If you’re planning an upcoming event and need some DIY inspiration, look no further.

These jungle themed DIY place cards, created from blank note cards, are the perfect finishing touch for your table settings. The blue and gold design features an extra touch of personalization with each guest’s name hand calligraphed on the front of each card, inside a polka dot border. To add variety, the place cards were created in four adorable animal variations: an elephant, giraffe, lion and monkey. This fun project was created by noted stationery addict, Vickie, for her sister’s baby shower, with the assistance of her friend Sean, an event planner.

Prior to planning the baby shower Vickie had seen a few “jungle” event blog posts online and wanted to join in on this trending theme. After spending a few days searching online for animal place card holders to purchase she realized they were out of her budget. Vickie consulted with Sean and they decided to brainstorm ideas and create the place cards themselves. “We started to get creative on how we could use paper without a holder and still have the place cards represent different animals”, Vickie said.

After finding inspiration and formulating an idea, they decided on a few supplies. The entirety of this project was made using:

To begin transforming the note cards into the final product, Sean first created the animal designs in Illustrator and then loaded them into the Circut machine software. Since folded cards come flat, they were easily placed through the Circut Explore Air Machine, where the animal head designs were cut into each card. Next, Vickie painted the animal heads by hand with a gold acrylic paint pen. After the paint dried, they used a gold gelly roll pen to write each guest’s names on a card, in script, and finished off the designs with polka dot borders. After each card was dry, they were carefully folded along the scored line so that the animal heads stand upright, while the rest of the card created a base. Vickie says that, “the project probably took about 5 hours, which can obviously be spread out, over a few days.”

If you don’t happen to own a Circut machine, there are a few alternative ways to cut the designs, though they are a bit more laborious. The simplest of which would be to trace the designs by hand on the cards and cut them out with an X-Acto or craft knife. Further, if you don’t have access to note cards, you can create your own by cutting down cardstock to your preferred card size, scoring each evenly across the middle and folding into a card after completing the design.

Remember, no cute project is without it’s obstacles. We recommend that you exercise patience and are careful to allow the gel and paint pens to dry, as they can easily smudge when wet. Because of this, cut a few extra cards just in case you make a mistake and want to re-do a few. You wouldn’t want that distant cousin to have a smeared giraffe head on their place card. Vickie also added, “if I had to do this project again, I would use making tape or something with a light adhesive to mask the bottom of the animal necks to get a cleaner line with the gold paint.”

Of course, this project isn’t just limited to the four designs you see here. You can create a similar card with any animal (or shape) you wish. Let us know your favorite card and what you think of this project in the comments section below.