Label Your Table

We are firm believers in sharing your menu with your guests using food labels whenever you have a party.   Here’s why:

  • Food labels are a really easy way to add color to your table and incorporate your theme.  (We’ll show you how.)
  • You’ll avoid busting out the Epinephrine if someone with a seafood allergy knows not to eat your crab-stuffed mushrooms.
  • No one wants to bite into a popover and find that it’s stuffed with jalapenos, at least not without proper drink in hand. 
Food Labels at Leah's Tapas & Sangria Shower - post to come soon!

Place cards happen to serve as really cute food labels, and you have several options when it comes to making them. 
  1. You can buy premade placecards (and some come with templates for printing) from craft stores
  2. You can download printables from tons of websites
  3. You can hand-write the names of your dishes on nice paper and cut into small tents
  4. You can print directly on nice paper (or even layer different papers)
Source: Etsy, oneofakindbabydesign

What we like about options 1-3 is that you don’t have to mess with the crazy settings on your work printer when you’re feverishly trying to print your labels at lunch while no one is around.  Option 4 might take a little more tinkering, but you can customize your labels with some really fun paper and make your table pop.  Here is a sample of some editable Halloween labels we just whipped up if you choose to print your own. 

Depending on which route you go, here are some of the steps you may need to take:

Purchase nice paper

This is your chance to add some color to your table and incorporate your theme.  You don’t have to buy very heavy cardstock.  Any scrapbook paper should do if you fold it properly and possibly layer a couple different patterns.  Your other option is to use nice white paper and simply print in color. 

Type up your dishes
You can get crazy with a mail merge, or you can simply type the names of your dishes individually.  (The latter is probably easier unless you are trying to replicate China Buffet and serve 100 different dishes.  Besides, we REALLY don’t want to bore you with a mail merge blog post.) 

Choose your font
Don’t just stick with the default Times New Roman – get creative!  If you are throwing an upscale party, pick a nice cursive.  If you want to have more fun with it, you can even download free fonts that are related to your theme.  A quick Google search will bring you to several free-font sites.  We used the “Chiller” font for these sample Halloween place cards

Add a picture (optional)
You can even put a small picture or icon on your food labels to reinforce your theme.  We’ve used snowmen, skulls, maracas, etc.  Have fun with it.  For the Halloween sample, we just used a spider image from Clip Art.  The simpler, the better. 

Print and Fold
When you’re satisfied with the appearance of your labels, go ahead and print.  Then you’ll want to cut your scrapbook paper into squares and fold in half like a tent, placing the label on the front. 

If all of this sounds terribly dry to you, check out this adorable idea from Pinterest.  Just pick up some chalkboard contact paper and write your dishes directly on there.  

Source: Rock UR Party, by Tablespoon

One quick pointer – if you’re serving fairly standard food that doesn’t require much explanation but really want to create food labels, figure out a way to make it useful or theme-worthy.  For example, don’t make a label that says cheese and crackers.  Instead, list the types of cheese you are serving.  If you are throwing a tapas party, use the Spanish word “aceitunas” instead of just writing “olives.”   Or, you can just thoroughly gross people out like we did with this Halloween sample.

How have you displayed your menu for guests?

Happy Planning,
Sweet & Sour Showers