If you’re hosting Thanksgiving this week (and simply can't be trusted with turkey prep), you may find yourself in charge of place cards. You could just scribble names on a handprint turkey, but you could also seize this opportunity to give thanks for all things geeky. Here are a few ways to do just that.
1. SCRABBLE TILES
Pull out a handful and spell out guests' names on their plates—though you could be in trouble if you have more than one friend or family member with a “Z” or a “Q” in their names. Bonus: No pieces have to be harmed in the making of your place cards. After the meal is over, simply dump the tiles back into the bag.
It doesn’t get much easier than snapping together a couple of LEGOs and sticking a name card in the middle.
3. LEGO MINIFIGS
Minifig hands are practically made for holding onto a small name card. Bonus geek points if yours are from a Star Wars set.
4. HARRY POTTER
Although Harry had to search through hundreds of keys to find the right one in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, your guests won’t have to look that hard. Just attach a vintage key to each place card—or if you’re feeling really ambitious, suspend each one above the table's place settings using fishing line.
5. LIBRARY "DATE DUE" CARDS
Do you yearn for the days when libraries actually stamped your due dates, in ink, on real paper? Though that method seems to mostly be a thing of the past, you can always recreate the effect via your table settings. You can also make (or buy!) ones that look like library cards.
6. PEZ DISPENSERS
Personalize each place card by choosing dispensers that match your guests’ personalities. But tread lightly—unpleasant family members will definitely know what you’re getting at if you assign them the Wicked Witch of the West dispenser.
You don't have to sit at the kiddie table to play with dinosaurs. Indulge your inner paleontologist and spray paint some plastic dinosaur toys in fun colors. You can opt for a bold color scheme, or class it up with a coat of gold.
8. BOARD GAME PIECES
Delight your board game-loving guests with place cards featuring old game pieces and cards. Use classics like checkers or dominoes for a vintage vibe, or, for a quirkier approach, break out pieces from Operation and Mouse Trap.
Why not give your guests a place card they can actually use again? Any bookmark would do, or you can consider getting one to suit the interests of each guest. Dr. Who? Stephen King? Horse-like fantasy creatures? It's all out there.
10. ANATOMICALLY CORRECT PLACE CARDS
If you're still mad that Halloween is over, go ahead and bring a little of that dark decor to your Thanksgiving table setting. There's a certain elegance in anatomical sketches, don't you think?