Inspired: Seating Chart

When coming up with nifty and unique ideas for wedding projects, I highly encourage you to look outside the wedding industry for inspiration. Visit designer blogs, pick up craft books and magazines, or head out to your local flea markets to search for those fresh and funky finds that’d be perfect for your wedding.

One of my favorite blogs (and I’ll be sharing many, many more with you) is the purl bee, the offcial journal of Purl and Purl Patchwork, a shop full o’ textile goodness in NYC.

A few days ago they posted a project that made my heart sing: Swatch Portraits. Using cheapy embroidery hoops and swatches of gorgeous fabrics, they created a series of wall hangings that’s bright, fun, and totally unique. While I’d love to create something like this for my home, my immediate thought was … weddings!


Wouldn’t this make the coolest seating chart ever? Imagine mounting different sizes of these hoops onto a big piece of poster board or a piece of MDF (plywood) that’s been painted or wallpapered. Print out table assignments onto coordinating cardstocks and pin them (or glue them with spray adhesive) onto the fabric swatches. Or how about using decorative papers instead of fabric?

For fabric swatches how about using your mother’s wedding gown? Vintage hankies? Old dresses and fabrics found at thrift stores? Or make your own custom fabrics with inkjet-printable fabric (found at office supply stores)!

How about embroidering the seating assignments onto the fabric itself? After the wedding you can take all the embroidered swatches and create a quilt or wall-hanging (or have them made for you).

Start looking at fabrics and craft projects with a different eyes and you’ll be surprised by how many things you’re inspired by!

  1. I love this idea. Lets say you had 12 tables & 12 different fabrics, you’d print the names on cardstock and pin them to the corresponding portrait. But then…how do you think you’d mark the table? Incorporate that fabric into the centerpiece? or just number each portait? I was thinking about stamping different objects instead of numbering tables, I just don’t know if this would be too much! thoughts?

  2. What kind of objects are you thinking of stamping, AK?

    As for marking the table, I could see using the fabrics as the background for a printed table number. (It’s easy to use spray adhesive to laminate fabric to cardstock.)


    Do the same for place cards.


    Use strips of the fabrics to make ties or bands to place around the napkins or chairs.


    Cover tin cans or galvanized buckets to use as part of the centerpieces (to hold candles or flowers).


    Place a band of fabric around glass vases in the centerpiece


    Laminate a strip of fabric on menu cards at each table / place setting


    make little no-sew pouches to hold candies or other goodies for your favors

    or…? I think I’ve exhausted my idea bank. 🙂

    Anyone else with ideas?

  3. All great suggestions! I had previously thought about painting galvanized buckets with numbers to add flowers to (the wedding is a country wedding under a tent) but exchange that with covering them with corresponding fabric would look great…even in strips as opposed to the whole bucket.

    In terms of stamps, I was thinking about picking fun stamps – a bee, hockey stick (for FI), a monkey, etc…then each table would be it’s own “stamp”. On the seating card would be the name and stamp. I have a picture from a magazine if you’re interested.

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