DIYdiy projects

DIY Project: Embossed Velvet Place Cards

by Natalie Stopka

With so many holidays right around the corner, it’s about time to start thinking about ways to dress up our tables. These velvet ribbon place cards are embossed with each guest’s monogram, bringing a touch of opulence and dash of color to the table. They were inspired by our own wedding photo shoot and work perfectly for any winter celebration that needs a little extra warmth and texture! –Natalie


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A note about materials: Synthetic or synthetic blend velvet ribbon is the best choice here. It will hold the embossment crisply and the edges can be finished by simply burning with a match.


-2” wide synthetic velvet ribbon, about 18” per guest alphabet rubber stamp set
-masking tape
-iron & board matches

D_S velvet 1


Cut your ribbon into 18” lengths, leaving a few scraps for testing. Use a small piece of masking tape to secure your guest’s initials together. The monograms should be right-reading with the wood facing up, as you would normally use them for stamping.

D_S velvet 2

Heat the iron on medium-high and turn off the steam. Use the iron’s mister to dampen the back side of the velvet ribbon in the area you will be embossing.

Make a few tests: Place the monogram stamps rubber-side up on the ironing board and lay the velvet right-side down over them. Press the back side of the velvet without moving the iron for 10-20 seconds. Remove the iron and set the velvet aside to dry completely.

When you have a couple of crisply embossed test pieces you are ready to set to work on the whole guest list. Emboss the monograms in the upper 2 inches of the length of ribbon. Cut each end of the ribbon in a decorative shape if you like, then finish by running a match quickly along the edge. The synthetic fabric will melt, preventing the ribbon from unraveling.

D_S velvet 2

Place the ribbons under the plate at each setting, with the monogram peeking out above the plate and the long tail hanging from the table’s edge.


M&J Trimming

Paper Source

D_S velvet 3

Suggested For You


  • This is a simple yet really elegant touch. When having a dinner party, your guests are spending much of their time at the table, so little touches and accents can not only elevate your design but provide interest and novelty. I can’t wait to try this.

  • INFO: THE DISHES, I’m sure, are JOHNSON BROTHERS “Athena.” They are out of production, but available on eBay (some great prices) and at Replacements.com (a bit pricier, but instantly available).

    STORY: I bought them for my first apartment, with money from my first job, when I was 19. They are absolutely lovely and practical. I dressed ’em up, or, kept it simple by changing my linens and lighting. After 20 years, with not even one chipped, and still loving them, I gave them to my youngest brother for his first apartment. He didn’t want to be just another guy with 3 mismatched plastic plates, and I decided I was going to actually use (not “save”) my exquisite Bernadaud Limoges dishes and my fabulous Christofle sterling every day – every single day! Twenty more years later, he and his wife and little girls are still using my JB Athena every day. I almost cried when I went to dinner at their first house (beyond gorgeous) and they told me they both still loved my old white dishes, and there they were, lovely as ever, in a divine tablesetting. I still love them, too, but I also LOVE having and using my “really good stuff” and HIGHLY recommend not “saving” the best stuff in storage! I also highly recommend that young men have a set of dishes and real, matching glassware – – you should see the beautiful, intelligent women they’ve had to dinner, and married in my family!

  • love this!! i also really want to try it with a larger stamp to make and decorate a velvet scarf. have you tried this technique embossing fabric or is the ribbon backing how you get such crisp image?

  • I have done this with all kinds of stamps when I first learned of the technique. Just use a really bold stamp because this process does not show a lot of detail. Like hearts and Christmas trees, not angels or wreaths. Also, I thought it worked better with smaller stamps because you get a better burn out when you can just place the iron once and hold. If you have a larger stamp you get places where you don’t get burn out because of the steam holes in the iron. Don’t be tempted to twist the iron like you would with ironing. That just gives you fuzzy edges which I don’t think looks as nice.

  • Grace, I’m following the technique and while I see that it does burn out the initial, it’s only evident when you tilt it in certain light and doesn’t show up just flat on my table. Any suggestions?

  • Great thechnique
    Thx for sharing
    If i use it as a cloth inner label will it stand washing and ironing or will it fade

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