How to make charming Christmas place cards

Marie-Claire Whelan is the founder of Calligraphy by MCW, providing personalized calligraphy for weddings and events as well as a range of greeting cards and wall art. She runs modern calligraphy workshops for groups and individuals. Here, she presents a guide to creating beautiful place cards using a faux calligraphy technique that mimics traditional calligraphy but is created using a regular marker or pen, which eliminates the need for the need for any specialized equipment.


Pen or marker – Sharpie or paint / chalk marker. Metallic and Christmas colors add a festive touch
Place cards or paper / card and scissors / craft knife
Pencil and ruler (optional)

Before starting

If you don’t have place cards, you can cut any piece of card to the size or shape you want. You can also use balls, leaves, wooden plates, etc. when presenting your place card – these can also serve as small gifts to take away for your guests.


1. You can use a pencil and a ruler to write the names to make sure they’re centered on the placeholder, or if you want it to be fun and creative, go for it freehand. When it’s done, use your pen to write the name in cursive script. Make sure you leave a good amount of space between letters and keep the loops on your letters (in h, g, etc.) wider than usual.

2. Then you will thicken the strokes towards the bottom of your letters by creating duplicate strokes parallel to your original strokes. Down lines are when you write down on the page with your pen. Just redraw the letter to note the downward strokes in pencil. Make sure to add the duplicate strokes on the same side on each letter – stay on the right side as this is the most natural.

3. You will now use your pen to fill in the small space created by the duplicate lines. Once you’ve done that, you’ll see the thick and thin contrasting strokes that look like traditional sharp pen calligraphy.

Marie-Claire’s tip

A piece of ribbon or string with a sprig or bundle of herbs, dried flowers or fresh flowers will dress up a simple place card and add a nice aromatic touch.

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