The Easiest Wedding DIY: Watercolor Place Cards

Interested in making DIY place cards? I’m going to walk you through the process (the super-easy process!) of making watercolor place cards.

We are down to the FINAL countdown until the wedding! There are just a few days to go and I’m watching the weather like a hawk (64 and partly sunny is the current forecast – I knew hedging my bets on an early December warm spell in Virginia could pay off!). I’m also wrapping up a few last-minute DIY projects. As you may remember, I swore that no matter how budget-friendly it was, I would not go Pinterest-crazy and start pulling out the DIY projects. Yet, here we are!


Where I’ve chosen to give in and DIY is on projects where I wanted a certain look and wasn’t quite sure how to get it besides to just do it myself. The place cards were one of those items. I didn’t love the Minted place cards that went with our invitations and other paper goods and I wanted them to have a hand-lettered touch.

So, I figured out early on that I definitely wanted to hand-letter the place cards. The rest of this look, however, came about when Adam decided he wanted wine cork place card holders and I happened upon a sponsored post on Facebook that showed a calligrapher doing a watercolor wash on a place card (seriously, I’m getting every targeted wedding-related post ever!).

I figured, “I can do that!” and, sure enough, I was able to. And, you can, too. These are such an easy-to-do DIY for a wedding or any event and I’ll walk you through what you’ll need and the steps.




To create these super easy watercolor hand-lettered place cards, you’ll just need a few simple pieces that you can grab on Etsy, Amazon, a craft store, or at a vineyard.

While you can find already made wine cork place card holders on Etsy, we wanted to go with corks from our venue for two reasons. A. It seemed more personal. B. It cost us nothing except about half an hour of our time.

For the place cards, I snagged these on Amazon because they were so budget friendly at $7.99 for 50. They’re a great weight for holding up to paint and hand-lettering, however at 2.5″ x 3.75″, they’re a bit bigger than I would have liked. But, it wasn’t worth the hassle of returning them, so I went with it.

I happened to have a bottle of gold craft paint around the house, so I used that, along with Tombow soft brush black pens for the hand-lettering.




Okay, once you have the place cards, paint, pens, and wine corks, this is what you’ll do from start to finish. It’s super easy and won’t take you more than a couple hours over 2 days (I say 2 days because you’ll need to let the paint dry completely!).

For the wine cork place card holders: Using a sharp knife, you’ll cut a 1/4″ off the bottom of the cork so that it will sit flat on the table. This doesn’t need to be exactly straight (you can see ours aren’t!) so don’t get caught up in making it perfect. Corks are hard to cut! Then, on the top, you’ll make a cut about 1/4″ deep so that the place card will sit snugly upright.

For the watercolor wash: I actually didn’t use watercolors because I wanted gold metallic paint, however watercolor would be ideal. I did, however, water down the paint so that it was a sheer wash rather than an opaque pigment. Then, using an 1″ wide brush, I made a couple quick, big strokes across each place card. Be a little messy so that it has a loose, casual look. Let the cards dry overnight.

For the hand-lettering: I hand lettered each using a faux calligraphy method where you write the name in cursive (sometimes I connect the letters, sometimes I don’t, there’s no rhyme or reason!), then you go back and fill in broader strokes on the down stroke. In real calligraphy, this would be achieved using the pen and pressure, but this is easier for beginners like myself!

Lastly, don’t worry about these being perfect! These are such a fun, personalized wedding DIY that your guests will love no matter what.



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