Fall and Thanksgiving Place Cards

Painting & Brushwork, projects | October 13, 2015 | By

As promised, I’m back with my final Fall and/or Thanksgiving table adornment.  I started with a fringed linen tablecloth and napkins, followed it up with needle felted acorn napkin rings and then with my centerpiece.  This final installment, my fall and Thanksgiving Place Cards is a result of my recent foray into calligraphy and general doodle-ing.  I purchased two of Lindsey Bugbees’s instructional calligraphy kits recently and have just begun learning calligraphy.  I’m still a little rough, but feel her instructionals have been very helpful.  All I need to do is devote more time to practice, which just hasn’t been in the cards of late.  All this to say, bear in mind I’m a newbie at this skill and don’t judge Lindsey’s instructional kits by my beginner calligraphy skills.  But, I am enjoying learning this new skill as it’s been on my ‘crafting bucket list’ for some time now.  It feels good to learn a new thing.  

acorn placesetting 5

What I Used for my Acorn Fall and Thanksgiving Place Cards:

  • Good paper that won’t bleed.  I found that the higher the brightness (96-98) and weight (34-36#) the less likely your ink or paint will bleed.  Lindsey recommends Hammermill Laser Print, 32 lb,
  • Micron Pens.  These pens come with very precise nibs and the ink is waterproof when dry.
  • Watercolors.  I purchased the Winsor & Newton Cotman 6-tube set and then added a few extra colors.  The colors I used for my Acorn Placecards were Cadmium Yellow Hue, Cadmium Red Deep Hue, Burnt Umber Burnt Sienna and Cadmium Red Pale Hue.
  • Ruler
  • Pencil
  • Good Eraser

Here’s how I made my Acorn Fall and Thanksgiving Place Cards:

  • I used my ruler and lightly drew a 2″ by 3″ rectangle on my paperplacecards step 1
  • I sketched out what I wanted my main drawing of acorns and oak leaves to be and where in pencil
  • I drew a wavy outline in pencil and when I was happy  I used my Micron  .05 pen to trace over the wavy outline, as well as the acorns and oak leaves.placecard step 2
  • I erased all my pencil marks
  • I used colors indicated above to very lightly fill in my design.  I added some very thin red to to my yellow oak leaves to show the changing colors of the leavesstep 3 placecard
  • I’d be lying if I told you I accomplished what I wanted the first go round.  Just keep at it until you get what you want.
  • I then scanned my place card (using the highest resolution) into PhotoShop Elements 13, created a new 8.5″ by 11″ document and pasted 4 of the place cards into the new document.  Using PSE13 I was able to brighten the colors a bit and erase any errant pencil marks.  
  • Here’s a step by step in PSE13

  • First get your scanned image into PSE, using the highest resolution your scanner has.  Open that scanned image into PSE13 Editor while in EXPERT mode.
  • Under File, pull up New and then Blank FileScreenshot (47)I made my New File 8.5″ by 11″ with a Resolution of 300Pixels/Inch and named in Fall Placecards.

Screenshot (48)

  • Then I opened up the scan that I drew and resized it to 2.2″ by 3.3″ with 300 Resolution.  You can see that I have 2 documents open across the top, “PlaceCards”, which is the new 8.5″ by 11″ document and “Fall Place Card Scan” which is the scan of my original drawing.  

Screenshot (44)

  • Then I used the shortcuts CTRL A which selects the image and then CTRL C which copies the image selected.  You can tell it’s captured when you see the ants marching along the perimeter (I read that part about the marching ants somewhere and it has stuck with me!) Screenshot (46)
  • Then tap on the big 8.5″ by 11″ document where you want to paste your scan and hit CTRL V to paste it.  I just hit CTRL V 4 times to put 4 of them on the page and then move them around.

Screenshot (49)

  • I found that 4 fit on one page best as it allowed space for them to be folded in half.
  •  Once that’s done, you print your sheet on card stock using your best print settings, cut them out, fold them in half and write the name on them and you’re ready to go!!

terry placecard

I am sure there is other software out there that will let you scan a document and manipulate the image, but all I know is PhotoShop Elements.  In addition to the Acorn Place cards, I did this one which is just a bunch of leaves and acorns.  If your schedule doesn’t allow for you to start this project now, I’ve attached PDFs for both sets of place cards for your use.  

fall leaves acorn place cards

Set of 4 Fall Leaves and Acorns Place Cards

Acorn Placecards


Set of 4 Fall Acorn Placecards

I know Thanksgiving is a month away, but it’s good to get started on your projects.  So many of Thanksgiving-ish things can be worked into your fall decorating now anyway.  

