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DIY Place Card Holders You Can Re-Use

These DIY place card holders are completely unique! You can re-use them for every new party or holiday. Get a free printable too!

DIY place cards with chalkboard

Are you ready for a party project from Man Podger David? How about some DIY place card holders using chalkboard paint? These holders have a map craft/vintage travel theme, though if you learn the methodology . . . you can customize them any way you like.

DIY place cards with chalkboard

I would totally entertain all the time if I had an apartment bigger than Mod Podge Command Central. I would entertain so that I could make and eat cupcakes. And of course, make chalkboard DIY place card holders just like these from David!

I’ve got the perfect DIY place card holders to share with you today! Being in the “I Make Stuff” business as I am my seasons and holidays are all screwed up. With all the holidays coming up, I thought, it’s time for a party craft!

But to be honest, it feels a little strange. I was working on Halloween in August and now I’m onto Thanksgiving before Halloween even happens.

It’s also 90º today in Los Angeles so I don’t know which way is up. Ah, well. Thanksgiving has always left me stuck decoration-wise.

I’m all about the 20s, 30s and 40s vintage stuff but vintage Thanksgiving is often, um . . . a little “culturally inappropriate.” And, I’ve got nothing against pretty leaves and such, but I wanted to go a different route this year.

So, I decided to go a whole different direction and came up with a vintage travel theme for what will be my Thanksgiving table. I’ve made these DIY place card holders that could be used for assigned seating or identifying food at buffet.

I like this project because it’s totally versatile. You could use scans of record albums, vintage Christmas images, labels from The Graphics Fairy – anything that appealed and went with your theme.

DIY Place Card Holders

I’ve provided some maps for you to use if you’d like scaled to the size of the bases I used (please scroll to the bottom to download). My travel images are from the Dover Vintage Travel posters book. I just imported them into MS Word and then resized to my heart’s content.


You will need:

  • Round wood discs – 3” diameter
  • Wood tags 2” x 3” (also from Michaels)
  • Printable map sheet
  • A ¼ inch wood dowel
  • Primer
  • Chalkboard paint
  • Drill with a ¼ inch drill bit
  • Hot glue gun
  • Mod Podge Matte
  • Brush
  • 1 ½ “ painters tape
  • Black Sharpie
  • Saw or miter box
  • Fine grit sandpaper
Wood rectangles taped off with painter's tape

1) Lightly sand the tops and edges of the discs and tags just to smooth them out a bit.

2) Using the 1 ½” painters tape mask off half of each of the tag.

Maps attached

3) Prime the exposed side of the tag and set aside to dry.

4) While the primer is drying use your black Sharpie to “paint” the edges of the discs then cut out your circular maps and decoupage them into place and set aside to dry.

5) Now that your primer has dried give it a light sanding to smooth out any bumps and top coat with a couple of coats of chalkboard paint according to the manufacturer’s instructions and set aside to dry.

6) Cut out your vintage travel images.

remove tape

7) When the chalkboard paint has dried adequately, gently peel away the tape.

8) Use your Sharpie to paint the edges and, if you’d like, the back of the tag.

Finished Tags

9) Mod Podge your vintage images into place making sure not to get any Mod Podge on the chalkboard area.

10) After about 20 minutes give both the tags and the bases a light coat of Mod Podge just to seal everything (once again making sure not to get Mod Podge on the chalkboard area).

11) While everything is drying use your Sharpie to “paint” the dowel black and then, using your miter box, cut it into 3 ½ inch lengths.

Mark Hole

12) Once everything is dry, flip the bases over and place a piece of blue painter’s tape on the back and mark the center of the disc.

13) Now, place a piece of scrap wood on the table and place your base, face down, on top of it and drill through your center mark and into, but not through, the scrap wood (the scrap wood prevents the drill from creating “blow out” on the opposite side as it passes through).

glue gun it baby!

14) Using your glue gun attach the dowel sections to the back of each tag.

15) Once the glue has dried and the chalkboard paint has cured as per the manufacturer’s instructions, write the names on the tags (it’s just easier to do it now but not necessary), and connect the tags with their bases.

I found I didn’t need to glue them to their bases, and this way you can take them apart for storage.

Now you are ready to party – but don’t forget to download the art for your chalkboard place card holders HERE!


Friday 18th of November 2011

this is such a fun idea!! I love chalkboard paint over every other kind of paint ever.

angry birds rio

Monday 31st of October 2011

Great tutorial, So cute idea! thanks for sharing

Walter Silva

Thursday 20th of October 2011

Another wicked cool and functional project!Well done fellow Man Podger!


Thursday 20th of October 2011

Love the project. I also carry a large variety of unfinished wood in my etsy shop that would work perfect for this project.


Wednesday 19th of October 2011

I absolutely love this project! It's great as is, but like you said has so many possibilities! Congrats!