi Tessa! So nice of you to stop by. We’ll definitely be linking up to your Christmas link party. Happy holidays! 🙂

  4. how very festive and inviting these look would make great for awesome get together where everyone feels welcome
    come see us at

  5. Thanks for stopping by, Angie! Glad you like our place card/napkin accent project!

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