Place CardsThanks for visiting and I hope you’ll come back soon.  If you want to make sure you don’t miss future content, pop your email in the beige box up on the right.  I usually send out 2 emails a week, so I won’t inundate your inbox. 

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Until next time,














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  1. Leave a Reply

    October 13, 2015

    Great design job, Lynn. I really like your final version.

  2. Leave a Reply

    Emily @ Bold Pearls
    October 19, 2015

    Lynn, these place cards are the cutest! Thanks for the tutorial in PSE, I’m very hands on and seeing that helped me understand what to do. Hoping to host Thanksgiving this year, so I may just try and put my drawing skills to work 🙂

    • Leave a Reply

      October 20, 2015

      Hi Emily, I hope it helps! I’m like you, need to see it, so I’m glad the tutorial helps you. Hope you’re holidays are fantastic!


  3. Leave a Reply

    October 20, 2015

    This is such a great idea. We used to do Thanksgiving at our house every year and this would have been so wonderfully festive for the occasion. This is a great idea for any event though. Thanks for sharing!

    • Leave a Reply

      October 20, 2015

      Hi Allie, Thanks for your kind words. Hope you can find a time to use them.

  4. Leave a Reply

    Sarah @ 2paws Designs
    October 20, 2015

    Beautiful! I do some of my creations by hand and then scan in to further edit & print as well. I have a tablet/pen, but have yet to be able to draw on my computer as well as I can on paper.

    • Leave a Reply

      October 21, 2015

      Hey Sarah, I haven’t been able to draw on the computer either! But as long as I have PSE13 and can import my own stuff it’s working for me. Thanks for stopping by! Lynn

  5. Leave a Reply

    October 24, 2015

    Love the handwriting on your place cards. Something so charming and personal about anything handwritten. Saying ‘hi’ via SITSShareFest

    • Leave a Reply

      October 25, 2015

      Thanks for visiting Barb! Just visited your site and we share a fondness for ‘old fashioned’ letter writing. There is no way you can reflect your true gratitude or personality in emails. I appreciate your visit and your note.
      Have a great day, Lynn

  6. Leave a Reply

    Meredith @ The Palette Muse
    October 28, 2015

    There are so many things I love about this post, I don’t even know where to start! 1. I love your tablescape. 2. Adorable design for the tags. 3. Thanks for the great tutorial. I’ve been thinking of getting started with Photoshop and it looks like PSE is a good place to start. You’ve inspired me! Pinning and following…

    • Leave a Reply

      October 28, 2015

      Wow Meredith, thanks so much. Just visited your site which I find so tasteful and beautiful, so I’m truly tickled with your compliments. As it relates to PSE, there was a big learning curve for me, and I’m sure I haven’t even touched what it can do, but I’ve really been able to do what I want to do by finding instructional videos on line. I encourage you to give it a try.

  7. Leave a Reply

    Nikki Frank-Hamilton
    November 2, 2015

    Lynn, these are awesome placecards. I love your design and really impressed with your creativity! And the step by step instructions are perfectly laid out. I am really interested in learning how to do modern calligraphy, I’ve been playing around a bit, and you have inspired me to keep going! Love your designs.

    • Leave a Reply

      November 2, 2015

      Thanks Nikki, I have enjoyed learning calligraphy, though what I really need to do is spend a little bit of time every day in order to really get better. If you are interested, I’d highly recommend https://thepostmansknock.com/. Lindsey has great printable tutorials that have really helped me.
      Thanks for hosting a great party and for visiting your guests! Much appreciated.

  8. Leave a Reply

    Jann Olson
    November 17, 2015

    Very pretty Lynn and they compliment your gorgeous felted acorn napkin rings beautifully! Thanks for sharing with SYC.

    • Leave a Reply

      November 17, 2015

      Thanks Jann…I’m happy with the way it all came together.

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