Here’s a fast and easy way to make custom holiday dinner place cards with shiny metallic names on them using a Cricut machine and the Cricut Foil Transfer Kit.
I love a good place card. For guests, there’s no confusion on where to sit; and for hosts, there’s less stress about getting everyone to the table before the food gets cold. It’s a win-win. This holiday season, I wanted to up my place card game by making these classic black seating cards with timeless gold text. But instead of handwriting each name with a gold marker and risking smears and smudges, I broke out my Cricut Maker 3 and Foil Transfer Kit to do the job. Here’s how I pulled off these gorgeous place cards in just 30 minutes.
Supplies You Need For Cricut Foil Transfer Holiday Place Cards
- Cricut machine (I used a Maker 3 but the original Maker, Explore Air 2, and Explore 3 work too)
- Cricut Foil Transfer Kit
- Cricut Foil Transfer Sheet in Gold
- Cricut Foil Transfer Tape (Included when you buy the foil sheets)
- Black Cardstock paper
- Cricut LightGrip mat
- Cricut Design Space software (no Access subscription necessary)
How To Create Holiday Place Cards In Cricut Design Space
The first step in making holiday dinner table place cards is creating them in Cricut Design Space. Start by opening a new Canvas and typing out the first name you’ll make a card for.
Next you’ll select the font to use. From the font menu, filter to Writing Fonts only. The Foil Transfer Kit is used the same way as a Cricut Pen, so you’ll need a font that has a Writing Style. Keep in mind that sometimes the writing style looks different than the cut style, so make sure you check it out on the Canvas before committing.
After you choose a font, go to the upper menu toolbar and change the Style to Writing. Then change the Operation to Bold Foil. The text on your Canvas will change a bit to reflect how it will look on your place cards. If it looks good, you can adjust the sizing whatever size you want for your cards.
Next add a shape behind the text. I used a rounded rectangle, but you can make your place cards any shape you want. Move the text over the top of the shape and adjust the sizing one more time. Then highlight both the text and the shape by dragging your curser over them and click “Attach” in the bottom righthand corner. This tells your Cricut machine that they should stay together and not be moved.
This shape will automatically say “Cut” in the Operation menu, so leave it that way. The shape will be cut out and the foiled name will be written inside.
PS: You can skip the entire design process and just use my exact design by using this template and changing the names if you don’t want to start from scratch.
How To Prep A Mat For Cricut Foil Transfer
Once all your names are finalized and you’re ready to click Make It, you can start preparing your mat. The Cut Preview page will show you how many mats are needed to cut out all your place cards. If you have multiple LightGrip mats, you can get them out, but you can totally still make this if you only have one mat.
Start by placing the cardstock onto the mat. Then lay the sheet of Foil over it. Use the tape that came with the Foil Sheets to tightly secure it into place. Make sure you pull the foil nice and tight so there’s no puffy parts. You want it to look like a trampoline that’s been stretched around the frame. This ensures the foil is transferred correctly.
How Cricut Foil Transfer Works
When your mat is fully prepped, you can follow the on-screen instructions to set up your Cricut Machine to cut and transfer the foil. Choose cardstock as your material and load the blade holder with the bold transfer blade (the one with three lines). The machine will transfer foil on all the names first, then pause to prep for cutting.
Push the Go button on your machine, and it will start the transfer process. The way this works is by applying pressure from the tip of the transfer tool onto the foil. It writes just like a pen would, but the pressure pushes the foil down into the paper as a thin coating. You know those pretty wedding invitations that cost a ton of money? Yeah, it’s exactly like that.
Once the foil transfer process is complete, your mat will slide out from the machine almost all the way but still be held into the roller. Do not push the release button. With the mat still inside the roller of the Cricut machine, carefully remove the Foil Sheet and all the tape. Swap the tool housing for the cutting blade and push the Go button again.
Now your Cricut machine will cut out the shape around the foiled names. When it’s finished, you can release the mat and insert the next one if you’re making multiple pages of place cards.
To remove the place cards from the mat, turn it upside down and pull the mat away from the cutout place cards. They’ll pop out easily. Don’t pull the cards off the mat from the top because it will make your place cards curl up. And unless that’s the look you’re going for at the table, it’s not going to be cute.
Ways To Style Cricut Foil Transfer Holiday Place Cards
There are a few ways you can style the place cards on the table based on the look and feel you’re going for. For my tablescape, I wanted to be super minimal so I just laid the place card on the plates at each seat. This also helps break out the amount of white space from the large plates and adds some contrast.
Last year I added scrapbook paper the back of the place cards to give them some extra pattern and that looked really nice, too.
If you’re serving buffet-style and there won’t be any plates on the table, you can put the cards in little holders like these, or simply lean them against a glass.
The best part about these place cards is that you can use them over and over again. I made a whole set with every family member’s name, even the ones who aren’t attending this specific dinner party. That way they all look cohesive and I can store them away for future parties.
Want More Cricut Holiday Projects?
I’ve been using my Cricut machine for years to make customized decor and organizers during the holidays. One of my favorite things to use my machine for is addressing holiday greeting card envelopes. And last year I made these snowflake window clings and they were a huge hit with our neighbors. Make sure you’re subscribed to my email list for updates on new Cricut projects as soon as they are live on the blog.