How to make chopstick sleeve place cards

September 22 | Guest post by Uggh meganfinley

Uggh once showed y'all how to make your own brooch bouquet. Now she's here to show you how to make place cards that double as chopstick sleeves.

We wanted a place card that would be pretty, tie our various themes together (travel, Chinese food), and actually be useful, cheap, and simple to make. So, we decided to make dressy paper sleeves to hold chopsticks and to double as the place cards, which seemed appropriate for a Chinese-food wedding dinner.

We settled on making a chopstick sleeve using some leftover travel-themed wrapping paper from our envelope liners. Then printed out each adult guest's name onto extra linen card stock that we ordered for our invitations, which were then attached like banners to the chopstick sleeves. We finished the project off with a blue wax Double Happiness seal and ended up with functional chopstick sleeve place cards. Here's how to make them yourself…

What you'll need:

Kid-Friendly Project Tip:
If you want to include kids under age nine in this project, I recommend that you do steps 1-3 before you bring the kids to the assembly table, as these are tedious tasks that require some mild level of fine-motor and computer skills, as well as more patience than most kids under the age of nine possess. The kids will enjoy the gluing-together parts and elementary school age children will like pressing the seal into the wax (it's messy and they'll get to see the finished project quickly).

STEP 1
Print the names onto 6×4 card stock, laying them out horizontally so that each name is centered within a 1×3 area. I laid ours out so that the names were centered within the 1" area (centered top-to-bottom), but to the left of center on the right side 3" area. The remaining 3" area to the left should remain blank. Like this:

You could also use larger paper, of course, as long as your strips end up 6" x 1", with the names printed on the 3" portion to the right of the center line. Make sure to leave enough room at the end of the name to add a decoration (if you have a longer name, you may need to use a smaller font size or drop the last name to a second line).

Use a paper cutter or Xacto Knife, ruler and cutting board to cut the printed card stock into 6×1 strips. Fold the name cards in half and set aside.

Step 2
Print out a template for a chopstick sleeve. I used one that I found at Amy Ormond. The template said to cut out a 7"x3" rectangle but the template pdf printed a 6" rectangle (ours are therefore 6"x3" because I just used the printed template instead of measuring the rectangles on the paper). Also cut out a smaller rectangle that is 1 1/4"x4" (which I will call the "insert"). The insert will be glued to the inside back of the sleeve to hide the back seam. It can be shorter and a little bit narrower, depending on the size of the thumb hole that you cut out of the front of the sleeve, so save all of your scraps.

With your decorative paper face-side down, trace the pattern onto the paper and cut out the sleeves and inserts:

Step 3
With the decorative side facing down, fold the large rectangles into three sections, lengthwise. The middle section should be 1 1/4" wide (we'll call this one the "center;" when you're done, this will be the front of the sleeve), one side will be 3/4" (this will be the "narrow side") and the other side will be 1" (the "wide side"). You will want to fold and glue the sides so that the wide side is the outside fold.

To get an even fold, crease from the center out to one end and then back again to the other end. This will help keep the fold straight.

You can also use a ruler inside the paper to help guide the straight fold. I found the bottom fold on the template instructions to be unnecessary and a tad ugly, so after the first couple, we skipped that step.

Step 3
Once you have your sleeves folded into thirds, draw a half moon shape onto the top edge of the non-decorative (inside) of the Center. Using an Xacto Knife, cut out the half-moon shape. This makes a thumb hole.

Note: The chopsticks stick out of the top of the sleeve as it is, so if you don't want the extra work of making the thumb hole, you won't lose any functionality by skipping this step.

Step 4
Use a glue stick, glue dot runner, or double-sided tape to glue the sleeve together.

Note: I tried one of the new Scotch-brand glue-dot runners. I loved its functionality; the glue dots are particularly sticky, but it glides on neatly like double-sided tape. However, I ran through three rolls of this stuff in short order. Since it's pretty expensive, as much as I liked it, I decided that the least expensive method was a trusty old glue stick.

First, glue the non-decorative backside of the insert. Then place glue along the entire bottom inside (non-decorative) edge of the sleeve.

Open the sleeve so that it is once again face-side down. Place the insert in the center section, glue-side up (the decorative side should be facing the non-decorative side of the center so that you have now covered up the thumb hole cutout). Line up the insert as squarely as possible with the top of the center. Fold the narrow side over the insert and press down so that the insert and bottom edge are now glued to the narrow side.

Glue the inside (non-decorative) edge of the wide side and fold that section over, pressing down, so that the wide side is now glued to the insert and narrow side.

Press all glued pieces together firmly. Hold the sleeve between you thumb and index finger and press lightly to open the sleeve (to make sure that the sleeve will open).

Once you have glued the seams in place, trim the top and bottom edges so that they are straight and even.

Press the sleeve together firmly to make sure that the glue is holding, particularly along the bottom and back seams.

Step 5
Take your 6×1 card stock name cards and slip the sleeve in the middle. Using your glue stick or double-sided tape, glue the insides of the name cards together. The name card should slide up and down the sleeve like a napkin ring.

Step 6
Decorate the right end of the place card. We used a 3/4" wax seal with the Double Happiness symbol, but any small sticker, button, bow, or bauble will do.

If you decide to use a hot wax seal like we did, I recommend getting a low-heat glue gun and the glue-gun wax sticks, which are easier to control than traditional wax candles. I purchased our wax from Save-on-Crafts. The first wax that comes out of the glue gun will not make a particularly pretty seal. Do this on scrap paper (I wish I had). Then, once the glue-gun is good and hot, squirt a little hot wax on the end of the place card, firmly stamp your seal into the wax, wait a few seconds until the wax starts to cool, and then, while holding the place card with one hand, carefully pop the seal out of the wax.

  1. looks like an awesome project – and I love anything that I can use my wax seals on!

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  2. These are really cool!

    My husband and I used wax seals for our wedding invites and have been hooked ever since, using them on every non-business letter we send out.

    A few tips that we've found:

    -total agreement and we highly recommend using the glue gun wax! Makes it so much easier.

    -Have a pad of (clear) embossing ink that you continually dip/coat the seal in. This keeps the wax from sticking to the seal.

    – Have a tiny bit of ice water to occasionally dunk the seal in to cool off (just don't forget to reapply the embossing ink afterwards)

    Something really neat we've found with the glue gun wax is the blending of colors you get when you change the wax color. Red + metallic, copper + gold, gold + silver; the possibilities are pretty endless (and awesome!)

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  3. I LOVE the polka dotted plate. The envelopes + was seals are super cute too, but, OMG, polka-dotted plate!

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    • The plates are from a tea set that belonged to my great grandmother. I've seen others like them, but the color is unusual. These are a turquoise color and most of them are a softer blue, so I've never been able to add to the set.

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      • They're lovely. What a wonderful great grandmother!

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  4. Fiiiirst of all, your ring is lovely!
    I like this DIY project because it's one that even the procrastinateyiest of us could pull off. A super lazy shortcut? Get chopsticks already in envelopes, then make the sealed nametags.
    A fun tablescape idear: Get a bunch of vintage/salvage saucers to pair with the chopsticks for people to use for soy sauce.

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  5. thank you! I am throwing a sushi themed bridal shower in two months and found super cute chopsticks to give as favors but wanted to put them in a sleeve. Now I can customize them :) you=my hero

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