Place name cards and menu cards can really enhance your table particularly if they are both themed to your event or party. Many busy event organisers simply use standard printed stationery for place settings and menus, especially for formal banquets and balls and while there is nothing wrong with that at all it is much more fun and indeed much more creative to come up with some original ideas of your own.

See our ideas shown below for help with place name cards ideas and menu cards ideas.

Fold menu cards into each napkin, lay flat on plates and place a beautiful white-stemmed rose tied with organza ribbon on top of the napkins.

Simple and cheap place name cards can be made using brightly coloured embossed card cut into squares and then folded. Print guests names on computer labels and stick on folded cards – see first picture.

For unusual place names ask a friendly baker to make bread rolls bearing the name of each guest.

Decorate menus by punching two holes on the left hand edge and threading ribbon through to tie in a bow. Wire a small paper rose to the centre of each bow.

If you want to put disposable cameras on the tables, place them into pretty gift bags and then tie with a matching label. Write a guest name on each label. These make useful and unusual place names.

Give each guest a personalised miniature bottle of whisky or brandy, with their name on and use instead of place cards.

For summer beach themed parties you could glue tiny shells to menus which will give a real seaside feel to your table – collect the shells yourself or buy them from a craft store.

If your event is being held at a beautiful historic venue print a small cameo photo of the venue at the top of the menu card so that people can keep it as a reminder of a great party.

Attach place name cards to tiny paper roses in miniature clay pots for perfect place settings.

Place a menu cards into an ornamental bird cage tied with pretty ribbons so that guests can help themselves to menus.

Attractive place cards can be made by putting golden pears with a green name place “leaf” (attached by a dainty ribbon). This looks even better on golden liner plates.

For an edible and fun place setting, ice flat biscuits in different colours and then ice the name of each guest in a contrasting colour.

As most of your guests will probably have a sweet tooth bake gingerbread men and tie each one with a red ribbon around its neck and attach to a place name card.

Pin a single fresh pink Nerine lily and name card to a whole lime for a bright place marker or glue tiny paper tea-roses to place name cards, in a contrasting colour to the card.

For New Year or posh winter parties scan in a large picture of a snowflake and make it the background for your menu cards with silver embossed text printed over it.

Use a butterfly theme for your table with butterfly printed name place cards, a menu card with a butterfly border and a floral table centre that has wired butterflies ‘flying’ from the centre of it to complements your stationery.

Spray apples gold, push cocktail sticks with a name tag on each into the top of the apple for funky name places.

If your event has a Mediterranean flavour push evenly sized lemons, stalk-end down, into tiny terracotta pots. Paint cocktail sticks green and glue small green flags to the top of each stick, having written guests names on the flags. Push the sticks firmly into the top of the lemons and then decorate the base of the sticks with a pretty green ribbon bow.

For elegant place cards lay a simple name cards on a napkin with a single rose or tulip. To add a classy touch ask a calligrapher to write the names for you.

Attach place name cards to tiny baskets of strawberries with a pot of cream.

At winter parties tie tiny posies of snowdrops and ivy leaves with narrow white ribbon bows. Attach a name card to the end of each bow and place in the table settings.

Put a special shaped light-coloured leaf, such as variegated ivy, into a colour photocopier and print out the image on photographic paper. This makes an incredibly life-like replica of the leaf, which can then be photocopied onto best quality copying paper as many times as you have guests. Cut roughly around the leaves and glue them onto light cardboard backing. Next, cut carefully around the leaves and write your guests names across the middle of the cardboard leaf in gold or black ink and put one in every place setting. These are better than real leaves, which can wilt or curl.

Place a scented candle, with a paper band around, at each place setting with the name of the guest written on the paper band.

Easter parties offer an opportunity to have fun decorations including fluffy yellow chicks holding place name cards in their beaks.

Glue pressed flowers to hand written menu cards made from hand-made paper.

Unusual but useful place cards are a tiny coloured notebooks and matching pencil put into cellophane bags which are then tied at the top with pretty ribbon bows. Write your guest’s name on a sticky decorative label (this can be designed on your computer) and stick onto the front of each bag. Put on each place setting with the name label prominent.

Attach a place name to yellow cocktail umbrellas, then push the umbrella stick ends into the inverted halves of lemons.

Simple but pretty place name cards are made from tiny pictures of pansies scanned onto labels which are then stuck on to small place cards attached to a narrow piece of violet coloured ribbon. These are tied round cream-painted terracotta pots stuffed with purple coloured planted pansies.

For Valentine parties bake large heart-shaped pink biscuits, coloured with natural food dye, and then ice each guest’s name onto a biscuit and use as edible place cards.