DIY Project: Magnetic Clothespin Seating Chart
Seat your guests in style with this easy-to-do DIY wedding project.
Fair warning: Seating your guests is often times the most challenging part of the wedding planning process. Everyone has an opinion about who should sit where, and your mom’s idea of where her second cousins should sit may not be the same as yours.
Take a break from the stress of the seating puzzle and focus a couple of hours on creating a Magnetic Clothespin Seating Chart to show your guests to their seats (wherever they may be) in style. This project comes from Khris Cochran’s The DIY Bride Crafty Countdown (The Taunton Press, 2009)-a great resource for tons of DIY wedding ideas.
- 1 sheet of galvanized aluminum flashing, 24 in. by 36 in., available at hardware stores
- Spray paint in your choice of color
- Computer with Microsoft Word
- Plain card stock, 41⁄2 in. by 61⁄2 in.
- Decorative card stock, 5 in. by 7 in.
- Double-sided tape
- Wooden clothespins, spring loaded
- Decorative paper, 12 in. by 12 in.
- Scissors or paper cutter
- Liquid craft glue
- Small magnets
1. This project starts with a trip outside. In a well-ventilated space, spray a light, even coat of paint on the front of the aluminum flashing. Allow it to dry according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Repeat 1 to 2 more times, until you get full, even coverage. Remember to allow the paint to dry between coats.
2. Next up: the seating chart cards, which will display a list of guests for each table. Open Microsoft Word and go to File menu and choose Page Setup. From the Paper Size bar, scroll down and select Manage Custom Sizes. On the bottom of the dialog box that appears, click the + button and enter “4.5 x 6.5” into this field. This creates a custom page size. In the fields to the right side of the dialog box, enter “6.5” for the height and “4.5” for the width. Use “0.25” for the top, bottom, left, and right margins. Click OK. This will drop you back to the Page Setup menu. Click the Portrait orientation, and then click OK again. You have the template for your table cards.
3. Now it’s time to insert your table names or numbers along with the names of the guests at the table. Create a separate document for each table; I suggest saving each by table number. Print each list onto a piece of 41⁄2-in. by 61⁄2-in. card stock.
4. The next step is to adhere the table cards to the 5-in. by 7-in. decorative card stock. Apply double-sided tape to the back of the printed table cards, and mount each one onto a piece of the decorative card stock. Be careful to center the printed card stock on the slightly larger decorative paper so that there’s a border of pattern on all four sides.
5. You’re almost done! The next step is to decorate the clothespins and attach the magnets. Because there’s no standard clothespin size, you’ll need to measure the front of your clothespins and cut strips of decorative paper to those measurements. Apply a thin, even coat of liquid craft glue to the front of the clothespin and place the paper strips, pressing down to make sure they stick. Let them dry for a few hours before the next step. To get the clothespins to stick to the painted metal board, use liquid craft glue to glue small magnets to the center of the back of the clothespins. Allow the glue to dry for a few hours.
6. As a finishing touch, add a border of ribbon to the top, bottom, and sides of the board, securing the ribbon to the back of the board with double-sided tape. When you’re ready to display the board, simply place a seating card in the jaws of the clothespin and stick it to the magnetic board.
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Photo by Jack Deutsch, Copyright 2009 The Stonesong Press, LLC